We all know that a woman can and will say no to sex when it does not suit her. It is said that the woman is more in control of her desires than any man can ever hope to be. Women go months without sex, while the strongest man can manage a few weeks at best. For a woman there are so many factors to be considered – the time, the place, the sheets on the bed, her level of emotional commitment, the amount of discretion at play, her hormones, and the prospective partner. Men on the other hand do not have so many hang-ups. It is assumed that we act first and then think later. We do not have inconvenient headaches, the time and place does not really matter, anytime and anyplace, even when in the throes of malaria or depression, men are ready for action. So it may come as a surprise that men have been known to say NO to sex.
A couple of things inspired this write-up: first was the 2010 movie “Ca$h” which starred the Australian actor, Chris Hemsworth in his first Hollywood movie, perennial bad guy, Sean Bean and Victoria Profeta. In the movie, Chris’ and Victoria’s characters are a married couple who stumble upon stolen cash and embark on a spending spree. Sean Bean’s character is the twin brother of the robber who stole the money but got arrested by the police. So Sean Bean tracks down the couple and proceeds to retrieve every cent of the original sum stolen by his brother. He moves into the couple’s home and makes their life a misery. Now at some point in the movie, the wife tries to seduce Sean Bean’s character as a way of getting him to let them go. Initially he is interested but suspecting her motives, he rebuffs her saying, “You’re offended I rejected your offering of p****?” Hurt, she walks away. The second thing was a story my friend Sola shared about how he was hit on by a woman recently. On his way home from work and wanting to relax, he stopped at his favourite spot for a couple of drinks. A young lady approached him and they got talking; after an hour or so of getting to know each other, she invited him over to her place saying that she would like to “get to know him better”. He refused saying that he was not the type to pay for sex. She got angry and said that she was not that kind of girl and that she just liked him. So they went to her place and she made moves and all but homeboy was not comfortable. He left ten minutes later promising to invite her over to his place another day. I had a good laugh at his expense and it made me recall the movie. The two experiences made me think of reasons why a man would say no to sex when it was freely offered. Sola and I agreed that one reason would be the primal hunter-prey dynamic which men often employ with respect to women. There is a reason it is called “chasing women” after all; the man initiates interest then chases and wears down the woman’s seeming resistance to sleeping or being in a relationship with him. It adds to the idea of man being the hunter and woman his prey, of his being a conqueror or something. So when the dynamic is reversed, it appears as an anomaly to the “natural order” of things and some men do not like the idea of messing with the order. They become suspicious: “Why does she want to sleep with me?” They begin to think the woman is “an easy lay” which would presuppose that she is a lot less discriminate about whom she sleeps with. The truth is, no matter how promiscuous men are, they do not relish the idea of the women they are sleeping with being as slutty as they are. Yes, life is unfair but it’s the world we live in.
I recall a story my good friend Chike told me while we were in school; it was a story about how some girl he had met casually just two weeks before, had invited him over to hers after night study. According to him, no sooner had they gotten there than the girl grabbed him! He tried to get her to slow down, she did, but next thing he knew she walked away from him hitched up her skirt, placed her hands on the table in her room and invited him to have his wicked way with her. He said he was stunned! He was not expecting this. He quietly gathered his things, made up some story about being on call in a few hours, apologized and left. When I asked why he left, he said that in his experience girls did not behave like that, at least not within the first month of meeting a guy and that the ones who did should be avoided like the plague. I laughed and asked him about one night stands and he said that those were different. It was the girl’s approach and attitude that unnerved him.
Sometimes, an active conscience could be the reason a man says no. He has a girlfriend or you are his ex’s friend, sister or cousin. So he just cannot bring himself to get down with you even though you are both practically naked. It may be that in his mind you guys have broken up and although he has not voiced it out, his heart and body are no longer with you.
Another reason could be poor personal hygiene on the part of the woman. Yes, men assume that women are always neat. But for instance, an overabundance of hair in certain places or an overly funky scent is a turn off for some men. I know a guy who changed his mind just as he was about to get busy because of this. Now my ex-roommate and friend used to say that any man who jumps on a woman at the first opportunity could lose that woman’s trust. Huh?! Say again? He urged restraint saying that any woman who slept over at yours and whom you did not attempt to jump on would have the utmost respect for you and see you as a different kind of guy who was more interested in her as a person than just a sexual being. He argued that the girl would instantly become comfortable with you and trust you even more. He cited a few friendships that had gone south because of this singular reason.
Hmm….now that I think of it, this over-eagerness did cost me one friendship, but the downside of his advice is being perceived as a slacker or not being man enough! Yes, a girl once called me a slacker for not trying to seduce her during her first visit to mine. She sounded hurt like she felt I did not deem her attractive enough to make a move, which was not the case. Me? Slacker? How?! The truth is I really did like her and had loads of respect for her, so I did not want to risk spoiling things by rushing into sex with her. And men do not take kindly to being called a slacker especially if it indicates a certain inability to function sexually. This leads to the case of men who do not believe in sex before marriage. Yes, they do exist and I admire them for that but not the ones that will not find you tempting enough to make moves oh! True because if my sister is engaged to a man that does not believe in sex before marriage and yet does not have to hold himself when he is alone with her, I will tell her to run far!
So where does one draw the line? To be an alpha alpha male so that your sexuality is not questioned or be the sensitive considerate type and end up being friend-zoned or cuckolded due to questions of your masculinity? Do women appreciate guys who say no to sex or are not overly demanding of it? Whatever it is, the fact remains: men sometimes say no…to sex. Yes.