How do I tell her I just want sex?

Dear Lisa,

I just met a woman who I knew I wasn’t going to date based on her personality, and we slept together. I didn’t feel super bad about it because she just got divorced and seemed to be enjoying her freedom. We’ve been continuing as it started, just sleeping together and having fun.

Now though, it’s starting to feel relationshipy. I wonder if I should have let her know right away that I wasn’t interested in having a relationship, but I didn’t, and now I feel caught between two very bad outcomes – like if I said at the beginning that I didn’t want anything, then she would be all ‘woa, I don’t want anything… back off.’ Or, if I say something now, then she’ll be like ‘Ohhhh no, I don’t want anything! Pshhhh. Ya. I’m not even looking for a relationship’ but then go on to hate me and be generally bitchy to me in mutual social situations.

On one hand I want to enjoy my freedom until I find a woman I could fall in love with and I don’t want to carry on pretense of a relationship with a woman just to have the benefit of sex. On the other hand I don’t want to be that guy that I’ll one day be telling my daughter to stay away from. I question my character; I don’t know if my morals have slipped or if I am just older and wiser.

Any advice?

–That Guy ( Vancouver)


Dear That Guy,

I don’t think your morals have slipped, in fact, I think that you are trying to be as ethical as possible in a situation that isn’t exactly welcomed with open arms by most of society. Sure, we talk about how it’s fine that men sleep around, and joke about the double standard therein, but when it comes down to it, dudes who just sleep with women and leave them come off as dicks.

That aside :) It is always best to be honest from the very beginning of any relationship. Honesty doesn’t have to be clinical though: ‘I’m-not-interested-in-having-a-relationship-right-now-and-I’m-wondering-if-we-could-please-be-friends-with-benefits?’ is obviously going to get you slapped. Telling her that you aren’t looking for a relationship is a lie. Of course you’re looking for a relationship, she’s just not the one, and every woman who ends up in a man’s bed without a word of what’s happening, knows it.

Most importantly, avoid the sorts of phrases that tell a woman what you won’t do, because they make you sound presumptuous. For example ‘I’m not looking for a relationship, but I would really like to spend the night together’ translates as ‘I know you want me to be your boyfriend, but since you aren’t up to my standards, I’d rather just get laid and call it a night.’

Instead, be honest with what you are doing and what you intend to do. It can be as simple as ‘I’m really enjoying being with you tonight and I want to spend the rest of the night worshiping your body… (and other nights if she’ll let you!). I am seeing other women though, and before we get anything started, I want to know that you are comfortable with that.’ By stating your actions and intentions in the positive like this, you are keeping the conversation about you and your habits.

This sort of honesty leaves room for three positive outcomes. First, it allows her the opportunity to state what she needs and what would make her comfortable. Second, since you’re above board with your activities, it gives her a chance to ask questions (such as ‘are you using protection with other women?’) Third, by telling her that you are seeing other people, you are leaving the relationship between you two room to grow in the future; you could enjoy a sensual one night stand or see her a few more times and maybe even fall in love with her without breaching her trust. Not to mention that when you’re proactive about a woman’s feelings by being honest early, she will be less likely to curse you out in front of a room full of socialites!

– Lisa



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