A major tenet of the female dating handbook is to hold off on having sex for as long as possible when newly dating a guy and to never, under any circumstances, have sex on the first date. While girls try to exert all the will power they can muster and flirt without follow-through, men try their hardest to get us to break our resolve and give in to our shared desires. I am not sure if this is some sort of test to see how classy and/or challenging we are or if sex on the first date really makes no difference to them. I have heard from some friends that it really does not matter when you have sex with someone, if it is meant to work out then it will. Other people determinately state that sex on the first date ensures that the two people involved will never enter into a committed relationship.
Sex on the first date can be a heat-of-the-moment, passionate hookup and be viewed as something that “just happened,” emitting no impact on the overall relationship outcomes. However, because of the implications of and stigmatism surrounding premature physical encounters, more often than not, the situation is made out to be something more than it is. While for men it is a satisfying experience regardless of the consequences after, women tend to not be able to take the experience for what it is without subsequent assumptions or needs. Girls are raised to believe that sex is sacred and should be done only with someone you love as a means of expressing that love or for procreation. As girls enter their preteen and teen years and venture into the dating world, they frequently hear derogatory comments about females who are sexually expressive and grow to believe that if they give it up too soon the guy will think they are a slut or not enough of a challenge. Girls feel that if they have sex on the first date they will be perceived as “easy” and the guy will not have respect for them or bother sticking around to get to know them. So, while their bodies tell them to do it, their minds tell them to make him wait. They stress about all the taboos of dating and have anxiety over the guys’ perceptions of them. Ultimately, since girls are raised to believe that sex has all this meaning to it and that it is part of love, they make it an emotional act. Conversely, men are raised with the viewpoint that sex is a pleasurable act where a relationship is optional or possible, but not essential.
Obviously, being that it is the twenty-first century and the above paragraph is based on societal spin and not sound facts, there are girls who can have sex with no strings attached and guys who fall in love with ever girl they sleep with. However, the majority of society tends to believe the above notions and opts to base their actions and convictions around them. As a girl, my mom never lied to me about sex or told me that babies came from storks. I was given a detailed educational text book on sex and puberty when I was too young and too creeped-out to read it. Despite my mom’s openness and my growing-up to be a diehard liberal and moderate feminist, I still fear judgment, loss of respect, and loss of relationship potential when deciding whether or not to have sex with a guy. I do not know whether this is a byproduct of the societal construction of my gender, is just an innate response based on my personality, or is a valid fear because the assumptions about sex on the first date are true. My guess is that it is a bit of all three.
Everyone is different, but for me choosing to have sex with someone is a decision not to be made lightly. A girl should not do it because she feels obligated to or fears that he will not like her if she doesn’t. She should never do so without caution and contemplation of all the possible ramifications nor should she have sex because it is expected of her by the guy or her peers. It is a decision she should make without influence of any of these factors—which is very hard to do in the heat of the moment. Therefore, it is best to go into a date with a plan. You should decide that you are not going to have sex with the guy no matter what and devise an escape route or be ready and willing to have sex if certain criteria are met. The only bad choice you can really make is to go into a date totally unprepared and lose sight of yourself and what you are looking for when the pressure is on.
In my personal dating life I tend to not follow the rules of girl world. While I may try or say that I will adhere to the widely held guidelines of my peers, my intentions and actions are never quite in sync. However, despite this, I rarely have sex with a guy on a first date. More often than not, I go on several dates that have minimal physical interaction and one or both parties conclude that it is not going to work out. That being said, there are those atypical dates that end with us in bed. In general, I feel that sex on the first date is not a deal breaker and the fate of a relationship does not rest on merely one measure. The potential for future dates is really more dependent upon the overall attraction and connection between the two people and whether or not there are other likeable qualities that make you want to see him/her again. It certainly can be reasoned that waiting longer to have sex allows both parties to get to know each other better and assess these positive/negative attributes before becoming intimate. In fact, in most instances it is probably best to hold off on sex for a few dates so that you can build some trust and relationship foundations before electing to up your number. Yet, all of us have certain exceptions to the rules that allow us to cheat our own system and surrender to our desires. If there is extreme attraction, an intense connection, he possesses a certain je ne sais quoi, and you are confident that you will be ok with any conceivable ramifications, then why not have some fun?
Conclusively deeming first date sex as either too soon or just right would be a mistake because neither is definitively true. There are certain times where it is done with regret and other times where it can result in marriage. Ultimately, all we can do is watch out for red flags, follow our hearts and instincts, and abide by our individual standards and the only way to correctly answer that question is to ask it of ourselves on every first date we go on. However, this is just my opinion and I would love to hear more perspectives on the topic so please feel free to share your thoughts below.