How Guys Think About Sex & Dating

romanceBy  @ The Good Men Project

As someone who does research on young men’s sexual development and has written a book about it, I often get asked if all guys “just want sex.” The answer is no, of course. Not all guys are the same.

Nearly all guys have and want relationships, even the guys who screw around.

Regardless of their sexual history or interest in having random sex, when a guy has a sweetie, that relationship is important to him, even if he’s not very good at respecting it or making it work. Dudes like knowing they have someone to talk to, someone who will be there for them, and someone who will “have their back.” Men in long term marriages receive a slew of benefits from those relationships.

In order to help you figure out where you stand – or where your (potential) partner stands – here’s a field guide to guys’ approaches to dating and sex. The simplest way to know which category a guy fits in is to find out how many sexual partners he averages per year. You might not be comfortable asking that question and you might not get an honest answer, but this guide will give you other things to consider.

Casanovas (or players) live out the classic hook-up script: go to a party/bar/whatever, talk to a variety of people, find one who seems to be willing, and go home with that person. Their goal is getting laid, so they have very little interest in who their partner is (beyond available) and they have little to no intention of seeing or talking to that person again.

Because their goal is to have no-strings-attached sex, many of these guys believe it’s perfectly fine to “spit game” or lie to their potential partner(s). Rightly or wrongly, they don’t expect to have to deal with any consequences of these random sexual encounters.

By the numbers, these guys average three or more sexual partners per year.

Casanovas are different with dating partners than hookups. In an ongoing relationship, they can be just as devoted, caring, honest, and loyal as any other guy. Unfortunately, they’re also more likely to cheat on their partners than other guys.

It doesn’t make sense to me, but players are less likely than other guys to use condoms. That probably explains why they have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies than other guys. You’d think that dudes who were totally into their own pleasure and who have little apparent respect for their partners would do everything they could to make sure there are no ongoing reminders of that particular night of pleasure, but they don’t. In that way, they’re actually quite different than the real Giacomo Casanova.

In any given year, as many as twenty percent of young men – about one guy in five – might be living a player lifestyle. But only about five percent, or one guy in twenty, does this for three straight years.

Religious guys are just that: religious. They tend to come from the more conservative ends of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and they genuinely believe that sex is for marriage. They don’t hookup and they don’t engage in premarital sex. (Or, at least, not until shortly before their wedding day with their betrothed.)

Religious guys believe that the whole purpose of dating is to find a marital partner and some of them call it “courting” instead of dating. Whatever term is used, these are interested in finding a wife, not just dating because they like someone and want to see where the relationship goes. By the time he’s three months into a relationship, a religious guy is giving serious thought about whether or not this relationship could lead to marriage. If the answer is no, then the relationship is over.

Needless to say, religious guys are pretty much the anti-Casanovas of the world. You won’t find them at the bars/parties/whatever where the Players hang out. You’re much more likely to find them at church or synagogue or mosque, or other activities sponsored by those kinds of organizations.

Religious guys aren’t as uncommon as you might think. Estimates say they’re something like twenty percent of 18-29 year olds, or about one guy in five. If that number surprises you, it’s probably because religion plays little if any role in your life. There are lots of high schools and colleges that were created by and are (still) administered by religious organizations. Some have a clear expectation that their students will attend services regularly. And pretty much every American college has several student run religious organizations as well as nearby religious congregations that routinely serve college students, even though the organizations themselves are not affiliated with the university.

Romantics have a strong preference for dating their sexual partners. They’re not really interested in hooking up, and when they do, it’s usually with someone they know and have some sense of connection to. As college senior Derek explained to me about his one and only hookup experience, it “had more meaning to it because it was emotional although we both knew that at the same time it was just once and nothing to take too seriously.” For the record, that hookup occurred with an ex-girlfriend.

Because romantic guys prefer to have some type of emotional connection with their sexual partners, they’re also the guys who might acknowledge some regret about having a random hookup.

Romantics don’t have a lot of partners, dating or sexual. For them, it’s an average of about one per year.

There’s no one place where you’re most likely to find them, except maybe work or school. Although you’ll find them at bars/parties/etc., “meat markets” aren’t really their thing, so they might not be having a good time or they might not start a conversation with you.

