Should you make him wait to sleep with you?
If you listen to all the popular dating advice, yes, and always.
The problem with that advice?
It’s a generalization, and it doesn’t always work well.
This article investigates the “make him wait” approach with some data and psychology to provide you with a more refined strategy.
And by the end of it, you will know when -and how- you should make him wait for sex.
- What The Dating Advice Says
- The Case For Making Him Wait
- What Happens When You Make Him Wait
- It Works In…
- It Doesn’t Work In…
- The Alternative: Honesty & Win-Win
What The Dating Advice Says
Let him wait for sex.
It’s the battle cry that all the dating best sellers for women chant in unison.
It’s a long list with the same message, but here are some of the most popular ones:
- Reddit’s Female Dating Strategies
- Ignore The Guy, Get The Guy
- Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
- Fuck Him (yep, even that one tells you to wait)
Heck, even the gold-digger guide says to never have sex with him!
Why make him wait?
The Case For Making Him Wait
The concept of “waiting” is largely based on this assumption:
Men want quick sex and women want relationships.
And, albeit it’s a generalization, it’s true that on average men seek more hookups.
So when you give quick sex, most guides say, men get what they want and have less interest in sticking around.
And plus, some authors say, men despise “easy” women.
Letting him wait for sex supposedly does the following great things for you both:
What Waiting Does For You
- Protects your feelings (women bond more than men through sex)
- Filters for serious men (theory being that players and fuckboys won’t wait, which is often true)
- Keeps you in control (he’s like the dog waiting for the treat, which is also a potential con if you stress the “power” part)
Some also believe that waiting for sex increases the odds of a relationship.
However, I’m not convinced at all about that and have seen no good logic, data, or real-life examples to back it up, so we’ll discard that.
Still, these are some big advantages of waiting.
So the approach is not to be discarded but, rather, “refined”.
What Waiting Does For Him
- He sees you as “serious” long term material (based on the Madonna-Whore Dichotomy)
- The more he invests during the waiting time, the more likely he stays after sex (and rationalizes he must like you)
What Happens When You Make Him Wait
The advice of letting him invest works well on paper.
It is founded on solid psychological principles and in some environments and situations, it might indeed be the best way to go (more on it later).
Here is the science behind the advice of letting him wait to sleep with you:
1. He Likes You Because You’re Scarce
It’s true that people value what’s scarce.
Especially when it’s scarce because of high demand from others (scarcity principle, Cialdini).
This is a general rule that few human beings escape.
2. He Appreciates You Because He Invests
Several studies show this seeming conundrum:
We appreciate more people for whom we invest in, than the people who invest in us.
I am investing in her and sticking around even without getting the ultimate prize… Then it means she must really be valuable and I must really like her.
In that sense, the more he invests without pay-off, the more he values you.
3. You Look More “Good Girl”
Many (most?) men think along the Madonna/Whore Dichotomy.
Such as, they divide women in “easy girls” -the whores- and “good girls -the Madonnas-.
And they seek whores for quick or kinky sex, and seek the Madonnas for long-term pair bonding.
The Madonna/whore dichotomy even affects most men who say they are not affected by it.
So in that sense, not getting too wild, too soon, might help you to stay away from the whore side of the dichotomy.
However, there is a potential pitfall to it.
The pitfall is the exact same as the positive one: that he will see you as the good, “serious” girl.
Many a man pay prostitutes because they have a mindset that they “can’t do that with their wives”.
Ideally, you want a man who sees you for who you really are. A woman with her own defects, needs and sexuality.
4. You Gain Bargaining Power
We could argue that “having power” might not be the best approach to a relationship.
But still, power dynamics affect any relationship, even the most collaborative ones.
I’m not a big fan of the power argument, though.
And not on the ground of morality, but of simple long-term effectiveness.
Because if your main power is sex, then you lose all your power the moment you “give” sex.
And I’m sure you’d agree when I say that you don’t want to be the lady whose only allure is sex.
So… Why Not Always Wait, Then?
So there are many reasons why letting him wait to sleep with you is good.
Why do I tell you to also consider a different approach, then?
Because the strategy, like almost any other social strategy, is not universal.
So the most important questions become:
- When does it work?
- Who does it work with?
It Works In…
The approach of “letting him wait” works in:
1. It Works In Conservative Cultures
In cultures where waiting is the norm, wait.
