You Don’t Owe Him Sex Just Because He Bought You Dinner

Getting access to your body should require more of a guy than paying for a plate of pasta.

By Mia Gonzalez3 min read
Estrada Anton/Shutterstock

The scene: You’re on a date with a guy, grabbing dinner. He’s cute, interesting, and funny. The conversation seems to be flowing pretty well, and he’s obviously interested in you. When the check comes, he doesn’t even let you see the bill that you both racked up. That’s a green flag, you think to yourself. He insists on paying. And you let him, enjoying being treated to a nice meal.

You assume he’s being a gentleman by picking up the tab, but soon enough, he starts dropping a few heavy-handed hints that tell you his gesture in paying for your dinner didn’t come without expectations of receiving something in return. Maybe he makes a few comments about going back to his place, or starts trying to get handsy on the way to your car, or tries to get you to let him inside when he walks you to your door.

It becomes clear to you that he thought paying for your meal meant buying a ticket to your bed, and you feel caught, unsure of how to proceed. You do appreciate him buying you dinner, but you’re feeling pressured into something you don’t want to do with him. Are you being a freeloader if you turn him down?

A Guy Is Never Entitled to Your Body

The short answer? Absolutely not. You’re not a freeloader if you accept a guy’s offer to pay for dinner but don’t sleep with him, no matter what he was hoping buying you grilled chicken and a glass of wine would get him in return. 

You don’t owe him anything aside from a simple thank you – and even that could be revoked if he’s pressuring and pushing you into something you don’t want to do. Gaining access to your body, engaging in an incredibly intimate act, should always require far more than paying for dinner and drinks.

It’s a Red Flag

We’re always on the lookout for red flags when we’ve just begun dating someone. Most often, we’re taught to look out for guys who are rude to the waitstaff, like other girls’ bikini pictures on Instagram, or call every one of his exes “crazy.” 

He doesn’t respect you, he’s after his own interests, and he has probably pressured other girls into it before.

Another huge red flag, though? A guy expecting that he’s going to earn his ticket to your bed by buying you dinner. While he might seem sweet and sincere, his having this expectation is an enormous red flag that tells you a few important things: He doesn’t respect you, he’s after his own interests, and he has probably pressured other girls into it before. If a guy thinks getting to sleep with you is payment for picking up the tab, he’s not the kind of guy to which you'd want to give a second chance.

What If a Guy Starts Pressuring You?

You’re nearing the end of the date, and he’s dropped a few hints that let you know what he’s hoping for. You’re not willing to let things go any further, but you aren’t sure of the best way to get out of the situation. You want to handle things well, but you don’t want him to think you’re playing hard to get. Ultimately, you want him to get the message loud and clear that you’re not going to hook up with him. Here are a few ideas if you find yourself in this tough spot:

  • Don’t have him pick you up for the date if you don’t know him very well. You don’t want to find yourself feeling unsafe and stranded with him, and you don't want him knowing where you live.

  • Thank him for dinner, but try to part ways with him at the end of the meal; decline his offer to walk you home or to your car.

  • If his touches are making you uncomfortable, create distance from him. Don’t be afraid to move his hands or move away from him. Tell him you’re not comfortable with the way he's touching you.

  • If he flat-out asks to come back to your place (or something else that’s obviously code for hooking up), kindly but firmly tell him you’re not interested. 

  • If he texts you or reaches out afterward trying to set up another date, let him know it’s not going to happen. (“Thanks for the offer, but I think we’re looking for different things. I think it’s best that we don't go out again.”)

Closing Thoughts

A guy is never entitled to your body, and paying for dinner shouldn’t ever be treated as a ticket to your bed. If a guy even hints at hooking up as a means of “returning the favor,” he’s not the guy for you.

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