Do women ever try to aggressively and actively pursue/woo/seduce men in the context of casual dating or casual sex?

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Post by The Wisp on Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:12 am

I'm partially interested in this from a sociological perspective, but also from a personal perspective. All my dating fantasies, even ones where my normal anxieties are absent, involve a rather aggressive female pursuer of me. I'm particularly interested if this ever happens with younger women (say, under 30). I know that even if women behaved like this often it wouldn't happen to me in my current state because I don't put myself in the kinds of social situations where these things happen, but I still want to know!

Now, most of my knowledge about dating comes from fictional media and dating advice blogs/sites/communities that are mostly targeted at men (though not always, some are mixed gendered like /r/okcupid) because I have no life. I also pretty much never read dating advice from an exclusively female perspective. Those are my biases. The impression I get is that women very rarely aggressively pursue men for casual romance or sex, and if they do they're usually either: not even close to being sober, have already had sex with the guy or at least has an established close friendship with the guy, the guy is a "10" in the conventional attractiveness scale, or are looking for a longer-term relationship.

By the way, I should say what I mean by "aggressively and actively" puruse/woo/seduce. I don't mean that she is actively wanting to hook up/date a guy and does the typical feminine tactics of wearing revealing clothing around him, or sitting close to him, or making lots of eye contact, or just so happening to bring sex up in conversation. In this context I consider that passive and receptive, even if there is intention behind it, because it is all plausibly deniable and implicit edit: and trying to get him to make his move (even though it is active in a sense, I don't deny the effort put into it, but that's not what I'm talking about). What I mean is (the gender-reversed version of) behavior like this,this, this, this other thing (particularly the "make your move" section), or these things. Or how about messaging a guy on OkCupid and planning an awesome date with the hopes of taking him home. Or actively asking him about himself and his interests. Or just generally being confident and knowledgeable about what she wants and being more of the 'subject' and less of the 'object' (in the value-neutral sense of those words). I'm not just talking about initiating first contact, or just saying "maybe we should go back to my place", but the whole package. I hope what I'm talking about is clear.

Obviously, even in an aggressive and active pursuit the receptive party has to be active and reciprocate flirting, but there are still often clearly more active and more passive roles in flirtation and dating.

Does this actually happen very often? In what circumstances and to what kinds of guys does it happen to? What kinds of women do it?
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Post by reboot on Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:43 am

Yes. Maybe not often but, yeah, I know women who actively/aggressively pursue casual sex
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:41 am

Parties, mostly with Dutch courage, dancing against a person, trying to get him in a one-on-one context, trying to kiss him. Had to deliver one of these home once: it was pretty hilarious prying her off of me at the door while she kept trying to go for my mouth and ended up hitting the neck.

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Post by Gman on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:25 am

I remember going out once with a friend of mine who met two belgium girls, who were tourists. We were sitting at a bar, having a great talk and a good time, when all of a sudden I see one of the girls just waltzing to the bartender, smooching him and before I understood what happened they both bolted to the toilet and did *you know what* (a rather surreal story that one is, maybe if I'm in the mood I'll expand on that in another forum topic post).

So yeah, I can whole heartingly believe this CAN be true. It might be rare due to messed up social rules/alcohol complications or a myriad of different reasons, but it is possible.
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Post by V on Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:12 am

It certainly happens

This is a topic of great interest to me since I almost always fail when I approach women but  I have been on the receiving end of "aggressive" approaches a numbers of times.  Not often but more than once or twice.  Nothing subtle about it which is just as well since I am pretty clueless about picking up signals (pun intended).   

Oddly enough the women were usually very physically attractive whereas I am certainly not.  I assume their appearance gave them extra confidence.

I have certainly seen it happen to a lot of other men, much more frequently than in my case.

So I don't consider it an odd or rare thing.

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Post by V on Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:56 am

To answer your specific questions, yes it does happen with younger women under thirty.

