I have a lovely single friend who graciously allows me to enjoy vicariously her romantic exploits (and gave permission for me to discuss this topic here). She’s a hottie who is not afraid to (very safely) explore her wild side, and she’s ticked off a number of conquests that are on my fantasy list (e.g., bike messenger, guitarist in a rock and roll band, various other sullen slacker stereotypes). The other day she was recounting to me a romp with someone new, and remarked that this fellow was unusual in that he’d asked specific permission to proceed at every step along the primrose path. Although she certainly appreciated his courteousness, this had the effect of interrupting the momentum somewhat. It wasn’t as if he was asking to do anything freaky, she pointed out. It was more that he seemed to be expecting her to call a halt to the proceedings at any moment, and was surprised (though grateful) that she did not. And come to think of it, many of the men she’d enjoyed had displayed a similar “Wow! What a wonderful surprise!” reaction to her favors. Which made her start to wonder if she is unusual. Do most people call a halt before going All the Way? And if so, when? And for crying out loud, why?
I was of no help here, because I’ve encountered a similar “surprised but happy conquest” situation a number of times (including with TrophyHusband). I have never started making out with a guy without following the experience through to what I believe to be its natural conclusion. This is because I would never swap spit with someone I was not willing to swap other bodily fluids with (or pretend to—condoms always, everybody!). So we got to wondering, are we easy? Or are we overly picky? Do lots of people make out with someone they aren’t that into, or do lots of people hold back even when they’re hot for someone?
We went to the closest authority for more information: TrophyHusband. As a man who is very experienced in the ways of the swinging single world, we figured he’d have a reasonable sample size to be able to give an opinion. The question we posed to him was: “Did most of the women you made out with ask you to stop at some point?” (His sample being limited to women.)
His answer was a rueful “Oh yeah.” He was unable to put a number on it (years have past since those times, after all), but estimated that it was certainly the majority of the time. He said that where things were halted varied widely, though there was perhaps an above-the-waist/ below-the-waist trend. He had no answer to the why question; he said no one ever explained, they just said, “Okay, that’s enough!”
So, are my friend and I roundheels, or prudes? For those of you who don’t finish what you start, why? And what makes you decide when to stop?