Why Guys Think They Almost Got Laid

A man with Marian, the librarian

A man with Marian, the librarian

You walk into the library and there is an attractive woman behind the counter. You check out books or get a library card and you dare to “connect” with the librarian by chatting a bit about something other than books.

Ladies and gentlemen, believe it or not, in this scenario, the guy might think that he just almost had sex. He thinks that he not only could have her but that he almost did. That isn’t, of course, how the librarian probably views it. She is just doing her job.

That’s Male Sexuality Myth # 3 as Jerry Stocking described it at The Good Men Project. Jerry’s a spirituality author and blogger who helps people eliminate fear, stress and worry. He thinks Myth #3 distracts from reality and real relationships. 

I’m not sure why some men believe this. Maybe they are a little like one of my old boyfriends.

My past lover-in-question would get unusually distracted by women with certain attributes, shall we say? And I was none too pleased at disappearing as the heavenly bodies overtook him.

As we discussed it, along with how he could overcome the inane behavior, I began to see what was happening in his mind. As he focused on them, complemented them and began conversations, he was actually trying to “create connection” in an act of “virtual sex” — or so he thought.

I doubt they thought so.

ogling 19th CTurns out, the behavior began after he’d heard this: Men get turned on by sexy women; women get turned on by being found sexy.

So he thought his ogling was arousing them. Instead of annoying them. (Lost in La La Land he never seemed to notice their actual reactions.)

Here’s what is true about what he’d heard: The more turned on a woman thinks her lover is, the more turned on she tends to get. That happens in the context of relationship, not random gawkers.

Unfortunately, he had interpreted the truism in exactly the wrong way. He thought he was “turning on” strangers and that the behavior had no effect on my interest in him.

Yet his behavior made me lose interest.

So yeah, it does distract from reality and real relationships.

Jerry Stocking continued,

Notice, guys, how often you get laid and how often you think you almost got laid. The math of these two, if you will pardon the expression, is out of whack.

Guys, relax; notice your sexual energy. Stop directing it toward librarians, random women in the grocery store, life guards and women on TV. Really.

Keeping and then flowing sexual energy within will have you be happier, healthier and more satisfied. It will also make it more likely that you can satisfy the women in your life.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Is Your Partner’s Ogling a Turn-Off?
Men Finding Fewer Women “Porn-Worthy”

Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?

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 May 12, 2014, in men, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. Do you all have agree with eachother? Such absolutes. So..be honest, how many of you ladies actually did go on to have sex with someone who you met thru a chance meeting and flirty conversation? By reading this – the answer is ZERO. Be honest, jeez. Men may think this because it does happen “once in a while,” and its a pleasant thought.

    • You really think that because a librarian or a waitress talks to a man he can take that as meaning she wants to sleep with him? Odd. (My women students were surprised to learn that some men interpret the interactions that way, and it made them uncomfortable since it’s a huge misreading of them simply doing their job.)

  2. I didn’t realize the myth of males thinking they almost had sex if they engage in a conversation with a woman that they interpret as more than friendly. However, after thinking more about it, I feel like I have a better understanding of my role in those encounters. When talking to male and female friends, they would say I am too friendly or that males cannot tell if I am flirting or not. This made me think that I was leading the men on in these types of conversations but it could be that just more often then not, it is the men who have the wrong idea. Maybe I am not the only other woman who has thought “maybe I am sending the wrong message, just by being happy and engaged in a conversation” as opposed to questioning whether men have faulty expectations.

    • I’m sure you are far from alone. But I don’t think women need to burn themselves by watching their every move, And putting themselves into straitjacket. Instead, a lot of guys need to realize that women just probably aren’t thinking the same thing they are.

  3. This could actually be a pretty serious topic. Yet, I think it’s funny. Assuming no objectifying happens — no sex, no violence, no entitlement, no feeling superiority — it’s…cute? I wouldn’t like it either if my boyfriend were trying to turn on other women, but the idea that he might think by conversing with them, he is getting close to being in bed with them is amusing. I’m not trying to sound condescending in any way. I’m not trying to strip anyone of his manliness by saying this. It’s just that the idea is pretty crazy. What’s the big deal with getting laid anyway? Actually, how tied to a man’s self-esteem is the question of whether or not people want to sleep with him? In any case, it would make much more sense if he thought he was close to getting her number– which I think would suggest a little less superficiality. Just a little. At least you have to talk to them again before intercourse.

