Where Is The Line Between Sexually Liberated And Slutty? Ask A Pro

Behold, the final Ask a Pro of 2014! Email me questions about friends, sex and dating in the new year at [email protected]! Strap in, ladies – this is a long one.

Head Pro,

It has come the time where one of my guy friends has shown his true colors, he made a pass at me and the thing is that I let him, so we started making out, bla, bla, bla…   

I didn’t mind, really, I like him, guess that’s why he’s my friend. But, I don’t like him THAT way though I can tell that he does have feelings for me. This has happened 3 times now and I don’t want to do it anymore ’cause I don’t want to convert our relationship to a casual hookup.

So… should I talk to him or just pretend that it never happened and promise to myself that I won’t succumb again to my hornyness?


Non strong-willed girl

Dear … whatever that means,

Yeah, you’re in a pretty classic “guy friend who wants to fuck me” situation. Your complaint is a common one in that girls very often wonder how to turn back the clock and return to a “normal” friendship. But, as I wrote over two years ago (!!), that’s impossible – because that guy was NEVER really your friend to begin with.

To recap, no one’s saying it’s impossible for platonic coed friendships to exist, it’s just that in your case (and in many cases), that’s obviously never what was going on. He didn’t randomly develop feelings for you, they were likely there all along. That means what you saw as a “friendship” was actually a very wobbly house of cards built on a foundation of lies and deceit. If anything, you ought to be awfully upset at the way he’s manipulated and betrayed your trust.

Obviously, you CANNOT do nothing and hope it goes away. Your silence (and in a few instances, acquiescence) serve as implicit condonement and encouragement to him. If you don’t want to go down this road you obviously have to stop giving in, but you also need to make clear that you do not like him in that way. He’ll likely bitch and moan at what he perceives as a change of heart, but it’s not really your problem if he can’t respect your position. Will things go back to “normal?” Probably not, but what’s more important is distancing yourself from whatever this relationship has become.

Nice Guy Kisses,

Head Pro

Dear Head Pro,

So a little while back another betch emailed you a somewhat similar issue to mine except I think she had a boyfriend in this case. Anyway I think I’ll preface this with a general question… At what point does a girl cross the line from being sexually liberated/experimental to being just a full blown slut? My issue is that I hate dating bros right now but I have a massive sex drive. I almost feel like a black sheep because all of my girlfriends are just fine having dry spells or sticking with their significant others, but neither of those options work for me. I’m basically the opposite of romantic, I get tired of guys easily, and I’m doing pretty well independently.

I’m not really limited on my options for sexual partners but maybe somewhere down the line I’ll meet a guy I can actually tolerate and I’ll look back and regret the various people I slept with, or I’ll turn him off because I was too slutty. Also, I’m worried down the line I will want a relationship but be completely inept at dating and waiting to jump a guy’s bones. So I guess what I’m asking is a) when does a girl cross the line into slut territory? and b) how am I supposed to get a guy to ever take me seriously if I just want to have sex with them? Serious pondering to be done.

Kisses from a Sloot

Dear Sloot,

Well. This is really some meta, rabbit-hole shit you’re getting into here. First of all, as I’ve said before, you don’t need to call yourself a slut because there are plenty of people who will do that for you. I can’t find the link and don’t have unlimited time to search for it, but I demonstrated in an old “Ask a Pro” that even people with more modest attitudes towards sex (that is, series of exclusive but short-lived “relationships”) can come out of, say, college with numbers that look ghastly on paper. As for how guys interpret that number, it’s ultra-arbitrary – some guys are very conservative with what they consider “too many,” others less-so. Either way it doesn’t matter, because anyone who values you based on your number of sexual partners isn’t worth your time.

Aside from that meaning, “sluttiness” is a nebulous issue. Interestingly, when used by women the term has nothing to do with sexual activity and everything to do with class stratification – lower-class girls pin sluttiness on “rich bitches in sororities,” while their higher-status counterparts associate it with girls seen as “trashy.” Guys tend to stick to the more literal definition, but it’s still a perception thing. A girl who appears desperate, TGF and undiscerning in her sexual partners is more likely to be called a slut than a girl who’s well-liked and respected, even if the latter is actually having way more sex than the former. We kind of do the same with guys: While it’s true that we reward men more for their sexual successes, the guy who’s painfully obvious about trying to get laid still comes off as a losery sleazeball. Basically, either way it has nothing to do with how much sex you have – it’s about how you carry yourself and how people perceive you.

To that end, it’s not easy to get a guy to take you seriously even if you “just want to have sex with him” – we’re conditioned to view sex as rare and special, so taking away the hoops associated it with it make it appear as though sex is no more important to you than grinding on the dance floor. The best thing you can do is to conduct yourself outside of the bedroom in a way that engenders respect and appreciation among the guys in your circle. Take yourself seriously (that is, value yourself as a person), and so will others – the fact that you aren’t interested in a relationship outside of sex should have little bearing on that. Furthermore, try to limit your partners to people with whom you share a mutual respect and understanding – don’t be the girl who goes for what’s easiest versus what’s best.

Beyond that, you’re fighting an uphill battle – swap the genders, and a guy who steadfastly insisted on only using people for sex would eventually dig himself into a very, very deep hole in terms of options and reputation.

