Assumed Orgasms

Why one night stands aren't for me

Wow these people are pretty.

In my life I've had just one textbook one night stand. I met her in a bar, and I don't remember what she looked like that well, except that she had sexy hips, accentuated by the thong straps that went up a little over her low rider jeans. We probably exchanged names when we first met, but it's just as likely that we didn't. In any case, it never came up again and we never exchanged any contact information or even pretended for a second that we might. I lived about a 20 minute walk from the bar, it was past her last train home, she came over. In the morning she got up to leave around seven, trying not to wake me, but I heard her shuffling around. I sat up and said a few polite things to keep everything in a positive light, but I didn't bother to get out of bed. Neither of us wanted any protracted goodbyes. I was a little relieved after the door closed and I fell back asleep straight away.

I've had other instances where I slept with a woman once and then not again, but in those cases, there wasn't any premeditated lack of desire to see her another time. It was usually the case that somewhere among a few dates a level of sexual intimacy was reached, and then fell away again because emotionally things didn't work out. This one time was distinct from all those others in that I was internally committed to the idea that I'd be down to have sex with this woman while also knowing in advance that I wouldn't want to go further than that with her. She was attractive, but not so hot that my brain was too clouded to ignore that we didn't have enough in common to make any non-sex interactions worthwhile. Being honest about it, I actually found her kind of annoying to talk to.

A sample survey of one doesn't make for a comprehensive study, but my takeaway impression was, "meh, not for me." The sex was okay enough, but a large part of that was because there was a certain amount of thrill internally, thinking, "hey, cool, this is a one night stand!" A novelty that definitively only diminishes with quantity. As far as the physical sensation of it, it was not much better than masturbating. And not for lack of trying. She writhed and cooed and did all the things that porn tells us should feel as equally good as it looks, and I did my best to hold up my end of the bargain. But the two of us trying to demonstrate to each other that we were "good in bed" didn't amount to much more than a performance surrounding a basic interaction of genitals that served as a means to an end.

They say that guys can't fake orgasms, because, to attach icky imagery to a standard metaphor, the proof is in the pudding. But, that's assuming "cumming" and "orgasming" are the same thing, which they aren't. Or at least, it's not the case that the act of cumming is like flicking on a light switch with completely binary implications. My sense is that a lot of guys assume they are, which only makes me sad for those guys as it implies to me that haven't experienced a real orgasm.

In my experience, there's a wide range of sensation that starts somewhere around, "yeah, I guess that was alright," and goes all the way up to, "angels are singing songs of soundless beauty in my mind." Where you put the dividing line between merely "getting off," just releasing the pressure of compulsion, and having an actual orgasm is kind of subjective. The two ends of the spectrum exist, though, and so do all the infinitely divisible levels in between. Any guy who doesn't recognize it is short changing himself.

That night, that one night stand, I essentially faked an orgasm. Yeah, I got off, I came, but the feeling didn't have the depth and scope as when I've had sex with other women where I felt I had really experienced something. Saying that I "faked" anything is, of course, hyperbolic, because I didn't have to put on any kind of show, since women don't assume or expect that men need to, or ever do, fake an orgasm. The lie is through omission, by not saying anything to convey dissatisfaction. As we lay in bed afterwards I gave every indication that all expectations were met, and she left my apartment with the standard illusion that men are easy to satisfy safely intact.

The only thing that potentially made that one night stand more worthwhile than just masturbation were all the social contexts. Some guys talk about bedding different women as being a matter of conquest, something that validates them. For me, though, I could only see in her a woman who saw me merely as functional as I saw her. That being the case, it's not much of a conquest, just a transaction. It would only be a "conquest" if there were some kind of asymmetry about our expectations, where I leave with some reason to believe that she couldn't help herself but to want to be with me. That seems delusional at best, and at worst opens the door to deceitful or manipulative behaviour.

There was this one time when I was speaking to a guy who performed a little standup comedy at one of the shows I organize, and after a show he bragged to me and another comedian, my friend Mike, about how in one year alone he had slept with over a hundred women. Mike and I were just kind of underwhelmed, and this guy couldn't understand why, because, as he directly stated, it was his experience that men tell each other about that kind of thing. The story he was most keen to tell us was about how he was with one woman during an afternoon, and when he dropped her off at a train station, he literally had to run from one end of the station to the other in order to be on time for the date with a second woman that he was going to fuck that day. Impressive, right? I mean, he's fucking so many women that he's got to run to get from one to the other.