I have seen it happen in the conventional places you would expect - bars/pubs/nightclubs.

It will usually happen more often to the most attractive guys but as I said in my post above I have experienced it a number of times and I'm certainly not attractive.

In my case it's usually been when I've met women for the first time.

What kind of women?  Again attractive women will have more confidence to be assertive.

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Post by kleenestar on Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:21 am

Yes, I know quite a few women who do this. Some of them are now over 30 but were doing this in their 20s. Almost none of them started before 21-22. They certainly don't fit your biases (they mostly do this sober - doing it drunk is way too dangerous; the guys involved are all over the map in terms of conventional physical attractiveness; they are not looking for relationships, though have occasionally ended up in them).

What I have noticed is that they mostly do this within pre-vetted circles - e.g. it might be a guy they've only met once before, but someone they trust vouches for him, or he is a long-term member of an organization they're familiar with. A lot of this starts at events where these women trust the organizer, so they know only decent guys have gotten in the door in the first place. ("Event" could mean drunken debauchery or a board game night - I've seen it happen both ways.) What this means is that if you're not in these circles, you a) aren't a candidate and b) probably won't even see it happen.

Another thing I've noticed is that reputation helps a lot. Most of these women assume that some random dude will probably not be very good in bed (and from their experiences, it sounds like they are right - not because guys can't be but because a lot of dudes think their pleasure is mandatory and hers is optional). That means they are actively selecting for guys they think will be fun for casual sex. One way they do this is to listen to what other women say about the guys they've slept with; a guy who is a great casual lay is going to get more women knocking at his door. Another way is to pay attention to how the guy talks about sex. Does he center his own pleasure and desire, or does he understand there's no point in her showing up unless she's having a good time?

Anyhow, if you have further specific questions I can ask these women. They come from two different social groups which gives me some confidence that I'm seeing patterns rather than just the specific habits of one social circle.
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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:40 am

I think Kleenestar has a very good point about reputation. The Doc has talked a lot on Prime about the barriers around women and casual sex. I think a big one that he's touched on is the attitude of the guy the woman is considering. Not only does he need to be completely cool with the idea of women seeking casual sex, but he needs to be totally cool with the idea of women seeking casual sex with folks who are not him.

Oftentimes what I've seen in geek circles are guys who identify themselves as being absolutely supportive of "sex positivist" and women seeking casual sex; however, it turns out their support only extends so far as it benefits them personally. If a woman is seeking casual sex, but is seeking it with men the guy does not consider worthy (or is jealous of), suddenly all that positive attitude flies out the window. It paints a very unattractive picture of the guy; that his preferences take precedence over the woman's choices or he considers it okay to judge her choices, and that the guy is going to bring complicated emotions to the table.

One thing I've observed with casual sex is that, unless it's casual sex among close friends, complicated emotions need to be OFF the table absolutely at the very beginning. That means there needs to be no expectations of emotional support, and certainly NO hints of jealousy or peevish envy. Those things might, possibly, be okay in the beginning of a romantic relationship where someone is willing to explore and engage over a prolonged length of time. But casual sex is supposed to be just that.... casual. Any initial emotion beyond "Wheee, this is fun!" means it's no longer casual.

From what I've observed, the guys who women "aggressively" pursue for casual sex are the ones who are the most emotionally steady (at least initially), the most "fun", and make it easy for the woman to pursue. Meaning, they give flirting as good as they get. I don't think I have ever seen a scenario where a guy "passively" flirted while a woman "aggressively" pursued him, and the woman ended up taking him home. The impression I got in this cases was that the woman read the guy's passiveness as either lack of interest, or some form of.... laziness. His passive flirting made it seem like he wasn't going to be active and engaged in bed, and thus probably wasn't going to care too much about her pleasure.