You can’t go wrong by giving men the waiting time the expect -or even want, sometimes-.
2. It Works When (High-Quality) Men Outnumber Women
However, how about more libertine places, which include most of the West?
We make a long dissertation on the economics of sex here:
But here’s the short of it:
When there are more men than women, the culture and the dating dynamics shift towards a romantic, courtship style of dating with men wooing women over the long haul.
That means that when (high quality) women are scarce, you should let him wait.
But when there are more women than men, the culture devolves into more of a hookup culture.
Exceptions always apply of course, but generally speaking, in highly libertine cultures, many men aren’t ready, prepared and willing to do the long-courtship thing.
Even men looking for relationships tend to end up with women who contribute and “help him” along the dating process.
In “difficult markets”, the most successful women focus on moving forward together instead of “getting as much as possible” while giving as little as possible.
That means that when (high quality) women are abundant, waiting games are more likely to backfire.
3. It Works With Many “Normal” Guys
The problem with “letting him wait” is this:
It can create major imbalances of power and value exchanges (ie.: in the give-and-take, you may end up taking more than giving)
Of course, it doesn’t have to.
For example, if both are happy to wait, or if she wants to wait and he’s cool with it, then waiting is win-win.
But the way I’ve seen more coaches and resources advice on waiting for sex, it does create imbalances.
So unless you take steps to rebalance things, what happens is that he invests time, money and effort while you receive and (calculatingly) withhold the sex.
Who do you think is going to stick around with a sucker’s deal?
Millionaires globetrotting the world?
Entrepreneurs building companies?
Driven men too busy to make their dreams a reality?
Higher quality men demand at least a balance of give and take (Equity Theory of Love).
Even “normal” guys who are just moderately power-aware won’t be happy with that deal and might as likely walk away.
But worry not, lower-value men, optionless men, and clueless men will be more than happy to provide and wait for some P.
These are the guys most likely to be OK with the short-changing tactics of letting him wait for as long as possible.
Here’s an example from “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, a scene that always makes me smile:
It’s the average man who “thinks he did everything right” and was happy to wait.
The cool guy knew better.
Some of the authors do understand the principle, albeit they don’t apply it.
Kara King, one of the biggest proponents of delayed sex and high investment, writes in The Power of The Pussy (I paraphrase):
It’s a clear sign you should break up with a guy when you invest a lot in him while he doesn’t invest in you
I wonder why then she expects men to accept the same?
Indeed the same author a few pages later says you should “lower your expectations”.
Because, she says:
“a perfect 10” would never open the door for you or do all the nice things for you.
So if a perfect 10 would never invest too much, who would?
The bad men will stick around.
And the best ones…
It Doesn’t Work In…
First off, a reminder:
We are talking here about the more “game-y”, power move version of “let him wait”.
If he’s happy to wait and/or if you frame it and implement as win-win, then it must not be an issue.
However, the more disempowering for him waiting becomes, the more it becomes an issue under these conditions:
1. Doesn’t Work in Difficult Markets
We can define “difficult markets” as:
Sexual market places with an abundance of great women and not many great guys.
When good female prospects outnumber men, men tend to become more promiscuous and expect early sex as part of the deal.
Most women might recoil in disgust here, and I get you. I would react the exact same way.
However, that doesn’t make it any less true. And as Ray Dalio says, we can all only gain from looking at reality as it is.
And the reality is that if there are more equally great women available, it’s fair to expect some of them will sleep with him sooner and some will sleep with him later.
And who do you think he is more likely to end up in a relationship with?
It’s the woman he is having sex with, of course.
Now on the next biggest issue with long waiting times:
2. Doesn’t Work With Many High(er)-Value Men
Sure, there are plenty of high-value men who don’t need or request early sex.
The waiting must not be framed and implemented as a win for her, and a loss for him.
The law of social exchange says that no healthy relationship can stay out of balance for too long.
Eventually, you have to reach an equilibrium.
See where I’m going?
If the guy you’re seeing has very little to offer compared to you, he’ll invest a lot.
Because he needs to make up for that imbalance.
With higher value guys and/or same value guys, you should aim more for a balance.
Bruce Bryan of Never Chase Men Again is one of the few authors of women’s dating books who gets this point.
High quality men have little tolerance for egocentric women.
Asking for the moon will not make you sound like a prize but like an entitled princess on a pea
-from “Never Chase Men Again”
And entitlement is a typical trait of low-quality women.
