Control Tower

With Women and Sex, Not Everything Goes—Thankfully

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Picture this: A straight guy is arriving at his first sex-positive social event. Maybe it's a swing party, or a BDSM play party, or even just an educational demo for a sexual technique. He walks up to the door thinking, "Woo-hoo! This where I'm gonna find me some wild women! These hot-to-trot babes in here, they got no rules! They'll do anything, anybody, all the time, no questions asked!"

You know how this is going to go already, don't you? Right. He meets with freezing rejection at best, and he may be escorted out of the event altogether. I've seen this happen often, so let me break this to you gently, boys: There are still rules. No matter if she's a swinger, a kinkster, polyamorous, or just a free-loving rebel, no woman accepts every man who asks to be granted access to her body—or even most. You must understand that even the most erotically adventurous woman has what I call her sexual LCCs: limits, conditions, and consequences.

True, I have met women who tried to hide the fact that they had LCCs, so as not to seem uptight. Ladies, that's a mistake. Many guys—especially when you're talking to them online—love the idea of a woman who has sex without any LCCs. (One reason why some heterosexual men are fascinated by lesbian sex is because, to them, it seems utterly without any LCCs.)

But speaking as a woman who's been mistakenly perceived as being sans LCCs, I can tell you: In real life, it often makes men uneasy. A smart guy will sense, correctly, that such a situation is too good to be true, and get... nervous. So trust me, girls, even if you're already mentally undressing him—the sex will be better if you make it clear there are some qualifications he has to meet.

All the talk about rules might sound depressing to you guys. But LCCs aren't necessarily bad. Let's say a woman goes to a swing party. Her limit, for example, might be something like "I don't want to have anal sex." Her condition: "Anyone I have sex with has to use condoms." And her consequence: "My bus stops running early, so if I stay late to play with someone, he needs to drive me home." It's merely a question of finding sexually adventurous women with LCCs that work with your own expectations.

Limits, conditions, and consequences around sex are a feature of our gender, so bemoaning it and looking for LCC-free women is a waste of time. We might enjoy the idea of that as a fantasy. But a woman of sexual experience knows the difference between I'm having a fantasy and I'm really here, pulling down my panties for you. If you just want the fantasy, stay at the keyboard. If you want her panties off in real world, you have to know the rules. recommended


Comments (15) RSS

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Siruya 1
I wish this column didn't have such a small word limit. There's so much more that should be said here...

Good column, though.
Posted by Siruya on August 25, 2010 at 1:51 PM · Report this
Danrilor 2
This is a great column, as much an instruction as the answer to a specific question.
If men seem intimidated by women with either no or few LCCs it is because women do not always realize the raw, incredible sexual power they have. Men do not want them to know it either. This is a big reason why going to any dating site is an episode in futility, with women hopelessly overwhelmed by thousands of e-mails from hundreds of men who will never get a response, much less an initiation of contact. Morover, I do not think that either men or women are particularly good at articulating their rules to their potential partners since they are so busy trying to impress them (as well they should)
Posted by Danrilor on August 25, 2010 at 10:00 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 3
Oh yeah, straight men are universally clueless. Even when it's a slow week in the old brain of Matisse, she can still find a few drops in that well.
Posted by kitschnsync on August 26, 2010 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Interesting that use of the word "Thankfully" in the title. I wonder what that really means?
Posted by James Early on August 26, 2010 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Why are LCC's only a female trait? Don't men have them, too?
Posted by Leigh Sabio on August 26, 2010 at 4:01 PM · Report this
mixy 6
I think men have the LCCs... but it seems like the kink and swinging communities really thrive only if women specifically are made to feel comfortable and free of pressure to do stuff. Good point though @5
Posted by mixy on August 26, 2010 at 4:34 PM · Report this
A male LCC was already implied when MM specified "a *straight* man" :). But I expect womens' LCC's are more likely to become explicit issues. Just consider vanilla dating: it's expected that the man approach the woman. So if I'm attracted to woman A (who is not attracted to me) and not attracted to woman B (who is attracted to me), I won't approach B and my limit will never be an issue. But I might approach A, and in that case her limit would become an issue. I imagine that this is redoubled in sex-positive events that admit single straight men. I expect the ratio of men to women at such events is rather unbalanced.
Posted by Old Crow on August 26, 2010 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Right, not to mention walking into a sex positive event does not entitle you to getting whatever you like the way walking in to Costco entitles you to free samples. There is less bullshit and pretense, but you still have to brush your fucking teeth and not be a douche.
Posted by anne77 on August 28, 2010 at 7:25 PM · Report this
It's because stupid straight men (and by no means am I talking about all straight men here) have that slut/nice girl dichotomy drummed into them. So any slut, of course, is into and up for anything...
Posted by melbzig on August 30, 2010 at 4:04 AM · Report this
This column was completely pointless. What happened to Matisse?
Posted by DirtyLibertarian on August 30, 2010 at 1:08 PM · Report this
As I guy I'd like to add a related point: I've never met a guy who didn't also have some limits. And, if any of you do, you might want to avoid sleeping with him...
Posted by Geeky Sex on August 31, 2010 at 1:50 PM · Report this
sorry, i don't know the term LCC, what does it mean?
Posted by irisblue on August 31, 2010 at 2:21 PM · Report this
@12 Um, it's explained in the article.

I'm fairly certain this whole LCC thing applies in particular to straight drunk guys. For instance, if I happen to be standing in front of you and talking to you, it does not give you license to touch, kiss, or stick your hand up my dress, especially after I've told you I'm engaged. This is not a contest of "Let's see if I can f*ck her before she gets married" but a clear way of telling you I an NOT interested. If I wanted to f*ck you, I wouldn't be wearing a ring or telling you about it, I would be all over you. See the difference? And yes, I know plenty of straight guys who do not turn into horny a-holes when inebriated, but this is not for them, because they are already in the loop.
Posted by handstoyourself on September 1, 2010 at 10:14 AM · Report this
@kitschnsync Matisse will pretty obviously write almost anything to get a column up to, what, her limit of 500 words? Just be thankful she's not using the tired old bad-email & bad-phone call shticks.....
Posted by olderwithmoreinsurace on September 2, 2010 at 3:46 PM · Report this
I can so relate to this! In my case, it's when guys find out I'm poly. As sex positive as I am, and as supportive as I am of other people's freedom, my own love life is pretty traditional (except for the part where I love more than one person).

I've had guys think that being poly made me easy and get disappointed when they were not correct. Some guys thought I was "slutty" (whatever that meant to them), and backed off the romantic interest. Then when they got to know me for who I am, realized that they were still interested.
Posted by Brie on September 4, 2010 at 11:27 PM · Report this

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