It was so hard to explain to him why it was unimpressive, and I'm pretty sure he walked away from that conversation dismissing me as some kind of emasculated victim of feminist ideology. I tried to get through to him by asking why he couldn't just tell the first woman he was with that he was off to see some other woman. He wouldn't risk that, of course, because then either woman might lose the illusion that he was seeing only them. There's no way of knowing how either woman would have felt about it. It's entirely possible they were just using him for sex as he was them, but I think that possibility is equally scary to him as is the possibility of risking losing sex through honesty. If they value him for his sexual encounter only as much as he values them only for sex, then it isn't a conquest, it's him being valued as little as he values them, and there's nothing for his pride to gain. But that wasn't the possibility he was avoiding. He was simply maintaining whatever illusions it took to ensure that neither woman had any questions that would reduce the odds of him fucking them. In other words, he was lying to them, and that's the part that makes it unimpressive.

Lying to a woman means that you're not being you, and my ego is too big for that. I'm going heavy on the anecdotes, but whatever, here's another. I met this one woman who had some of the most beautiful long black hair I've ever seen. She was reading a book about the history of Islam which gave me something to talk to her about. In the months before meeting her, I had been reading various books that teach you the ways of the "Pick Up Artist", a term that doesn"t have a very good reputation, but I wanted to know for myself what it was all about. There's a lot of bullshit in it, but also some stuff that basically does what it says, and this woman was one of a few that I experimented on. I did "stacking," where you maintain simultaneous threads of conversation so she has no downtime to pass judgement on you. When I got her number, it was in the context of making a specific plan, so that she'd feel obligated to carry it out. When we went on a date, we went to multiple locations, because taking a woman through multiple contexts is supposed to accelerate her sense of knowing you closer by replacing time with varied contexts, or some such bullshit. I don't remember the specifics, but, in the "PUA" literature they say that on average you can take a woman from first meeting to sex in seven hours of direct personal contact, and that's exactly what happened.

As an experiment to see if Pick Up Artistry had any potential to increase the amount of sex in my life, it was a roaring success. But I could only think about how I basically spent seven hours of my life being something that wasn't quite me in order to earn twenty minutes or so of sex that was kind of okay. I like sex a lot, possibly to an unhealthy degree, but, I'm not sure that it's really worth a 21 to 1 time ratio of me having to put on some kind of act. I mean, I wasn't acting like a totally different person, it was still me, but, I was cognisant of how much I was tailoring myself to meet a goal. It wasn't any kind of relationship, it was a process.

The math is all wrong for me on many levels. First, I don't want to spend any time not being me because I question on a deeply existential level whether or not you're really living life if it's not authentic. Also, I just really like being me. Second, the sex is only okay because you've entered into a sexual context by short cutting the process of actually getting to know each other, and my decades in the sex game has taught me that sex gets better the more you connect with someone. That's the only way you go beyond just getting off and experiencing real orgasms. And lastly, if you want to try and have more sex with this person, you have to spend even more time not being you, and then that's not even going to help anyway because the act you're putting on to string her along is only going to get in the way of a real connection, so the whole thing is self defeating.

I couldn't really convey this to 100-women-in-a-year guy because if you're just going woman to woman, getting off and never experiencing a real orgasm, then you have no visceral experience of the thing that is missing. He just thinks I'm going on about some hippy bullshit flowery concept of two souls meeting or something like that. I mean, I do think there's something to be said about having actual relationships with women where you connect emotionally with them and that's a whole other topic. But with a guy like this I was just trying to get through to him on a purely pragmatic level of how sex and orgasm are better when you shed the concept that it's a numbers game. He just couldn't hear me, and I believe the mental block for guys like him is that the concept of cumming is synonymous with orgasm, and I know for a fact that it ain't.

It's not at all surprising that most guys would not consider that there is anything more to an orgasm than the most base sensation of ejaculation. The fact is we were not designed to maximize sexual potential. Evolution doesn't give a fuck about the degree to which you enjoy sex, it only cares that you are motivated enough to do it. Even though in many ways it seems humans are obsessed with sex, what we have is just enough sex drive that makes humans want to get it done, not a drive to indulge in it. There is no internal push to enjoy it more, that potential is something you have to develop. It's like pretty much everything else in life. We were not designed in any particular way to enjoy high fat and sugar foods sourced from exotic locations all over the world. We took our base desire to eat and expanded it upwards into culinary experiences that go beyond what we were built for. You could, and many of our ancestors did, live a live of just surviving on potatoes and butter, or rice and beans, or some combination of basic foods that kept you alive and healthy, but why would you? Your taste buds only need to distinguish nutrient rich from toxic, but they can do so much more. And so it goes with sex. Any guy can put a dick in a woman and get himself to cum, but with only that goal in mind, it's not only at the expense of her satisfaction, it's at the expense of his.

