Brutal. Disgusting. What the hell were some of these guys thinking? Dustin Hoffman, one of the accused actors is claimed to have said he wanted a ‘I’ll have a hard-boiled egg… and a soft-boiled clitoris’. Did he even for one second think that’s a good pick-up line? The woman he said this to was just boiling with revulsion.

And if he did know lines like that do not get you sex, then why did he say it? Boredom? Frustration? Did he actually think he was being witty? Was he acting out because of pressure? We are all human, when pressured enough we will do crazy stuff. I’ve said some crazy stuff myself in my life-time. If I would be famous, who knows, some women might come along to accuse me of having said or written disgusting stuff. Most of it I don’t remember, not even vaguely. Though I do hope I’ve never said anything as bad as wanting a ‘soft-boiled clitoris’ to a woman…

So, yes, it’s repulsive, it shouldn’t happen. Kevin Spacey has got kicked off the set of House of Cards. People are taking this very seriously, finally.

We have certainly learned, if we still had to, that barging into a colleague’s bedroom and shoving them on the bed, is totally out of the question. And that it gets extra demeaning if that person could lose his or her career by saying no.

But lacking in all the articles that accuse these people, is the question:

How in the hell do you respectfully and succesfully seek sexual contact with someone?

When you pose this question to a woman she will say: ‘chemistry’. Which is the same as magic. You meet someone. And the chemicals arise and teleport you to the nearest bedroom. And this chemical magic just happens. You have to sit around and wait for it. Cupido is a chemist and he’s real and you can’t control him. It just happens or doesn’t happen. Nothing you can do to influence your chances of having sex, except for taking a bath about once daily.

Not very helpful, is it? This may work fine if you are a woman. But when you’re a guy sitting around and wait for sex is not going to do much good.

Most of us like sex, right? I often feel I’m one of the few people left who like sex and don’t see it as a hideous crime to even want sex, but let’s assume we do like sex, most of us.

Suppose you meet someone you want to have sex with -I know, what a dirty thought…- , what is the right way to proceed?

By the right way, I mean:

  1. Your approach gives you a fighting chance of actually getting to consensual sex
  2. Your approach can in no ways be called sexual harassment

So how do you do it? What are the options?

My fear is that there’s only one way to get to sex in our culture, and that is to make sexual intentions clear from the start, touch the person as soon as possible, with escalating intensity, and when the person reciprocates, you have sex. If all goes well, you have sex, if the person isn’t interested, you have now just performed acts that are sexual harassment. That’s my fear and I hope it’s really not true.

So what are the options?

Politely asking for it. Hi, would you like to have sex with me? I have actually tried this, not often. Three times maybe. It does not work. It may surprise you that people smile and respectfully decline. I never got a hostile reaction, which really surprised me. It even leads to pleasant conversation. But no sex. In my opinion it’s not a way to get to sex, and we are assuming that consensual sex is still a good thing and that it still exists.

The hide it till the last moment option. You go out on dates. The other party may very well interpret your behavior as seeking friendship and nothing more. You risk the dreaded friendzone, it may take you ages to get to the point, and it can be very confusing for both parties. It’s a real hoot. You go out to bars and restaurants, and maybe at some point you watch a movie together, you keep reducing the distance between you with the tactical skill and patience worthy of world war one general who’s an expert at trench warfare and then you make your move. You lean in for a kiss and you get rejected or you get more intimate. I doubt very much anyone will label this approach as sexual harassment, as long as you stop touching when you hear ‘no’. It’s also sort of the only approach that has worked for me, but come on, how incredibly and unnecessarily complicated it is, with so much room for confusion.

The hide it even longer option. You work together for years and years and years, nothing ever happens, nothing sexual is ever even implied and one day you both get drunk on a business trip and land in bed together. The trouble with this one, is that nobody really knows how they got to sex in this scenario. I don’t think it’s a very practical approach to satisfy your sexual needs.

You pick up the skills of a pick-up artist. You basically learn to display or fake all the qualities that women seek when it comes to a mating partner. It’s a brutal learning curve. And it does involve playing games with people, although some pick-up artists will deny this. Isn’t it weird that to get to the act that our genes are screaming for we have to actually STUDY our asses off to get a chance at sex? By the way, I would sum up the whole pick up artist thing as: making a woman think you have far more value than she has, so she runs after you. I’ve done it and it works, but it’s kinda sleazy. I would actually prefer a world where you can just ask directly. But for all kinds of reasons that I won’t go into now, that option doesn’t work.

Conclusion: if you want to be on the fast track to sex, you kinda always risk being accused of sexual harassment. I remember one time, at a very drunk party, where I came on very strongly to a woman, with her boyfriend standing next to her – it was too loud to hear anything not screamed directly into your ear. I ended up in bed with her, several times. BUT: if that woman had not been interested in sex with me, I suppose she could easily have claimed I was sexually harassing her. Now that I’m writing this, I remember a time I was having a conversation with a woman in bar. I don’t remember what the conversation was about. Not sex. At the end of the conversation, when we were both going home, it was deep in the night, I simply asked: can I go with you to your place? That’s all I did, I never even touched her, no crap about a soft-boiled clitoris. Sure, looking back at our conversation I should have noticed small signs that she wasn’t interested in me, but ok, that was before I had read a couple hundred psychology books and articles. It was very subtle. And I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

She was shocked. She told people about that. She was outraged.

If she had wanted sex with me, then there would have been no outrage, she would simply have said yes. In other scenarios women did say yes to far more explictly phrased questions, and no complaints followed.

See my point?

You come on to someone, they want to have sex, you are fine,

you screw.

You come on to someone, they do not want to have sex, you are a pig and

you are screwed.

Et cetero censeo that in a couple of decades men will give up risking rejection, their reputation, the whole tedious and also expensive dating process, and make sure that they will never ever hurt a woman, not even a little, by having sex with highly sophisticated sex robots that are for all intents and purposes furnished with a human exterior. A large part of me is too proud to do that. It would be like accepting defeat as a man, as a sexual being, as deemed entirely unworthy of reproduction, but I can see us evolve towards such a scenario.

I think we have failed, so far, to turn sex into a good thing, that goes smoothly. We fail to create a world in which people are satisfied at least the majority of the time.

We would have a much different world if so much of human interaction wasn’t fueled by deep neurosis triggered by huge sexual frustrations and sexual wounds. I tend to agree with Wilhelm Reich that our neurosis arises from sexual repression.

We have failed to deal with the sexual side of our existence.

Sex is dying.


One reader, Debbie Francois, points out that the above article is basically saying the same as the Dobler-Dahmer theory, which apparently comes from a tv-show. No matter if it comes from a tv-show or a universiy, it’s what I wanted to say:

“If both people are into each other, then a big romantic gesture works: Dobler, but if one person isn’t into the other, the same gesture comes off serial-killer crazy: Dahmer.”