So, yes, I have seen women aggressively pursue guys. The women were usually sober (or at most somewhat tipsy), didn't always knew the guy but usually knew OF him (vetted, as Kleenstar said), weren't always looking for a long-term relationship, and the attractiveness of the guys have been all over the map. The biggest commonality is that the guy was fun, very social, very flirty himself, and gave the impression that he'd make things easy for the girl.

I'll also say that I am the huge abnormality in my circles in that when single, I don't pursue. Nearly every other woman I know did the lion's share of pursuing and flirting, both in seeking relationships and more casual arrangements. What is amusing is that the guys don't seem to realize that; they really were unable to see when they'd been "maneuvered" into making a move. It's like I always say, men see "passive" flirting and women not doing anything, because they don't recognize the sheer Evil Genius level social maneuvers and nuances women use to get the guy.
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Post by reboot on Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:51 am

The women who actively pursue casual sex that I know/have known tend to do the ONS. Meet a man, usually at a bar or club, have sex that night or the next and never have contact with him again. Pure, unadulterated fun and no messy feels. Most did/are doing this in their 20s since the bar/club scene tends to get old by 30s. So my friend group differs from RBS's in that my friends tend not to know their casual sex partners ahead of time (or after).
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Post by V on Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:04 pm

To second what Kleenestar said in my case the instances that occurred were in situations where some social vetting existed, from a safety/being a decent human being perspective.

Further to this, despite being in places where alcohol was present they didn't drink very much/any.

Results range from not that much to a relationship.

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Post by eselle28 on Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:26 pm

I know women who pursue men for casual sex. In my circles, I started seeing it around grad school age and it generally takes place in environments where there's been drinking or other substance use, but those observations may have more to do with my social groups than with anything else. Like kleenestar, I would say that it happens more often between men and women who have some social connections. I'm more likely to see it at a house party or between people who went to a bar together in a group than between strangers, and it happens more often in friend groups where it's vaguely understood that it's normal for members of the larger group to hook up with each other.

As for OkCupid, I know women who use it to look for friends with benefits, but I don't know any who message men in hopes of taking them on awesome dates and then having sex afterwards. Quite frankly, I don't know many men who use the site hoping for  that, either. A first date with someone you've met online is kind of a pre-date because there tends to be little rapport. I've been on somewhere between 50 and 100 first internet dates over the years. None of them have ended in first date sex, even ones where the understanding was that we were both seeking something pretty casual, and only a few men even asked. A second date on OkCupid is a lot more conducive to sex.

As for women who aggressively pursue men, are you picturing a scenario where the woman does almost all the escalation? If so, it does happen, but I mostly tend to see it in cases where the attention is unwanted and the man is hoping to escape it at some point. This is also the case for men who pursue women in such an aggressive way. Dating guides sometimes give a bit of a skewed picture of what happens when people flirt with each other because they're aimed at only one of the parties. What I typically see happen in cases where there's mutual interest is that one person approaches, the other initiates touching (even though most PUA material offers advice about men initiating touch with women, I've read a study which I can't remember the location of indicating that women tend to touch first), and perhaps the first suggests going home together. In these interactions, the women tends to be "subject" rather than "object" but there's a bit of mutuality in the interactions.

Sorry. I can see this is a fantasy, but I'd say pretty much the same thing to a woman who wanted the full on seduction scenario from a stranger while she remained very passive. It's fairly rare to find someone who's comfortable continuing to escalate with someone who's not providing much reciprocity and who's socially well-calibrated enough for the seduction to be enjoyable. A lot of seductions of this sort are going to be less than smooth at best and non-consensual at worst. It's even harder when the people involved don't know each other well. Even books like The Rules which advocate women being extremely passive basically understand that a woman will need to throw out most other expectations of a partner if she wants this level of pursuit.
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Post by V on Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:47 pm

RBS it sounds like your "Evil Genius" scenarios might be a little different to what Wisp is talking about (or maybe not) .  In that your friends were engaging in brilliantly subtle maneuvers rather than a full frontal campaign.

