Should you have sex on a first date?

When I said that I was going to post about S-E-X, Lacey was marginally horrified.  There were a couple of reasons behind this; one I think is predominantly cultural. I’m a true blue European who got reprimanded for sunbathing topless when I first came to the US, and Lacey is an all-American sweetheart who’s a little more of a lady…..in public at least 🙂

The other concern was exactly how the subject of sex was relevant to an (hopefully) inspirational Health, Fitness and Lifestyle blog?  To me, sex, be it the potential of it, the lack of it, our expertise in it, our insecurities, or our enjoyment of it is one of the underpinnings of our lives.  Yes, we go to the gym and try to steer clear of sugar because we want a healthy strong body, but it’s also so we can feel sexy and attractive in those bodies.  So when the lights get turned out, we can maybe switch them back on :).  So that when we walk into a room we can feel confident that we are presenting the best versions of ourselves.  So we can be potentially desirable to someone that we in turn desire to kiss and caress and touch.  There’s no shame in that.  That’s an essential element of who we are as people.  

I received a request to write about my thoughts on sleeping with somebody on the first date. And just to be clear, by sleeping, I mean sex 🙂

I’m an assertive woman.  I’ve slept with people on the first date, more than once or twice (sorry mum).  I’ve also been made to wait for quite a while.  Long-term relationships sometimes actually evolved out of both circumstances; I don’t necessarily think it’s true that sleeping with someone immediately makes them take you less seriously.  BUT… I have come to believe that unless you’re literally looking to scratch that itch and get the hell out of Boca, AND that the other person is looking for the same thing, it’s not the most ideal thing to get that intimate that quickly.

DISCLAIMER; I’m speaking from the female perspective here, having never been a man. Male readers: please add a comment and give us your take on the situation!

Here’s what I see A LOT.  A great woman, funny, sexy, smart gets all hung up on a guy or a girl who’s really not that right for them.  They’re probably pretty hot and have got a certain swagger but that’s often about it.  They don’t have much to say, or they’re obviously a major player, they like to party just a little too much, they have a tendency to let you pick up the check on a regular, OR they’re just not that into you.  They’re scratching that itch. And yet this woman is into them big time.  Women (generally speaking) apparently have a biological mechanism that ensures that the hormones released after getting intimate help create a sensation of bonding with their sex partner. This might have been useful when we needed someone to hunt and kill the dinner for our bambinos, but not so much now when the fact is we were just horny, and a little drunk and on a date with someone who has moves.  By getting intimate that fast are we just setting ourselves up to get attached to someone before we have any real idea of what they’re about? Before we know if we even WANT to get involved with them?  

As women I sometimes don’t think we’re being fair to ourselves or to the other person. How do they know what you want or don’t want, when they don’t know you and you don’t tell them?  Why is it that we can know someone well enough to get down and dirty but most of us would rather die than be clear and honest about what it is we’re looking for?  No games, no pretense, not trying to be so damn cool about our feelings all the time. 

Sex, especially GOOD sex (if it’s amazing then you’re totally screwed!) creates a false intimacy with someone that you don’t even know if you really like as a person.  We can get all obsessed with someone who we’re not compatible with in the slightest. We can even end up in relationships that are going nowhere fast. Just think of that ex somewhere in your past and how you can’t even imagine how THAT ever happened!

By the way….if you’re a girls girl reading this and you don’t identify…I’d ask the last girl you casually hooked up with exactly how she feels about the situation.  Two women; the odds are that ONE is feeling a little like this.

There’s no way to predict the outcome of any romantic/sexual entanglement. We’re all human, all fallible and there are no rules that haven’t been broken, nor clichés that haven’t been totally turned on their heads.  But I believe that it’s about being honest with yourself on the journey towards what it is that you most want in life.  It’s in the same way that if you’re trying to lose weight, or tone up at the gym; you and only YOU know if your hour at the gym was really 10 minutes on the cross-trainer and 50 minutes in the steam room, or if it was really just one cookie.  Only we are ultimately in control of how much we want anything in life.

If you’re just feeling frisky and they seem like a fun, SAFE, sexy person, and you just want to cut loose; no regrets, no expectations, then by all means, go do your thing. I’m not knocking it in the slightest :).  But what I am saying is that if you know that deep down you perhaps would like a relationship in your life, then not sleeping together right away can give you a chance; not to ‘trap’ them or portray yourself as a ‘good’ girl, but to figure out if THEY are who YOU really want.

What are your thoughts and experiences in the journey of love, life and sex?




16 Responses to “Should you have sex on a first date?”

  1. October 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    As you know darling… I like to hold off for awhile… I like to get to know the woman before we take it to that next very important level. I don’t share myself with just anyone, they have to be very special to me first.