Most guys are romantics. Some of them lack the confidence to ask someone out or aren’t good at reading the non-verbal signals women use to send interest instead of asking a guy out. Many of them get labeled as nice guys and compared to bad boys. As a result, these guys can easily end up in the Friendzone.

If you’re not sure which category you – or the guy you’re interested in – fits into and you don’t know about his sexual experiences, here are some things to think about. If the guy…

  • seems very confident, cocky, or egotistical during his interactions with you-as-potential-partner, he’s a Casanova.
  • is mostly focused on your looks, he’s a Casanova.
  • is lying to you, he’s a Casanova.
  • spontaneously and somewhat regularly mentions god or god’s will, he’s religious.
  • seems moderately unsure of himself, nervous, or like he’s not sure if he’s making a good impression, he’s romantic.
  • experiences moments of conversational silence, awkward or otherwise, he’s a romantic.

Good luck. I hope this short guide helps you find what you want.

Andrew Smiler, PhD is a therapist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the author of “Challenging Casanova: Beyond the stereotype of promiscuous young male sexuality”. 

This piece was originally posted at The Good Men Project.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Guys Are Getting More Romantic
Guys Just Wanna Have Relationships?
Guys: Romantic? Or Just Want One Thing?

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on January 6, 2014, in men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 73 Comments.

  1. This was a very interesting post to read, I’m not sure what initially interested me in this post, but I am glad it did.
    I can honestly say that I have been, at one time or another, all three of these guys. In middle school and the beginning of high school I was the “Religious” type, then I entered a relationship that I thought was serious, and when that ended after almost three years, I allowed myself to turn into the “Casanovas” type. I think the reason why I avoided commitment was mainly because I was afraid to get hurt again, but when a “summer fling” turned into more, I rapidly became a romantic. Initially I was solely interested in a sexual relationship, nothing more. But I rapidly began to fall in love with her, and three months into me and her “hooking up” I asked her to be my girlfriend. That was three years ago and we just got our first apartment together one month ago.

    I think that if a guy is a player, like the stats showed, it more than likely won’t last forever. I agree that the majority of men are romantic, whether they admit it or not, or at least they make an effort in being romantic.

  2. Conversationally I have many traits of a romantic in said places as I have to be where I can be myself or feel comfortable. But I have the outgoing ness, charm and flirting ability as a Casanova. I’m not cocky outwardly or like that way, but have or can have a cockiness to my humor that I know how to blend. Like theses a month mix of wit with the cocky humor, like slight smartassery ha. But not much as I often find people who are too much smart ass as obnoxious or if they aren’t funny as they think it gets annoying.

  3. very well put article and right on point.As a guy i can totally everything that was mentioned in the article.For example ,i do not consider myself to be good at relationships and never enjoyed being in a relationship for more than two months .my intention is almost not always about only hooking up unless its i’m traveling or any similar situation where we both agree that this on causal ,but i always find myself getting board after two months .part of me has come to believe that i’m just meant for relationships ,they are just not my thing .Some people say that the reason behind this behavior is that i just have not meet the right one yet so i’m not sure which theory is correct ,well i guess time shall give me the answer .i guess in the beginning of every relationships i had been into , i always knew in the back of my head that this is not going to work which probably effected they way i behaved in those relationships but there was only one i relationships i wish i had realized that this was not going to be like any other girl i had dated prior to to this one .unfortunately it was too late for me to realized what she truly meant to me .So Andrew is right even guys who are not usually fans of relationships ,do look find being in a relationships as a nice change and and can as devoted and carrying as the rest of guys .now i that look at comment ,i realized that i have shared very personal stuff about my dating history lol but it does not matter because i’m truly forcing this moment on being a better person .

  4. Growing up in different culture things have been different from my points of view. In fact, in my culture people tend to tell if a man is responsible if he has a wife and children and can provide for them. In my mind, it is already clear that I don’t have to play and at the opposite settle down which is great. But this can also lead to bad things. Instead of looking for love you look fro a woman just to please everybody. There is too much pressure on both sides to find love and be happy. especially for women. In my culture, it can be okay to have sex without the close circle of marriage if you are a man. I mean by that, that everybody knows what everybody does without really talking about it. But for women, it is really different. In fact, they don’t have to show that they are having sex if they have sex before mairage.

