Sex, too early?

A recent article in the New York Times entitled Cheap Dates: How the price of sex has dropped to record lows, surmised 25% of young women are having sex within the first week of dating, therefore drastically reducing the ‘costs’ of sex and lowering marriage rates.

In essence, men are getting more bang for their buck.

Thirty percent of young men’s sexual relationships involve no romance at all.

No wooing

No dating

Nothing.

Just sex.

With a lower social ‘price’ for sex, the expectations of the males’ role in dating and in potential future marriage drastically changes.

This sounds like the old adage of ‘why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free’.

Mayrav Saar puts it bluntly, “If women collectively decided to cross their legs, the price of sex would soar and women would regain control of the market. Like a whoopie cartel.”

In other words, use sex as a tool to lure men into your ‘venus fly trap’ in order to gain a marriage proposal!

If sex is a pawn, the only benefactor may be your vibrator.

Patti Stanger, the Hollywood ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ recommends no sex until there is an exclusive committed monogamous relationship.  Her goal of course is to get you from first date to engaged in one year and married soon after.

What about women who would like a relationship, aren’t obsessed with marriage, and love having sex.

It doesn’t seem fair to hold out until an exclusive committed monogamous relationships occurs.

We don’t buy a car without test driving it, how can one decide to become monogamous with a partner, if they haven’t tasted all the other has to offer?

This  just wait, increase the social price, get a commitment first message, seems to me just another way to shame women back into a sexual repressive time.  This message appears to be backed by our cultures double message regarding male/female sexual activity.

I haven’t seen an article targeted to males that emphasizes waiting to engage in sex with their partner to increase the chances of a marriage (outside of the religious abstinence till marriage message).

If the beginning of a relationship is based more on sexual attraction and activity and less on interest, values, commonality, and so on, its not likely to go long term.

This doesn’t seem to be about sex too early, but about really liking the person outside of the bedroom.

The low cost of sex can remain as it may, yet uncrossing your legs when you’re interested, aroused, safe and smart…..sounds like an enjoyable choice to me. 

You decide when the time is right, whether that’s in the first week or not.

About Anton Therapy

As a psychotherapist specializing in sexual concerns, I believe that communication and compromise, with a playful and open attitude are key components to a healthy intimate life. I infuse compassion, enthusiasm and a collaborative approach in treatment that puts clients at ease in discussing such personal topics. I hope this blog helps to open your mind, promote healthy sex, and encourages you to have a desire for intimacy and life! View all posts by Anton Therapy

22 responses to “Sex, too early?

  • skeletonfingers

    I wonder, if this is a direct correlation of men becoming less and less assertive throughout the internet generation. Women have to take up the slack with the men that are actually assertive by bringing the social price of sex down to accommodate the market. What it seems to me as a social sexual economy depression, good for assertive men like myself, but terrible for the average woman.

    • Anton Therapy

      The NYT article appeared to me to support social standards of women’s sexual repression/passivity. I am uncertain if men are become more passive due to social media/electronic interaction….if you have article links to that, I’d really enjoy reading. Maybe we’re just coming into a time where sexual expression is balancing out and it is not all men initiation/having the urge/sexualizing the other. I support healthy sexual expression – from both sexes 🙂

    • DadOf2

      I think it’s a result of progressive societal attempts at “equality” between the sexes… e.g. if men can have sexual freedom, then why shouldn’t women?

  • Huff

    There is so much wrong with that article. I can’t believe they actually said “Men want sex more than women do.” Yeah, right!

    (A grumpy) Huff.

  • DD5

    Thanks for that response. I truly felt offended by that article, it’s just … stupid. While I can understand people playing the “economics” game on other stuff (I’ve seen it done with Spouseonomics), this one read as a call for returning to the unliberated sexually repressed woman of old times, thinly veiled with an economics argument. The fact is that women don’t “open up” because of cheapening in the market, they “open up” because they LIKE it, they WANT it.

    The ones that are getting “screwed” by the “cheap market” are gold-diggers or the other mythical “searching the man who can feed me ’till I die”, because their “sex 4 marriage” or “sex 4 money” tricks can’t work if there are other women willing to have just “sex 4 fun”. So that article is either the moral “go back and repress your sexuality” or basically an article encouraging prostitution. Really, really sad; and your response is pretty good!

    • Anton Therapy

      Wow! Thanks for the feedback! I completely agree with your remarks and hope we can spread an more egalitarian sexual view to our society. I support smart, safe, fun sexuality. Here Here

    • Anton Therapy

      Thanks for your reply! I enjoy your statement, they do it because they like it and not for cheapening of the market.

