Women who delay marriage for casual sex surprised to be single in their mid-30s

Divorce risk and number of pre-marital sex partners

Dr. Mark Regnerus is a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published books on the changing nature of relationships with Oxford University Press. His newest book argues that the Sexual Revolution has caused men to lose interest in marriage because women are now giving them sex for free, without them having to prove their husband credentials first. This causes men to be disinterested in the traditional ways of impressing a woman, namely, getting a job, moving out, being willing to commit, and being able to provide for children who may appear.

The Daily Signal provides a case study taken from Regnerus’ latest book “Cheap Sex”, which illustrates the problem.


Sarah is 32 years old and recently moved to Texas from New York, looking for a new start—in more ways than one.

Brooklyn had grown too expensive for her hipster pocketbook. A relationship she had hoped would blossom and mature there had instead withered. So to Austin she came, hoping she could improve upon her modest $22,000 annual earnings the previous year.

Her most recent sexual partner—Daniel—was not actually a relationship per se. He was not the reason she moved. Rather, he was a 23-year-old American she had met in China four years before during a three-week language immersion program.

[…]When they first met, and slept together, Sarah was in a relationship with David, the man for which she had moved to, and then away from, New York. She ended up “cheating on him,” that is, David, several times.

[…]If you’re having trouble keeping times, dates, and boyfriends straight, it’s understandable. Sarah herself laughs at the drama of it all.

[…]Getting serious was never much of an option. He was 23, and she was 32: “We both knew … he was graduating from college and, you know, like we both, at least I knew it was never gonna work out. I think he kind of felt the same way.”

[…]When asked how rapidly her relationships tend to become sexual, Sarah replied, “the first or second date.” That account did not stand out from those of many other interviewees.

The numbers are on her side, too. In the 2014 Relationships in America survey, sex before the relationship begins was the modal—meaning the most common—point at which Americans report having first had sex in their current relationships.

Is her timing of sex intentional? No. “It just happens,” she reasoned.

[…]This, she claims, is the standard approach to dating among her peers, if not necessarily the most optimal: “I don’t think it’s unusual, but I think that for a lasting relationship, it’s not the best approach.”

[…]Three years later, now 35, Sarah continues to live in Austin and continues to find commitment elusive. She does not dislike her life, but it is not the one she envisioned a decade earlier.

Daniel is a musician, which doesn’t surprise me at all. A musician, student or other unemployed penniless bad boy will not make any demands on the woman, because he almost certainly has no plan for the future.  This is what many women today want: someone for right now who doesn’t want her to do anything  to prepare for marriage, e.g. – get a real job, stop the thrill-seeking, stop traveling the world. No matter what a woman says about marriage,  if her actions now show an interest in fun and thrills, then she doesn’t want marriage.

The typical woman’s plan for marriage is simply to imagine marriage happening later somehow, without her having to do anything that she doesn’t feel like doing right now. It would be like “planning” for your retirement by taking trips all over the world right now, while imagining living off the interest from a million dollars in savings at age 55. This problem is what happens when the culture tells women that they should not aspire to marriage, and should not measure men to see if they will make good husbands and fathers. If a woman cannot expect a man to be a man (protector, provider, moral and spiritual leader), then she will choose men on other criteria.

This is what women today want:

  • hot appearance
  • confident words about the future
  • empty resume
  • empty bank account
  • several years younger than they are
  • no firm convictions about morality
  • no firm convictions about theology
  • progressive political views, especially on abortion

Men who have no jobs and no money don’t lead women, and are much easier for women to manipulate. The problem with these men is – as any married woman knows – is that those men do not commit. Why not? Because they cannot afford to commit. Marriage, put simply, costs money. Starter houses cost a quarter million. Children cost a quarter million each, not counting college. Retirement costs a quarter million per spouse. And so on. But there is no one in this society telling women that they need to care about choosing men who are serious about the objective duties of the husband role.

