First Date Sex: Is It Killing Your Chances of Finding Love?
I want to make a deep, dark confession to you: I have had first date sex…more than once.
So…am I going to tell you that you should have sex on a first date? Not exactly.
Before you start calling me a hypocrite, let me explain why having sex on a first date might not be in your best interest if you’re looking for love.
I’m not condemning you if you’ve had first date sex…there’s certainly a time and a place for it, especially if you’re okay with having a casual relationship. But I want to explain why you might be incredibly frustrated about the guys you’ve gone out with (and slept with) not turning into long-term material. There’s definitely a connection there.
So, here’s the thing. You like sex. You’re not a kid anymore who has all these arbitrary rules about when to sleep with a guy; you’re a grown-ass woman. So sometimes, if the mood is right, you have first date sex.
You’re doing so from an empowered place…
You don’t worry that you’ll burn in hell if you sleep with a man too soon…
You’re in control of whether you sleep with a guy on a first date or not…
But you are still frustrated because the relationship seems to go nowhere after sleeping with the guy. It feels like there’s a direct connection between first date sex and the likelihood that a man will stick around or not…and you’re right.
Why First Date Sex Ruins the Prospect of a Relationship
The fact is: having sex on a first date kills the sexual tension. And sexual tension is a good thing early in a relationship. It’s this undercurrent of the unknown, of possibility.
Until he is emotionally attached to you, it’s sexual tension that will keep him coming back to you. So you want to play with that. Flirt with him. Tease a little (but don’t BE a tease!). Talk about how it’ll be when you do have sex to keep that tension going.
Otherwise, the mystery and allure dies the second you have sex. He doesn’t have to wonder what having sex with you would be like. He’s been there, done that. And he might just move on to his next conquer.
So why am I telling you to wait to have sex when I myself have had first date sex a few times? First of all, you’re reading this article, which tells me that you’re looking for a healthy, long-term relationship, and I have a lot of experience in understanding what you need to do in order to find true love.
But maybe you don’t really know what you want yet in dating because you’re new to it all over again. And if that’s the case, I want to help you navigate dating after 40 so you understand that you’re communicating something you might not intend to if you sleep with a man on the first date.
Whatever led you to this site and this article, I have to say: it’s better to get to know a man before jumping in bed with him. Not only will this policy help protect your heart, but it will also magnetically draw him to you and give him the time to want to invest himself emotionally in a relationship with you before it gets sexual too soon.
12 Reasons Why First Date Sex Is Hurting You (Even Though It Feels Good)
It may have been a while since you last had sex, and you may be sooooo ready. But I want to give you some very real arguments for waiting, especially if you want it to work out long-term.
1. You’re Communicating an Expectation to Him
A first date is all about reading one another’s signals, and sleeping with him after dinner and drinks communicates this to him: you’re looking for something casual. If he, also, is looking for something casual, he’ll be super excited. If he’s looking for something of substance, this may actually scare him off.
Either way, you’re saying something with your actions that you probably don’t mean to. You do want a serious relationship, right? That’s why it’s better to wait to have sex so you communicate that you want to get to know him first.
2. You’re Not Making Him Work to Earn You
I fully believe that a man should put in some effort to win your affections. If you sleep with him after a few hours of conversation and $20 worth of appetizers, you’re telling him that you aren’t a high-value woman that he needs to work for. He made minimal investment to get into bed with you. He’s pretty stoked about that.
But you are a high-value woman, and he should work to earn you.
What do I mean that he should work to earn you? He should text or call to check in with you every day. Make an effort to see you. Pay for some of the dates. Be patient when it comes to waiting for sex. Work to earn your trust. He needs to show you that he’s long-term material before you get into bed with him.
3. You Haven’t Yet Built Trust
I think it’s incredibly important to trust someone you’re going to get naked with. After all, you’re incredibly vulnerable when you’re in bed and having sex with someone. Shouldn’t you know and trust him at least a little?!
