Should you make him wait to sleep with you?
If you listen to all the popular dating advice, you should, yes.
The problem with that advice?
It’s nothing more than platitudes and authors’ opinions.
This article instead will leverage some real data and psychology to give you a better answer.
And by the end of it, you will know whether or not 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 Some Cultures
- It Works With Average Guys..
- … And the Best Ones Will Disappear
- Late Sex Means No Chemistry
- It Doesn’t Work in Difficult Markets
- What’s The Alternative?
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’s some of the most popular titles:
- Ignore The Guy, Get The Guy
- Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man
- Fuck Him (yep, even that one tell you to wait)
And in the meanwhile? All say you focus on getting as much investment as possible.
The Case For Making Him Wait
The idea of letting him wait for sex is based on the theory that men want quick sex and women want relationships.
When you give quick sex men get what they want and have no interest in sticking around. And plus, some authors say, men despise “easy” women.
Letting him wait for sex works magic both on you and on him:
- Protect your feelings (men don’t bond as much through sex)
- Filters for serious men (theory being that players won’t wait)
- Keeps you in control (he’s like the dog waiting for the treat)
- He sees you as “serious” long term material (based on the Madonna-Whore Dichotomy)
- The more he invests, 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 in principle.
It is founded on solid psychology principles and in some environment 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 a general rule that few human beings escape.
2. He Likes You Because He Invests
And it’s true that people often rationalize based on our actions (Incognito by Eagleman).
Which means indeed that if a man keeps investing time and effort without a payout, than chances are he will think you must be worth it.
3. You Look More ” Good Girl”
And it’s true that many (most?) men think along the Madonna/Whore Dichotomy (The Moral Animal by Robert Wright). It even affects most men who say they are not affected by that line of thinking.
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 negative side on this equation. The negative side is the exact same as the positive one: that he will see you as the good, “serious” girl.
Many a man pays prostitutes because they have a mindset that they “can’t do that with their wives”.
Ideally you want a man who see you for who you really are. A woman with her own defects, needs and sexuality.
4. You Keep Bargaining Power
We could argue that “having power” might not be the best approach to a relationship.
But some see sex a bit as an arms’ race between the sexes. If we embrace that theory, than holding onto the sex card will give you more bargaining power indeed.
I’m not a big fan of the power argument at all though. And not on the ground of morality or anyting, but if your main power is sex, than you lose all your power the moment you have sex.
Trust me, you don’t want to be the lady whose only allure is sex.
Alright. So the theory, theoretically, makes sense.
But men, of course are not all the same.
And the idea that “only the best and most serious guys stick around” is at best only half right. The “best” part is the wrong part.
So the most important questions become:
- When does it work?
- Who does it work with?
It Works in Some Cultures
I 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 naturally shift towards a romantic, courtship style of dating with men trying to woo women over the long haul.
That means that when (good quality) women are scarce, you should let him wait.
When there are more women than men, the culture shift into more of a hookup culture. And even men looking for relationships, the tendency is to end up with women that help him along the dating process. Women who focus on moving forward together instead of “getting as much as possible” while giving as little as possible.
That means that when (good quality) women are abundant, waiting games are more likely to backfire.
Now on the second biggest issue with longer waiting times:
It Works With Average Guys..
The issue with letting him wait to sleep with you is that stringing him along giving little while asking big, creates a highly unbalanced relationship.
He invests time, money and effort and you just receive.
Who do you think is going to stick with that kind of relationships?
Millionaires globetrotting the world?
Entrepreneurs building companies?
Driven men too busy to make their dreams a reality?
Usually not. Higher quality men demand a balance in the relationship (Equity Theory of Love).
But worry not, middle of the pack men will be more than happy to provide and wait for some P. These are the guys most likely to be OK with the shortchanging tactics.
Here’s an example from a scene that always makes me smile :). He thought he did everything right:
Some of the authors do understand the principle, albeit they don’t apply it.
Kara King, one of the biggest proponent 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”. Why? Because, she says:
“a perfect 10” would never open the door for you or do all the nice things for you.
Bingo. So if a perfect 10 would never invest too much, who would?
