Why You Didn’t Get Laid Last Night

An open letter to other men I’ve seen try and fail to physically connect with women. Here are some reasons your attempts didn’t work for you, possibly because you put everyone around you off.

* You didn’t address that you were alone at a social event.

Of course, you can’t wait until you have friends to make friends, and sometimes the friends you have aren’t up for the activity you’re attending. But realize that you may have walked into a situation where the people who all seem comfortable with each other already know each other, and some of the other new people were invited, endorsed and connected to people in that circle. This isn’t to say you weren’t welcome, but you worked under the assumption that being in a room with a group of friends means you automatically are friends too.

Also remember, if your first impression is to overstep a boundary or to offend someone, that may be shared between folks who already know each other.

* You didn’t address your age, size or other factors that set you apart from the group dynamic.

Maybe you’re in your 40’s and didn’t realize the club was going to be filled with folks in their 30’s. Maybe you’re 6’6” and you’re just going to tower over others however much you don’t want to seem imposing, and you’ve learned that leaning over is taken as condescending, so you’re in a bind. Maybe you’re just a large burly guy. Nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t realize that if women don’t feel safe around you, they’re probably not going to want to get closer to you. It’s not your fault, but be aware that these things are factors, for better or worse, of how you are perceived.

* You were drunk or stoned more than the general vibe.

This should speak for itself.

* You had tunnel vision.

Maybe you attended a dance class and seemed too annoyed that the instructor paired you with someone you didn’t find sexually attractive, and loudly complained about it. Maybe you were at a party with 50 people and clearly were only talking to women enough to see if they would hook up with you. You didn’t exactly have a sign on your forehead saying “I just want to get laid,” but we all could tell.

* You were in a hurry.

There is nothing wrong with an available man going to an event with the hope of meeting a woman who he hopes would like to have sex with him. The issue is that you are forgetting this is a multi-stage situation. It’s healthy and common for a man to meet a woman, get to know her, let her get to know him, and having an ongoing interaction, which may or may not lead to sex. It’s another to approach strangers with the expectation that sexytimes are around the corner.

* You don’t understand context.

Maybe at the dance class, you saw how sexily couples connected, or saw people making out at a party, and you thought, “I want that, I deserve that!” Fair enough, but you are not factoring in that these people likely knew and trusted each other, and the fact that you’re in the room with them doesn’t put you on an equal playing field. You’re not left out for some mysterious existential reason, you just haven’t put in the minimal effort to get connected.

* You’re looking to take, not to give…or even receive.

There is a difference between coming into a situation where you view your sexuality as a gift you can bring to another and viewing sexuality as something to get from another. This is the difference between thinking “I want to hook up with her” and “I want her to want to hook up with me.

Likewise, there is a difference between making yourself someone a woman wants to approach and offer something of herself to, and thinking you need to “get” her.

* You weren’t looking for a woman, you were looking for ANY woman.

People around you can pick up signals you send when you’re interested in a specific person, or even interested in a few possible people in a group, as opposed to just hitting on every female in a room to see what sticks.

Noting that some of my friends are in open/polyamorous situations, the idea of wanting to hook up with multiple individuals at or after the same event, but this is still different than “hit on anything that moves”. The idea of “any port in a storm” isn’t applicable, this isn’t an emergency, even if you think it is.

* You may be trying to use sex as a strategy to meet another need.

Sex is great, and sexuality is a basic need of most living things. But humans also need more general connection, touch, intimacy. Are you trying to have sex because it’s the only way to not feel lonely? Are you looking for sex to validate yourself or boost your self esteem? If you are, would you be able to admit it? If not, would you be able to tell if you were?

* You were playing chess like it’s checkers.

Life and sexuality are complex, nuanced things. Doing well isn’t just going full on in “attack” mode and trying to simply get what you want right now. Your ideal match might not be in the room at the moment, but if you hit on every woman in the room before she arrives, you’ve scorched the earth by the time she gets there, and her friends warn her about the creepy guy hitting on everyone.

This is related to being in a hurry. If you are open to play a “long game”, you may not meet a woman who wants to hook up with you tonight, but you may meet a cool fellow or lovely woman who has a friend they’d like you to meet.

* You put on an act.

People have radars and can pick up deception. Saying you want an intellectual connection when you’re just looking to get laid may result in you getting neither. Saying you want to make friends but only focusing on touching women may result in you getting neither. 
Going through motions is not the same as doing things out of sincerity.

* You were attached to being wrong.

In several situations that I’ve seen, such as the guy at a Blues Dancing class who I was briefly paired with who voiced his discomfort about not “getting to dance with women”, or a guy who was asked to leave a party I was recently at, it’s not that you are expected to get all the subtleties of human relationships and should be punished if you don’t. However, when that guy at the class asked, perhaps rhetorically, when he would get to dance with me, I calmly replied “after you learn the basics and class is over and open dance starts, then you can ask whoever you want to dance.” I’m not sure what he was expecting me to say, if anything, maybe a “I feel you bro,” but my answer seemed to annoy him, and his body language for the evening alternated between mopey and cranky, neither of which encouraged dance partners.

In terms of the guy who was being kicked out, he didn’t really leave a trace of destruction, but it was pointed out that he had made people uncomfortable. Instead of apologizing, he defended his actions. The situation wasn’t such that he was chased with torches and pitchforks, but it was clearly not the end result he was hoping for.

So, if you’re in a situation where everyone seems to be having a good time but you aren’t, it may be worth listening to the people who are having a good time, since they seem to have figured out something you haven’t yet.

* You sought to divide instead of join.

This is another situation where men show that they are looking to hook up with women and not connect with people.

An example of this was when I was hanging out in the wee hours of a festival with my lover by a fire, and a woman came to join us. The three of us sat and chatted for a while until a lone man came and joined us. He was friendly to us all until something clicked in him, which is when I think he could tell which woman was my date and which was not. Immediately, his demeanor changed and instead of interacting with all of us, he focused on trying to get the woman to leave us and come with him. First he tried simply asking her to come with him, then passive aggressive tactics and even arguments. While I didn’t know the woman enough to know if she was single or interested or willing in hooking up with anyone, I did notice her body language went from welcoming to guarded very quickly. If she was even remotely interested in the guy, she wasn’t now.

In short, people like people who are liked by people they like. If you’re not willing to make friends with a woman’s friends, you’re showing that you don’t have the interest or social graces to be friendly.

This is written with a decidedly heteronormative and gender binary tone, because the men I’ve witnessed are heteronormative, cisgender men looking to hook up with those they identify as women. So my lack of inclusive language is to denote this advice is for a specific subset of the population.

That said, I don’t mean to suggest that this applies to all men, all heterosexual men, all cisgender men, etc. Heck, for some of the folks it applies to, it probably doesn’t apply to all the time. And I’m certainly not saying it’s never applied to me. If anything, it’s seeing myself in the men I’ve watched try and fail to meet women that prompted me to write this.

Final Request:
I’m especially interested in seeing if this advice holds true for women and anyone who has observed this sort of phenomenon.