      • Ted

        So what if “they like it!” I may like crack, but that doesn’t make it moral or legal.

        This is part of the “if it feels good do it” mentality that I hate. Not only does it pander to the lowest common denominator, but removes personal responsibility from ones actions. After all, it felt good so how could it possibly be wrong?…

  • Hypergamy Rules

    “Maybe we’re just coming into a time where sexual expression is balancing out ”

    The active sexual market consists of approx. 15% of men who seek sex and nearly all women who do. Is that the balance you speak of? The dirty little secret is that the whole show is a soft harem.

    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2011/09/27/hookinguprealities/has-the-price-of-sex-bottomed-out/#comment-61451

    • Anton Therapy

      I am uncertain about these statistics…..lets bring sex out of the ‘dirty little closet’ and acknowledge our human nature, healthy sexual behaviors and equality.

      • Ted

        Or, how about we rise above our animal nature and become something better? Why does “equality for the sexes” mean that we all have to behave in the worst possible manner? Why couldn’t woman step up to the plate and DEMAND that men stop acting like beasts and learn a little restraint?

  • Ted

    @ DD5 – so any woman looking for marriage is a gold digger? Good to know that. *rolls eyes*

    • DD5

      Not necessarily. But the kind of woman described by the article as being affected by the “cheapening market” is. The way the article is laid out, all women are selling sex for financial or emotional stability; some of them are cheapening out by “selling” for free having sex on the first date. But the parallel doesn’t work, because sex isn’t an object, and not all women are having sex because they expect something in return; in fact, women shouldn’t be having sex expecting something in return, but because they want to.

      That said, women are free to withhold sex if they want, or use it to manipulate men; but they shouldn’t expect other women to withhold sex under the pretense of “raising the sex price tag”. Men who want sex will find women willing to have no strings attached sex; that doesn’t mean there’s a thinning of men searching for marriage. Eventually men will settle down and search for marriage; the reason fewer young adults get married is because we’re pickier choosing a wife (or women choosing a husband).

      • Ted

        I didn’t get that message at all. I believe young people aren’t getting married because of two reasons:
        1. There is very little incentive for a man to marry if he can get easy access to sex from women that do not demand a commitment.
        2. Current laws are biased to award women handsomely for leaving thier husbands and destroying a family for any reason she wants. No-fault divorce is bull. It is always someone’s fault.

        What I got from this article is women that want a committed relationship are finding it difficult to get a man interested in anything more than a pump and dump. Why? Because there are far too many women willing to be used as a sex object. It doesn’t matter if those women like being used, the end result is the same.

      • Anton Therapy

        Sounds like you might have been burned in a relationship. Hopefully people choose to marry because they want to share the rest of their lives with someone they really love. Both parties take part in strengthening or weakening a marriage. Marriage is work & hard work at that.

  • Ted

    Anton Therapy said: Hopefully people choose to marry because they want to share the rest of their lives with someone they really love.

    While this is a very romantic notion, and I agree that you shouldn’t marry someone you love, for men marriage is far too important a matter to leave in the hands of romance. The women I love and want to marry could very likely take me to the cleaners in divorce court if things go badly. So, when making this decision, it is very important for the man to take everything into account.

    With that in mind, as long as a man has no real desire to start a family, why in the world would he get married? What incentive is there for the man to risk his future, finances, and retirement on a woman that is willing to share herself with him without the commitment?

    As far as being burned goes, I think most people have been burned a time or two. This is NOT about failed relationships, it is about an unfair legal system that puts men at MUCH higher risk for loss if a divorce occurs. I would advise any man to put off marriage for as long as possible, forever if children are not desired. And, for the record, I am very much in favor of marriage and very much enjoy being married. The risks are just too high now, and its much easier to get “some” of the benefits of marriage without the legal hassle now that casual sex is more accepted.

  • s.p.

    Not a NYT article. New York Post. This makes a difference.

  • Shermy

    I totally agree w/Ted. This is the stuff we’re not talking about that REALLY makes a difference. Also, I think everyone is assuming that men and women think about sex in the same way. They don’t. And so even if a woman desires it just like a man, it doesn’t men that the man sees/values it or not, the exchange in the same way. I’m not going to make generalizations about how we each see it, but I do know that it is a COMPLETELY different view leading both parties in this type of confusion we seem to be in.

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