Why Being Prude Won’t Get You Anywhere In Your Dating Life

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I had an opportunity to sit down with a few friends the other day and we were talking about things that both sides do to protect and prevent in relationships. I totally understand why people “protect and prevent” but I don’t think it will ever work. It’s simply a strategy that is rooted in the wrong place because it’s a very personal strategy that doesn’t lend its way to a mutual strategy. What is “protect and prevent”?

The Protect and Prevent Strategy

When a person decides that they will take certain actions to protect their feelings to prevent themselves from being hurt. Typically these actions are things they will not do until some ambiguously determined time. Frequent responses to the question of “When?” will involve heavy uses of the words; ready, relationship, comfortable, “time” or feelings.

Let me be clear, there’s a list of things that you should never do outside of a relationship and everyone is entitled to that approach. However, there’s a list of things that people chose not to do only because they don’t want to get hurt. That’s the part that I don’t understand. You almost have to be willing to get hurt in order for it work; it’s called an investment for a reason. Why would you knowingly elect to be prude in the early phases of a relationship? To me, that’s a horrible strategy. I think that outside of figuring out if you can get along and mutual interests in the early phase of a relationship the most important thing is to find out if you are attracted to someone. How in the hell someone can be attracted to someone if they’re acting prude is beyond me.

I was reading this article the other day about how to fall in lust with yourself and it got me to thinking. I wondered why women don’t do more of these things and also communicate that to men. (I’m only speaking from that perspective because that’s the only way I exist in a dating situation. This doesn’t mean I don’t think that men shouldn’t do the same.) I can tell you right now the difference between a platonic friend and friend you want to date is that you desire to have intimate relations with them. (I’m attempting to not use the word, “sex.” Bear with me.)

This article highlighted the following eight tricks to fall in lust with yourself: wear red, go commando, work up a sweat, slip on dangly jewelry, show off your assets, dare to go bare, forget the ballet flats, and undress like someone’s watching.

I was reading that like, “I have no clue why this is happening right now, but I’m kind of attracted to this article right now.” Back in college, I remember how guys used to know they was going to get the panties by the underwear a woman wore when she came over. If she had on boyshorts… “I don’t know, bruh.” If she had on a thong… “Oh let’s get it.” That right there was an example of women being sexy helps them not hurts them because she very well could have wanted sex with those boyshorts on, but that signal was missed.

I was dating a girl a few years back and I remember telling her things that I liked. I also remembered the relationships that went long and the reasons why they went long. It was very simple, they did what it took to make me happy. They didn’t “protect and prevent,” they went out and said, “I’m going to make this guy happy.” People ask me, how important is sex? I can only speak from personal experience but it’s not really the sex. (I think about that clip “It’s not about the nail” and the joke with the fellas “It’s not about the head.”) It’s not really the sex; it’s that I have to want to have sex with you. That girl I was dating a few years ago, she did everything in her power to take sex off the table because she thought that was a way to protect and prevent herself from getting hurt. I’ve talked about this often, whenever I hear something like that I always get weirded out. It makes me wonder what type of decisions you’ve made in your past where you need to intentionally tell yourself NOT to have sex. As if in some previous time of your life you were jumping into bed with just anyone and now your vag politics are defunct.

Now you’re reading this and thinking, what exactly did she do? It’s like you’re interested to know what could be such a turn off, but you also want to know that you’re not doing it yourself.

