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The Oblivious Bastard

Self-confessed bad guy Martin Heller explains why it’s good to make a man sweat (with his clothes on) on your first date.

I recently had sex. And yes, it was with a woman. That, however, was not the surprising thing. The surprising thing came a few days after our third and last time together, when I decided to call things off. It did not go according to plan.

By this stage, I’d hooked up with said woman, a spunky 30-something we’ll call Bianca, on three consecutive Fridays for dinner – nothing fancy – and some rigorous bedroom action. On the surface it seemed a quite agreeable arrangement (weekly action with an attractive woman is not to be sniffed at when you’re me) but by this stage I was getting that shifty male foreboding that pre-empts conversations involving words like ‘future’ and ‘commitment’.

BASTARD? ME?
Having just come out of a long-term relationship, I thought it a good time to call it quits, so I rang her up and told her as much in as simple and straightforward a way as possible. She, however, was not as appreciative of my honesty as I’d predicted. Apparently I’d led her on, manipulated her, played her – I was, quote, ‘a bastard’! I put the phone down in a state of didn’t-see-that-coming perplexity. So much for being honest, I thought.

Now I am not accustomed to being called a bastard. In fact, I don’t think I have ever been called one by a woman before. So it got the rusted cogs in my man brain turning over about the whole Bianca situation. And after a while it struck me, like a yacht boom strikes you when you are looking out to sea: I had been a bastard without even knowing it!

A bastard is someone who misrepresents himself in order to get what he wants – a con man of sorts, but one who leaves you feeling bad about yourself. Players are the bastards of old – the slick talkers who push all the right buttons, get the girl into bed, then sneak off into the night and never call. But women generally have well-developed player antennae. Spotting the oblivious bastard, however, is another matter entirely.

CASUAL SHAG
The thing is, one girl’s bastard is another girl’s handy, casual shag, which is clearly what I’d thought I was to Bianca. Guys love the idea of a steady shag on the side: no commitment, yet regular action. What’s not to love? We also know that, from time to time, women love this too. And that’s where things go wrong. Guys, I’ll admit, are far, far too eager to assume that the sexy girl we’ve just hooked up with is only keen for some no-strings, Friday-night action. As a result, we’ll convince ourselves that she’s happy with that and no more.

So we go on believing (hoping) you’re in it for the same reasons. But what if you’re not? My advice to those of you who, like Bianca, are looking for a relationship with potential, rather than simply a casual shag, is: make him sweat a bit – with his clothes on. And, if at all possible, don’t sleep with him on the first date.

If you have sex with a guy without letting him work for it he will assume you are a modern girl who has needs to be satisfied. Have sex with him again and he’ll assume you are now a steady shag with no emotional commitments.

But no man can ignore the fact that he didn’t have sex with a girl, and the morning after a passionate kiss that didn’t end up as passionate sex, alarm bells will be ringing: to hook up with the same girl again would imply some sort of developing relationship. Hopefully – unless he’s a real bastard – he won’t follow things up unless he’s consciously interested in pursuing you (and not just the sex).

A casual affair can be fantastic – whether you’re a guy or a girl – but it really helps to know you are having on.

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