Why should a man refuse a woman’s offer of casual sex?

I’ve been having some conversations recently with a good male friend of mine who is not a Christian. I like to talk to him about women because we disagree about women, and Lord knows I love to disagree with people. Anyway, he’s read my rules for chastity, courtship, etc., and he considers them, and me, quite weird. He is coming from the position of having a great deal of sexual experience with women, whereas I strictly avoid sexual activity for a variety of reasons. And what we disagree about is this: I think it’s wrong to have casual sex with women who offer themselves to a man before marriage, and he thinks it’s permissible as long as he warns them that the relationship is going nowhere afterwards.

First, let me talk about where we agree. Both of us agree that most women today have lost the art of making a man like them without using sex appeal. We are in broad agreement that the right way for a woman to make a man like her is by being feminine. And we agree on what that means – showing the ability to be a wife and mother. If a woman talks to a man about his day at work, studies hard things to be more skilled, listens to his life plan, and tries to contribute to the causes he cares about, then he will like her (because he needs her and appreciates her).  Also, it’s important that she have a plan of her own that he can help with, and she should let him help. Men like to give gifts to women, and we like to see how our gifts help women grow.

Now where do we disagree? Well, I think it’s a bad idea for a man to submit to casual sex with a woman who is unable or unwilling to set boundaries and have a Christian goal for the relationship. I think that casual sex is an inappropriate technique that a woman uses to make a man love her without demonstrating that she really understands him or wants to help him. Sometimes this is done inadvertently because the woman has never learned how to deal with men appropriately, but sometimes it’s done deliberately in order to get attention without have to care about or help the man.

Here are three reasons why men should not accept an offer of casual sex:

Reduced courting capability

A lot of men spend a lot of time and money and the best years of their lives pursuing a lot of different women for sexual gratification. But the pursuit of casual sex takes away from the goal of having a helpful wife and effective Christian children, (e.g. – children like Stephen C. Meyer, Jay Richards or WLC). It takes up time and resources that are better spent on building up teachable responsive girl friends. Chasing non-marriageable women also detracts from learning apologetics and theology, which are needed in order to impress the tiny minority of women who want a man who can be an involved, nurturing provider and mentor. There is no way to assess a woman’s fitness for marriage and mothering through casual sex. It has no value whatsoever when it comes to courting, because it removes the self-control needed for objective evaluation. Casual sex doesn’t show women that you can lead your future children, either.

Reduced vulnerability and romantic capability

I would not be able have sex and break up with that person without suffering serious emotional damage. I subscribe to the velcro theory of sexuality – the more you attach and separate, the less well you can attach the next time. I simply do not believe that men who do intimate physical things with women can be as vulnerable and susceptible as when they remain chaste. Casual sex kills the man’s ability to love a woman as if he has never been hurt before. If you want to be a knight, you have to be capable of chivalry and romance. If a man has casual sex with enough women, he will likely develop a low opinion of of the trustworthiness, wife-capability and mother-capability of women. He becomes cynical and predatorial. The binge-drinking hook-up culture does not build up faith in the opposite sex.

Causes women to doubt God’s existence

Every woman was made for a relationship with God. When a woman uses sex to try to get a man to pay attention to her, to love her and to commit to her long-term, it usually fails, causing her pain and suffering. Sex doesn’t make a man who doesn’t want to marry suddenly want to marry. Without a Christian worldview, the woman may not realize how to tell a good man from a bad man, and how to drive a relationship through to marriage. If a woman has sex with enough men, she may develop a low opinion of the goodness and reliability of men. She may think that she is handling men correctly and that the relationship should work out. But the trauma from failed relationships with unreliable men can cause her to suffer emotionally, and even to doubt God’s existence or goodness.  Christian men should therefore avoid casual sex so that they don’t push women away from relationships with God. Don’t be part of a process that drags women away from God. We need women to serve God, and we are not so long on resources that we can just throw them away to the other side. Every single one counts.


Now I haven’t actually experienced this problem of women throwing themselves at me to make me “love” them, but if someone finally did offer me drunken hook-up sex, I hope that I would remember my little list.

But I might also remember something else.