  5. Britney Fratus-White

    This reminds me of those quizzes we used to play as young teenagers that we all in those awful teen magazines. I loved reading it just like I did then. I think it was really interesting that the author did not include more than three types guys. In my experience I have dated all three. “Casanovas,” as the author puts it, are the absolute worst. They are players and typically only wanted me for my body rather than any form of romantic connection. My relationship with the so called “religious” man was also really bad. My ex-boyfriend ended up leaving me to better his relationship with God. My current relationship is with a so-called “romantic” and it is honestly one of the best and most well-connected relationships I have ever been in.

  6. Michelle Staufenbiel

    During the holidays a few of my family members and I sat down together and had one of our random debates that eventually lead to the topic of “Hooking up” and having a casual partner with no strings attached. My Aunt expressed her sympathy for the younger generation including my generation that no longer dates, but instead seems to “hook up.” This family discussion reminded me of the Casanovas of the world. It lead me to ponder, are the number of Casanova’s out there increasing while the Romantics of the world are slowly disappearing, or at least on break for a while? My brother who is in high school, has told me constantly how everybody or nearly the majority of his classmates start out their relationships with casual hook ups, that will eventually turn into a relationship or sizzle out. I have casually hooked up with a few boys and it never worked out in my favor. I now, know I prefer to start out my relationships with communicating that I do not want to “hook up”, I want to date, and then go from there.

  7. This post was so informative. I have always seen a pattern of the guys I dated and never really understood why they all fell under the “Casanova” category. I guess I just unconsciously gravitate over to them because it is all I have been encountering and they are the only ones who would talk to me? I don’t like it and I am currently in a failing relationship with one now. I knew there was nothing to come out of it and after figuring out that I won’t have a thriving and loving relationship I am just killing time with him. I noticed that he compulsively lies (although he doesn’t need to because some of the questions are not that important), he has had quite a number of partners (he said he has used condoms with them except a serious ex-girlfriend), and he is pretty much a jerk. I can see why I do harbor some feelings (less than before) and it is because I feel that he is seeking out something in his life that he doesn’t know himself. HE seems confused and frustrated and I don’t know why but I don’t feel that I have the tolerance for him to even stick around for long. I feel bad being with him because I feel kind of sorry for him, I mean I do kind of care though. Also because, ironically, he said to me once that he is self conscious about his looks (how strong he is), how people see him, and about being used. Maybe he feels like crud and treats others like that so he can feel better? I might just pursue a psychology major now. Hahaha.

  8. So based on what I’ve read, I’m a romantic guy. I’m not sure if romantic is a right word since I’m not quite romantic. I don’t feel the need of getting girls, I just let things go naturally. If I find the girl that make me love her. I’ll go for it. As I mentioned, it looks like a nice guy like me often be friendzoned but I don’t care much. I just have a simple thinking, go for it, tell her whatever I feel about her even I fail I wont regret. There is nothing to regret since I haven’t owned her so I can’t “lose” her anyway. If she doesn’t like me, she will just gently walk out of my life or I will walk out of her way. So overall, the categories are pretty accurate about types of men. In addition, it’s also true about every guy wants to have a relationship rather than one night stand. I know a guy that he was too nice and got turned down by many girls. Then he acted like a player and got tons of girls just for fun and just to revenge for women for turning him down when he was a nice guy. All those 3 categories have a link somehow, like before being the players, some men were a good guys.

  9. As I’m a girl, I am curious about “how guys think about sex and dating.” After I read the blog, I found the three interesting element; “Casanovas”, “Religious” and “Romantics.” I hope all guys have romantics, which have a strong preference for dating their sexual partners, but It’s just my hope. It is not going to be true. Since All girls are passive when they are having sex, I guess it s scares me that players are less likely than other guys to use condoms. I do have really strong opinion that all guys have to wear condoms to protect from pregnancy.

