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AskMeFi Story
June 24, 2010 8:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a story about a person who slept with their best friend who was having trouble finding a woman, but regretted it because the friend lost their confidence as a result. It was in askmefi.
posted by biochemist to MetaFilter-Related at 8:52 PM (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Time frame?
posted by carsonb at 8:59 PM on June 24, 2010


I think this post is it, from a user who wanted to remain anonymous.
posted by kate blank at 8:59 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was it - thanks!
posted by biochemist at 9:06 PM on June 24, 2010


My short-term memory is getting so bad that by the time I got to the end of that comment I had forgotten the "[This is a response from an anonymous answerer.]" intro, and I was convinced that cortex was the person who'd had sex with the virginal friend.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:14 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


All my most heavily favorited askme answers are detail proxy comments from other people who want to remain anonymous. Makes my comment history a pretty dramatic read and, yeah, god help me when it comes to the skimmers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:33 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow, what an awful story. It actually seems pretty sleazy to me; she apparently slept with this guy who she thinks she cares about, but she's so dissociated and disconnected from him that she looks down on him in pity.

The lesson of that story doesn't seem to be "only sleep with people you really love;" it's "pity sex is the cruelest thing you can do to a person." If you're going to sleep with someone, at least have the decency to respect them while you're doing it. I'm pretty certain that what destroyed that guy wasn't the fact that he didn't have a "bond" with the first woman he slept with; it was that the first woman he slept with couldn't muster any kind of respect for him, and that she didn't even have the decency to hide that fact from him.

Also: if it were really true that sexual health and well-being are predicated upon making sure that your first time is with someone who has some kind of vague love-commitment-type relationship, it seems like almost all of us would be well and truly fucked. Seriously, if that's the case, I might as well give up right now. This woman might not realize it, but it's possible to have loving, caring, tender sex with someone you're not planning on spending your whole life with.
posted by koeselitz at 10:47 PM on June 24, 2010


Now I give in to curiosity and reset my profile so I can check how many favorites that comment has - 124? Yeesh. Guess I missed something.
posted by koeselitz at 10:49 PM on June 24, 2010


And, once again, thank god that internet fraud detective squad was there. Seriously, she's swell, and in the back of my mind I knew she'd have a great answer to this question.
posted by koeselitz at 10:54 PM on June 24, 2010


hmm. It sounded to me that she really did care about him, was honestly trying to help, and it just backfired. I didn't get the sense that she looked down on him, but that she was sad about the outcome.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:58 PM on June 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


What are you talking about, koeselitz?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:18 PM on June 24, 2010


"pity sex is the cruelest thing you can do to a person."

I once scooped out a man's eyes, filled the empty sockets with flesh-devouring beetles, and then sewed them shut. I then set his house on fire with his family locked inside, so that he could hear their screams as they burned.

Still, that was nothing compared to the torment that I experienced when one of my friends said "sorry you're going through a rough patch; here's a drink and a shag."

People can be so heartless.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:25 PM on June 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


My short-term memory is getting so bad ...

It has got to go into short-term before it can go into long term.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 11:56 PM on June 24, 2010


Also: if it were really true that sexual health and well-being are predicated upon making sure that your first time is with someone who has some kind of vague love-commitment-type relationship, it seems like almost all of us would be well and truly fucked.

Heh, that reads in two completely opposite ways.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:01 AM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I don't exactly read that he lost his confidence because he was thrown a pity fuck. He never had any in the first place.

People can be so heartless.

I like the part where you made up stuff to try to prove a point
posted by P.o.B. at 1:25 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's not making stuff up. It's a fallacy of misleading vividness.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:31 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty certain that what destroyed that guy wasn't the fact that he didn't have a "bond" with the first woman he slept with; it was that the first woman he slept with couldn't muster any kind of respect for him, and that she didn't even have the decency to hide that fact from him.

Not to quarrel with you, but a continuation of the same "never kissed, never slept with a woman" with a one-time blip in the middle isn't really a destruction.

