Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Dave: Sleazing the Moment

It’s that When Harry Met Sally moment (no, the other one), your attractive female friend has recently been dumped and looks to you for comforting words and a shoulder to cry on. As the alcohol flows, she opens up to you. Tales of regret. How to ease her pain she’s slept with a couple of his friends and couple of their friends too yet, aside from a moment’s satisfaction she feels even colder and more lonely for having done so. Emotion runs high; honesty pours out. It was just sex, and never any good because it was for the wrong reasons (you need reasons?). And between hiccups and teary smiles she holds you tightly, showering you with compliments (for the first time since you’ve known her).

Even without having listened to her confessions, you know the flirting is born from misery and the fact she can no longer see straight. And if you’re truly honest with yourself, the vulnerability may even act as a stimulus, however ashamed you are to admit it. On the one hand it’s your responsibility to restrain yourself for the sake of not only your friendship but for the altruistic feeling of really caring for this person. On the other you get to shag a really hot woman, without the burden of having to impress.

But a tidal wave of questions crashes around your head. Would she regret the encounter? Possibly. Despite initiating the proceedings would she consider that you took advantage of her? Probably. Or ironically, should you do the gentlemanly thing and get her home safely with what’s left of her virtue intact, might the feeling of rejection be too much for her to bear coming from somebody she knows and trusts? Typically.

Do you seize the moment, accepting her advances at face value, pleading ignorance of valour and foresight? Would it not be incredibly patronising to presume you know what’s best for her? And are you desperately trying to convince yourself that there’ll only be a positive outcome from boning your dejected comatose companion?

The greatest quandary is dealing with perceiving yourself as the sleazy shyster you’ve warned all your female friends, your sister, and ten year old niece about. What’s worse? That your melancholy friend may view you thusly or to see yourself in such a light? Though in terms of rationalising the situation, would it be even worse to pass up what could be a one off opportunity? I suppose the answer depends upon the length of the dry patch you’re having. A nice clinical conclusion to a moral dilemma.


Anna said...

Well written and thought-provoking.

The problem with taking advantage of a drunk woman, aside from those listed here, is that you then have to explain to yourself that that's the kind of guy you are. That's not an easy conversation to have with yourself.

single student said...

A well balanced arguement, but personally I would like to think that given the same situation the guy would either bring me home, sit up chatting with me, or fall asleep together.

That way the next morning she'll see how much you respect her, and who knows after realising what a decent guy you are, something could happen when shes sober!

It's a bit of a hollow victory if you can only have a hot woman if she's drunk and emotionally vulnerable.

TheRose said...

"That way the next morning she'll see how much you respect her, and who knows after realising what a decent guy you are, something could happen when shes sober!

Yep, that's right - she'll realise that you're a good, true, decent friend. And as such she will never, ever, even for a moment consider sleeping with you again.

Although you will probably have a friend for life.

Swings, roundabouts.

(Incidentally, my experience and that of friends is that there's a significant chance of you ending up in a relationship with her if you do shag her. Which may, of course, be rebound-tastic or just shit. Or it may last for the rest of your lives. This stuff, it be complicated.)

Anonymous said...

This is so exactly what happened to me last night! Diference being that I am the dumped girl, and could really use some rebound sex... I have a close friend with a crush on me, so I was really tempted.
My view on this: talk about it. Just say you'd love to have sex with her (she'll feel flattered) but are afraid to take advantage of her (she'll think you're a heroic and decent guy). Then let her decide... no regrets in the morning either way.
Outcome last night? I felt like I would be taking advantage of him, so we decided not to.

Anonymous said...

This post almost killed me, literally. I got a piece of biscuit stuck in my throat from laughing so hard at the conclusion.

butterflywings said...


"And are you desperately trying to convince yourself that there’ll only be a positive outcome from boning your dejected comatose companion?"
Er, if she is drunk enough to be comatose...that's not just sleazy and wrong...that's rape.

I doubt you actually meant that you would consider doing that, at least I hope so...but sorry, men really do need to think about what they are saying in that situation. There could be someone reading who thinks, ha, anything goes.

That said: "drunk" does not = "too drunk to consent". I am NOT for a moment saying that should either party consume more than 2 units of alcohol, it is rape.

Sometimes people want a comfort shag. Not nice, but true.

