As I mentioned in last month’s column, wooing in a romantic relationship is apparently either on its way out, or has been out for a long, long time. But apparently that doesn’t always mean that delaying sexual gratification is on its way out. It just means that wooing may have been replaced by a little something called “establishing a foundation of friendship.” One difference – wooing generally originated from the man; the desire or request for the foundation of friendship invariably originates from the woman.
Get this. At least six different times, I’ve had dates with the same type of woman — one who has had a long history of wild, impulsive, passionate, no-holds-barred sex. She invariably finds something lacking in that lifestyle and decides to make a change. Starting with the very next man she dates. Who is invariably me. She tells me that I will not, in contrast to her sordid past, become the beneficiary of her uninhibited passions. No. With me, things will be different. Rather than her typical rushing into sex, she will hold out – and thus I will have to hold out – until she feels that we have established that all-important…(DRUMROLL)…Foundation of Friendship. Which will make the intimacy all the more special and long-lasting once it occurs. Don’t I agree?
Let me recreate one of these six magical conversations (or, better, monologues) that I’ve experienced. Share my pain: “Mark, I’m really flattered that you find me attractive enough to want to become intimate. I’m very attracted to you, too. And in the past, it wouldn’t have been unusual for me to jump into bed with a guy on the first, second, or third dates. And, don’t get me wrong, I love sex and am a very passionate and giving lover. I crave sex. But where are all those guys I had sex with? Obviously, not in the picture anymore. The only thing I have from them are my memories of the endless hot, steamy, sheet-drenched love-making. But I’m so over that now. It’s just not enough. I want and need a substantial, committed, lasting relationship. Which I know will not happen if we have sex right away. Look, I care about you. I want us to last. But for that to happen, and before we take our clothes off, it’s important to me that we establish that all-important…(DRUMROLL)…Foundation of Friendship. Don’t you agree?”
(SIGH) Jeez Louise, now I’m in a bind. If I disagree, she’ll perceive me as some impatient, horny pig who doesn’t care about her feelings, or our romantic future. But if I agree, for the next three months I may as well be a eunuch.
I try to strike a reasonable middle ground, saying that although I agree with her new direction in principle, I have noticed from my own experience, for what it’s worth, that the length of time I wait to have sex has little bearing on the relationship’s subsequent longevity. Some of my longest-lasting relationships started off with a bang, so to speak; and some of my shortest ones didn’t. But even before I get all the words out, I can see that her mind is made up, her legs are crossed, and for the next few months, the Pope and I will be sharing the exact same level of sexual activity.
Look, I don’t mind being punished for my own mistakes and behavior. But I keep being punished for other people’s lack of self-control and inhibitions. It’s just not fair. What do you think?