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But I Would Really Enjoy It

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We can't imagine what that decision will be.

"I shouldn't be around him, I might do something I regret. I mean, I'd enjoy it, but... I'd regret it. I mean, I'd really enjoy it, but, oh, I really would—"
Kerry Hennessy, 8 Simple Rules, "Closure"

Perhaps a character doesn't want to change her relationship. Maybe she's trying to force her partner into doing something. It might be illegal. Or possibly she's Genre Savvy enough to know the consequences. In any case, there's a reason why this character — on an intellectual level — doesn't want to have sex with somebody.

But she has trouble resisting her urges.

Oddly, when the character isn't in a relationship, this trope is almost exclusively applied to females. Apparently, men wouldn't even think about refusing sex in the first place. When the character is in a relationship, it can apply to both genders — although if sex follows, expect a double standard.

Compare Unresolved Sexual Tension, which is when the circumstances keep the two apart and Let's Wait Awhile. May be a result of Can't Have Sex, Ever and Virgin Power. Often ends in Above the Influence. Can overlap with Aren't You Going to Ravish Me? or Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny. Expect An Aesop about how Sex Is Evil or You Need to Get Laid, depending on the show's views on the matter. Compare Naughty Nuns and Catholic Schoolgirls Rule.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Dwight from Sin City is revisited by his ex-girlfriend Ava Lord, who wants his help. He refuses at first, but he eventually gives in when the temptation grows.
  • After Magneto came to live on Utopia as the X-Men's ally, he started to express an interest in Rogue, trying to rekindle the romantic spark that had briefly flared up during their time together in the Savage Land. Rogue rebuffed all such real and imagined advances because of the many terrible things he had done to her and her friends while in world-conquering villain mode, and in X-Men Legacy #249 he himself had a change of heart and told her that becoming involved with him was a bad idea and that she should return to Gambit. It was after this that Rogue had a change of heart of her own and decided to go with her feelings for one night of passion with Magneto at any rate, noting
    "Most people want the things they know are gonna turn out to be bad for them."

    Fan Works 
  • Ridiculously common in Harry Potter fanfiction, as someone (usually Harry) tells himself why having sex with his enemy (usually Draco or Snape) would be a very bad idea.
  • Brave New World: Pikachu, at first, has this sort of relationship with Dawn. He likes her and finds her fascinating, but is convinced that, because she has declared herself his vassal, she feels she has no choice in the matter and would sleep with him purely out of duty. Dawn later assures him that she likes him too, and while she would sleep with him out of duty if he demanded it of her, if he asked, she would do it out of love.
  • Nora in Weiss Reacts constantly drops hints that she wants Ren's babies. The latter is… somewhat flustered about it.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The original Wicker Man has another Rare Male Example. The main character, Howie, a pious virgin who firmly believes that sex should take only place after marriage, is at one point the subject of an attempted seduction by Willow, the gorgeous landlord's daughter who may possibly have pagan magical powers. He manages to resist it, but is trembling with desire the whole time. Considering what happens to him, maybe he should have.
  • In Mr. Mom, Joan (Ann Jillian) comes over with the intention seducing Jack (Michael Keaton) while his wife is at work. He excuses himself to the bathroom and tries to talk himself out of giving in to her by rattling off reasons why he shouldn't do it. It takes him a good while to convince himself that it would be wrong, but he eventually does.
  • In The More the Merrier, Connie is engaged to Mr. Pendergas but is very aroused and clearly thinking this trope while on the stoop with Joe.
  • Jewel Robbery: Teri is disturbed by her feelings for the Robber, since he’s a criminal, and she thinks that’s wrong. But she knows she’d enjoy his overnight company.
  • In the original Ghostbusters, Venkman comes to visit Dana and finds she is possessed by Zuul, which makes her want to sleep with (whoever she thinks is) the Keymaster. He refuses, since she isn't in her right mind (and doubtless also because he has every reason to fear dire consequences if he does), but he's tempted.
    Dana: I want you inside me.
    Venkman: Go ahead—no, I can't. Sounds like you got at least at least two people in there already. Might be a little crowded.
  • Kiss Me (2011): Mia really wants Frida, but after the two have sex she's wracked with guilt and doesn't want to leave her fiance Tim at first either.
  • Stealing Heaven: His students send a prostitute to Abelard, but he resists temptation and simply lies beside her. Later though he can't resist Héloïse's charms.
  • Young & Wild: Tomás initially resists the advances Daniela makes on him as it goes against his Evangelical beliefs. He gives in eventually and they begin a sexual relationship though.

