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Old 08-06-2019, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Continental Europe
682 posts, read 116,586 times
Reputation: 1094

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I hope this is in the right forum? Not sure if it fits here as it's about casual relationships, not committed ones (sorry to the mods if it doesn't fit.)

I was having an interesting conversation with a member (somebodynew) about casual sex and why I can't do it as a woman.

I referenced this article:

The Truth Behind Why Women Find It Harder To Have Casual Sex Than Men Do

To summarise:

Somebodynew was talking about casual sex and a friends with benefits situation she had going. I said I envied her as I could never do that, I'm not wired for it (I always get attached to someone if we start having sex.)

An example: The last time I had casual sex was 6 months ago with a guy who was just passing through and we had met up several times and had a great time, he stood me up with some poor excuse on the last time we arranged, I was literally cooking dinner for us when he rudely texted me 5 mins before he was meant to arrive with "I'm not coming". I sent him a text to wish him well and say it had been fun, as he was leaving the area the next day and got nothing back. No thanks, no acknowledgment of what we had shared together was fun or special. It obviously wasn't. I had shared intimate moments with him and was so gutted to be discarded with not even a goodbye. I cried and was sad for a few weeks. That was the moment I realised casual sex could not ever be for me, as my reaction seemed totally over the top but the fact was I had become bonded to this man through the sex and it was painful.

Somebodynew replied that maybe I am wired for casual sex, but maybe as a woman I've just been conditioned not to enjoy it.

I referenced the article above (women produce oxytocin when they have sex which bonds them to their partner which can be problematic if their partner doesn't want a relationship or is unsuitable.)

She said she had a few thoughts about this which she wouldn't share as we were going to hijack the thread.

So I created this one instead.

I realise this is quite a private topic so not sure whether others will want to share but what do you think of the article linked to above and does it match with your experiences as a woman?

Last edited by Carly1983; 08-06-2019 at 06:16 AM..
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:43 AM
 
12,789 posts, read 10,050,793 times
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This is actually a big topic. What drives motivation? What drives behavior? And we tend to simplify in ways that make it easy to understand. And we seek to be pain averse which drives these attempts at understanding. Who wouldn't try to avoid pain? Your author's handling of oxytocin is simplistic.

Of course I experience a oxytocin hit with casual sex! That is one of the things to like about it. That is why I prefer unattached sex with my very good friend to random strangers on the street. Do I get attached? Fer sure. What I do with that feeling of attachment is likely different though. I take some moments with the feelings of awwww isn't that sweet. Isn't HE sweet. Wrt the friend in question, I allow myself to love the crap out of him as I do and always have done. Love you say?? That is not casual! Well, I can promise you a couple things about this love. It does not follow the love script we are handed by our Mommies and our Daddies. We love each other as dear friends. That's it.

Studies do seem to show that women produce more oxytocin then men. But my experience with decades of swinging and poly relationships show me that men very frequently experience strong emotion bonds with sex. If one were to pop over the a board dedicated to marriage, you would see MANY men complain that sexlessness with their wives is not only, or even primarily problematic due to the lack of release, or lust. But the lack of that close bonding experience. Is it the oxytocin effect? Something else? I don't know. (Don't much care. )

People are a weird bundle of experience and drives that we often cannot understand. Adaptations (and maladaptations) that drive what we do. Going back to Hume, "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/david_hume_390196 I don't agree with all the nuance of this. But the truth is, we are motivated most directly by our feelings. But we can learn to allow our reason to inform our feelings. Anyone who has experience with mindfulness will be nodding here. By accepting our feelings drive us, we can allow our thoughts to help guide our actions.

How does this apply to the conversation of oxytocin? Ocytocin does not MAKE me do or feel anything any more than alcohol MAKES an alcoholic do or feel things. Trust me, I know. Recovering alcoholic. Ocytocin is one input among many known and unknown into our feelings and our choices.

I don't "deal" with getting attached. I allow it. I allow it to come. I enjoy it. Then I allow it to flow away.

And here is where I get disregarded as some kind of eastern, yoga practicing, candle lighting freak. But I am ok with that.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:44 AM
 
3,265 posts, read 1,715,170 times
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It is interesting that you started this thread because this has been on my mind lately. I think we as a society (mainly we older generation women -- I'm in my 50s) have failed young women.