Smart men know how to treat you based on who you are and how much they like you, says Bryan.
And he adds that men with a backbone are annoyed when you need to remind them.
Bryan is right.
And indeed, those men with a backbone will flee if all you do is demanding, without giving.
And withhold sex as a bargaining chip is part and parcel of that mentality of “get without giving”.
Top 1% Men Don’t Accept Suckers’ Trades
One other issue with the “waiting game” is exactly that: the “game” part of the equation.
Unluckily, that’s exactly how all the dating resources I stumbled upon approach it.
Waiting is always a game to gain power, leverage, or, at least, as a chip to get his commitment.
Now don’t get me wrong, some games are good and helpful.
But the waiting game to gain power is a win-lose type of game.
And the highest value men are not cool with being the suckers in a lose-win exchange.
That’s just basic power dynamics: top men didn’t reach the top by being suckers.
So if you want to wait, you must at all costs avoid framing your waiting for sex in a way that comes across as win-lose (win for you, lose for him).
Ideally, you’d even frame it as win-win.
It’s possible, and we also teach that here.
Smart Men Know There Is Little Link Between “Waiting Time” and “Chastity”
Experienced or more socially aware guys know better.
They know the relation between “slow to sex” and “Madonna” has more holes than an Italian mama colander.
They know some of the quickest sex happens with inexperienced women and women without second motives -women who don’t play games-.
And when they see a girl who’s otherwise been around putting the breaks on them, they’ll think:
Experienced Man Thinking: She’s sampled around, she’s probably had a few lusty encounters… And now she wants to put me under the yoke and pretend she’s a good gal?
And while some might be OK with that, some others will resent you.
And may even plot to wait until sex, and then drop you.
Some other guys might see through it, but for whatever reason still accept it.
Exceptions always exist, after all.
But you don’t make the rule with the exceptions.
And the rule of sexual bargaining is that if you frame the wait as a hoop he must jump though, you can only make him wait if he is lower sexual market value.
And… why would you wanna be with a lower value man?
3. Doesn’t Work With Men Who Value Sex & Sexual Chemistry
Here’s another possible issue with waiting:
Waiting for sex can sub-communicate low chemistry.
Matthew Hussey in Get The Guy writes that sex should happen after an emotional connection has taken place -albeit he adds that’s unlikely to happen on a first date-.
And then he says:
Waiting too long is a mistake because he will feel like he’s not important to you sexually.
And men do get their validation through sex
For many men, that’s true.
And with those types of men, the longer you wait, the more you communicate that you’re not so attracted to him.
When you wait too long for sex, unless you’re very skilled at maintaining romance and attraction, your relationship can easily resemble more of a friendship.
And that’s not really a dream start, is it?
Then one day a seductress looks at him with lusty eyes he may start to wonder… “Damn! Wouldn’t it be nice if my partner felt the same about me?”
4. Doesn’t Work When Other Women Have Early Sex
This entry is a subset of “difficult markets”.
Now ask yourself:
Why do almost all women tell other women to wait?
Well, in many cases, it’s because they have their best interest in mind and it’s solid advice and well-meaning.
But in some other cases, women tell other women to wait as a (subconscious) manipulation.
It’s intra-sexual manipulation to lead the competition astray to gain at an individual and personal level.
I tell other women to wait, while I have sex with the guy and lock him in.
Why would a woman gain doing that?
Because, at parity of everything else, this is the general rule:
Men are far more likely to pair up with the woman they’re having sex with, than with the woman they’re NOT having sex with
It just makes sense, no?
So if he’s seeing two women, chances are higher that the woman who moves the slowest will be passed up for the woman with whom he’s having sex with.
Game theory shows this concept as well, with the more forward women getting the guy first.
And it seems logical as well.
It’s a simple law of momentum and path of least resistance.
Think about it this way:
He can meet one woman and he needs to court her, take her out, bring flowers and pursue her, and then… Then nothing, he goes home and she goes to hers.
Or he can meet another woman, enjoy sex, cook a meal together, watch a movie in bed and be his real self (because men are always more natural and relaxed when sex has already happened).
As you can see, it’s not even all about sex.
Earlier sexual intimacy just makes the dating easier -and more pleasurable- even beyond sex.
Who do you he is more likely to end up in a relationship with?
At parity of value and at parity of his personal preference, he will keep seeing the woman he is sleeping with.