    • Even though I was annoyed, I also think it’s kind of funny. And yes, even cute in it’s own way. So long as I’m not with him, anyway.

      I’ve noticed that the guys are split. Some think it’s crazy, but others can identify and admit to doing it, themselves. All the women are surprised to find out that guys do this.

  4. This reminds me of one of my old guy friends who used to be fairly close to me back in high school and he would always talk to me about girls he would ogle. If a girl so much as looked back at him he would get excited and ask me if I thought she wanted it. It was all very immature and disturbing to hear and needless to say, we’re not friends anymore. I can only hope that he’s grown up a bit more since then.

  5. When men talk to women often times i think they have a skewed idea of what we like to hear/what we think when we are talking to them. Its always awesome to have a connection with another person, whether youve just met them or not. However, that connection might not be the connection men think it is. Often, ive had deep, personal conversations with many guys and it didn’t mean I was turned on or wanted him…instead we were having a deep emotional connection which men need to realize is very different from attraction (physical or not). Its flattering and all but sometimes I wonder when men are thinking like this…are they even listening to what I have to say or are they just attempting to get into my pants by going along with the conversation.

  6. I can definitely agree with this phenomenon, of almost getting laid with every “connection” because I can see/find this as a truth even within my own social group, including myself . However I disagree with the mans understanding of a women being more turned on by her partners arousal. I feel like it could be based more on thee fact that you are connecting with a complete stranger at basically, a moments notice and it is almost surreal. However no matter the mans intentions and the possible outcome, i think it also plays an incredible role in our self-esteem. Especially in a biological sense because then you can walk away from this interaction with the confidence of, in theory, having your cake but not eating it. In other words the possibility of having sex at that moment gives you a higher sense of being a “Manly Man”, and it improves your confidence, falsely. Which men including myself need at times.

  7. I just read another article that reminded me of this one, the article quoted comedian Louis C.K. and his observation of how women reject men, “where he recalls watching a man and a woman walking together on a date. “He goes to kiss her, and she does an amazing thing that women somehow learn how to do—she hugged him very warmly. Men think this is affection, but what this is is a boxing maneuver.” Women “are better at rejecting us than we are,” C.K. said. “They have the skills to reject men in the way that we can then not kill them.”” Of course, not suggesting it’s so extreme as to avoid being killed, but the example of the librarian being polite made me think of how common place that situation is, a lot of women whether they’re at work or on a date, etc. may be put in a position where they feel they can not be out right rude, and have to humor the person who may actually be annoying them or making them uncomfortable. I wonder if by humoring the men who do this along, we kind of encourage or allow this behavior to continue because the guy doesn’t experience rejection (i.e. thinks he “almost got laid”) and/or feels that he can get away with being disrespectful. It also goes with your article on kindness, though I think, especially in customer service jobs, it’s really difficult to stand up for yourself because there’s this expectation to always be kind and polite despite what the customer is saying.
    this is the article I got the quote from http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/05/_yesallwomen_in_the_wake_of_elliot_rodger_why_it_s_so_hard_for_men_to_recognize.html

  8. As unrealistic as this may seem to be this is so true. Guys somehow think they are always going to get women to have sex with them.. Unfortunately that is not the case. Just because a woman is talkative with the man does not mean that he almost got her to have sex with him. The librarian and that man was a perfect example. She probably was just doing her job as a librarian which does include talking about books and what they are about. But of course since she was talking back to him he assumed that if he got her to hang out with him or something that she would have had sex with him. But I highly doubt her mind was thinking that way at all. I don’t exactly know why guys think that just because a pretty woman talks back at them or even smiles that they think they just got laid. Honestly, I think that is kind of stupid, because many women talk back to guys. Even I have long conversations with guys sometimes, that does not mean that I want to have sex with them. That is not what I am thinking at all, I am trying to be nice to guys and talk to them.