  10. This article is actually really thought provoking for me. I guess perhaps it’s just how the media portray guys it seems like most guys in college are casanovas.Well I guess that’s the stereotype of what guys are like in college. However I’m discovering that more guys are actually Religious or Romantic. Perhaps it’s simply because I don’t go to bars to meet guys so I’m straying away from the casanovas. Through out this quarter I noticed that more guys were actually saving themselves for someone special or marriage. Partly for religious reasons and personal morals. Which for me was not something i guess i expected from guys. I think because the media portray them in a certain way that it makes us, the viewers, believe that it must be true for the majority of the people. But in today’s society I guess it’s more okay for guys to not be really masculine so they’re not all trying to get laid. However I think it’s pretty funny how a way to know where the guys fit is to know how many sexual partners they’ve had. Which I suppose isn’t a normal question to be ask in a regular conversation.

  11. I am very glad that I read this because I really have a problem distinguishing if a guy wants a relationship or if he is just interested in having sex. Most of the men I have dated were in the Casanova category because that is what I am used to. If I interact with a romantic or religious man, I feel like he is being too nice, or he has a hidden agenda which ultimately puts him into the friend zone. Also sometimes certain men can fit into more than one category as well, which is why women typically fall for them. There can be an extremely romantic Casanova that really wants a relationship. I feel like it all depends on how you react to the men at how they are going to perceive you.

  12. I think that some of these classifications of men – as mates – rely on several generalizations that can easily cloud one’s judgment., but to be fair a man should not be called a player. But, like you stated, it takes all kinds. Ultimately, these stereotypes can be applied to women and men, but remain just that: stereotypes.

    That’s not to say that there is no truth to these. My husband very clearly fits into the Religious category. But I have had ex-boyfriends and male friends who developed from one of these to another, and I think there comes a point where each can change (if necessary or desired). It saddens me how often we (women) blame ourselves for being “incapable” of inspiring a Cassanova to become a Romantic, when this change has to happen organically.

    • There’s a difference between social patterns and stereotypes.

      Social patterns are picked up in social research, and this researcher found three broad patterns as he studied men and their sex/dating habits. Might there be some individual variation? Sure. That doesn’t mean these basic patterns don’t exist. Based on my own experience, I have known all these types of men.

      The funny thing is, his point is to break the stereotype that all men are players.

      Stereotypes imply that everyone in the group is the same way and that the trait is biologically-based. Social patterns look for broad similarities, do not believe that everyone in the group is the same (not all men are players, for instance) or that the trait is biologically-based. Some social influence is affecting it.

  13. Yesenia Guerrero

    I feel like there almost has to be more than just the Casanova, religious and the romantic. I was seeing someone for four years and our relationship was very normal. We would do the average stuff when people are getting two know one another. (watch a movie, dinner, drinks) We would see each other at least three times a week at least and somehow he just became distant. I’m not sure what happened and to be honest we remain friends but until this day I cannot get around the courage to ask. He does fit the mold of the Casanova but he wasn’t always like that so I feel there has to be more to it. Thanks for the informative blog. Very interesting.☺

  14. I found this blog to bd very informative for myself in my younger years. If only I had been able to read this post then. I was raised by a very religious aunt and a very promiscuous and party going mother. I was so very confused as to how sex and relationships would fit into my life to say the least. I had one telling me I would forever be tarnished if I even thought about a man and the other bouncing around from man to man. When I finally decided to date I went after all the wrong ones. Now that I read this blog I find that I gave a lot of my time as a young woman to a man that was a cassanova. He had be at the palm of his hands and he was so smooth about everything. I was too afraid to listen to my gut because I thought I “loved” him. I found out later down the line and now that i am reading this post that he was not the one for me.

  15. Reading this has opened my eyes and makes me think about all the friends I’ve had in the “friend zone”. As a women or at least for me I never really put much thought into the different type of guys that are out there and what they want. When I think of guys I just think of the players and the good guys. The part about guys who are romantics was very informative. But having a guy who is very close to me as a friend would scare me to think of him having feelings for me other then just as a friend. I think we like having the nice guys in our friend zone because it’s safe and we can always go to them after the “player” break our hearts. I really enjoy reading all of your blog posts!

