Duane Hoffmann / MSNBC
By msnbc.com contributor
msnbc.com contributor
updated 11/2/2006 1:52:49 PM ET 2006-11-02T18:52:49

Do guys sense a desperate woman? How can you tell if a man has good intentions? And what do you do when your date is obsessed with phone sex but doesn't want the real thing? Sexploration answers your dating queries. Have an intimate question? To e-mail us, click here .

Q: Can a guy tell when you’re desperate for a date or sex? I am so worried they can tell. I’m 36 and still don’t have this figured out! I don’t want to be used (probably the same worry everyone has). But I’ve been alone for years so I’m out of my element.

A: Now this is an interesting thought: a neediness radar system that can home in on sexually deprived women. We here at Sexploration sense a business opportunity.

Of course, some guys do develop the skill on their own. We do it by listening. Are you too eager to say yes? Too available? Don’t seem to have lots of confidence in yourself or your accomplishments? Have the words, “Oh, you know so much about wine! And so strong, too!” passed your lips?

All telltale signs.

Instead of worrying about whether guys can sense “desperation,” why not decide to stop being desperate?

Relationship experts always say that the best bonds form between two people who know who they are and feel complete in themselves.

Be proud of who you are and what you are about. I suppose this process never stops, but by 36 I hope you are well on your way to feeling this way so that you do not “need” a man — you want a man.

It’s easy to test whether he thinks you are a desperate woman who won’t be too much work. See the lines below, or try actually, you know, dating for awhile before you have sex.

If he’s still coming around after you dragged him to that conceptual art opening, it’s not because he thinks you’re needy.  

Q: I am a newly single girl in her 20s. I have been meeting plenty of guys, but am unsure whether they want to fool around (only) or have something more. How do you figure out someone’s intentions?

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A: Lines indicating fool-around-only:

      1. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s nice about your promotion. Another mojito?”

      2. “You are so hot!”

      3. “My last girlfriend called me The Wood Man.”

      4. “I’m pretty much a free spirit, a poet, you know?”

      5. “Maybe sometime we should fly down to my parents’ villa in Martinique.”   

Lines indicating something more:

      1. “So then what happened?”

      2. “Can I give you my number?”

      3. “I invited friends over for pasta carbonara. Could you come, too? It’d be cool if you met them. But, um, early, because I’m not sure what carbonara means and I need some help.”

      4. “Sure, if you want to.”

      5. “I want something more.”

Q: I met a guy on a traditional dating Web site. We have met in person a couple of times without having sex, but he insists on phone sex every other night or so. I’m an attractive woman and we get along great, so what’s up with that?

A: He “insists”? And you do it? After meeting “a couple of times”?

Let me ask you: What’s up with that?

It could be he wants to preview how passionate you are before the main event, an audition. Or maybe he just prefers phone sex, is shy about his gear or hasn’t seen Bill Plympton’s classic animated short, “How to Make Love to a Woman.” 

I can think of lots of reasons why, but it bugs you or else you wouldn’t be writing to Sexploration. So cut it out. If you want the real thing, hang up.

Brian Alexander is a California-based writer who covers sex, relationships and health. Alexander, also a Glamour contributing editor, is traveling around the country to find out how Americans get sexual satisfaction for the MSNBC.com special report "America Unzipped" and in an upcoming book for Harmony, an imprint of Crown Publishing.

Sexploration appears every other Thursday.

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