  1. She never really put her all into dressing up for a date. She wanted to be comfortable, she wanted to be herself and she didn’t want me to be attracted to her for how she looked but for who she was on the inside. – Listen to me, that’s cool and everything… but seriously, cut that shit out. There ain’t no other way to put it. Let me be honest with you, I actually am the type of guy who likes being at home with a few brews. I don’t like wearing pants, shoes or socks. I hate dressing up, prefer tee shirts, chucks and old navy jeans. I’m not wearing that on a date. I’m putting some effort into it because I want you to look at me and say, “Ooh he’s cute and I wouldn’t mind having “intimate relations” with him.
  2. I flirted with her by sending sexual texts and making references in conversation. She would never respond, (not even a simple “lol”) and then she’d always quickly change the subject. Finally, I asked her “do you have sex?” She replied, yes. – Listen to me, that’s cool and everything… but seriously, cut that shit out. A long time before I asked her that question, I had already decided that she was asexual or didn’t have sex. I didn’t even want to have sex with her at that time, but I struggled with envisioning it would ever happen. If she didn’t have sex, that’s cool. I’m not interested in a sexless relationship; I’m almost 30, no reason in me lying about that anymore. However, the fact that she wouldn’t respond to the flirting made me wonder what the differences between a friend of the opposite sex and one I was dating.

There’s a long list of other things that would happen that I’m not going to get into today but it all came from variations of those two things. I completely understood why she did those things and that was cool, but soon my texts and call became infrequent and I found myself attracted to someone else who would then become my girlfriend.

Let me preemptively address something, this post is about the laws of attraction. There’s a ton of other things that go into making a relationship work. I actually think that attraction is one of the easiest parts of that. That’s why I don’t understand why it’s on the “protect and prevent” list. Let me be clear, I (as in me) don’t understand why it’s on the list. Others are more than welcome to keep it on their list. My “protect and prevent” list includes things like trust and family, but again, that’s just me.

Take what you want from this post and my perspective. I don’t want to change anyone’s approach to dating but only wish to provide some insight. You may make some changes, you may decide that you like the way you’re doing things now and disregard this whole thing. Either way, I’ll be fine and if whatever you’re doing right now is working for you… I’m sure you’ll be fine too.

- Dr. J

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From Our Partners

  • The Guy

    Steve Harvey got these chicks out here chasing good men away.

    • Peter Parker

      HAHAHAH!!! Or better yet, going to other races lol

      • Peter Parker

        The above comment was a joke..lol I definitely must co-sign as well. The Laws of Attraction encompasses a woman's physical, spiritual, and mental being.I must say though, when a woman takes care of those little things related to her body, I am SOLD!

  • Paul B.

    Well stated. Effort counts for a lot. If you don’t want something enough for yourself that you’re willing to put effort in yourself, why should somebody else waste their effort trying to give it to you, especially when there’s someone that’s willing to put in some work together? Nah, it’s time for get those dueces.

  • Furious Styles

    "That girl I was dating a few years ago, she did everything in her power to take sex off the table because she thought that was a way to protect and prevent herself from getting hurt. I’ve talked about this often, whenever I hear something like that I always get weirded out. It makes me wonder what type of decisions you’ve made in your past where you need to intentionally tell yourself NOT to have sex."
    This.

  • http://twelvepointbuck.tumblr.com/ 12 Point Buck

    "As if in some previous time of your life you were jumping into bed with just anyone and now your vag politics are defunct."

    message! For real tho, something like 85% of chicks ho out during college years. They either do it blatantly, or on the low, but they rack up crazy numbers. When they get older, they realize that they were giving it away cheaply so they try to raise the price/value by artificially controlling the supply. Hence the uterine embargo.

    Guys ho out at that age too, but only a much smaller percentage of them, and at a much slower rate.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      "Guys ho out at that age too, but only a much smaller percentage of them, and at a much slower rate."

      This cannot be accurate, LMBO! Just no, lol.

      Now, I was married during my college years…so I can't speak from personal experience here. But, maybe you were taking into account that guys start in high school, lol…smh. I'm even willing to say its even…since these women needed a partner to sleep with.

      "Artificially controlling the supply"???? LMBO!

      Wow.

      • SMilez_920

        lol Cyn a lot of guys don't get any play they have to look from the side lines. So to them it looks like women have more bodies when really it's just a small percentage of men that get all the play 24/7

        • cynicaloptmst81

          This makes waaaaaaay more sense, LOL!

          Thanks! I was over here like, "uh uh, something has to be way off", LOL…

        • http://twelvepointbuck.tumblr.com/ 12 Point Buck

          Thanks for clarifying. Yea, I was essentially commenting on the fact that 5% of dudes run through all the chicks.