Like the guys you mentioned I am clueless when it comes to signals from women.  I only recognize over the top attention.  So I figure I must be missing out on interest in other situations.  

For me this is the Holy Grail of dating/sex/relationships.  If I could only recognize when there is potential interest then I wouldn't be "so damn alone" (which isn't actually that bad) but it's nice to have options and maybe make someone else happy as well.

Anyway I may be getting off-topic but, as I say, I am fascinated by female "evil genius" machinations.   If RBS or any other women want to share some stories I for one would be grateful.

(To be clear I am not wishing to derail Wisp's thread).

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Post by Autumnflame on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:14 pm

Well, yeah. That's like... at least half of my hookups? Maybe more, since I tend to be the aggressor/initiator?

I wouldn't call what I've done a sustained campaign of pursuit, though, mostly because that indicates a certain level of fixation and overriding-of-signals that I find uncomfortable. I also don't particularly go into any one interaction thinking that I'm explicitly looking for a ONS or FWB; I don't generally go into any evening with a goal. When I was actively looking, I'd have hopes, sure, but the most I looked for was an enjoyable evening - and since I never went out unless I actually enjoyed the activity itself, that was usually guaranteed. (Though this only came about after quite a few evenings when I'd go out to a friend's party or to a show, actively scanning and searching and yearning, and then being super-disappointed and feeling like the evening was a waste when nothing panned out. It sucked the enjoyment out of the evening, and just wasn't worth it ultimately. I had much more fun when I just kept an eye open but didn't actively make it a goal.)

If I'm out at a club, party or show and someone cute comes into my vision, I'll belly up to them, throw out a line (either with a compliment or a brief chit-chat line that I'd use with anyone I was being friendly with), see how they respond to that. If well, it usually leads to more talking. If it's not the kind of place where talking's really feasible, that's usually replaced by eye contact and dancing closer and closer until physical contact is made (and then usually even closer after that). At some point I'll go for a kiss, a number, or an invite back to my place, depending on how I'm feeling.

If at any point there's no reciprocity I'll back off and not escalate or reestablish contact. The biggest embarrassments I've had were when I tried to push my luck when I met with a lukewarm or no response.

As far as dates go, my reactions, preparations and usual tactics don't change whether I'm the one asking or being asked. If I'm asking, I'm interested. If I've been asked and accepted, I'm interested. It's the same either way, I'm hoping it goes well and just go with it into whatever it ends up being, whether it's a ONS or a surprisingly intense relationship.


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Post by Caffeinated on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:15 pm

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Post by Werel on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:20 pm

Take with many grains of salt, as it's been a while since I was single and I have no idea how I'd go about pursuit nowadays, but I suspect it would roughly fit the model you're describing, Wisp. I tend to be sexually attracted to guys who cluster towards the shy end of the spectrum, and I'd consider myself pretty outgoing and straightforward, so it seems likely that's how things would play out.

I'm also oddly grateful to you for describing it as such:
The Wisp wrote:being more of the 'subject' and less of the 'object' (in the value-neutral sense of those words).
because this is very close to how I've been wording my own attraction style in my head for many years. Not "subject" and "object" verbatim, but in some lit class long ago, there was a discussion of the dichotomy between "lover" and "beloved" in Shakespeare's sonnets (not quite the same dynamic expressed by erastes and eremenos, but probably similar. Minus the pederasty, of course). The lover is generally the one pining and sighing, enumerating each golden hair on the beloved's head, praising and detailing the various aspects of the beloved's character and beauty, expounding upon his earnestness and trustworthiness, and trying to earn in his own eyes and the beloved's the right to approach such a creature. The beloved's role is largely to just be their purty lil' self, worthy of adoration, usually coy and occasionally retreating, but not expected to contribute significantly to the progression of the encounter. If we were to draw arrows representing degrees of desire and initiative, they would largely flow from lover to beloved (not that the beloved doesn't have attraction to or fondness for the lover, but it's a more passive sort).