  • In The Hollows, Rachel finds herself in an elevator with Kisten. On one hand, she has a boyfriend, and Kisten hasn't exactly been nice to her so far. On the other hand, she has accepted that she's probably about to die and is highly vulnerable to vampire pheromones. She gives into him, but is pulled back into reality when the elevator doors open.
  • Callista in the Darkover series previously had a job that required her to be a virgin, and her mentor pretty much brainwashed her to not only not be sexual, but to forcibly fight off anyone who tried. Now that she's quit her job and gotten married, well… things are awkward when it comes to deprogramming.
  • This trope causes a lot of UST in Soul Thief, as Dora—who has some lovers-related trust issues—doesn't want to change her relationship with Miron from friendship to something more intimate. They end up together at the end of the book three, though, subverting this trope.
  • A Rare Male Example is found in Cate Tiernan's Sweep series, where Hunter decides not to sleep with his girlfriend Morgan (who is naked and in his bed) because he's about to leave on a long trip and didn't want their first sexual encounter to resemble anything that might be construed as him "loving and leaving" her.
  • Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Nearly half a chapter in Wizard's First Rule is about Kahlan deciding she should sleep with Richard despite the fact it would destroy his mind, with her inner monologue going through rationalizations such as maybe he'll be more devoted to his quest if it does happen. She actually tries, with him stopping her at the last moment—by this point he's worked out there's something dangerous about her, but he's not sure what. She still hates herself for trying.
  • Inverted in The Last Dragonlord, where Linden, a man who can turn into a dragon, finds his soulmate. Unfortunately, if he gives into his urges and has sex with her, he might kill her.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • It's mentioned in Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which came out years before Return of the Jedi. There are many instances in this book and Star Wars (Marvel 1977) where Luke and Leia very nearly have a Relationship Upgrade and then decline or are interrupted, then drop the idea for a while, not sure why they're reluctant. But it always comes back.
      The Princess grew aware of how tightly she was clinging to him. Their proximity engendered a wash of confused emotion. It would be proper to disengage, to move away a little. Proper, but not nearly so satisfying.
    • In Shadows of the Empire, Prince Xizor's creepy date-rape pheromones work by amplifying this trope. However, her Heroic Resolve and righteous anger, once she realizes that he's been influencing her, completely dispel even this trope and breaks his power over her. Xizor is disbelieving. And in a lot of pain.
      It did not matter what a woman's stance was on fidelity, that she had been a faithful partner to another for years or decades. Falleen pheromones were more potent than the strongest spice. Leia might want to resist him with her mind, but her body would ache for him. There was no antidote save one.
      Xizor smiled. He would enjoy administering the single antidote to Leia. He would enjoy it very much indeed...
  • When Jerin meets the Princess Rennsaeler in A Brother's Price she promptly starts Eating the Eye Candy and seducing him. After fretting a bit he is happy to go along and put those woman-pleasing techniques he's gone over in erotic dreams to the test—it seems they work quite well—he finally says no so he can stay a Technical Virgin. He really wants to keep going, but it would ruin him.
  • In The Twilight Saga, Bella and Edward are both tempted to have sex with each other, but doing so would be extremely risky due to the physical damage he might do to her with his vampiric Super-Strength (not to mention what might happen if that damage caused her to bleed). Bella insists she has faith in his ability to control himself and wants to try anyway; he eventually admits that, in addition to the above, his reasons include the fact that, being from the early 1900s, he wants to wait until marriage for sex.
  • This is the main source of the drama in the Hadassah/Marcus romance arc of Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind.
  • Towards the end of Sloppy Firsts, Jess writes a list of reasons why she should and should not sleep with Marcus. The "should not" list has a lot of items on it. The "should" list has a single one:
    I want to. Oh, God, do I want to.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, a few weeks on the road, Jaume starts to feel serious lust for his fellow Companion Florian. The Companions maintain a rule that it's okay to sleep with each other, but only if both parties are of equal rank, and Jaume is their Captain-General. He still fantasizes, though.
  • In the sixth book of the Incarnations of Immortality series, this is how the succubus Lilah tempts Parry into continuing his slide into evil.
  • In Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox, Tsumiko, who was raised in a Catholic school and doesn't believe in sex outside of marriage, is briefly, but sorely tempted when Argent shows up in her bed and attempts to seduce her. Not only does she not go along with it, however, but she sets new boundaries on their relationship to keep it from happening again. While frustrated and embarrassed, part of Argent is relieved to find her convictions are stronger than her impulses.

