Does a Post-Sex E-mail Mean He’s Just Not That Into Me?

photo via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

I just had sex for the first time with the guy I’ve been dating, after 2 group hang-outs and 3 official dates. So far he has been really consistent, calling when he says, etc. But I’ve been burned a lot — usually get dumped after the first-time sex part with guys I like. Like I’m too easy or something? By the way, the sex is good.

So here’s my question: I know a man (if he’s interested) should call the next day after first-time sex, but this guy emailed a thankyou the next day. Is that the same thing in this day and age? Or is he just not that into me — using email to distance himself and gonna blow me off? I’m paranoid — been burned!

Fool me twice,


Dear Rizzo,

We didn’t know that guys were supposed to send thankyou notes after sex. Did he really say thank you?! Doesn’t that kind of make it seem like you were doing him a favor? One would hope that a good time was had by all. Personally, we’d rather get orgasms than thankyou notes or flowers.

That said, we admit that it is a nice touch to check in with someone after you’ve had sex for the first time. It just lets your partner know that you’re not one of those assholes (of either gender) who goes AWOL after doing the dirty. But we don’t see why email should mean he’s just not that into you.

Some people (like Em, for example) just don’t give good phone, and email lets you get the message just right on such an important occasion as this. It lets you sweat for hours over a three-line note that comes across as breezy yet interested and flirty without being needy. (Em once spent an hour just coming up with the right subject line for her morning-after email. You know, witty without appearing to try too hard. When she graduated to using “re:re:re: Re: re: hey” as the subject line with her current guy, he asked her, “Is the magic gone?”)

By the way, we try to steer clear of concepts like “too easy.” If a guy’s going to go AWOL after sex, he’s going to do this whether you make him wait one date or fifty. In fact, you could make the argument that having sex sooner just weeds out the ship-jumpers from the men with relationship stamina. Why not just have sex when it feels right?


Em & Lo


  1. If he took the time to send a ‘thank you’ as you characterize it, I’d take that as a positive. Ideally, it would have been better if said email was worded such as his saying he really had a wonderful evening with you and hoped you could share another sometime in the not too distant future. My suggestion: Don’t give it much thought just yet and reserve judgement until later whether or not the email was a sincere thanks or just a high tech way of saying ‘Wham Bam, Thank You Mam’.

    @Em: Write the email first, then the subject line. Works for me!

  2. Aw no, don’t tease him. Emails are nice. Calls can be horribly awkward. Here in the tongue tied, reserved U of K, it’s considered nice to get a post sex email. More tactful as well – there are few things more embarrassing than getting the call at work with all your colleagues looking knowingly on.

  3. I’m… sort of with Johnny. And definitely empathize with Em.

    I agree it’s possible to overthink things, though I’m not sure if paranoia or neediness are the only possible reasons for doing so. (For instance as she hinted the sex could just have been really great. Or, I dunno, she could really like him or something.

    Anyway, I think he’s right that you couldn’t go wrong with a light-hearted answer. “No, I should be thanking you,” for instance, or teasing him for watching too many movies about the Edwardians. But however you do it just say you had a good time too and hope you can do it again some time.

    Anyway, one hopes that by now the question has been resolved and our answers are moot.


    p.s. for Em — writing subject lines is always the hardest part for me too.

  4. This is exactly the sort of over-thinking that causes people to screw up. Your neediness and paranoia will infect whatever good vibe got you together in the first place.

    Why not make a joke out of it? Like, tease him light-heartedly for his rather wierd thank-you email? Send a cheekily cordial you’re-welcome email or something?

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