In a sidebar to yesterday’s post I riffed on sex-positive feminism as a possible attention-getting exercise, while still reserving the right to act prudish and offended at other people’s sexual bloviation.
On a more game-y note, Roissy has a maxim that goes something like “if she’s talking with you about sex, she’s thinking about sex with you.” I’ve generally found that to be true (or that she judges you so completely incapable of escalating that she can talk about sex without worrying about having to fend off your advances). But I’ve also noticed that a woman talking about sex or even propositioning a man directly for sexual activity can serve as a bit of a shit test. In this post I referenced Assanova’s theory of rejection as a test, in particular a woman testing if a man experiences rejection and knows to work around it or reacts with anger, indicating a history of failure with women.
Likewise, a woman advancing the sexual football herself can be testing (probably subconsciously) if you react like a guy who hasn’t gotten laid in his life, or a guy who regularly experiences sexual reciprocation from women. The appearance of the former serves as a proxy for pre-unselection that can wreak havoc on the hindbrain. She might even be consciously desiring of your phallic caress and willing to tell you so, but is liable to get turned off if you respond to her offer like an eager puppydog who can’t believe his good fortune.
Here I propose a two-prong response to a female escalation. I first discovered these by accident. A woman at a beverage establishment essentially propositioned me for a SNL; I was so blown away by the directness of the suggestion that I assumed she was bullshitting me and attempted to gloss over it as if it had been a garden variety fitness test.
But at the same time, I was experimenting with a very forward-but-sophisticated James Bond style of game, which induced me to continue escalating her as long as she was accepting of it. These two factors combined in a happy happenstance.
1. Remain nonplussed.
The first step is to trend towards non-reaction. You don’t want her to get the idea that she can just snap her fingers and have access to a high-value man’s sexual generosity, nor can she get the sense that this is an unusual event for you. You need to think with a bit of qualifying mindset – “I can tell she’s interested, but I still need to determine if she’s spongeworthy.”
I’ve found that a good “oh really?” or “I bet you’d enjoy that” or “listen to you!” does a nice job communicating a lack of excessive enthusiasm.
Non-reaction also frames you as an active listener, temporarily suspending your frame as the leader and guiding her through her own emotional space. Being able to listen casually is a key factor in avoiding her feeling “judged,” which builds an enormous amount of comfort. Trouble is, if you simply listen casually, you risk becoming an emotional tampon for her girl talk, and if you don’t strike when she’s told you she’s sexually available, she’ll take it as a stinging rejection and she is probably going to write you off as not interested in her or not man enough to get the job done. Take it from me – once that has happened, she can (in another Roissy maxim) be as cold as if she had never known you.
So you have to stay sexual. That leads us to…
2. Test the escalation boundaries.
Take her talk about sex as an invitation to up the vibe. Move closer to her, talk slower (whisper in her ear for bonus points), put your hand on her hip, rub her leg with your fingers or the back of your hand, if you’re standing prop your arm against the wall to expand your frame.
The whole idea of escalation is that it happens in steps. The good news for guys is, that means you don’t have to worry about pulling off some uber-romantic move that blows away all of her anxieties at once. You just have to move a step forward and see how she reacts. If Roissy is wrong (or more accurately, if you’ve hit a counterexample), your hand rubbing her thigh produces a nervous jump from her as she moves a bit away from you. Your moving in for the kiss causes her to turn away. She doesn’t move into the frame you create. That’s all, there’s no big awkward moment, she just finishes her story about the marathon session she had when she and her boyfriend had those Red Bull pina coladas and fried plantains in Panama City, and you chuckle out loud and excuse yourself to refill your caipirinha.