"Would it not be incredibly patronising to presume you know what’s best for her?"
Possibly, yes. I think a lot of this is the "nice girls don't really want sex, especially not casual somewhat drunken sex" thing, therefore she couldn't possibly mean it.
I am reminded of Friends, when Rachel wanted sex after her dad died and Ross refused...she just felt patronised and rejected.

The question is: be sure she really does mean it (and isn't THAT drunk).

"The greatest quandary is dealing with perceiving yourself as the sleazy shyster..." etc. Yes. It's about the guy's self perception. Personally, if a guy had enough self-respect and self-control not to just take any "tired and emotional" offer of sex...*because* he didn't want to see himself as that sort of man...I'd have a lot more respect for him. And yes, something might happen later.

butterflywings said...

Actually, I think annon 12.06 put it better.

Anonymous said...

but sometimes you really want the sex, but don't want to actually ask for it... it's arkward enough contemplating rebound/comfort sex with a friend... plus having been dumped you feel pretty low. you want to be offered sex!

actually this whole situation is too complicated and individual, there are so many ways it could go... on the one hand you want the support of your friend and for people to still find you attractive/desirable, but on the other hand you're vunerable and confused, and you don't know what you want...

in any case, it sounds like a lot of people have been in this situation which is pretty reassuring i guess

Ismael said...

Slight difference in one of my experiences.

I had a female friend, who for some reason showed up drunk around me one day. I don't know if she had gotten dumped or what the reason was, and I'll get to that.

Anyway, she THREW herself at me, quite literally, and started kissing me. I didn't want to take advantage of her so I put a stop to it, found one of her friends and had her sober her up. (I had work and couldn't stay.)

The next day rolls around and she confronts me about rejecting her. I explain how it didn't feel right with her under the influence, as she was, but it doesn't go over well. Next thing you know, she and I aren't on speaking terms anymore. Which is why I never found out why she had gotten hammered in the first place.

It's a strange thing because that's the way I always imagine myself acting in that situation, regardless of which female friend is in that place. On this occasion things just happened to go sour.

I think part of it is the rebound factor. Another part is reevaluating current relationships. There might be actual feelings behind the drunken flirting.

Bottom line, I'm completely confused by women.

Silicon Limey said...

As are many of us at times Anon.

It's difficult to generalise but generally the polite decline is the way to go.

The problem is if you're both been knocking back the wine hand over fist then rational decisions are harder. Having a woman who, as a friend you already have an emotional connection with (albeit a slightly different one), ask for sex can be difficult to turn down.

Luckily I've never been in this position but I wonder how rational we would all be when the top comes off the fourth bottle.

That said, if she's really very drunk then it's an red flag, waved by someone dressed in scarlet on a vermilion platform.

Anonymous said...

I'm a girl. Been in that position MANY times. That stuff about "permanent friend territory" is bullshit anyhow.

Here's what she *needs* (don't pay attention to what your friend "wants") something like:

Physical affection and an ego boost. She's used to getting that through sex. So I offer you:

1) A snuggle with *maybe* a tinge of sexual tension. And yes, the man MUST be big spoon. Light groping, always accidental.

2) You to act as wingman so she can do someone else.

3) Plenty of flirtation with nothing coming of it. Buy her a drink. (Just make her feel sexxxy... but don't take up any offers.) Take her back and play video games or watch awkward movies until she falls asleep. (Also preemptively give her pyjamas before she comes out in nothing but underwear. You KNOW resistance if futile then.)

4) Wrestling. I'm serious. Something goofy. Steal a shoe. Physical contact, affection... it's all good, but just not sexual.

I've had amazing romances and friendships with the guys who've opted for this. Even with the ones who've sprung boners (and stayed friends or become boyfriends later.)

As I discovered, if the boner sitch gets too obvious, whispering, "Your grandma on the toilet; George bush on the pot, etc." with no prelude to explain still gets the message across. Except once, a friend got me back by saying, "Man you're going to make it harder now!" *gross*

Michael Anderson said...

If she wants to have sex with you and you want to have sex with her, then you should do it. Sex is fun.

I think you've got to realise that she's an adult and is perfectly capable of making (and being responsible for) her own decisions.

Let the morning take care of itself. If you truly were really good friends beforehand, then you'll stay friends afterwards.

Anonymous said...

The other thing to consider is that she may have gotten drunk so that she has an excuse for throwing herself at you, at which point maybe go for it (judge the situation first)

In any case, complete rejection is always a bad idea, because she probably feels low anyway; snuggling, light flirting, or watching a film together is preferable: basically if you care about her, then look after her :)

(& make time for her!)