For some reason, young women are fine at demanding respect in the workplace etc -- but when it comes to relationships, I see too many younger women put up with disrespect from guys. This "hookup" culture, the "lets hang out" texts at 10 pm, and even the fact that it's become OK to use terms like "hit that" or "tap that" is accepted. All of it chips away at women being treated like they are valued. I mean, why call out certain guys as "misogynists" and then accept this kind of language from your own male friends, brothers, etc.



It seems that drawing lines in the sand is now considered to be "prudish" or "pearl clutching" or something -- when it's just about asking for respect and not being used sexually and then discarded. I mean is it prudish when women spell out what's not acceptable to them in the workplace? If not, then why aren't these expectations spelled out in dating?



I am astounded at the numerous conversations on these forums about the "three date rule" etc. I dated a lot in my single years and only 2 times was I ever pressured to have intercourse. In both cases I said I'm not ready. One of these guys I continued to date a while after that and he continued to grumble, but he didn't break up with me over it. (We broke up because he moved.) The second guy, I broke up with him the minute he balked about my saying "no." Both of these instances were pretty soon after we started dating (within 2 months of only seeing each other about 1x a week.) I dated many, many other men who were OK with my pace. Maybe they WANTED to sleep with me sooner, but they didn't hassle me or break up with me over it.



I have initiated sex on the first date BTW, and didn't necessarily regret it, but I would say the relationships were definitely not completely healthy ones, and resulted in a lot of heartbreak because I was bonded.



My message to women is that there is nothing prudish, closed minded or wrong with waiting until you are truly ready. For God's sake people go through great pains to not put some food or drug into their body but yet not treat their body "like a temple" in this way.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:46 AM
 
12,789 posts, read 10,050,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasel View Post
It is interesting that you started this thread because this has been on my mind lately. I think we as a society (mainly we older generation women -- I'm in my 50s) have failed young women.


For some reason, young women are fine at demanding respect in the workplace etc -- but when it comes to relationships, I see too many younger women put up with disrespect from guys. This "hookup" culture, the "lets hang out" texts at 10 pm, and even the fact that it's become OK to use terms like "hit that" or "tap that" is accepted. All of it chips away at women being treated like they are valued. I mean, why call out certain guys as "misogynists" and then accept this kind of language from your own male friends, brothers, etc.
Yup. That only men can experience this without societal devaluation is a travesty.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:12 AM
 
388 posts, read 98,915 times
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Quote:
... as I could never do that, I'm not wired for it (I always get attached to someone if we start having sex.)
Friends with benefits means not exclusive, it can end at anytime, and not to get emotionally attached. However, you were cooking for each other? The sharing of meals, etc is when you talk together and for a woman that is what creates an intimate friendship bond.

The sharing of your personal feelings over time is what a woman needs to feel intimately connected to a man. Not just sex. If you where just having sex, and never sharing thoughts, feelings, meals, etc you would have ended it a long time ago. You were connecting more emotionally because you enjoyed the meals together etc because that was when you can share personal feelings (if just a little bit) and THAT is what made you connect emotionally. It wasn't the sex.

He wanted to end it without a saying a word because he realized talking was connecting you too emotionally to him. Talking lets a woman share her feelings (if she trusts him) and that's what she needs to bond.

You started to really like the friendship part of fwb, because it allowed you to share feelings (if just a little bit), and sharing feelings is how a woman is in her most feminine. That woman is then attracted to a masculine man.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:15 AM
 
12,789 posts, read 10,050,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james112 View Post
Friends with benefits means not exclusive, it can end at anytime, and not to get emotionally attached. However, you were cooking for each other? The sharing of meals, etc is when you talk together and for a woman that is what creates an intimate friendship bond.
Yes it creates and intimate friendship! Or is part of a friendship that was already there. That is why they call it FRIENDS with benefits.

Quote:
The sharing of your personal feelings over time is what a woman needs to feel intimately connected to a man. Not just sex. If you where just having sex, and never sharing thoughts, feelings, meals, etc you would have ended it a long time ago.
Well no. There are people that over the years come and go and come back. For sex.