Consider this passage from “A Man For All Seasons“, a play by Robert Bolt. The lead character Sir Thomas More has refused to compromise with King Henry VIII over the legality of divorce, and now the King wants to have his head chopped off. More’s daughter Meg tries to convince to take the oath supporting the divorce in order to save his own life.

Meg: Then say the words of the oath and in your heart think otherwise.

More: What is an oath then, but words we say to God? Listen, Meg.
When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands… …like water.
And if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t hope to find himself again.
Some men aren’t capable of this, but I’d be loathed to think your father one of them.

That’s how men should try to be with their chastity. I agree that it is almost impossible not to see things and to think things that are unchaste – but I am talking about doing something unchaste. Men need to avoid that, at least. The problem is that men don’t realize what they are giving up by being unchaste, because they don’t study these issues to know the costs, the lost capabilities to love unselfishly, or the virtues that give them honor with God. No one tells us. Instead of reading “A Man for All Seasons” or “The Faerie Queene”, we pick our role models off the bottom shelf of Hollywood or other crap in the culture. The schools are no help at all, most parents are busy, and the church just orders people around without any arguments or evidence. We are on our own, and by the time we realize who we want to be to a woman, we are often already in a hole.

But my main point is that even if there wasn’t a woman left in the world who believed in chastity, courting, marriage and family, that would still not be a justification for a Christian man to give up on his ideal of chastity. It’s better to be a hero and be alone than to make peace with the world as it is. Go down fighting, never give in just to fit in.

2 thoughts on “Why should a man refuse a woman’s offer of casual sex?”

  1. I think one can offer a much more robust reason as to why casual sex and sex outside of marriage ought to be avoided generally:

    The reason why sex should be reserved for marriage is (I) because it is procreative and unitive in nature and (II) because of the obligations that obtain upon adults and children. Marriage, as earlier generations understood, provides an ideal environment for children wherein they will be able to be attached to their parents of whose union they are a product, and wherein their parents will be able to attend to their obligations to their children qua parents. And here we have a strong argument against engaging in pre-marital sex generally and pornography specifically.

    Take the intuition that sex is procreative and unitive in nature (an intuition that, though obvious, can be demonstrated to be true if a crazy liberal were to challenge it). Also consider the intuition that adults have weighty obligations to seek the well-being of their children and, more generally, that we as persons have a collective obligation to secure a good future for the forthcoming generations. Consider now the fact that contraception often fails and, more generally, that contraception cannot reduce the chance of pregnancy resulting form a sexual act to 0 percent (you could grant, for example, that it succeeds 90 percent of the time). It seems, then, that, because even contracepted sexual acts may result in pregnancy (even if there is, say, a 90 percent chance that such an act won’t result in a pregnancy), we ordinarily have an obligation to any children we may beget to conduct our sexual relations in such a way that is responsible and which takes the child’s interests into mind. And this in turn just means that sexual relations should be reserved for at the very least something almost indistinguishable to marriage—with an individual who would be a responsible spouse and to whom you are committed for a lifetime, not just for one individual’s sake, but for the sake of any child one may beget, and within a context that is open to and supportive of any children that may come from that union. Engaging in so-called “casual sex,” and premarital sex generally, then, would quite clearly be to shirk one’s obligations to conduct their sexual activity in such a way that is responsible and that puts the interest of any children they may beget first, not one’s own fleeting and immature desires and emotions.


  2. Amen, WK. I really like your use of the word “submit” in regards to a man pursuing a woman strictly on the grounds of sexual gratification. It is, in fact, idolatry: a man who does such is giving himself over to his momentary desire and allowing it to rule over him rather than he ruling over his own desires and daring to control them. Men who do this actually denigrate women, and sadly many women have bought into the lie, because women seem to innately desire to please men (a God-given response that is only sinful when taken out of its proper context).
    It is truly sad that so few men truly see sex for what it is and the threat it poses when it’s taken out of its proper context. This problem, though, is not really a cultural problem at-large as much an individual choice that actually begins at home. I thank God every day that I had parents who constantly reminded me of the purpose and place of expressing the wonderful gift of human sexuality.
    Hang in there, WK. It IS worth it.


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