          And considerably more than 5% of chicks get routinely run through by those dudes.

    • ToniCHIRAQ

      LOL NO we don't brah lol

  • Smilez_920

    “I flirted with her by sending sexual texts and making references in conversation. She would never respond, (not even a simple “lol”) and then she’d always quickly change the subject.”

    Maybe she felt like you were being pushy. A lot of men make sly dirty jokes and while it’s funny sometimes, depending on the situation it can come off as pushy or you pressuring her.

    I think some men just have an issue with waiting for sex. Just like you make women show you that their worthy of being your gf , women (even if they know they want to sleep with you based on physical attraction) want to see what else your about. Women focus on sex being the thing they “protect” because outside of being a platonic friend, that’s what most men are after “sex”.

    • tylisa06

      Agreed. A man who I have not had sex with yet, sending me sexual texts would be a major turn off.

    • http://twitter.com/K_tenKS @K_tenKS

      I couldn't agree more. I was talking to a dude a while back, and when we would text about something general, making light jokes he'd all of a sudden would bring up sex. I definitely felt pressured and annoyed. Like a "here we go again" thing. Same thing, just a different guy. I wouldn't consider that being prudish, or that I would never become intimate with him, I just wanted that connection FIRST. I really don't know why that's so much to ask for. If sex or talking about it so early on is going to help the guy make up his mind if he wants to stick around or not, then I can make up his mind for him and I'ma get the heck outta there.

      Plus I think texting about sex is so high-school. Talk about it in person.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    I'm on the fence here. On one hand, I get it. I mean, how are you not gonna put on your "get 'em" heels for your date? Turtle neck on a date? Buttoned to your neck? Naw, yo. Bad move, lol. Show your best assets. I'm gonna look like a woman on my date. Imma walk…and Imma walk good, lol. And, I won't give you the stank face if you make a chexual joke…as long as you aren't pushy with it. I'll probably even respond…in future tense…like, "if we get to that level, ________".

    On the other hand, I'm put off when men bring up chex too soon. Its almost a bit creepy. I mean, I want you to think about it…not necessarily talk about it on day 1, lol. Doesn't anyone believe in subtle anymore?

    I mean, put yourself in a woman's place…she's dating multiple people, and all three of y'all are coming at her with chex chatter…what you wanna do, how you put it down, etc. It can be a bit much. Any person not protecting and preventing to some degree is not wise.

    • Smielz_920

      Agreed. Plus some guys aren’t very witty sexual jokes, sometimes it just makes you come off as a creep that’s trying to rush into our panties. Men are funny sometimes; they want you to be prude with every other man but them as an individual.

      • cynicaloptmst81

        Girl, LOL…

        I mean, boundaries/standards…making sure you don't have chex before you're completely ready…does not mean you're a reformed hoe, lol…smh. You could be…but, maybe you made that mistake once and it didn't pan out well for you so you're making sure you don't make the same mistake twice.

        You are not the only one trying to talk to us like that, lol…please take that into consideration.

        Not to mention, most guys approaching us are just trying to sleep with us…at least initially.

      • http://www.blacklatinafabulous.com Maris

        Lissen!!!

        Ain’t we the same people that complained Single Sam wasn’t doing proper due diligence?? Going with the flow is how you end up with a butcher-pimp!! :-P

        • cynicaloptmst81

          "Going with the flow is how you end up with a butcher-pimp!! :-P"

          Okay!!!!! LMBO!

          Right!

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          "Going with the flow is how you end up with a butcher-pimp!! :-P"

          HEY!

        • Larry

          "Going with the flow is how you end up with a butcher-pimp!! :-P "

          I need royalties for creating that gosh darnit!! lol.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          LOL!