I think most people who are virgins at nearly 40 have the same hangups (about their lack of experience and how noone will want to deal with that) and his only difference is that he's one-off from being a virgin. The same thing would've happened if he had've visited a prostitute, like he talked about.

If you think there are self-confident 40-year-old virgins who want but can't find a partner, you are kidding yourself.
posted by Hiker at 5:42 AM on June 25, 2010


hmm. It sounded to me that she really did care about him, was honestly trying to help, and it just backfired. I didn't get the sense that she looked down on him, but that she was sad about the outcome.

Yes, that was what I took from the story, too. Fascinating story, and I appreciate her sharing it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:32 AM on June 25, 2010


Well, like I said, maybe I missed something. I think I was just reacting to the old "sex is only good in the context of an actual, long-term relationship; all other sex is bad and unfulfilling" trope that seems strong in that comment. Also, the fact that the person telling the story sees the guy as pathetic and sad, and clearly pities him, leaves a bad taste in my mouth; seems like a friend can have sex with a friend without feeling that way about him. The implication that all sex workers spend their time pitying and looking down on the people who pay them for sex wasn't really very nice, either.

I don't know, though.
posted by koeselitz at 7:37 AM on June 25, 2010


All my most heavily favorited askme answers are detail proxy comments from other people who want to remain anonymous.

cortex, couldn't you guys create an account called something like "anonymous-followup" and post from that? Am I missing a downside to this idea, or solving a problem that doesn't exist?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:10 AM on June 25, 2010


cortex, couldn't you guys create an account called something like "anonymous-followup" and post from that? Am I missing a downside to this idea, or solving a problem that doesn't exist?

We could in theory, but it hasn't seemed important. I joke about my commenting history up there but it's not something I actually worry about, and with the current method there is at least a very clear path to asking what went down in the very unlikely case that there's some sort of administrative issue that proceeds from one of those. So, mostly a Ain't Broke situation.

I think I was just reacting to the old "sex is only good in the context of an actual, long-term relationship; all other sex is bad and unfulfilling" trope that seems strong in that comment.

My impression at the time was more that the comment was a "sex isn't a silver bullet" story; person x is hurting, person y wants to help, the idea that helping could take the form of a sexual encounter gets put into action, but it doesn't actually help after all, and afterward person x is still hurting and person y feels bad about the whole thing.

In other words, the comment is by and large not about the sex at all; it's more a data point from someone who was part of the "helping = sex" variation of a much more general "helping = n" situation, telling their story to help provide the context that sex isn't any more of a magic bullet, or any more insured against backfiring, than any other sort of quick-fix solution to someone's ongoing problems.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:20 AM on June 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


So many people who have never spoken to a sex-worker in their life (knowingly, at least) are experts on sex work!

For what it's worth, the comment cracked me up something fierce, because it was an answer to a question about hiring a sex worker, but it was not about hiring a sex worker, and it included this:

"He talked often about paying for sex, and I didn't think that was a good idea. "

Then went on to detail how things went really wrong with free sex, but apparently, paid sex is still not a good idea, because...free sex with this particular commenter in this particular situation didn't work out.

Lots of dunning-kreuger effect in that question.

aww, thanks koeselitz
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:28 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about this story all day, since seeing this post last night. I agree with cortex that the message is "sex isn't a silver bullet," and that's definitely a message I agree with. And I can also see how this experience left the guy off just as bad as before, if not worse. But the funny thing is, I've known people who've had essentially the same plan as the anonymous commenter, and achieved the desired result (or an approximation thereof). What's the difference?
posted by roll truck roll at 10:19 AM on June 25, 2010


If you think there are self-confident 40-year-old virgins who want but can't find a partner, you are kidding yourself.