And you can check out my own example from my last relationship.
The Alternative: Honesty & Win-Win
Now a note:
Don’t get this article wrong.
The premise is always to respect yourself, never feel rushed or forced and that, whenever you’re not comfortable with having sex, by all means, don’t do it.
Furthermore, making him wait is also an effective strategy at the right time, with the right man, and when well executed.
And it’s also possible to make it work in more challenging circumstances.
As a matter of fact, in some cases, waiting can be the sign of a girlfriend-quality woman, and if it’s honest, then it’s also an honest and reliable signal.
However, you want to be strategic in your approach whenever not having sex can lead to losing a man you like.
Because it’s easy to get this wrong, even when well-meaning.
To begin with, what you need to avoid:
1. Don’t Frame It As A Power-Thing
Don’t frame sex as a bargaining chip to ask for his investment (ie. some sort of “sex only in 3 months, if you prove yourself to me”).
Because that only works with men who are lower quality than you are.
But Frame It This Way:
Instead, be honest about your preferences and concerns and make sure that the “wait time” is framed not as a hoop for him to jump through, but because you:
- Prefer to wait to make sure it’s real
- Are very careful about STDs and pregnancies
- Need to be comfortable with someone
- Need to feel some level of intimacy before sexual intimacy
- Prefer to know each other first to make sure you’re the right fit
- See sex as the natural progression of romance / love, with romance taking some time to develop
- Only have sex with a few selected men
And, important: don’t shove it down his throat as if it were a “take it or leave it” requirement, because that’s disempowering and most self-respecting men will walk away just to maintain dignity.
Instead, get his buy in with it, and then you’ll be both fine.
I highly recommend this article:
2. Keep The Relationship Balanced
Keep the relationship somewhat balanced.
If he does something nice for you or both of you, appreciate and give back. That’s the best way to advance a healthy relationship: in lockstep.
Read this article:
And to delay sex effectively here are a few techniques:
3. Frame It As “Taking It Slow Because It Might Be Something Meaningful”
This is a great approach if you truly feel this way.
It’s sincere, it builds him up and it deepens your connection all at the same time.
And that’s a huge step towards a relationship.
Watch her execute it to perfection:
YB removed that video as it contained some nudity.
It’s now in Seduction University.
4. Show The Light At The End of The Tunnel
Say you’re not ready but, don’t forget to mention:
It will happen eventually if you keep seeing each other and get along well.
For more, you can read How to Reject Him Properly.
5. Make Sex a Pleasurable, Guilt-Free Experience
In it, Aziz recommends you don’t follow any rules but listen to yourself and decide accordingly.
If that means waiting, wait.
If it means earlier than usual, go for it.
Indeed, great initial sex sends a strong, powerful signal of strong chemistry.
It shows an honest and sincere attraction from your side and, of course, men too love to feel wanted.
A woman who lives in the now and can enjoy the beautiful things of life.
My Personal Take
This is just me, I’m not pretending to speak for everyone and plenty of men are happy to wait. But for me the only relationships I’ve been in started with early sex -or, at least, not long waits-.
All the rest felt dull to me.
6. Best of Both World: Early Sex & “Serious” Girl
Early sex must not be a curse.
And unless you’re dating very traditional men who expect to wait, then you can turn it into an advantage.
If you do early sex well, it’s possible to enjoy the sex, make him feel great, and also avoid coming across as “easy”.
One way to do it is to alternate resistance to sex with moments of abandon.
Basically, you show that you are attracted to him.
You want to resist -like you usually do-, but the chemistry is just so good… That eventually, finally… You relent.
But just for him.
We call this the “Madonna-whore seduction”.
For more details, read:
Most dating resources for women tell you two things:
- Let him wait for sex as much as possible and
- Make him invest as much as possible.
That’s how you get a guy to stick around, provide and adore, is the message.
The premise of this article is that first and foremost you should respect yourself and should never rush if you’re not comfortable with it.
Talking about actual effectiveness, we then show that the “make him wait for sex” approach works… In some circumstances.
It doesn’t work nearly as well in libertine countries with an abundance of attractive women who are not waiting.
It also backfires with higher-quality men when it reeks of a power move because, generally speaking, it’s only lower-quality men who accept a sucker’s trade.
And we then show how to make the wait work for (both of) you.
In Seduction University you can learn more strategies and methods, plus the full system for a happy love life.