  16. This blog reminded me a lot of the different friends I had growing up, people I’ve dated and my current boyfriend. I couldn’t find this to be more true. I completely agree with the Casanova statement about how they are more likely to cheat although they do care and like the person they are with, they aren’t committed to them. I don’t believe they will be like that forever, but until they want to stop being that person, I’ve usually heard “I’m just having my fun for now”, unfortunately the whole condom thing is very true and for some reason these people seem to think they are immune to such STDs or aren’t educated enough to really care about the consequences. I don’t have any religious friends but I do have some who do want to wait for marriage to have sex, not because they are told to but they just want to save their self for that special person which is highly respectable, it doesn’t mean the girl has to be a virgin herself, but I think in those cases they have a better chance if they are one. I consider my boyfriend a romantic. He was very shy when we first met and although I knew he liked me, he respected me and made it clear that his goal was getting to know me, not get into my pants. I think it’s unfair in some cases where if a male makes a compliment or does something nice for a girl, we usually label them as creeps, or they are all players. I’ve seen too many women complain about not being able to find the right guy yet a lot of the time they are right in front of you, as this blog says, they’re usually friend zoned

  17. Finally! I hate being labeled as a man who wants sex over romance more than anything. I won’t rant, you could probably imagine what I would have said if I did. I do appreciate the understanding, this is all very true. It’s not all about sex, as simple as that.

  18. There’s a price to pay being a player and sometimes why promiscuity is or can be risky even for men. You say how it’s stupid for players to not wear condoms, which it is. But I think they don’t because overconfidence and feeling immune and because of the fact that condoms do suck. A lot of men aren’t comfortable wearing them and they do lessen a man’s sensation as far as feeing with sex. But it’s still not enough of a reason to not wear condoms as the consequences are too big to not wear condoms. But condoms don’t do everything though to the person above.People seem to think condoms make them immune or they can be just randomly have sex with anybody or as many without their being a chance of consequences. People forget that condoms don’t prevent herpes, which is one of the worst stds because its uncurable. People can still get herpes even if using condoms, Don’t forget mono from making out with a bunch of random chicks, that’s not something to take lightly either,.

  19. Reading this article, reminds me of my brothers and other men in my African community. My brother was a player who was betrothed to a woman in other country. He loved her, but that didn’t stop him from cheating until she came to America and they were officially married. Then he became a loving, doting husband. Just like the comments said above, these different characteristics and stereotypes of men tend to overlap. Reading the article, I found it pretty surprising that players are the ones who tended not to wear condoms. My impression from the commercials I see on TV such as men asking their roommates for a condom or a mother finding a big box of condoms in her son’s room was not a realistic representation of how guys actually are. I guess I’m just a little naive in these type of matters.

  20. Mei Yan Anson Lui

    I really learn something from this blog and I am sharing the same ideas as you. “It doesn’t make sense to me, but players are less likely than other guys to use condoms.” I think this is the responsibility of men though some of them are players. I am totally agree with you that it doesn’t make sense at all! Condoms is like a safety guard while intercourse, for example, saving us from having sexually transmitted diseases, unexpected pregnancies, and means don’t have to worry. I believe the usage of condoms are much more important to players as they usually don’t want to take the responsibilities after sleeping with a girl. I strongly recommend players should always bring condoms along.

  21. Very nice posting. While I was reading it, there were some guys coming up in my mind. I was thinking, who would fit into which category the whole time. Also, I realized that I tend to fall in love with one of the romantics guy. I think it is always fun to hang out with the Casanovas because they are usually easy to talk to, and they know how to entertain girls. It is maybe because they hang out a lot, and they do not hesitate to talk to girls, even when they meet them for the first time. As I enjoy the conversation with those guys, I feel they will be nice not only to me but also to every other girl. I want to be someone special to him, if I have a relationship. Therefore, I would date with the Romantic type.

  22. I have always thought that a guy can apply to three of these types throughout their life time. The religious type can be when a male is in his pre-teen years, where parents are a huge influence (especially the time where they explain about the birds and the bees). The Casanovas are usually around the ages of late teens until around late 20’s. This is the time where they are single and can have as much fun as they please before they consider about finding “the one”. The Romantics can be when the person has had enough fun with multiple partners, and is ready to settle down.

    One of my friends had told me “Males are all the same. It’s just varies through each person how honest they are. They all think the same”. For example, two guys who both want to engage in sexual intercourse with a girl, but only one of them is honest enough to tell her that he’s into her. This concept can be applied to every man, but I still do believe that all guys are different and it really depends on their personality and what their priorities are.