    Live Action TV  
  • Trope Namer is Kerry of 8 Simple Rules, who is visited by the boy she had a fling with while in France. Specifically, Kerry hides the boy up in the attic and soon finds that she's having feelings for him again. When the two end up kissing, she rushes out of the attic and tells her older sister Bridgette about what happened. Bridgette tells her that she needs to remove herself from the situation. Kerry agrees that it's a good idea, that otherwise she might end up doing she would regret. Though she would enjoy it. She would really enjoy it.
  • An episode of Just Shoot Me! does this with Nina, who takes Elliot's advice and abstains from sex for a while. Of course, she's then visited by a former lover. In the end, she manages to restrain herself—if just barely.
  • That '70s Show does this to Jackie, in response to Kelso growing a beard. Donna has to remind her that he cheated on her, lest she "throw herself at him."
  • Capt. Picard and Dr. Crusher in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now".
  • Legend of the Seeker has this with Richard and Kahlan, because Kahlan can't have sex without Confessing her partner.
  • A Rare Male Example in Dollhouse, with Echo trying to convince Paul they should have sex, which he's dubious about because she's a collective of imprinted personalities and her original personality of Caroline Farrell isn't one of them, even though she insists she's a person in her own right who knows what she wants.
  • Garrow's Law has a mutual version of this with Garrow and Lady Sarah.
  • In the Friends episode "The One With the Memorial Service", after Phoebe broke up with Mike because he said he never wants to get married, she asked Monica to keep her away from him. In the end of the episode, it turns out that Mike also asked a friend to do the same.
  • In The Good Wife, Alicia in regards to Will. Although, she's married, so she resists the urge to hit that. However, they finally hook up in the season 2 finale after Alicia separates with Peter.
  • Another male example: in Downton Abbey, Lord Grantham in regards to Jane Moorsum in Series 2. He is sorely tempted, but in the end he cannot bring himself to do it.
  • Male example in one episode of Taxi, Elaine is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and starts to come on to Alex as a way of compensating. Seeing as she's obviously very vulnerable, he turns her away. Later, after she has spoken to a therapist, Alex says he's glad they "stopped before we did something we both would have… fondly remembered for the rest of our lives." (Cue laughter from Elaine.)
  • Castle falls on the "does" side of this trope in regards to his first ex-wife. He describes her as being like a deep-fried Twinkie; you know it's bad for you, so you only have it once or twice a year. Not that he seems to put up much of a fight whenever she comes around.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy can't have sex with Angel because he would lose his soul. In "Amends" the First Evil tries to bring this about by giving them shared Erotic Dreams. Angel later encounters Buffy in her bedroom looking particularly vulnerable and sensual. While Angel struggles with his urges, the First Evil is whispering in his ear that Buffy wants him to do it (which is certainly true, just not at the cost of Angel's soul).
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend brings us "We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now." They do. And then decide it would be weirder to stop halfway through. And then agree that this should definitely never happen again... after tonight. Like in movies when robbers do One Last Job. Leading to the immortal ending lines:
    Rebecca: "Yes, tonight will be our last sex heist!"
    Josh: "Then again, those movies always get a sequel..."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In between the Lacey's Angels and Age Of The Fall angles of Ring of Honor, Jimmy Jacobs put off sex with Lacey, even though he obviously wanted to be with her, because he didn't want a relationship based off of lust.

  • In the first series of Bleak Expectations, Mr. Benevolent tries to propose Pippa Bin, who initially refuses his advances. Then her brother states that his designs would leave her "tainted and sullied". Suddenly Pippa becomes much more receptive to the idea…

    Video Games 
  • The remake of Persona 3 gives us a Rare Male Example of Shinjiro Aragaki. Maxing out his Social Link with the female protagonist leads him to fall in love with her, but he stubbornly resists admitting it because he knows that, with three different death threats hanging over him, he doesn't have long to live and starting a romance would only cause her pain later. It's only in the face of repeated persistence from the protagonist that he finally gives in to his feelings. It still doesn't end well, although he does end up comatose rather than dead. And he does wake up on the last day… just in time to see her die. Yeah, it kind of sucks to be Shinjiro.
  • Since Tali is romanceable in Mass Effect 2, she has concerns about sleeping with Shepard (because her species have, basically, no immune systems). But she really would—oh, you get it. In the end, she takes a bunch of antibiotics and herbal supplements, still gets a rather nasty cold, and admits that it was totally worth it. By the third game, she's built up an immunity and this no longer applies.
    • Not only do they have a shitty immune system, but their amino acids are subject to Mirror Chemistry. As Mordin puts it (though for a different pairing which has the same amino acid problem), "Don't ingest."
    • Garrus has the same basic reaction to the prospect of being with Shepard. He has no idea how the sex part of a romantic relationship would work between their species, and expresses quite a bit of hesitance due to nervousness about the prospect, but is ultimately all for it. Assuming they can figure out how to work out the particulars. It worth noting that turians, Garrus' race, are the other species in the galaxy whose biological makeup is based on dextro-amino acids. This pairing is the recipient of the above-mentioned "don't ingest" advice.
    • Amusingly, all of the inter-species angst plots are resolved by Mordin suggesting some meds and giving Shepard a manual of compatible positions.
    • There's also a rather sedate (and sad) version with Samara: if Shepard expresses interest in her, she gently declines due to personal reasons, but notes that the interest is not unwelcome. If the point is pressed, she nearly gives in...but uses her biotics to push Shepard back at the last moment and excuses herself.
    Samara: In another time...another life.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


8 Simple Rules - Kerry

The trope namer and source of the page quote. In "Closure" from "8 Simple Rules," Kerry is trying to hide her ex-boyfriend Bruno in the family attic. She claims that they're only just friends now. However, when they share a kiss, she realizes that there may still be something there and beats a hasty retreat. She then admits to her sister, Bridget, that if she stayed around him, she might do something that she'd regret, though she would really enjoy it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt

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