    • lifeaccordingtoher

      Totally agree with everything that you stated especially the creeper mentioning sex to early or rather mentioning it at all in a presumptuous way and we are not even there yet…doing too much. But trust on a date…you will never catch me slippin'. I'd rather cancel before I go out looking a drab mess.
      My recent post The Cash Money Date Debate

  • payne well

    It's difficult to determine what to give and how to give it. Chris Rock made a joke about how women have to ration out the freakiness. lol Sometimes giving so much can lead to a long term relationship, but not ultimately the marriage that some women are looking for. Then in those situations it would be the reasoning would be, "you gave him the milk, why would he buy the cow." It's just a hard balancing act for some women to do. You want to give someone your all but you know that you want this to ultimately go from relationship to marriage. All the more reasons why communication prior to a relationship is critical.
    My recent post What is right to you, might be true

  • http://twitter.com/DamnPOPS @DamnPOPS

    Just to piggyback on a small point, I always say when a woman takes her shoes off it's "oh let's get it" time. Lol anyway in short, prude wouldn't be the way to go with me at all. I'm not saying I'm mandating you drop draws at a specific time either. I believe in doing what's organic. Let's progress how things flow. I'm 24 and I have no interest in a sexless relationship either. Now I love getting to know someone. That's great but in time I'd like to know I'm just not running some gauntlet. I'm only one man. Maybe another fella can deal with prude. It's simply a big no no for me.

  • http://www.blacklatinafabulous.com Maris

    Hmm.

    I find the only time this comes up (“why you holding back?” “Why won’t you just let things flow organically?” “We both grown folk!”, etc etc) is when we are talking about S*X. Or cooking.

    I never seem to get this pressed from a man about other forms of intimacy (which, hilariously, I withhold as well until I’m “comfortable”), or relationship progression, or anything that doesn’t involve providing a service such as food or poon, which is why I’m just going to call bullsh*t.

    You want to sleep with me. You want to sleep with me when YOU want to. You’d like as few blockades as possible when that time comes. That’s really all it is. Let’s just call a spade a spade. And I respect it. But you are going to have to respect the fact that I may not want to unless I know you, or am comfortable, or feel otherwise safe. And, until that time, I likely will not fully engage your s*xually charged jokes so I can be told later that I was “leading you on”.

    Also, most women impose time restrictions on when they’d give it out not because they were incapable of governing their lady parts & were willy nilly, but because an otherwise Good Man® dipped immediately after getting what he wanted. So, she is attempting to gain leverage by at least getting some of what SHE wants first.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      "You want to sleep with me. You want to sleep with me when YOU want to. You'd like as few blockades as possible when that time comes. That's really all it is. Let's just call a spade a spade. And I respect it. But you are going to have to respect the fact that I may not want to unless I know you, or am comfortable, or feel otherwise safe."

      I exercise my right to choose who I entertain based on what I am comfortable with. You aren't down with how I run my show? Cool…move along so that the man who is can benefit from your impatience or lack of real interest.

      I'm 32. And I've learned how to wait…and the value in it. Organic is…we're both comfortable and ready at the same time…no pressure to do it or not do it. If I'm not comfortable or the guy is not comfortable (no matter the reason), its the wrong time. Maybe if men who think this way learn to read signals and stop charging at walls they won't feel rejected in this way. Maybe they are the ones not going with the flow…jumping the gun.

      • http://twelvepointbuck.tumblr.com/ 12 Point Buck

        " Cool…move along so that the man who is can benefit from your impatience or lack of real interest. "

        Waitaminute. How is the patient man who waits for it really benefiting over the guy who just goes to the next chick?

        I mean… your vaginer isnt made of gold is it? Can it make a sandwich and fetch a brew? Can it hold its own in Super Smash Bros Melee?

        I'm all for women being stingy with the vajay– but lets not be delusional and think its a magical, special, one-of-a-kind vajay…

        Maybe you have sexytime skills, and maybe not. But chances are your vajay feels like the next one, or close enough to it that it doesn't really matter.