    • There are individual differences, and there are also social patterns. And this article may simplify things, leaving out the nuances compared with his book. Maybe I’ll check out his book sometime.

  23. Nice post! I guess it would be perfect if there’s a 3types-in-1guy. As i usually talk to my younger sister about boys. We both agree that there’s always something truly attractive from “bad boys”. They tend to draw girl’s attention more than any others. And if we girls date them, we all want them to be romantic ones. Well, it’s kinda hard to turn the casanova into the romantic. But it’s not so hard if the romantic has some “casanova”, right ?! Lastly, combining those two with the religious, we would have the relationship full of romance, adventure & respect. Girls want no more than that :).

  24. I do believe the categories can over lap or maybe one can lead to the other and the other and so forth. However, in my personal experience I have been mostly on the category of the romantic. I was never very religious, spiritual yes, but not religious and therefore, although I strongly respect people who think that way, I never saw the necessity of giving too much importance of saving one’s body until marriage. I always felt that when love is involved and it’s mutual that is all that is needed in order to give one’s self to another person. Also the idea of the “Casanova” (Again I respect everyone’s choices) always seemed so overwhelming. For example, trying hard to impress a woman by exposing over confidence, having as only goal to sleep with her without the intention of getting to know her or even seeing her again sounds exhausting and wrong. I believe intimacy is far more interesting and fulfilling that just plain sex. Also, we live in a society that tends to praise more that life style and we often fail to realize that this is part of the reason why we might be less likely to respect women. This is not to say that women do not have a saying if they participate in encounters like this and it’s only up to the man, of course not, because women have the absolute right to do this as well, however when this happens we judge men and women different. For the most part, society encourages and praises this life style in men and tends to be very judgmental to women.

  25. I find this to be somewhat true but also somewhat false. I do not think any one person man or woman fall in to one specific category of a so called “dating type.” For example there are many men that I know who go to church and speak all about god, but as soon as a woman gives them a chance in the bed room they pounce on it. Also one of my best friends who is male is the sweetest guy I know. He is shy, kind, and loveable. He has manors and opens doors for you and compliments girls. He has not had a lot of girlfriends, but he loves to hook-up. I also knew a guy from high school that was the biggest player I have ever met. He now has a girlfriend and has never cheated on her. I guess it took one girl to set him straight. Anyways what I’m trying to say is you can never judge a book by its cover. Also can you honestly say you fall under one specific category yourself? I think everyone is a mix of different types. It just depends on the person, situation, and who you are with.

  26. I absolutely love this article yet there are some parts I don’t agree with myself but none the less this is brilliant. Meeting men at clubs or bars is not a wise idea. Its crazy, because women meet these men then are dumbfounded and upset when don’t get a call or text the next morning or evening a week later. And like you said this is classic Casanova status. And as many men that are out there like this you would think women would learn. But we learn from mistakes right? Or say they do date a Casanova, its always lie after lie but yet women stay. Now that doesn’t mean that a Casanova couldn’t settle down with one women and be truly happy.

    The thing I disagree with is the condom part. I have many friends who seem to me to be Casanovas (unfortunate I know) but they would tell me they would rather use a condom to keep being a Casanova. They wouldn’t have to worry about kids ( or most likely on their part child support) and they wouldn’t have to worry about STDs, or their health.

    Other than that this blog is on point.

    • Makes sense to me that many Casanovas would use condoms. I’m glad that’s true of those you know. But people tend to think that everyone is similar to the people they know, and part of social research is to find out what is most common out in the world, and not just among those we know.

  27. Some guys fall between those categories. He can be Casanova with most women, but then he may meet a woman that he really falls in love with.

    What would the categories be for women?

    • Don’t know. Haven’t seen any research. More punished for being Casanovaish (slut-shamed) and more repressed so less likely for that reason. But I grew up in a very conservative religion and it seemed to me that plenty of those women would’ve fit into the” religious” category. I imagine most women are romantics, like men. But this research inspired me to survey my own students on the three categories. (I substituted the term hook up for Casanova, since the word is masculine.) I had them rank each on a scale of 1 to 10– How much they felt they fit the category. I asked what they found appealing and unappealing about the category they most identified with. And I asked them if they felt they didn’t fit any of the three. I’ll survey a few more classes and then analyze the data.

