Friday, August 21, 2009

Myth 7: “The Woman Should Be the One to Initiate Any Touching”

I’ll admit that this is very tricky for men. It would make things much easier if women were the ones who did all the initiating. A woman can pretty much count on any given man being willing to kiss her and/or have sex with her, so she risks very little in the way of rejection by being the first to propose this.

On the other hand, a man can not assume that any given woman will want to kiss him (much less have sex with him). In fact, he should assume she doesn’t want to sleep with him.

But he should try to kiss her. How are you going to know unless you try? (I guess you could ask but, geez, where’s the passion in that?)

It’s a crappy deal for men. You’re the ones who are more likely to get rejected and yet you will often have to be the initiator of the first kiss. It may be backward, sexist, stupid and unfair but the fact remains that most of the time, the man has to lean in first. You may get slapped, you may get a cheek instead of lips. Then again, she might kiss you back.

No, it does not matter whether you know if she’s interested or not. You will never be certain enough. It will not be obvious to you that she wants you to kiss her. There are signs, sure. And she may even be the one to lean in first. But don’t assume she ever will. She’s not playing games (stay tuned for Myth Eleven) or even just being coy. Like you, she wants to know you’re interested. I know, I know, I said a woman is guaranteed to be kissed back. But most women don’t know that or they don’t believe it in that precise moment.

Another word of warning: if a woman does touch you first (hug you, kiss you, etc.), it does not mean she wants to have sex with you or bear your children. Geeks can over-interpret female touch. Because she hugs you doesn’t even mean she ever wants to see you again. Some women hug everyone.

The advice. Try to kiss her.

Up next: Myth Eight, “Women are a different species”


  1. Spot on. Please allow me to add some details about touching and signs leading up to the (potential) kiss.

    There's touching and then there's TOUCHING. Light contact with a hand or an elbow can be a good way for a guy to make a connection with a woman as he's talking to her. If it's casual, it can be a good barometer of how the woman feels (did she recoil like she was shocked? Did she smile when the touch was made?)

    Fun stuff. Both the touching and the blog. :)

  2. I think this is reasonable advice for your audience - potentially shy geeks.

    But in a different context I'd offer the exact same advice for women; make the first move if you're interested in someone. Be willing to risk rejection for the potential rewards.

    I also take issue with the general statement that women can predict a man's response to such an overture. I and plenty of men I know are not willing to engage in a physical relationship with every (or even most) women who show interest.

  3. Excellent points. Another clue she's interested: pupil dilation--just be sure that she isn’t a drug addict or, if she is, that she's a heroine addict since heroin doesn't dilate the pupils...

  4. Women should absolutely take the risks too.

    Of course there are plenty of men who aren't open to a physical relationship with just anyone, but I do think it's easier for a heterosexual woman to find someone to sleep with her than it is for her male counterpart.

  5. Definitely good advice. Us guys have to just go for it or nothing will EVER happen. (Barring those rare and precious girls forward enough to initiate things, anyway.)

    A friend told me long ago that a girl will touch you if she's interested in you physically. A high five after a good game is, of course, not what I'm talking about here. An interested girl will touch a guy often, for seemingly no reason at all and even at times when it seems weird to do so.

    If you're wondering what that hug, tap, etc was for, you're probably good to go. Don't go jumping her bones or anything, but you're pretty safe to go in for a kiss. After all, if she's not interested you can rest easy that the signs were all there so there was no reason not to try.

    There are a myriad of other signs of interest a girl can give as well, but I'll see if Elizabeth plans on covering those later.