Obviously, these were pretty rigidly gendered in the 17th century, but I've always very much felt I'm naturally more inclined towards the "lover" (or "subject") role. The way I view men I find sexually attractive is often much less "I wish he'd take the initiative to tell me I'm pretty and special" but rather "I certainly hope he'd permit me to tell him he's pretty and special." In hypothetical casual-sex circumstances, it would extend to "I certainly hope he'd permit me to show him a good and pleasurable time" rather than "I certainly hope he'd take the initiative to show me a good and pleasurable time." This doesn't extend to actual relationships, of course, because a rock-solid degree of reciprocity is necessary for me there. But for casual dating and sex? Yeah, that sounds about right.

But then again, there is a great fear of being This Person
eselle28 wrote:As for women who aggressively pursue men, are you picturing a scenario where the woman does almost all the escalation? If so, it does happen, but I mostly tend to see it in cases where the attention is unwanted and the man is hoping to escape it at some point.
which would probably keep me from doing too much escalating unless there were unmistakably clear signs of enjoyment of the pursuit.

And part of why I've had to construct this pretentious Shakespearean lover/subject explanation for myself is because I see very few examples in RL or pop culture of women who feel similarly (it'd be so much easier if there were some simple shorthand equivalent to "I'm a total Carrie" Laughing), and it makes me feel like a little bit of an odd duck. I don't think it's all that common, but I wish you the very best of luck in finding women who fit that mold, if it's what you're most interested in.

edit: I should note, in response to your initial thoughts, that the scenarios where I'd hypothetically be inclined to pursue a dude for casual entanglements do not generally involve intoxication, nor guys who are conventional '10s', nor an established close friendship, nor me being over 30 (because I'm not, although I doubt anything will radically change about me the moment I turn 30). Those factors may up the likelihood for other women, but I can't speak to that from personal experience.
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Post by Autumnflame on Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:06 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Does this actually happen very often? In what circumstances and to what kinds of guys does it happen to? What kinds of women do it?

Oh, as far as your actual questions (and not just rambling off solipsistically into what I do, whoops), I can't say I've ever seen any collected data on this sort of thing, nor do I have any particular anecdata. I've never been particularly privy to what my friends did to get together (if it was anything besides "increasingly chatting" + "touchy-feely during drunk times and welp! they're together now"). I can speculate that the kinds of women who do it are likely to be the ones who haven't received a ton of negative feedback for being so direct, and are also generally more of the aggressive, self-directed kind in other areas of their life - but I don't know that it's a given. I can also speculate that the kinds of guys it might happen to are those who give the impression that they wouldn't react badly to being pursued, or are less enamored with the idea of traditional masculinity, so - probably not alpha jock arrogant types.
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Post by Werel on Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:24 pm

Wait, we're not supposed to just ramble solipsistically? Oh, shit, I didn't get the memo. Razz

Autumnflame wrote:I can also speculate that the kinds of guys it might happen to are those who give the impression that they wouldn't react badly to being pursued, or are less enamored with the idea of traditional masculinity, so - probably not alpha jock arrogant types.
I think you've very much hit the nail on the head here--I can't imagine that an aggressive pursuit of a dude who's signaling strong investment in traditional masculinity would go very well. To the degree where I might expect outright hostility.
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Post by kath on Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:37 pm

Wisp, do you think you'd be comfortable kinda taking on some of the Evil Machinations RBS mentions? Or would that ruin the fantasy?

As a shy woman who isn't looking to be pursued, I have a lot of luck keeping things non-romantic by just ... refusing to behave in a romantic way (and trying not to worry about what the other person may have potentially been interested in). So I think you might need to find a way to do the passive things if you want to be a good target for the active ones (if this is what the thread is about).
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:49 pm

I can safely say, I've never seen a woman pursue anyone. I'm sure it's possible and I'm sure women do it, but I've never seen it. Even when I was at a club working with a production company did I see it.