Quote:
You were connecting more emotionally because you enjoyed the meals together etc because that was when you can share personal feelings (if just a little bit) and THAT is what made you connect emotionally. It wasn't the sex.


He wanted to end it without a saying a word because he realized talking was connecting you too emotionally to him. Talking lets a woman share her feelings (if she trusts him) and that's what she needs to bond.
I am wondering where I said he wanted it to end at all? Let alone because I was getting to close to him. I am the she, remember?


Quote:
You started to really like the friendship part of fwb, because it allowed you to share feelings (if just a little bit), and sharing feelings is how a woman is in her most feminine. That woman is then attracted to a masculine man.
Wooooosh. Love how I am being told how I feel my most feminine!
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:17 AM
Status: "Make sure you include me in your manifesto" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Posting from my space yacht.
8,287 posts, read 3,242,846 times
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For men and women our culture seems to generally discourage anyone ever getting the "feels" until their high powered white collar career is in full swing at which point they are expected to get married to someone who has a similar high powered white collar career and either have no children or one child who is raised by high status daycare facilities because who the hell has time for children? Plus, children require "feels" of their own, of a different kind, and I'm sorry but I have an important meeting in Dallas that week so make sure you take pictures! I promise I'll like them on facebook if I have time! What do you mean little Connor has been acting withdrawn lately? How much are we paying that psychiatrist anyway?
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:39 AM
 
7,737 posts, read 3,032,095 times
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Whenever a discussion like this begins, I quickly lose interest. As soon as I explain my FWB situation, someone will inevitably interject to tell me That is NOT what Iím doing... as if there were some rule book that Iím not following. Or THAT is never going to work for a woman, even though it has for years.

All FWB situations arenít the same, just as all monogamous relationships arenít the same.

I donít believe casual sex is generation-dependent, either. My millennial friends and daughter are in long term committed relationships for the most part. I also donít believe there is any lack of respect for myself for clarifying that Iím not looking for full time F2F guy, either.

Men donít seem to really believe this, and some get an attitude that indicates they rather I felt cheated on, instead of telling them to do their own thing, Iíll see them another day.

I personally believe I am more wired for friends with benefits. I get that closed in, when are you leaving?, how do I tell you I need more alone time, influx of questions plaguing my brain.

Prepare to have trolls and drive-byís drop off their negative comments about your personal life.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Colorado
12,112 posts, read 7,437,635 times
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I think I'm more in tune with what somebodynew is saying than most here will be. And I've tried to share some of these ideas, respectfully, with others over the years. Thing is, if you've been involved in "ethical non-monogamy" as it's called (poly, swinging, open relationships, etc as long as it's honest and so on) you are exposed to ideas from others doing the same, and these ideas just are not common in the...what did Laura Antinou call it... "the Overculture" I think. The mainstream mentality. In particular if you participate in community groups, poly forums, or read books like More Than Two, The Ethical...S-word... and others. There's a lot out there.

It won't be for everyone. That's fine. It doesn't have to be!

But there are some really cool ideas and tools for communicating and relating in healthy ways, that are worthwhile to share with people in general, so I do try to do this.

***EDIT: If you don't want to read the rest, please just read THIS paragraph!***
I think it's important for everyone to work to become self-aware. Be honest with yourself about who you are and what you need. And then communicate that clearly to people you're interacting intimately with, or trying to build a relationship with. That is the first thing. Know thyself. And be true to yourself and authentic in what you accept from others. Place your boundaries where they need to be, for your own mental and emotional wellbeing, and demand that people who want a place in your life, respect them.

I have a friend right now, who has a history of unhealthy relationships. She is VERY desirable, but also very ambitious, and many of her life goals do not revolve around a man and family building. She is sick unto death of her identity warping itself around the needs of whatever boyfriend she has at any point, especially since at least a few have been abusive and controlling. She wants an answer to the question, "When there's no man standing there telling me who to be, WHO AM I?" And yet, she enjoys sex and the company of men. She doesn't want to have a parade of random guys through her bedroom, but she doesn't want one taking control of her life either. Finding a working middle ground has been a challenge, because it's only a matter of weeks before any man she starts to interact with begins trying to "lock her down" and starts getting upset about how she spends her time, demanding to know who she talks to, and so on.

