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The Sex Post, Part Deux: Dealbreakers May 26, 2009

Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, Dating, Food for Thought, sex, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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Hi everyone,

Thank you for the many thoughtful and thought-provoking responses to my most recent post about the possibilities of having a sexual partner but making it clear that I want to remain unattached. It turns out that Bella DePaulo also published a sex post on her blog the same day about the many assumptions that are made about sex and the single person (thanks, Singlutionary, for noting our post on the comments over there!). One of the issues that has come up in previous comments on her blog, as well as in DePaulo’s most recent post (and comments from some of Onely’s regular readers), is the reality that many times, those of us who actually desire sex (and not all single – or married – people do) do not necessarily have it. Some call this being “Involuntarily Celibate,” or InCel for short. Which is exactly my status most of the time, when I don’t happen to know anyone who would be up for a little uncommitted rendezvous now and again.

So, this got me thinking about the many reasons I have (most of the time) for not actively attempting to hook up with friends, complete strangers, or the friend-of-a-friend. I’m the kind of person who notices when there’s a spark, and I’ve certainly had opportunities to pursue casual encounters, but most of the time (with this last weekend the rare exception), I simply don’t bother trying.

Because, you see, there are these dealbreakers that generally keep me InCel (some are for real; some are petty indeed):

1. Our worlds collide — we know too many of the same people. If you turn out to be crazy, jealous, or simply bad in bed, things are going to get mighty awkward after I break things off.

2. Speaking of #1, you could be bad in bed. For real — the possibility of disease and pregnancy (always a risk – you never can be too safe!) isn’t worth my time if you can’t swing it in the sack (!)

3. You show up late when we set up a date. Talk about killing the mood!

4. You don’t know how to make good conversation when we’re not having sex. If you’re crude, boring, or (worse) uninterested in me as a person, then the sex is usually not worth it. The way to this woman’s bed is through her head 🙂

5. You refuse to cuddle. C’mon. Just because we both know that this isn’t a “serious” relationship doesn’t mean I want you to jet the moment we’re finished. It’s good (for both of us) to feel attractive, and since we aren’t doing this for money, it’s good to keep me wanting more in the future.

6. Bad manners (in everyday life or in bed). This includes: burping, farting, poor hygiene (long and/or dirty finger- or toe-nails, and/or bad breath or teeth), bad tips, racist or sexist comments/jokes, and more.

7. Complaints or cynicism. OK, I understand these within reason, but I have met many people who talk only using one of these two rhetorical forms of communication. C’mon. It eventually gets old, especially when directed at me or my life (I had a “special friend” who woke up next to me one morning and began complaining about the sheets on my bed).

8. Selfishness and/or lack of enthusiasm. If I scratch your back, please DO scratch mine (ps – that’s a metaphor, people!). And act like you like it. In fact, if you don’t, then please, just leave.

9. You are too needy or self-centered, and my attentions will never be enough. Not only is that frustrating, but it’s also unfair, and will most certainly leave a bad taste in my mouth once things are over.

OK — that’s a good list to get us started. Now, fellow Onelers, how ’bout you add yours. What are the dealbreakers (or potential dealbreakers) that keep you InCel?

— L


1. stephanie - May 26, 2009

My big deal breaker is addiction, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or food. But I’m sensitive to energy. When I’ve been with guys who were just smoking cigarettes and not doing anything illegal, I find their clogged up “chi” drags my energy down. So the man needs to take care of himself and his body and not be clouding it with substances as a crutch for his emotional issues.

2. Lauri - May 27, 2009

Lisa- just heads up, I’ve read some stuff from the InCel community in the past, and supposedly, if you occasionally have sex, you can’t claim to be incel. For some reason there are very strict rules about defining it.

deal breakers for me: they never give a second thought about disease (I’m sorry, but if you are 30 and never been tested, or don’t think the number of people you’ve had unprotected sex with is my business, then I’m just not going to bother with you); they’re not really attracted to *me* just women/sex in general (if you don’t think *I’m* totally hot, I’m not sleeping with you); the cuddling thing is a big one for me also.

onely - May 27, 2009

OK – thanks for the heads-up, Lauri. I am probably not InCel, then, since I do occasionally have sex. But I *feel* involuntarily celibate most of the time 🙂 My many apologies to whoever reads this and finds I’ve used the term too loosely!

— L

3. trauma queen - May 27, 2009

hmm..cuddling. more ppl should read this

yes -why do ppl equate cuddling with intense emotion? its just nice to feel fuzzy at times no?

ok adding a ‘no’ at the end of a sentence is Indian English 😉 Possibly french english too 😛

4. bobby - May 27, 2009

Although I’ve never had a relationship that didn’t involve feelings and commitment (I know, a guy that never did the one night stand thing?), I can still see the points you made and tend to agree 🙂

5. Special K - May 27, 2009

Are dealbreakers for casual sex the same then for relationships? One reason I’ve never had casual sex is due to my personality…my strength and weakness is that I am analytical…I don’t believe I am truly capable of hooking up without becoming connected…

onely - May 29, 2009

Special K, this is a good question. Looking back on my list, I suppose that these could all easily also be dealbreakers for relationships. But when I wrote the list, the emphasis in my mind was on the fact that casual sex was central — in my experience (I haven’t had THAT much experience, but I have had some), a lot of these basics are thrown out the window b/c my partner suddenly thinks basic “good” behavior suddenly don’t matter if (or because) it’s “just sex.”

I, too, am pretty analytical, but since becoming comfortable with being single (and actually wanting it as my life), I have begun challenging myself to learn how not to take sex/dating so seriously. When I do, I tend to become really miserable.

— L

6. Singlutionary - May 28, 2009

OK. I love farting so that is NOT a deal breaker for me!

Sigh. I feel like I am in the same boat as far as sex goes. Right now the deal breaker is huge: Its just not worth it for me to expend so much of my energy (both physical and psychic) on someone that I’m not sure is worth it.

There are lots of people I meet and within 30 seconds I KNOW they aren’t worth it.

And at this point in time, I am conserving a lot of my energy, charging my batteries, etc. So I am not a very social person these days anyways.

In order for this casual sex thing to work for me at this point in my life, it would have to be with someone I know and trust. Either a friend or an old lover (where we are both very clear that the relationship part is totally behind us).

I would love to master the friends-with-benefits relationship. I saw a post from a divorced guy on craigslist. He has kids and is committed to them so he realizes that he isn’t “boyfriend material” but misses cuddling and sex and intimacy. I could go for that. Next week. When I finish up the 30 projects which are consuming my every moment.

Maybe I am just too self centered for sex. I can’t be bothered to get laid because I am too busy stimulating myself. I hope not because I think that sex is a super cool thing with the right person. But right now, I might just be too wrapped up in myself.

7. Onely - May 28, 2009

Lisa! You mention long fingernails. That reminded me of my Super DealBreaker Number 3.1F: LONG TOENAILS. Oh, I think long toenails are the nastiest thing ever, on men *or* women. I would kick Brad PItt out of my bed if I saw he had long toenails (manicured or otherwise).
Christina from MICHIGAN

8. Sex, So What? « Onely: Single and Happy - May 29, 2009

[…] indifferent celibacy, involuntary celibacy, voluntary celibacy trackback On the heels of  Lisa’s dealbreakers post that talked about Involuntary Celibacy (a term that we may define differently than others do), we […]

9. Hooking Up: Cool or CREAPy? « Onely: Single and Happy - June 29, 2009

[…] follow-up to Lisa’s sex posts here and here, my friend Nicole flagged for us this really good article from NPR about the relatively new and […]

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