Why Men Pull a Disappearing Act After Sex
Many of you have done it.
It’s been a while since you’ve “gotten some.” You met the cute guy from the (pick-your-favorite) app. And he has some good text game.
Suddenly, you’re in his car, making out like you haven’t been touched since last winter.
You feel hands everywhere.
Before you know it, he’s in your place taking off your clothes.
A little faster than you wanted, but you go with it.
You never hear from him again.
He pulls a disappearing act that even Harry Houdini would approve of (albeit, grudgingly).
So, what happened?
Men are such assholes, you quip to a best friend over coffee.
But does that tell the whole story?
I don’t think so.
I was on a date recently.
We followed the scenario up to the car scene.
Foggy windows, Titanic-esque.
Then she said:
Let’s slow this train down.
That usually doesn’t happen to me.
And I was totally cool with it. We actually shared a really lovely evening, with great conversation, poetry and a fair amount of heavily fermented grapes.
For a good part of my adult life (going back a few years), the formula was pretty simple:
2) make-out somewhere
3) go back to her place (or mine)
5) have a nice life
I am totally kidding. I would never do that!
Or… would I?
What you have to understand is that most men probably don’t enter these scenarios with the intention of going M.I.A. after.
Here’s what I think is going on:
We just met you.
We had sex.
Sex is (more) intimate for you, but not necessarily for us.
Then, you expect the physical connection to translate to the emotional department.
But it doesn’t.
I can’t speak for all men, but I think I’ll speak for quite a few with this next statement:
We were never really that intimate with you (even though we just had sex). And, now, the idea of seeing you again means confronting the major disconnect between where we **actually are** and where we feel we **should be** in our connection with you.
To put it another way:
We don’t know you. And to see you will just put a big spotlight on that.
In a word: we’re terrified!
Because we, men, aren’t trained to be vulnerable; to let someone in. You let us in, physically and maybe otherwise, but we don’t have to do the same.
There is a false sense of intimacy that’s created by having sex off-the-bat with someone you barely know. On one hand, you’ve just shared this very intimate experience. (I mean, you just got naked with another human being!) But on the other hand, the greater connection beyond the physical has hardly been broached.
So, was it really that intimate after all?
Yes… and no.
So, feeling this chasm, we exit stage left rather than go through the awkwardness of fumbling through the dissonance we feel inside.
(Yes… we feel… lol.)
Now, back to my story:
We had made it to the making-out part, and she put the brakes on just as things were getting heated up!
And I’m glad she did—because I probably wouldn’t have. (Because, truth be told, I haven’t been touched since last winter, either.)
Yes, yes… we can talk about how men can participate in slowing things down, too–and I won’t disagree. But whether we chalk it up to extra testosterone or the lack of real repercussions for men (i.e., that we can’t get pregnant), it’s just often not as big of a deal for men to have disconnected sex–and then disappear.
Now, that might be exactly what you’re hoping for, and if so, kudos!
You do you.
But for those of you wondering where and why men disappear after having sex on a first date, I hope maybe this sheds a little light.
My new friend and I developed the beginnings of real intimacy because we didn’t have sex. And, we can now continue to get to know each other as friends or more.
I do want to submit this crucial piece of evidence:
We did not meet online. We met “irl,” as the kids say. And, for me, there’s a HUGE difference when you get to meet someone naturally and organically vs. meeting their online avatar first.
Maybe it’s an excuse, maybe it’s simple biology, maybe it’s conditioning…
I find myself giving more care and respect to someone I met in real life than I do with someone I “met” online.
Is it fair? No.
Am I proud of it? No.
Am I working to change it?
But it’s a process. It has shown up in the past as being more self-centered; i.e., wanting to get my physical needs met without caring too much about her needs.
At the risk of sounding like this is up to women to spearhead (pun definitely not intended), if they want something different, I’ll say this:
it is up to you–
if that’s important to you.
For my date, it WAS important–and so she made sure to go no further than what felt right. You could do the same.
Notice if there’s a variation of the feeling but that’s not fair! popping up.
It is what it is.
Until men get more connected, emotionally, and until it becomes more socially acceptable–not just acceptable, mind you, but preferred–for men to express feelings and vulnerability without being emasculated because of it, it will continue to be a thing.
Men don’t feel safe in this terrain… yet. And that’s unfortunate.
But little by little, by talking about it, by respecting ourselves first, by knowing what works for us and what doesn’t, and by supporting men who take emotional risks, we can experience more of what we want–and less of what we don’t want.