Sex Talk

Understanding the Other Sex

Q from a Male, Sophomore student at the University of Maine: Why do most girls say they want to have relationships with nice guys but go out with jerks (and keep going back to them when they treat them like dirt)?

Dr. Caron's Answer: Often, our past experience - even as children - preconditions us to feel more comfortable, more at home, in destructive relationships. People who have grown up with damaging experiences often can change the direction of their lives with the help of counseling. Of course, not every woman seeks this type of relationship; but for those who do, counseling and psychotherapy are often helpful.

Q from a Female, Sophomore student at Syracuse University: Why do men use women for sex and how can a woman tell if a guy is using her for sex before she sleeps with him?

A: Not all men use women in this way. Many guys want to have sex only within the parameters of a meaningful relationship. A meaningful relationship is not an instant achievement; one doesn't develop a meaningful relationship at a single party, in a casual conversation, or because you bumped into each other in a bar. Friendships take a while to build, and develop best on a basis of shared interest and experiences. If there is no meaningful relationship and no friendship, there may be no way for you to tell why another person wants to share a sexual relationship with you.

© 2008, Sandra L. Caron

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It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. - Marge Piercy

American teens have the worst of all worlds...Our children are bombarded and confronted with sexual messages, sexual exploitation, and all manner of sexual criticism. But our society is by and large sexually illiterate. Faye Westheimer

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: or E-Mail

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