  28. This definitely has some truth in it, but also consider that a lot of guys don’t fall into one particular discrete category. A “casanova” isn’t always a compulsive lier, but may be honest about his intentions despite them being superficial. There also not necessarily any conflict between a romantic and a casanova. A guy may be a player until he finds a woman to fall in love with and chooses to have fun until he finds her. Also, I’d say you have a category in between namely guys choosing to have “friends with benefits”, typically relationships that have more substance than casual flings, but less than a “full fledged” romantic one.

    You also have romantic guys that are confident in themselves but don’t want casual hookups and at last guys who “fake it until they make it” that appear to be more confident than they really are. From a guy’s perspective it’s often necessary to put some belief in yourself on the pedestal in order to attract the woman of your choice. I’m not saying it’s the most honest method, but with the risk of ending up friendzoned I can understand their perspective.

    I do of course understand that this is based on generalized research but it would be interesting to see the variance between these strictly defined categories.

    • Yes. See my replies above. This article actually motivated me to survey my class on some of your questions. Because I had them too. Maybe I should get his book. Maybe he’s got more discussion of the nuances there.

  29. This one right here, was my favorite. Only because it’s true how there’s the different type of guys when it comes to sex and dating. What kills me is why can’t there just be “one”…the lover. Which is not on the list of course. It’s so hard nowadays to even try and figure out what type of guy you’re dating. I mainly meet the Mr. Casanova, where he’s just so into himself. Is it just me or could a be a target?

  30. nice post. I liked how this particular person list all the traits and character’s of each type(player,religious,romantic). My only concern is that I don’t think all guys fit just one of these three categories because one could be religious and romantic at the same time (speaking from experience). What I’m trying to say is that guys should’nt be labeled under one particular category cause well I believe us guys can successfully change from one category to another or have share traits from different categories.
    In my dating experience I fit under the religious category because I only dated girls I know from my church because I knew that we both share the importance of marriage before sex and all that good stuff. At the same time I kind of fit into the romantic category because yes I dated outside of my church as well and experienced those so-called romantic traits and at the end I became just a “friend”.

    • I agree. I have also dated religious guys who also seemed romantic. Even one Casanova type seemed to be a mix . But as I told someone else, I surveyed my students on the topic last week because I was curious to get at some of the subtleties. Since I survey both women and men I use the term “hook up” instead of Casanova, since he was a guy. Of course, I’m asking women to comment on research that was developed while studying men. But I also ask students to talk about whether they felt like none of the categories fit them. I’ll be interested to see the responses. I haven’t taken a look at them yet.

  31. Alexandra Apfelzweig

    Thanks for posting!
    I found this post to be both informative but also somewhat presumptuous. I work in a busy bar in the Russian Hill district of San Francisco and I see perfect examples of each of the men you’ve listed above on a daily basis. I also see examples of all the guys you didn’t lump into one category. I think that age has a lot to do with how these guys are labeled. I have plenty of regular patrons who act like confident Casanovas but don’t go home with anyone at the end of the night. I also see a lot of guys in groups, and they always act differently when they’re with a bunch of men they feel comfortable around. I think it’s important to look for the signs you’ve outlined but also, don’t judge someone until you at least try and get to know them. I think that cheating is increases when the number of opportunities to cheat increases.

    • Presumptuous is an interesting word. Of course, the piece is based on research that’s looking for broad patterns. I assume there are a lot of nuances involved, including guys who may not fit any of the above. Perhaps his book covers more of the nuance and variation. But just yesterday I decided to give my students a survey asking them how closely they fit into the three categories and if they saw themselves as not fitting into any of them. I haven’t looked at what they wrote yet.

      Thanks for your perspective.

  32. great blog:-) And Yes not all men want sex out of their relationships. Even they need emotional support the way a woman would need. Cheers 🙂

  33. when depressed, I’m more yearning a relationship. I guess when upset or sad, there’s more of a desire to be around or with someone you care about or love which makes sense for me wanting a relationship during such time.