Trust takes time. It certainly doesn’t happen on a first date! You don’t yet know if he’s a liar, a cheat, or even just an a$$hole, so why open yourself up before you do know?
4. He Automatically Puts You in the Not-Serious Category
Take it from me: it is really, really hard to move from a sex-focused relationship to a serious one. If you start out with first date sex, he will put you in the not-serious box. He may even continue to look for a girlfriend while having sex with you. It’s virtually impossible for you to hop out of that box and into the girlfriend box! Another reason to wait.
5. It’ll Give You Unrealistic Feelings for Him
For many women, sex is attached to emotions. In other words, if you have sex with a guy on a first date, you are more likely to catch feelings for him. You might not otherwise have even liked him that much, but sex does a number on your brain, and it basically shows you this guy with rose-colored glasses…especially if the sex was great.
Even if you would have fallen for him anyway, having sex too soon accelerates those feelings. Before you know it, you’re head over heels for this guy…and he’s not quite caught up. Take your time getting to know him and falling for him, if that’s in the cards. There’s no rush to falling in love!
6. It’ll Give HIM Unrealistic Feelings for YOU!
Men have feelings too! Even if you are able to disconnect emotions from sex, he might not be able to. He might get too attached to you and turn you off with his too-soon attention. The easiest way to avoid this is to wait until you know each other better before jumping between the sheets.
7. You’re Not Focusing on the 2 Other Important Aspects: Emotional and Intellectual Connection
I believe there are 3 types of connections that are essential for a healthy relationship:
They really need to be balanced, these three. If you dive into the physical connection too soon, you may shortchange yourself from discovering a really great emotional connection. Or you might overlook the fact that there really isn’t an intellectual connection because all you can think about is the hot sex. Take your time and you’ll find out if you share all three.
8. It Can Be Awkward
Sex is best when you know a person at least relatively well and can experience them physically AND emotionally. Look at it like this: when you sleep with someone you just met…you’re sleeping with a stranger. And sure, sometimes “stranger sex” can be fun. When I did it, I was at a point in my life that that was all I wanted. You’re wanting more in your romantic life right now, so you need a different approach.
Usually, though, sex with a stranger is awkward and not always that great. You’re not yet comfortable enough to tell him what you like and so you might end up just laying there, waiting for it to be over. But when you know someone better, you’re going to enjoy sex more.
9. It Might Not Be the Norm for You
You might never have had casual sex in your life, but maybe because you’re dating later in life, you’re ready to try new things. I don’t know anyone who has been able to pull off casual sex when they’re actually firm believers in monogamy and long-term relationships. More than likely you will just end up feeling worse if you have sex with a guy who isn’t committed to you yet.
And don’t let a guy try to tell you that everyone’s having casual sex! Only 54% of women have positive feelings about casual sex, which means that the rest are totally not down with it. You’re far from alone.
10. You Might Set Up a Hookup Situation
This might be the last thing on your mind, but if you have first date sex, you could be setting yourself up for a hookup or friends with benefits situation.
Let’s say the date goes well and you end up back at his place. The sex was good. A few days later, he texts.
“Hey. What ru doing?”
You invite him over to your place because you figure you’ve already had sex, so why not? But after a while, you realize you never go on dates with this guy. You just have sex. And all because you had sex with him the first night.
11. You Put Yourself at Risk for STIs
When you don’t know a man well, you don’t know what sexually transmitted infections he might have. Usually, you have a conversation about STIs after you’ve been dating a while and are ready to have sex. But it’s hella awkward to ask only hours after meeting whether he’s been tested recently. And so you risk getting a disease yourself. It’s not worth the risk.
While it’s not a 100% guarantee you’ll be disease-free, always use a condom no matter when you have sex.
12. You Might Settle
Because you don’t know this guy and you’re already taking things up a level intimately, you’re going to feel invested in trying to make things work with him. That might make you overlook all kinds of red flags like:
- He says he doesn’t want a relationship
- He’s squirrelly about why he got divorced and you suspect he cheated on his wife
- He doesn’t really have a job
- He’s a jerk
You settle because you already feel invested in him and maybe the sex is great. In the long run, it won’t work out, but simply by waiting to get to know him first, you might come to the conclusion that he’s the wrong guy for you…and then you won’t even have wasted sex on him!