All she wants is about a year, with no huge relationship commitments. Just one freaking year. But when she insists on this, these men freak right out about it. I think, personally, that part of the problem is that she is pairing up with "normal" guys from "muggle" dating sites and so on...(vanilla, monogamous, standard expectations.) For these men, there are only two ways to be with a woman. You either use her and discard her, as people say here, or you marry her and from then on, you only need each other, your kids, your dog, your happy little picket fence house in the burbs Amen. For some of us, neither of those things are right. And no, it does not have to be one or the other.

The other thing though, that one needs to have, to step outside of the pattern, is some emotional resilience. Like somebodynew said, in a rather Zen sort of way, it's OK to have feelings. It's ok to love, to lose, to grieve, and to move on. To enjoy the blaze and flight of loving feelings, to learn to accept that a connection is not a "failure" if it does not last forever, sometimes things evolve, sometimes a relationship is a thing for a season and when its season has passed, it's time for change. And emotional pain isn't the end of the world, either. You can feel that, and let it add layers of life experience and memory to your time on this earth, and continue on... I had a very dear and inspirational friend die a few years ago. Not for one instant, would I wish I'd never met him so as to avoid the pain of his loss, though I did feel like I'd been punched in the stomach for about 3 months when he died. Still. The good memories are worth the pain. And the emotional disturbance from losing a treasured lover is nothing compared to that. Though in my life, many of my former lovers went on to become good friends, and continued to be, long after the need or desire to have sex with them faded.

Another funny thing is, I imagine that most folks would have the misconception that a non-monogamous person is obsessed with sex, because they don't necessarily require that it go hand-in-hand with marriage or even serious commitment, and may have multiple partners at the same time. In fact that has not been my experience at all. People are mostly doing this for the freedom, not because they need a smorgasbord of sexual options. Take away the scarcity, and all the anxiety and restriction...and sex just isn't that big a deal really. Being permitted to explore friendship and emotions and joy with many people is far more rewarding and important. When I was poly, I really wasn't having sex very often at all with like 3 out of 4 of my partners. Those were the ones who wound up transitioning to deep friendship later on, which is where we're still at.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:52 AM
 
2,145 posts, read 587,518 times
Reputation: 1407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carly1983 View Post
I hope this is in the right forum? Not sure if it fits here as it's about casual relationships, not committed ones (sorry to the mods if it doesn't fit.)

I was having an interesting conversation with a member (somebodynew) about casual sex and why I can't do it as a woman.

I referenced this article:

The Truth Behind Why Women Find It Harder To Have Casual Sex Than Men Do

To summarise:

Somebodynew was talking about casual sex and a friends with benefits situation she had going. I said I envied her as I could never do that, I'm not wired for it (I always get attached to someone if we start having sex.)

An example: The last time I had casual sex was 6 months ago with a guy who was just passing through and we had met up several times and had a great time, he stood me up with some poor excuse on the last time we arranged, I was literally cooking dinner for us when he rudely texted me 5 mins before he was meant to arrive with "I'm not coming". I sent him a text to wish him well and say it had been fun, as he was leaving the area the next day and got nothing back. No thanks, no acknowledgment of what we had shared together was fun or special. It obviously wasn't. I had shared intimate moments with him and was so gutted to be discarded with not even a goodbye. I cried and was sad for a few weeks. That was the moment I realised casual sex could not ever be for me, as my reaction seemed totally over the top but the fact was I had become bonded to this man through the sex and it was painful.

Somebodynew replied that maybe I am wired for casual sex, but maybe as a woman I've just been conditioned not to enjoy it.

I referenced the article above (women produce oxytocin when they have sex which bonds them to their partner which can be problematic if their partner doesn't want a relationship or is unsuitable.)

She said she had a few thoughts about this which she wouldn't share as we were going to hijack the thread.

So I created this one instead.

I realise this is quite a private topic so not sure whether others will want to share but what do you think of the article linked to above and does it match with your experiences as a woman?
I am sorry to hear this, but it does make sense that women get more emotionally attached than men...and I'm sure there are men out there that are of a sensitive nature that may feel just as gutted as well. Surprisingly, there are women that can cut ties completely at an emotional level and not acknowledge the "It was a great experience!" conversation.

It's really opening up a can of worms. Pandora's box if you decide to go down this rabbit hole.
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