    It’s kind of like when sick or not feeling well there’s a natural human desire or tendency to want someone that loves you to be there and help take care of you. That isn’t happening if with a friend with benefit. Some people like to be left alone when sick, but others like comfort and love and affection.

  34. Claudia De La Cruz

    A close friend once asked me what would I rather have, having sex with my partner not loving each other or just love my partner unconditionally without having sex. It was a tough question for me but I answered the obvious to have a partner and love each other unconditionally and actually have something serious with him. Not only to have sex because that gets boring you have nothing else to do if he doesn’t “love” you he wont take you out or do anything together I’ve been through it we were together for a year but it wasn’t love. The friend that asked me the question it’s not a religious guy, that’s one of the reasons the question surprised me because now a day the guys I’ve heard and know of just want sex. I don’t mind a religious guy they make me see everything differently and think about what have I done wrong. Yes I would have like to wait until my marriage and give my all to my future husband but things happen for a reason. Now I always think to myself if the person that loves me, wants to marry me and it’s a virgin will accept me as I am (Not being a virgin).

    • Well, it’s good to have friends who pose thought-provoking questions. Lucky for you, by the time a guy wants to get married there probably won’t be a big choice of virgins.

  35. And there is guy like me, not interested on sex or dating, Just being single and living life doing a lot of thing not related to sex 🙂

  36. Dear Agony Aunt 😉 Now I’m confused. Signed: Confused 😉 hehe

  37. I’m tempted to lump my previous (bad) relationships into the Casanova category but I do wonder if there’s an additional category to add… something like “predatory.”

    • Maybe. Or maybe extreme Casanovas are predatory? Or maybe these guys youre talking about are abusers and abusers aren’t a group that this guy is talking about, sticking to more normal guys.

  38. I’ve found out that there is definitely a difference in how a guy behaves when he is ready for a relationship and when he just wants to have fun. I think it’s an important distinction- and if we can remember to be more aware of that then it is easier to distinguish where a guy is at and if his wants/needs coincide with ours (rather than wasting time trying to get someone who isn’t available for a relationship to change his mind/taking it personally)

    • Yes, women who want relationships can get together with romantics or religious guys, as best fits her. Those who just wanna have no-strings fun can get with the Casanovas.

  39. Yes I think there is definitely overlap though I’ve never been the religious person or that way toward sex, but can be either casanova or romantice depending on my mood and minset and what’s going on with my life. Sometimes there’s a conflict and seeing the pros and cons of both. Sometimes I just want to have fun and don’t care if I’m just hooking up even it could be like a player and other times I get sensitive and want to be affectionate and be with someone I love. This seems more likely when I’m a little depressed or sad or something takes me in the past of a relationship or I see a girl whose really pretty and cute and nice and it brings out such thoughts.

  40. Great blog! I grew up in a non-religious home and my mother encouraged me to be promiscuous. My father and mother were both virgins when they got married and apparently that mutual lack of experience turned out to be a disaster for them, They divorced when I was 12 years old. My mother thought it was important for a guy to be sexually skilled. Well, by the time I got married at 28 years of age, I had had sex with well over 200 different women. The woman I chose to marry does not like sex (go figure) and that led to our separation 15 years later. My kids (2 sons) have always attended private Christian schools and that has been amazing for them. My oldest son (17 years old) is very religious and he says he wants to be a virgin when he gets married. I am glad he feels that way because I sure don’t want my kids doing many of the things I did growing up. I guess my kids are in the “Religious Guy” category. I think that is the best category to be in. I am and always have been a combination of the 3 categories you mentioned above. I share traits from all these categories equally. I believe that many men may share traits from 2 or 3 different categories you mention in the blog. However, I do believe and have been told that I am quite a paradox of a man because I am equally the “Casanova”, “Religious” and “Romantic”.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. Makes sense, based on my own experience, that there can be some overlaps.

      I have been with all three types — casanovas only because I didn’t recognize them at first. Having grown up in a very conservative religion, my earliest, and most prevalent experiences were with religious guys. There’s a lot I admire about them. But my faves are the romantics.

  41. Very informative! Thanks for posting.

  1. Pingback: I’m The Casanova | Female Gazing

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