Why Waiting Increases Your Chance of Finding Love
So I’ve explained to you why first date sex could be less than magical. Now let’s dive deeper into why the longer you wait to have sex, the more likely you are to find love.
You Communicate That You’re Worth Waiting For
If you politely tell him no if he starts getting frisky on a first date, he’ll have to decide if you’re worth waiting for. If he’s not a jerk, he will wait. After a few dates, he’ll start to see that there’s so much more to you than just how incredibly hot you are. He’ll start falling for your amazing intellect and wit. He’ll be so busy listening to your tales about traveling the world that he won’t even be impatient about having sex.
The longer you wait, the more you give him to latch onto, and the more emotionally attached he will feel to you.
Men want things they consider to be valuable. When you express that you know your own self worth, that you’re worth the time and energy of getting to know, he’ll fall for you.
If He’s Just Looking for a Fling, He’ll Move On
This is a sort of filter. A guy might seem like he could be boyfriend material on paper (or on app, as it were), but if, when you tell him no to sex on a first date, he ghosts you, he was just looking for a fling. This is great to know so early because you don’t waste a single second longer on a man who in no way will shape up to be a long-term partner.
Just a note: some men will say they’re just looking for something casual on their dating profile, so if you really read those bios, you’ll save yourself time by not going after these guys. Focus on the ones who say they’re looking for love!
Getting to Know Each Other Means Sex Will Be More Intimate
There is a HUGE difference between sex with a stranger and sex with someone you know and have feelings for.
Not only are you more emotionally connected after a few weeks or months, but you’re also so much more comfortable around one another. There’s none of that awkwardness that can happen when two virtual strangers shed their clothes. You can guide him to what feels good for you and you can ask what he wants from you.
You Won’t Feel Bad About Yourself
C’mon. We’ve all been there. Myself included. There has been one (or more) time that you had sex with a guy too soon and you walked away from the situation feeling like utter crap. The sex wasn’t good. He barely looked at you when you walked out the door. And you knew he would never, ever text you again.
Who needs that kind of emotional insecurity?
When you wait to have sex, you know the guy better and you know what to expect from him. If you’ve been dating a while, you know that he’s going to text the morning after like he does every single day. You won’t be staring at your phone, wishing you’d hear from him.
So When SHOULD You Have Sex?
Ask any dating expert how long you should wait to have sex, and you’ll get a different answer. Some say three dates (really? you probably don’t even know his last name at that point!). One study showed that the average time people waited to have sex with a new partner was eight dates. That’s a combined average of nine dates for women and five for men.
I personally think that you should wait until you’ve spent 10 physical hours together. Maybe that’s a two-hour first-meet coffee date, a three-hour dinner date, an incredible five-hour all-day date…you get the picture.
You don’t have to clock the hours, but do make an effort to spend time, both on the phone (even texting counts) and in person getting to know this man before you decide that you’re ready to have sex with him.
So now you know why, despite the fact that I’ve had first date sex, I don’t recommend it if you’re trying to find The One. I think we need to respect sex for the powerful element of a relationship that it is. Treat it lightly, and you end up hurt or still single. But if you treasure it and make it only available to men who have truly earned the right to be intimate with you, not only will you enjoy it more but you’ll also have a higher chance that a man that you have sex with will be one that you date long term and/or fall in love with.
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So be patient! Just because you can have sex on a first date doesn’t mean you should. An empowered woman understands the bigger picture, rather than living in the moment and fulfilling her sexual desires, only to be let down later. She knows that spending more time with a man before getting intimate will reap more benefits both sexually and emotionally for both of them.
So what about you? What are your thoughts on first date sex? If you’ve had it, do you regret doing it or are you glad you did? Leave a comment below.