Why “I respect you too much to sleep with you” is bullshit… 

By Alexis Wolfer

I have a lot of conversations with my friends about sex.

I don’t know if it’s because I have my master’s in women’s studies (which more people than should seem to think qualifies me as a sex-pert… FYI to all of you who do: I am neither an OB/GYN nor a sex therapist).

Or perhaps it’s because I am pretty much an open book (with my friends, not online!) about my sex life.

Or maybe it’s because I have been known to send sex toys to friends as presents (and not as a joke, but because I think they could use them).

Or maybe it’s just my personality that has friends, and sometimes even “barely friends,” (acquaintances, if you will,) opening up to me about their sex lives.

Regardless, if I hear a version of this story one more time I kinda think I may scream… so, instead I’ll vent here…

It goes something like this:

I met this guy. I really like him. We were at his/my place and he said he wouldn’t have sex with me because he respects me too much… isn’t that sooooooooooo (insert more “ooo’s” depending on woman at hand) sweet?!

Or something to that effect.

I usually smile.

What I really want to say is, um, NO.

It’s not sweet.

Respecting your decisions is sweet (and expected). Making your decisions for you is not.

You’re not some little puppy dog incapable of making decisions on your own. Respecting you – really respecting you – means respecting you in your entirety. It means respecting your ability to make your own damn decisions. It means being respectful of said decisions. It means not being a jerk who will sleep with you and then pretend he doesn’t know who you are when he runs into you out with your friends. It does not, however, mean making decisions for you. That is, actually, the opposite of respect.

I’m not at all advocating you go on a sex spree.

I am, however, advocating that you make your own decisions when it comes to your sexuality – and that you only sleep with men who respect those decisions – whether that means you want to have sex in the bathroom on your first date or not at all.

PS – and this should go without saying, but the respect should go both ways and, as a friend most aptly just pointed out to me, in the same way women are often presumed not to want sex too early on (whatever “too early on” means), men are often presumed to always want to have sex. Bottom line: respect is a two-way street.

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