        I mean, sure there are exceptions… I did find this one vajay one time that was ALWAYS ready to go. Moist all day. That was pretty unique… but still not worth jumping through hoops and waiting forever to get at. lol

        Find me a chick with a magic vajay and i'll denounce my wayward peen and go out and buy her a ring.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          “I mean… your vaginer isnt made of gold is it? Can it make a sandwich and fetch a brew? Can it hold its own in Super Smash Bros Melee?”

          Well this would explain these stalker-like texts in my phone…lol. ;-)

          You went off the cliff with that one. It matters to the man looking for more thsn sex. My point is that you aren’t in the way holding up this man’s progress. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. #cliche

        • http://twitter.com/DamnPOPS @DamnPOPS

          I'd just like to say I don't mind the wait. I just don't like the sound of a time constraint. I think they compromise some element. I don't want an outside pressure, just a joy of vibing with someone and if something's to go down then it does. Oh feel like most guys would share that sentiment. When fellas hear things like 90 day rules it sort of turns what felt fun and natural into some sort of sport for lack of better term. I don't think it sits well with us for that reason. I hope I articulated that well enough.

        • http://twelvepointbuck.tumblr.com/ 12 Point Buck

          "one man's trash is another man's treasure"

          That saying really shouldn't apply to genitalia. lol

        • cynicaloptmst81

          …probably not, LOL…

    • niesha

      Basically, men want to control women's sexuality when they want it. And in other news water is still wet?

  • Uncle Hugh, BP

    At the risk of being skewered by the fellas…

    I agree with Dr. J in that if you show up to dates wearing a sweatshirt and burlap pants, it's a complete turnoff and is not sending a good message. But women need to take caution.

    There's a difference between wanting to do something and being comfortable with doing something, especially when keeping the consequences in mind. You may want to be a homeowner, but you don't just go out buy a house if you aren't really ready to do so. Urges can't override common sense, particularly if you've been burnt before.

    Being prudish isn't necessary; a woman can be sexy and flirty, while also letting a man know she's not willing to give it up until she's completely comfortable with doing so. But that communication is key: she has to say, "I'm willing, but not quite ready", to at least keep that guy's attention. When that time is depends on the woman. She shouldn't be checking off days on the calendar to meet an "artificial timeline", but she has to do it when she feels she's not going to regret it later.

    • http://twitter.com/DamnPOPS @DamnPOPS

      My sentiments in a decent sized nutshell

  • Valencia

    First of all there are plenty of good reasons for a woman to hold out especially with sex, men these days act waaayyyyy too thirsty when it comes to sex and if a man can't let it just flow and happen naturally he has issues or he can A) find a chick who will meet his demands B) pay for it or C) "take care" himself. There are too many consequences to just giving in to a man's desires diseases, babies and stalkers etc. A man should pay attention to a woman to see if she is comfortable with becoming sexual with him, in the end it will pay off very well if done so in the right way!

  • langwichartz

    I personally feel like ladies mostly have forgotten the lost art of "giving guys something to go on." I'm all for waiting for quality and letting things flow organically, but I'm not trying to wait just to be waiting to satisfy some misplaced insecurity. Besides you can still let me know I'm wanted without going all the way, it builds excitement and anticipation. It also lets me know that you aren't going to let me do the work and let another reap the benefits, that's that ish I don't like!

  • http://twelvepointbuck.tumblr.com/ 12 Point Buck

    If you don't let me smash quick, you're either a lesbian or a prude with a stick up the butt, and def. not marriage material.

    If you do let me smash quick, you're either a loose booty girl or easily manipulated, and def. not marriage material.

    The happy medium is oral. At least by the 2nd in-person interaction, if not the first.

    So it is written, and so shall it be, henceforth, now, and forevermore.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      …you need a time-out, LMBO!

      Out of order!!!! LOL

    • langwichartz

      Buck just went ham and cheese…lmbo!

    • oh ok…

      Nay…Keep it in your pants, sir.
      Thats reserved for monogamous relationship, IMO.

    • Valencia

      someone who is obviously isn't getting any LOL!!