Women love to believe that they can choose a hot, irresponsible bad boy who gives them feelings, and then magically mold him into a husband: able to work hard, save money, be self-controlled, faithful and good with children. Feelings determine the choice of man, and feelings tell them that the man can be magically transformed into a husband somehow. Perhaps by giving him premarital sex! That will make him responsible. After all, you can put out a fire with gasoline, right? This is the most common approach women today take to relationships: get drunk, have sex with hot bad boy, shack up with him, wait for him to propose marriage.

I frequently tell my female friends about women I know like the one in the article – many raised by two married parents in Christian homes. They have arts degrees, empty resumes, empty bank accounts, and histories of alcoholism, bulimia, promiscuity and/or divorce. My female friends give me the same advice: “YOU NEED TO LOWER YOUR STANDARDS OR YOU’LL NEVER GET MARRIED”. If that’s the best that they can do, then it’s no wonder that men are not interested in marriage.

If you want men to be interested in marriage, fix the root cause. The root cause of the marriage rate declining is not men. The root cause is feminism.

9 thoughts on “Women who delay marriage for casual sex surprised to be single in their mid-30s”

  1. Anyone non Christian or claiming to be Christian that buys into this way of living has only themself to blane for the consequences of their actions.

    The Bible doesn’t teach consequence free living. You can find the doctrine of grace and God is very forgiving to those that honestly try to follow him.

    But associative followers with a shallow faith and no attempt made to find out what God has told us in the Bible had only themselves to blame.

    We have high literacy and the Protestant reformation to thank for our ability and right to read the Bible and see what it says beyond our clergy. Now people have all that benefit and they ate willfully as ignorant to the Bible as some illiterate medieval peasant. And even that isn’t true because many of them likely memorized or all Bible traditions


  2. WK,
    would you put a woman who is nearing 30 but remained chaste and physically fit, but spent the majority of her 20’s in Academia, in the same category as these women? Why or why not? Just curious.


  3. It’s the common theme.

    Women want a man but they don’t want a man.
    Women want fried ice.
    They want their cake and eat it too.

    And life doesn’t work that way.


  4. “My female friends give me the same advice: “YOU NEED TO LOWER YOUR STANDARDS OR YOU’LL NEVER GET MARRIED”. If that’s the best that they can do, then it’s no wonder that men are not interested in marriage.”

    This has also been my experience. What’s unfortunate is that this statement acknowledges the situation. It doesn’t deny what we observe, and it doesn’t seek to change it or offer an alternative.

    I think the problem stems from women applying their own values to men. Generally speaking, most women want to get married and have a wedding, i.e. “her big day.” They don’t want to spend the rest of their lives at a career job. It’s fun when they’re 22 and cute, but at 29-30 they burn out.

    And beyond all the cheering for “strong independent women” who avoid marriage and kids, remaining single beyond a certain age for women tends to be a subtle cause for embarrassment. Having a man committed to her is a sign of status.

    Men don’t think this way. Having a family is great, but we can live without it. Not having a wife and kids leaves us free to pursue other hobbies and passions. We’re free to go where we want and leave when we want. Having a girlfriend is nice, but no man looks down on his single friend who is accomplishing other things in life instead.

    Again, generally speaking men value independence and freedom more than women, who typically prefer comfort and security. Also, a man single at 40 who maintains his physique and knows how to carry himself can still attract younger women, so he can afford to wait longer before finding someone.

    In short, women warning men they’ll never get married is a projection of their values, not ours. Never getting married is not the nightmare scenario for men as it tends to be for women.

    And we haven’t even gotten into Western divorce laws yet.

    Further, the retort women have given you (and me) gives us peace of mind about our perpetual bachelorhood. I haven’t given up on the idea of marriage and kids, but I also don’t lose sleep over it. If maintaining healthy, appropriate standards “condemns” men like us to life-long bachelorhood, then so be it. I fully intend to do the same things at 45 as I am now.


  5. They also ignore that why should men be willing to spend money on kids that aren’t their own, and an uneven relationship where the mother and kid won’t really consider them the father only a stepdad.

    So the chaste male gives up money for kids from a woman’s loose past. And odds are good there will be a constant attempt to reject the man having authority or input to the kids life.

    It is fine if a man is willing to do that. But it is a lot to presume he should


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s