The males of lekking species are not expected to be choosy about mating because a reduced reproductive rate due to lost mating opportunities should outweigh any benefits of male choice. Females have traditionally not been expected to be competitive in this system since their reproduction has usually been assumed to be unconstrained by male availability. Here we show that, in contrast to these predictions, males are choosy and females may be competitive in the lekking great snipe Gallinago media. Males preferred by many females often refused to copulate with and even chased away females that the male had already copulated with, whereas females seemed to compete for repeated copulations. We conclude that choosiness may sometimes pay for popular males in those lekking species where females copulate repeatedly. Apparently, evolutionary conflicts of interest between individuals may cause a richer repertoire of behavioural adaptations than, to our knowledge, hitherto realized.