Promiscuous Kisses,

Head Pro

Dear Head Pro,

So I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about 6 months now.  He’s great and things are going really well, but there’s this one thing that bugs me.  He has a lot of friends that are girls. Like, a lot. It’s to the point where he casually has hour long phone/skype conversations with these girls weekly.  He says he’s never hooked with any of them, and I’m not concerned because I don’t think he’s going to cheat on me with them or anything like that.  I think it mostly just bothers me because I think it’s really unusual/weird. I can’t decide how much it bothers me, but I just know that when he says he’s skyping with one of them it annoys me, and I’m not 100% sure why.  Am I totally crazy?  Or is it kind of weird that he’s so attached to his girl friends?


Semi-crazy betch

Dear Semi-crazy betch,

Nah, you’re not crazy. That is, in fact, really fucking weird. I rarely have hour-long skype or phone conversations with my dude friends, let alone the handful of lady ones I have. I do think you’re right to not worry much, as he probably wouldn’t be dating you if he wanted to get with these other girls. As to how this happened, your guess is as good as mine – maybe they have the hots for him and he’s never felt the same way (while still enjoying the attention), or maybe he was into some or all of them in the past and those feelings faded long ago. Or hell, maybe it’s just some incredibly rare yet perfect storm where they bonded together over something and have remained friends since. Either way it IS weird, but isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm.

First things first, you need to learn more about these girls, both from him and ideally by meeting them. Not only will you learn of the origins and nature of their friendships, but it’ll also signal to him (and them) that you’re a stakeholder in the situation and his relationship with them is not (and cannot be) 100% separate from his relationship with you. The second step is to voice your concerns, being sure to frame it such that it’s about you feeling uncomfortable and not about the friendships being “weird” (that could put him on the defensive). You never want to make it a “me or them” type thing. Given that you’ve only been together for 6 months, he’s likely known them longer.

I would also switch things up and try to put the shoe on the other foot – ask him how he would feel if, hypothetically, you had a bunch of guy friends you talked with regularly but about whom he knew nothing. If he lies (because it would be a lie) and says he’d be 100% comfortable with it, then honestly I’d make a little show of doing just that – call a guy acquaintance just to chat from time to time. Not to make him jealous, but to kind of say “hey asshole, my feelings in this matter, too.” Do what you need to do to get him ready to have an adult conversation about respect and boundaries.

Platonic Kisses,

Head Pro

Dear Head Pro,

I’m 22, attractive, confident, intelligent, caring, and driven. I have goals, I’m decisive about what I want and I don’t play games. When I like a guy I tell him and I enjoy doing things for other people. But for some reason I cannot attract quality guys. Or at least I can’t attract any quality guys who want to do more than fuck and smoke weed. When I do meet guys that are interested in more they are usually almost 40 and looking to settle down which is absolutely not what I’m looking for right out of college although I tend to have more in common with them and have way better conversation.

I can’t meet guys at work because I work in the arts in a city that is not NY or LA so they are all either married with children or gay. So what the hell do I do? I know meeting guys at bars isn’t going to help and I’ve tried online but it’s mostly just creepers and surprise dick pics (which should NOT be a thing). I like to have fun and party but I also have just as much fun going to the theatre or symphony or enjoying an art exhibit. Is it too much to ask for some balance and interest in someone other than themselves from a guy under the age of 30? Is the prospect of a relationship really that terrifying? I’m not looking for my future husband just someone who doesn’t suck that I wouldn’t mind sticking around for at least a few months.


(apparently) Bad At Dating

Dear Bad At Dating,

Honestly? A big part of your issue is that your attitude sucks. First, you’ve shut yourself out of just about all normal conduits for meeting people. No, meeting guys in bars isn’t ideal or particularly efficient, but it’s something. Online dating certainly isn’t for everyone, but it wouldn’t be so popular if it didn’t give people ample options for a comparatively low investment. I would encourage you to look into Meetups, LivingSocial deals and coed classes/events that interest you, but beyond that? You’re basically saying “I don’t like things or places where most people meet guys, but I still don’t understand why I’m not meeting guys. What gives?”

You say you “don’t like to play games.” In truth, no one does – life would be a lot easier if we could all be forthright with our feelings, but that’s not the case. Women basically invented the game as a way of quickly ascertaining whether or not a guy meets their standards. For a man, playing the game means acting in such a way that implies his suitability as a partner by not coming across as a weak-willed doormat. Expressing strong feelings when he barely knows you would seem unearned and desperate, not to mention insincere. Done without an agenda or a desire to hurt/manipulate, it’s actually fun! The game is really just flirting/dating, the means by which we get to know one another before investing too heavily.

The last part (and this is no fault of yours) is that guys your age, well, kind of suck. Or a good chunk of them, at least. Some of them are exploring their newfound adult freedom and have little interest in anything beyond casual sex, while others are clinging desperately to the collegiate lifestyle that the real world will eventually make them relinquish. Slightly older guys are definitely going to have the more nuanced personalities and interests you’re looking for. Put yourself where they tend to be (think quieter pubs over a loud club), accept and maybe even enjoy a certain degree of flirting (I know, the horror), and you’ll have better luck.

Symphonic Kisses,

Head Pro

Email me questions about friends, sex and dating in the new year at [email protected]!