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Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:01 am

Six-month lay away

For my New Year’s resolution, I committed to not having sex for the first six months of the year and then another six months from whenever I start dating someone. I’ve never been good at waiting. In fact, the longest I have ever waited is a month and the shortest (and perhaps more typically) is a few hours. In early January, I met a guy, and I’ve been seeing him weekly, though I think I’m being friend-zoned. He is attracted to my polar opposite (short blondes) and has shown no sexual interest in me. Yet, we continue meeting up, and he even buys me dinner and drinks from time to time. Am I wasting my time, or is this how long-lasting, meaningful relationships start – as friends first? –Reformed But Confused

You could tell guys you require a lot of foreplay. Like from winter to the end of spring.

The third-date rule for having sex isn’t set in stone, but most guys won’t go for the 30-date rule, which means good men you want may take themselves out of the running. You also shouldn’t strain your arm patting yourself on the back for sticking to your sexual famine edict thus far, considering that you’ve succeeded in not having sex with a guy who shows no interest in having sex with you. Chances are, this guy is just running low on the type he is into – short blondes – and realized he could treat you to meals or go alone and spend the evening making witty remarks to his dinner roll.

There actually are good reasons not to have sex right away, even for those of us who don’t come from a culture where virgins get traded for a bolt of cloth and herd of goats. Research by anthropologist John Marshall Townsend suggests that even women with no interest in a relationship that lasts beyond sunup are often surprised to wake up finding themselves pining for more. This is possibly due to the effect of oxytocin, a hormone associated with emotional bonding that’s released in men and women through hugs, cuddling, kissing and especially orgasm. In males, however, sexual activity boosts testosterone, which plays the part of riot cop, refusing to let oxytocin up to its receptor. There’s a dearth of studies on these hormones’ effect on post-sex bonding, but experience should tell you that men who have sex before they have any emotional attachment tend to make like the Roadrunner shortly afterward (though usually without the “meep-meep!” and the Acme anvil falling on your head).

The answer isn’t putting an arbitrary time lock on your ladygarden. Instead, try something new – the grownup-wanting-a-relationship strategy: prioritizing long-term goals over short-term romps and assessing whether a man is right for you with the organ equipped with brain cells. You need to come up with standards for what you want in a partner and take time getting to know a man so you can see whether he meets the essential ones. You should also inventory all of his less-than-ideal qualities and see whether you can live with them. Do your homework figuring out who a man is and you’ll find that you just know when it’s the right time to have sex with him – even without anybody holding Senate hearings on whether to restore visitor access to your vagina.

© 2014, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email ( Weekly radio show:

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