The following email was intended to be answered during the Ask Your Dumbass Question segment of Sordid Tales: The Podcast! However, I thought it would be fun to use it for CityBeats Love and Sex Issue.
Dear Sordid Tales: I am a male in my late 20s who was recently jilted after a six-year engagement. Now that Im single again, Im not interested in anything serious. However, Im not interested in being cruel or deceptive, either. All I want to do is submerge myself in a bunch of meaningless one-night stands without hurting anyone. Heres my dumbass question: Lets say I meet a woman in a bar and she agrees to go back to my place. How do I let her know its only going to be a one-nighter without scaring her away? Sincerely, Done with Love
Wow, Done with Love, now that is a conundrum. Trying to inform a woman that youre interested only in a one-night stand without blowing the deal is like a hitchhiker trying to tell the motorist who pulled over that hes the Roadside Strangler without blowing the ride.
Which is another way of saying, It cant be done.
However, you didnt write to hear the word cant, now did you? And one thing I know for sure is that you can do anything that you put your mind to—except, of course, the things you cant do—and, lets be honest, thats a lot of fricking things. I mean, you cant flap your arms and fly, you cant breathe underwater and you certainly cant win a Republican nomination without any Koch money.
Now, the good news is, theres compelling evidence that women are increasingly receptive to the idea of a no-strings hookup. Largely because an increasing number of women are finally standing up and saying, Enough is enough, bitches! Were gonna bang who we want to bang and dont give one rotten rutabaga what anyone thinks about it.
Its also partly due to the fact that an increasing number of men are coming out of the dark ages. More and more of us are realizing that women— newsflash—are sexual beings, too, and were not quite as quick to slap a scarlet H(ussy) on anyones sweater. Weve come a long way, too, babies.
So, yeah, Done with Love, the possibility of finding women who are into one-night stands is better now than it ever was. However, that doesnt make your other hurdle any easier to hurdle. Im talking about your honorable, albeit problematic, desire to forecast your no-strings intentions.
Heres the thing: For many women—and, as you probably know, Im not a woman, so Im basically pulling this out of my ass—most sexual encounters begin as a one-night stand. By this I mean, unless the male exhibits value (emotional, intellectual and sexual), shes not going to want a second encounter. I know this is contrary to our man-centric intuition, but when its all said and done, generally speaking, the woman is the decider. Its she who decides which of her suitors gets to do what, and when, and how often, and to presume that its you, the man, who decides is to go against her instinctive, primordial disposition.
Youre going to put her off is what Im saying.
You: Listen, sugar, you need to know, this is only going to be a one-time thing.
Her: First of all, cupcake, dont call me sugar. Second, what makes you think I even want to see you again?
So, no—that tactic aint gonna fly. And to all the women out there reading this thinking, Gee, I would totally hump a man who was being that honest, I say, Hooey! May I remind you of the Cross Dressers Revelatory Rule of Female Self-Deception? The CDRRFSD refers to the movie Tootsie, in which Jessica Lange laments to a cross-dressed Dustin Hoffman (who she doesnt know is a male) that she just wished for once a man would drop his pickup lines and say, I find you very interesting and would like to make love to you.
Jessica is totally believable in this scene, and as a man, you cant help but say, Aint that some shit? The honesty-tip. Why dont I do that more often?
Because a few weeks later, when Dustin sees her at a party (no longer in a female disguise), he approaches and says, I find you very interesting and want to make love to you, to which she responds by throwing a drink in his face.
So, no, I dont recommend direct honesty. Better to indicate your intentions indirectly. For instance, make sure to say that you recently escaped a relationship, that it was suffocating and you are excited to play the field again. Dont bust this language right out of the gate. Wait until youve laid some groundwork and shes showing the universal signs of attraction—lots of arm-touching, eye contact and resisting the urge to recoil in terror when you crow over your World of Warcraft exploits.
When these signs are evident, go ahead and drop a series of one-night-stand code words, such as how you dont want to get serious with anyone, and that youre just looking to have fun. Oh and dont forget to throw in all the important Lonesome Traveler of Life-type phrases, like how youre a free spirit with a wandering soul and a lover on every continent. If, after all that, she still expects an invitation to dinner with your parents, then, by God, son, you did your best. Let the post-coital bullshitting commence!
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Edwin Decker blogs at www.edwindecker.com. Follow him on Twitter @edwindecker or find him on Facebook.
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