  9. Your post reminds me of two books I read that both had implicit undertones, so you could miss them if you didn’t look carefully. The first one was found in Judy Blume’s novel called Fudge-a-Mania. The protagonist walks into the library and sees a replacement worker at the counter. The second scenario is a little more different. Basically, girls tend to be very affectionate, using pet-name-like words and stuff, and this puts a man to falsely believe that she loves him when she actually doesn’t.

  10. I’m not sure what happened to my initial comment and can’t bother to write it all up again, but here was the essence:

    I don’t think this is as black and white as genuin interest always being unwelcome. Believe it or not, sometimes you do experience mutual connection even with your local librarian, and sometimes you may spawn a date from that. The second point was that men doesn’t always put more into it than a casual, flirty conversation. No, the goal of every guy is not always to get laid. Sometimes it’s just casual interest and a flirty conversation.

    • Well, I didn’t mean for it to be read in a black-and-white way. And I only said that some guys do it– Not all. And of course there are times when there is mutual interest. Otherwise women and men would never get together.

  11. DeAnna Hooker

    I feel that this is very wrong. I know men like to think that they have women like that but they really don’t. For example, the women in the example and the guy. She is a librarian and she is just doing her job, she doesn’t want him or probably doesn’t even think of him like that. I would have to say from experience, I have had guys try and talk to me about something like homework and they want to say “oh yeah i talked to her before” when in reality all i was doing was being nice. I did not find anything in him that i liked. Men get really confused and their theory is wrong. A guy should not get his hopes up by trying to talk to a girl in a different way and thinking that they could get her because he really can’t get her.

  12. Honestly I see this more and more everyday mostly when I’m working. I feel that sometimes when guys make eye contact, its like they are penetrating into your soul purposely to make the opposite sex feel uncomfortable. Also during a conversation, when a women give a response in any type of way, just because she has now engaged in the conversation, the man thinks that she is now ‘easy’ because he got her to have an interest. Now he thinks he has scored and can say anything to take her home, when in reality she is just stating her opinion like every other human. Just because she is a women there is not always messages where there is reading between the lines during these conversations. They are to make a point. Men just blow things out of portion from what they really are to make them feel good about their sexual life.

  13. This is certainly an interesting topic. The example of the Librarian with the guy truly happens. I noticed the special “fantasy” of guys after I experienced the similar thing.
    I was working in a restaurant before, and sometimes random guy would start talking to me, so I had to reply because I was just trying to be polite, but before I even know it, guys would give me notes with their number on it and ask me to call them. I was pretty pissed cause I feel a lack of respect in this kind of actions. But my male boss would laugh at me and saying because I was giving them the wrong attention that It was partially my fault. Now this feels really disturbing, and I believe a lot of girls had the similar experience where they were just trying to be nice but guys always take it the wrong way.
    So this article does explain some of the reasons that guys always take things the way they wanted it to be. And it’s actually quite funny to see how guys rather understand things their own than walk out their fantasy of “almost got laid”.

  14. norimasa0311

    This is a really interesting content because we can notice this situation in the real life. Maybe, the ogling in that way can sometimes be successful. However I also think that method to fascinate women or strangers is usually failure. The biggest difference between men’s thoughts and women’s thoughts is that men often do not understand how and when women feel sexy or attracted to them. Therefore, the situation, which men try to get connection with the strangers like the librarian can happen a lot. I think we should know how come they feel happier or satisfied when they want to have a connection with others.

  15. An interesting article which brings out a few realities. May I share a small anecdote in a lighter vein to say that women often times can see through the male’s quite easily?

    “On a flight a Guy asked a beautiful lady sitting next to him:
    “Nice perfume ..
    which one is that? ???? “I want to gift it to my wife”.
    Lady replied :
    Don’t give it to her …Some idiot will find an excuse to talk to her.

    Cheers 🙂

  16. I didn’t realize this was a thing. It just sounds immature to me. I feel like it’d get annoying real quick.

    • I hadn’t realized it was a thing until I read this article about myths that a lot of men believe. I just thought that this old boyfriend was really weird. And yes, it did get annoying real quick.