If you want to achieve something higher, my experience is that the only way to get there is to work with a partner to share your needs and meet theirs and work toward the common goal of mutual satisfaction. I suppose technically it's possible that there is another route to achieving higher orgasms that doesn't include building a relationship beyond a one night stand. But I only grudgingly allow for that possibility out of acknowledgement that just because I've discovered one way doesn't mean I've discovered the only way. I have my doubts about the feasibility of developing higher sexual experience from one night stands because the only way you could believe that it was possible to use the aggregate experience of multiple people to form a cohesive singular approach to being "good in bed," is if you assume that all people within a gender are similar enough to all want the same things. I haven't had much sex with men so I can't say with too much confidence about them, but, I know that even from the limited sample of women I've had in my life that the actions and circumstances which bring them to the most complete orgasms vary to a degree where some things that work for one have absolutely no effect on another and vice versa. Maybe if you're a guy who has learned enough about your needs that you can articulate them to a woman during your one night stand you can achieve more, but, if you can't please her, what's her motivation for jumping through your hoops?

In theory, if a guy is going from woman to woman, there is a chance that what they do for each other in the bedroom will click with some percentage of those woman and they may end up with a great night of sex. So it's not about working to build consistently good sex among women in general, but rolling the dice on each individual for a potentially great experience now and again. But this isn't a purely random pairing of expectations between two people. What we do and how people respond to us shapes our expectations, so after being with twenty women who didn't give any critical feedback, and a guy who hasn't experienced much of an orgasm beyond just the release of ejaculation, how would that guy be able to bring the potential to discover great sex with the twenty first woman? He doesn't have the skills to gauge her response and only aspires for a mediocre experience. It's more than the odds that are against one night stands leading to great sexual encounters.

There's a shitload of lame to mediocre sex out there, and a lot of denial going along with it. One of the first insights I had into this was very early in my dating life. I was dating a woman for a while, where we spent a long time before getting sexual. When we finally got to the bedroom, she lay on the bed and braced herself as if I was about to throw cold water on her. Sex, for her at that time, was something to be endured. It took many months to change that. What shocked me about it was that it was not her first sexual encounter. She had even had a fairly long term boyfriend before me. So... had her previous boyfriend just relentlessly pounded her like a robot while she just took it and they called that unfortunate base subroutine "sex"? I think so, and since then I've experienced many other women who in the bedroom either steel themselves to get through what they expect will be a chore because their previous experience is of men who basically just used these women for their own purposes. This year I went on a date with a woman who told me she, "just didn"t like sex," and it's hard to imagine that she's having amazing orgasms but simply leave no impact on her.

There is also a flip side where a woman does all sorts of crazy and sometimes painful yanking and thrashing and eccentric things because she has it in her head that she's "good in bed," and no guy she's been with wanted to lose the chance to fuck her by correcting her manic behaviour. There are few experiences in this world that are as awkward and potentially painful as a woman who is thoroughly convinced she's good at giving head, but isn't.

There's a lot of bad sex out there, and it's buried under social pressures of no one wanting to admit that the sex they're having is anything less than the best kind of sex that any human could ever have. Everyone you talk to is having awesome mind blowing porn quality sex. And without any great understanding of what great sex is, a lot of people believe it. If a guy has never experienced an orgasm beyond the level of pressure release, then he is simply incapable of comprehending what else is potential. It's the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is where a lack of understanding limits the ability to perceive what else might be unknown.

In my experience, it takes about three months to hit real sexual compatibility. It's not just revealing yourself to the other, expressing the kinks and desires that you don't just throw out on a first date. Actually, if you have kinks and desires you just flat out need, you should should throw those on the table on the first date, because if the other person isn't into it, you're wasting your time going forward. That three month time frame is assuming some base compatibility and building something mutual. If you're open, you build something unique to the two of you, with a little of your needs, a little of theirs, resulting in a sum that is greater than the total of the parts. Then you spend months three through six really capitalizing on that compatibility.

And then sometime after that is where my commitment issues surface.