  • sierra

    My theory is being over 30 yes both men and women wanna have sex but guys are so pushy. They must learn to put in work, I mean do something besides let your heart beat, make me interested wine dine is that to much to ask. I sometimes feel like a serial dater cause guys don't get it.

  • tylisa06

    My first date with an ex, I wore my college sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers.. But I was a young college student at the time and really didnt care at all if my clothes were appealing to the opposite sex or not. My wardrobe consisted of sweats, jeans, etc. and club wear lol. No in between. My ex was an older guy out of college. I must have had a superb personality because we continued dating and it turn into a long term relationship. After several dates, he brought it up in a tactful way. I was really into him so I slowly started changing and dressing up more. Keeping it 100 that man helped me grow into a woman. But dont tell him I said that tho lol
    I often see people post on FB a quote that goes something like "I keep walls up to see who cares enough to knock them down" or something like that. Listen, aintnobodygottimeforthat! Why would I waste time and energy to do that when I dont even know you. Please remove your emotionally unavailable self out the dating game, get healed, and than come back. I'm not talking about having guards up when it comes to having sex but just emotional hangups people have.

  • Old Man Gray

    Love this post. Worst feeling in the world is dating a woman who hits you with the "if you can't accept me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best" on the first date! What about your worst do you believe would create an interest to date you? Yes, please have some mystery and intrigue about you, but balance it out with enough to tease me to want to learn more! and PLEASE don't put a price on your box by setting time limits or certain criteria to meet; that's how you end up with the creeps that many ladies are talking about in these comments.

    • langwichartz

      *does a 5 second praise dance*!

      • Bree

        lmbao….too funny. This is so Not the post to be "Praise Dancing"
        U may wanna change that up to the Wobble or something. Now thats more
        appropriate for this particular post…ijs :)

  • Darrk Gable

    Wooossssaaahhhh! I never understood women being like this when I was dating. Like, if you don't give me something to intrigue me, don't be alarmed when my interest is turned away.
    My recent post Midnight Love: The Memories In The Music

  • Uit

    I agree with the part about giving the other person something to go on, man or woman. I just feel that men feel they need something more physical. But I don't get the whole panties thing. Like someone said the female may have been ready to go in those boy shorts. Oh well, he missed out.

    12 PB makes a point I want to counter to men. In response to some women who choose to be "prudes" about who they have sex with, 12 PB asked is your vajajay made of gold? I would like to counter with what's so special about your peen that you deserve to get some in first few encounters? I personally there is a problem with men and their sexual expectations these days. Now while I love this song, it's the best example of what I'm talking about "Fuckin' Problems".

  • Lilit

    I don't understand. If I decide to withhold sex for my personal moral values it shouldn't be considered "vag politics"! Since men have dick politics themselves: lying about their number of people they've slept with or getting tested or naming their previous partners in chronological order, etc. I feel that if there is not trust and loyal to begin with in the beginning of a relationship then prudish behaviour will emerge. I've been told that I am a prude but don't get it twisted, when I'm angry, I'm a devil in disguised,
    I feel that being a prude can be a person total character or part of a person's personality. If your unable to view a different side to a person who is prudish, its because that person feels the significant person is not trustworthy enough or they feel out of their comfort zone.
    P.S. I have guys holla at me and I responded, but they shy away after because they didn't like the reaction I given them. If a guy likes me, I would prefer he tell me directly instead of flirting and doing silly acts to grab my attention. If he's texting me all this dirty talk, I'm gonna think he's a creep trying to prove to his a "playa" aka "ego trippin". Therefore, I don't reply and ignore. If I don't have titles to my relationship with a male, then sexting/dirty talk is not happening.
    As for the dating attire, I wear comfortable clothes on dates. Its nothing wrong with casual wear, its how its worn and the venue of the date. Dates that are at the movies, a local restaurant, a comedy club, a fair, etc. casual wear is appropriate, instead of having a date for a wedding, a fine dine restaurant, etc.
    If anyone thinks I wrong about my views tell me your side, since I believe that I am right.

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