Flashback ten years.
I was in my dorm and sitting on my lap was a beautiful girl who’d broken up with her boyfriend just days earlier.
She’d told me she was anxious to embrace the single lifestyle again and just “wanted to have fun.” That’s why we were making out.
She was an amazing kisser and our breathing was hot and heavy. We’d been taking things slow up until then, but as she squirmed on the ever-growing firmness in my jeans, I decided to up the ante by slipping my hand under her t-shirt to cup one of her tiny, A-cup breasts.
And she said “no.”
I respected that, and backed off immediately.
We stopped making out. We had a glass of wine. We talked, and laughed, and joked for another hour or so – sometimes even stealing kisses.
But then she left my room, crossed the corridor and fucked my roommate.
Weeks later, she told me she wondered why I’d stopped making out with her that night. She thought she’d made it clear she wanted sex; and when I didn’t follow through, she found somebody who would.
Which was news to me — because I definitely wanted to have sex with her that night too. Up until the point she’d murmured “no,” I was certain she and I were going to make beautiful bedspring music together.
But she’d said “no” when she’d apparently meant “yes;’ and that’s why I missed out.
It was an experience that bothered me for years. In fact, I kept thinking about it long after I lost touch with the girl in question.
I never got an answer to what happened. Even my wife didn’t help — cryptically suggesting that the reason I didn’t score a notch on the bedpost that night was because I “lacked the killer instinct.”
It was only when I started researching the infamous online “seduction community” that things finally fell into place. In his book The Mystery Method, MTV’s Pick-Up Artist Erik von Markovik explained that the “no” I’d received wasn’t a rejection, but a result of something called LMR, or Last Minute Resistance.
In less polite circles, it’s also known at the ASD, or Anti-Slut Defense.
“The word ‘slut’ is a weapon that women use against other women,” writes Markovik on his blog. “Not only does she prefer to avoid having others perceive her as a slut, but also she wants to avoid the discomfort of feeling like a slut. Thus she has the ASD interrupt mechanism to help her avoid this fate.”
It clicked. The gorgeous girl I was making out with had wanted to have sex with me, but she’d felt compelled — by habit, upbringing, or conditioning by a society which makes promiscuous women feel like shit — to give me a token “no” before she said “yes.”
The problem was that I, in an effort to be respectful, had taken that “no” at face value and quit the game. Hence, I didn’t get laid that night — and my friend across the hallway did.
LMR. It explained it all — and that realization made me consider all the other sexual encounters I’d had over the years; and how many of those had also begun, or more commonly ended, with a moment of Last Minute Resistance.
Sometimes, I’d worked through it (one girl, after she’d told me “no,” gave me a horny snarl and climbed on top of me regardless.) Other times — many other times — I’d taken “no” as “no” and we stopped there and then. I realize now that both my partner and I probably ended up frustrated as a result.
Is Last Minute Resistance real? Apparently enough so that men have coined a three-letter acronym for it.
As a member of the sex positive community, this is a rather disturbing realization. One of the topics we talk most passionately about is consent; and much effort is spent trying to educate men that anything other than a clear, indefatigable “yes” is never consent.
Yet far more men learn the “rules” of sexual conduct through experience than what they might read in the pages of SexIs – and this means women who put up Last Minute Resistance are basically teaching these men that “no” actually means “yes” (or, at the very least, “maybe”).
This is a horrific reality — part of what’s helped created a society in which even feminists acknowledge that there’s sometimes a “grey area” in discussing rape accusations.
It shouldn’t be this way. If we lived in a culture in which women weren’t vilified and shamed for actually wanting to have sex, then men would be able to take a girl’s “no” at face value instead of being taught that it might actually mean “yes.”
And that’s the issue that concerns me most about Last Minute Resistance: If women teach men, through experience, that “no” doesn’t always mean “no,” then how do guys tell the difference between insincere rejection and a woman who actually means “no?”
Even Pick Up Artist Erik Von Markovik, in his book, acknowledged that discerning what was Last Minute Resistance and what was a genuine “no” was a serious issue — and warned so-called Ladies’ Men to recognize and respect the difference, or risk facing a rape conviction.
It’s a vicious circle; and one we need to end.
We shouldn’t tolerate a sexist society that conditions women to say “no” even if they mean “yes”, just so they’re not viewed as “sluts.”
But likewise, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to women who inadvertently teach men that a girl who says “no” doesn’t necessarily mean it.
And, finally, we should never nurture a culture in which men hear “no” and don’t respect that boundary.