Exactly! The bad ones stay and the best ones…
… And the Best Ones Will Disappear
The law of social exchange says that no 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. And wait.
Because he needs to make up for that imbalance.
But of course, women want guys who are “better”.
And high-quality men are least likely to accept those unbalanced relationships.
With those 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.
He says 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 (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, he says. Men with a back bone are annoyed when you need to remind them.
Indeed, those men with a backbone will flee very soon if you demand without giving. And if you withhold sex as a bargaining chip.
Cool Guys Despise The Waiting Game
One other issue with the “waiting game” is exactly just that: the “game” part of the equation.
And some guys really don’t like it.
Here are the men who are most likely to dislike you when you play “make him wait for sex” games:
- Experienced man / experienced woman
- Experienced man / older woman
- Experience man / party girl (or former party girl)
Experienced or more socially aware guys know better. They know the relation between “slow to sex” and “Madonna” has a more holes than an Italian’s mama colander.
They know some of the quickest sex happens with inexperienced women and women without second motives -women whom don’t play games-.
And when they see a girl who’s otherwise been around putting the breaks on them, they’ll think:
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 they’ll plot to wait and then bounce (see Samantha’s comment on guys disappearing after 10th date sex).
Some others guys might see through it but for whatever reason still accept it. However the relationship won’t be built on the solid foundations of full sincerity.
Late Sex Means No 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 adds something even smarter, which I paraphrase:
Waiting too long is mistake because he will feel like he’s not important to you sexually. And men do get their validation through sex
That much is true. The longer you wait, the more you communicate that you’re not so attracted to him. When you wait too long for sex, your relationship resemble more of a friendship. And that’s not really a dream start, is it?
Then one day he sees a woman looking at him with lusty eyes and he’ll wonder… Damn! Maybe it’s just my partner who’s a little bit of a frigid?
It Doesn’t Work in Difficult Markets
I define “difficult markets” as environments with an abundance of great women and not many great guys.
Jon Birger in Date-onomics makes a good case that most women with a degree in the west are in difficult markets simply because there aren’t that many well educated men.
When good female prospects outnumber men, men tend to become more promiscuous and to 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 it 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.
When Sex Means Relationship
Chances are higher that the woman who moves the slowest will be passed up for the woman with whom he’s having sex with. It’s a simple law of momentum and less resistance.
He can meet one woman and he needs to court her, bring flowers and then… Then nothing, he goes home and masturbate. 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).
And this isn’t just me guessing. In difficult markets, game theory proves that the more forward women are the ones who get the guy.
And here’s my own example from my last relationship.
What’s The Alternative?
Now a note: don’t get this article wrong. It’s not to say you should rush. Wait as long as you are comfortable with.
But if you are convinced you want to delay sex, then I would strongly recommend you decouple sex as a bargaining chip to ask for his investment:
1. Keep It Balanced
Don’t delay sex as a bargaining chip. And keep the relationship somewhat balanced (check also biggest women’s dating mistakes). 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.
And to delay sex effectively here are a few techniques:
2. You Really Like Him – And Want to Take it Slow
Absolutely the best to make him wait. 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:
3. Show The Light At The End of The Tunnel
Say you’re not ready but it will happen soon.
For more, you can read How to Reject Him Properly.
4. Make Sex a Pleasurable, Guilt-Free Experience
Great initial sex sends a strong, powerful signal of strong chemistry.
It will show a 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 here, but the only relationships I’ve been in started with an early bang.
All the rest felt dull to me.
5. Best of Both World: Early Sex & Serious Girl
This is important: if you do early sex well, it’s also possible to enjoy the sex, make him feel great and also don’t come across as “easy”.
The secret is to alternate resistance to sex with moment of abandon.
Basically, you have to make him feel like you are very attracted to him. You want to resist -like you usually do-, but he’s just so hot and he’s doing it so well… That eventually, finally.. You relent.
But just for him ;).
I call this the “Madonna-whore seduction”.
For more details read:
Most -basically all- the best selling dating books 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 pamper, is the message.
In this article I show you that principle doesn’t work in environments with lots of good female prospects.
And when you hook some guy in with the “let him wait game”, it might not be the boyfriend you really want.