  17. This post could relate to the post “who falls in love faster?”

  18. Interesting article. Guys really think way ahead. !

  19. he might be a creep or sex addict ha, i don’t know

  20. Hayley Epstein

    This post is very interesting and relatable to real life situations. It reminds me of something I learned in a film called “The Science of Sex Appeal”. In the film, they discuss the different ways that men and women treat one another, and the huge misunderstandings which often occur. They used speed dating as an example, and showed that women often treated men that they were interested and men that they were not interested in the same way ( this applies to initial flirty situations). Women would often tilt their head to the side, and make it so that their eyes were looking up at the men. They would smile, touch their hair, etc. After the event, men and women were asked whether or not they enjoyed their time and whether or not they would come back. It turns out that the women were very dissatisfied with the men that they met, and did not want to come back. However, the men felt that they did very well and planned to return. I think this is so interesting as it relates to your post, I can’t believe that men and women are constantly interacting with one another, and men don’t figure out, over time, that women are not necessarily interested in them because they exchanged a few smiles!

    • Yes, I saw this study or one like it. Turned out, the more attracted the men were to the women, the more attracted the men thought the women were to them.

      • This could be because of biologically and evolutionary reasons.
        If men didn’t overestimate women’s interest in them, they would pursue them less thus less procreation possibilities.
        But men overestimating women’s interest in them, gives them motive to initiate more and pursue women thus more procreation possibilities.
        It’s similar to the fact that “women can be friends with men but men can’t be friends with women”.

      • I doubt it’s evolutionary because it doesn’t actually cause men to procreate. It just causes them to be annoying, and not then not procreate.

        Guys like that don’t actually have sex with any of those women. And then they lose the ability to have sex with the women they WERE with.

      • http://torontosnumber1datedoctor.com/blog/how-men-overestimate-womens-interest/

        More likely, there’s an evolutionary reason that men are hypersensitive to a woman’s signs—whether smiling at you, laughing at your jokes, or even wearing a red dress. When it comes to evolution, reproduction is key. You are better off overestimating a woman’s interest than missing out on a chance to have more children.


      • Unless you get discouraged by rejection and give up entirely. That would be really bad for reproducing your genes.

        One of the things I find most interesting about evolutionary psychology is that it almost always justifies Western men’s behavior, whatever it is. Sometimes that ends up hurting women, and sometimes it doesn’t. So men are just naturally promiscuous, You can’t blame them. But women had better watch themselves and be monogamous because that’s how they are supposed to be.

        As I mentioned to someone else recently,

        You can take pretty much anything that exists in society and come up with some so-called evolutionary reason why it makes sense. Even when the reasons contradict themselves. Here are just a small sampling of contradictory theories that have been put forth in evolutionary psychology:

        In societies where women are more (apparently) monogamous: Women are monogamous because they are picky and want the man with the best genes.

        In societies where women are not monogamous: Women have sex with lots of men — an orgy, in fact — and let the best sperm win.

        More contradictions:

        In societies where women are more monogamous: Women are monogamous because they need a man to stick around and provide resources so her children will survive.

        In societies where men sleep around: men best reproduce by spreading their seed widely.

        But if these men’s children don’t survive because the men aren’t sticking around to provide resources, how are the children going to survive?

        Another contradiction: men can’t be promiscuous if women are monogamous. The math doesn’t work.

  21. If someone thinks that they almost had sex when that is not the case, apart from being strange, that seems like a delusional disorder to me.

  22. Very interesting to know that this is what some guys might be thinking when they are doing the ogling- which can sometimes have the opposite effect. Also, sex aside, interesting how some might perceive a moment of personal connection into something else. I’ve had that happen where someone will say, “we have this connection…” and really, yes, it was a connection but it was a moment of connecting rather than something bigger.

  23. A lot of clueless guy’s do this. Keeping and flowing sexual energy within will have a man happier and more satisfied? Well not if he’s not getting laid. It’s hard to stay happy for a man if he’s on a dry spell for quite sometime, as then that sexual energy might be overflowing from not releasing that sexual energy and horniness. Masturbation helps, but it can suck.

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