But I was called a "rude asshole" for some reason by some random drunks who I never met. As I walked from one filming location to another minding my own business.

Still, this sounds pretty cool.

Note: Ive also never heard or seen of a group of friends willing to fuck each other. D: Or am I just a loser that needs to get out more?

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Post by reboot on Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:57 pm

The Mikey wrote:I can safely say, I've never seen a woman pursue anyone. I'm sure it's possible and I'm sure women do it, but I've never seen it. Even when I was at a club working with a production company did I see it.

But I was called a "rude asshole" for some reason by some random drunks who I never met. As I walked from one filming location to another minding my own business.

Still, this sounds pretty cool.

Note: Ive also never heard or seen of a group of friends willing to fuck each other. D: Or am I just a loser that needs to get out more?

So you did not see any women talking to men? Because that is what pursuit looks like Smile
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Do women ever try to aggressively and actively pursue/woo/seduce men in the context of casual dating or casual sex? Empty Re: Do women ever try to aggressively and actively pursue/woo/seduce men in the context of casual dating or casual sex?

Post by Suika on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:02 pm

It may have happened to me, but given my obliviousness to such things it's hard to know.
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:04 pm

reboot wrote:
So you did not see any women talking to men? Because that is what pursuit looks like Smile

Sure I did, I saw everyone talking to everyone but me. Razz But I thought that didn't matter? Just because they're talking to a dude doesn't mean they wanna take the dude home. At least not all the time. scratch

Oooor am I wrong again?

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Post by eselle28 on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:07 pm

The Mikey wrote:
reboot wrote:
So you did not see any women talking to men? Because that is what pursuit looks like Smile

Sure I did, I saw everyone talking to everyone but me. Razz But I thought that didn't matter? Just because they're talking to a dude doesn't mean they wanna take the dude home. At least not all the time. scratch

Oooor am I wrong again?

No, it doesn't mean that all of the time. It can mean that sometimes. The same goes for guys. Sometimes a man talking to a woman in a bar is pursuing her. Sometimes he's the wingman or is just making conversation or is asking her to watch his drink while he goes out to smoke. Unless you're standing close enough to overhear the conversation or know the people well enough to hear the story afterwards, I'd suggest assuming that people have a range of motivations and that neither "always" nor "never" works well as a descripton.
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Post by reboot on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:09 pm

The Mikey wrote:
reboot wrote:
So you did not see any women talking to men? Because that is what pursuit looks like Smile

Sure I did, I saw everyone talking to everyone but me. Razz But I thought that didn't matter? Just because they're talking to a dude doesn't mean they wanna take the dude home. At least not all the time. scratch

Oooor am I wrong again?

But if they do want to take a dude home women generally talk to him first. So you are correct that not every conversation leads to sex, but sex is almost universally preceded by conversation Smile
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:27 pm

eselle28 wrote:
No, it doesn't mean that all of the time. It can mean that sometimes. The same goes for guys. Sometimes a man talking to a woman in a bar is pursuing her. Sometimes he's the wingman or is just making conversation or is asking her to watch his drink while he goes out to smoke. Unless you're standing close enough to overhear the conversation or know the people well enough to hear the story afterwards, I'd suggest assuming that people have a range of motivations and that neither "always" nor "never" works well as a descripton.

Well I that's what I always assume. I always guess they're doing something, what they're doing, I dont know. But my head doesn't automatically jump to "casual sex pursuing" for anyone.

reboot wrote:
But if they do want to take a dude home women generally talk to him first. So you are correct that not every conversation leads to sex, but sex is almost universally preceded by conversation Smile

Well of course sex is preceded by conversation. That's kinda what I always thought and it seemed like common sense. I just never been pursued, I've had my butt groped in the street, but never actually pursued.

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