What about high standards? Intimacy issues? People who are crippled or severely deformed, or just incredibly unattractive? What about a totally obnoxious personality? Foreigners who have no understanding of the culture and/or language? Really poor hygiene? What if you're homeless?
posted by naju at 11:21 AM on June 25, 2010


Self-confidence overcomes or makes most of those issues non-starters.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:26 PM on June 25, 2010


If you have self-confidence, you will have guaranteed sex? That sounds a little off to me.
posted by koeselitz at 12:35 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Self confidence, combined with honesty abut who you are, who you aren't, and what you're looking for, does an awful lot.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:42 PM on June 25, 2010


If you think there are self-confident 40-year-old virgins who want but can't find a partner, you are kidding yourself.

Actually I had a friend who was in and out of the hospital starting in his teens and going until college. He was normal, attractive and otherwise well adjusted. He flirted with girls but was so deathly afraid of being bad in the sack that he never "closed the deals." I can sort of see this, as he sort of expected every hookup to end in sex and he expected sex to start like, on a first date. We tried to tell him it doesn't work out that way and that he could drag it out until he got to know her better and know she wouldn't laugh him out of the bedroom ... at least at first (probably good advice in general).

Anyway he saved up and spent like ~$5k on prostitutes (over the course of several months, and the high end fancy pants escorts). He said they were very understanding and put him at ease, that after the first couple of times was able to pick up on the mechanics with ease. He just said he made sure to schedule a bunch in a row (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) so he wouldn't be super embarrassed and chicken out.

He was in his mid-20s when this happened but after that was in a string of serious relationships that seemed healthy and normal.

FWIW he was fairly self-aware of the experience and knew that the escorts were faking it and didn't have any delusions about his prowess. I guess there's probably more economical ways to get the mechanics down, but picking up drunk girls at bars in a series of awkward one night stands seems a little Patrick Batemen to me.
posted by geoff. at 1:14 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Also would be interesting to see if men ever revert back to pre-virginal awkwardness and how long that takes ...)
posted by geoff. at 1:17 PM on June 25, 2010


If you have self-confidence, you will have guaranteed sex?

If that was your intention, aside from logistics, what would stop you?

Self confidence, combined with honesty abut who you are, who you aren't

I've always understood that the first covers the other two.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:40 PM on June 25, 2010


This is a good time for a Herbert quote:

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn to the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

posted by P.o.B. at 1:45 PM on June 25, 2010


P.o.B.: "I've always understood that the first covers the other two."

Yeah, I guess you're right. I've known seemingly confident people who really don't know themselves very well, but I suppose that has a lot to do with how you define "confident."
posted by roll truck roll at 1:59 PM on June 25, 2010


Also, the fact that the person telling the story sees the guy as pathetic and sad, and clearly pities him, leaves a bad taste in my mouth

I've known a few people with this kind of crippling low self esteem and distorted view of them self. It is sad and pathetic and I do pity them. I don't mean that in a judgemental way either, they're really unhappy and in pain, generally for no good reason from the outside (these aren't bad people, just screwed up somehow), and I wish they weren't. No one wants their friends to be in pain so what's the alternative? Not feel bad that someone I care about is hurting so much? Tell them actually their situation is fine and not sad at all? It sucks to see an awesome person turn them self inside out with self loathing.

My reaction is to want to help them but I've always found this is impossible. You can't fix someone like this if they don't want to be fixed, external validation will never fill the hole. I'm not saying you drag them down or don't try, but there's only so many times you can reassure someone who doesn't believe you. And that's what this comment was about, not pity sex or prostitutes. Just that for some people the reason they're not having sex is much deeper rooted than just lack of opportunity and addressing those reasons is what needs to be done, just having sex won't help. For the guy asking the question it's worth thinking about whether this is true for his situation or not and going forward appropriately.

Also maybe I have really low standards but the idea that sex will always be bad to start with hasn't always held true for me either. It's not that difficult, most people can figure out what goes where pretty easily. So this whole idea that someone needs to practise before they're good enough to unleash on the world just seems weird to me. Sex is only a big deal if you make it one.

I thought about this and if I do have low standards then I'm actually good with that too, much better than the alternative.
posted by shelleycat at 4:28 PM on June 25, 2010


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