    HOWEVER, I have pulled a couple one and dones in my day… I did know from the get go that she wasn’t someone I was going to have a long-term relationship with… I just wanted to, as Jessica puts it soo nicely – “scratch my itch” 🙂

  2. October 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    I think you are right… sometimes people get confused when they have a good intimacy connection. Specially woman since they are a little more emotional.

  3. 3 mr pinstripes
    October 15, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I am a man. I am 35. I’ve had long term relations of 8, 3 and 2 years, and many flings in between. I am very romantic and loving, yet i love to fuck. (ideally all at once)

    I am gonna generalize a lot. And I wont respond to anyone who has issue with my opinion, it’s JUST an opinion. =p

    For women – I think it all boils down to “expectations” and communication. I always tell girlfriends, “the sooner you sleep with a man, the sooner you know what he wants and if he’s really into you” some say dumb shit like “then he will think I am a whore” which confounds me. A. are you a whore? (no) B. do you care what everyone else thinks? (yes) C. Wouldn’t you rather look at yourself as an empowered women enjoying her sexuality and not worry about what some guy you just met thinks? (i guess not)

    Of course most women don’t follow my advice out of FEAR. fear that they will get hurt, so they keep on wishing and hoping things become “something”, and often it makes it WORSE. because not only did the guy hit it a couple times and get bored, or maybe even not enjoy the sex (it happens trust me) they “invested” 3 or 7 or 9 dates on the fella. What’s worse, the women wonder “why?” Women (at least pretty ones i date and know) have the biggest egos and have a real hard time accepting rejection, where as even the most desirable man has been rejected thousands of times… we DONT TAKE IT PERSONAL ALL THE TIME. women tend to! (and sometimes they should!)

    Everyone has their own comfort level, I am almost done with American women myself… for example they always equate sex as something moral.. and as something they’re “giving away” there is never equity. Im just a dick to them, a guy getting lucky, it’s so tiresome. there is a culture of growing up “special” here. “daddys’ little princess” every woman thinks she is special and she has a list nine miles long of what a guy needs in order to “get her” it’s very naive, unfair and ultimately its putting the cart before the horse. I’ve wrote too much, i guess I am done.

    I just think people should do what THEY WANT and whilst doing it make sure the other person understands if it’s just for fun or it its more etc. I’ve dumped girls after a couple weeks cuz they were too “hung up”

    they villified and hated me and called me shallow, which i think is so funny. Because I respected them instead of just playing along to get some ass then bounce. that’s a whole nother bone to pick, women tend to fall for assholes cause the ego thing again and not appreciate honest men like me. i see it over and over.


  4. 4 WickedKItten
    October 15, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    WOW Jessica I really liked this article reason being because right now in my life I’m kinda going through that whole “to SLEEP OR NOT to SLEEP” and it was enlightening to get someone else’s perspective… Kudos and thanx!:)

  5. 5 coffeebuzz
    October 15, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you Mr. Pinstripes.
    I am a woman (young- in her early 20s) and thoroughly agree with you.
    I was dating a man earlier this year. We had been semi-friends (friends through friends) for a couple years, but in one night it turned into a sex-capade. He called it “dating,” but to me, it was just amazing sex a few times a week, with occasional meals, a lot of laughs, a lot of drinks, and a ton of fun, and fab conversations… but I’m not sure I’d call it dating (maybe i’m just “worried about getting hurt”).
    Anyway, he was DUMBFOUNDED when I didn’t get all upset he was sleeping with someone else (who I know, actually), when I didn’t care if he saw her, when I didn’t care seeing them together… it actually drove him crazily confused that it didn’t bother me. Somehow it made him much more into me, that I “let him” do whatever he wanted.
    I’m one of those girls (apparently a small minority) who doesn’t at all equate sex with relationships. They can go together, but they’re not intrinsically linked for me. And that doesn’t apply to many other people. I do believe sex is great when emotions are involved, but somethings you just need to scratch that itch, and man… he was a good scratcher.
    It bothers me that I see my girlfriends make out with a guy one night at a club or party and all of a sudden she’s planning their next 4 dates. Not sure I get that…

    But to each their own, right?

  6. 6 Rebecca
    October 15, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Since I am so called “Orthodox Jewish” I was a virgin when I married at 21, it was hard cause we were engaged for 10 yes teennnnn months. Nothing in this world can compete with that feeling of being devirginized on your wedding night, not even explosive – hot lesbian affairs ( yes he knows). Making out with pretty girls in closets, gym, mile high club, book isle, and all the crazy places you can think of is a natural high for the moment but something is still missing when you’re with a stranger. I think sex with the one you love is heavenly you feel connected like one body.

    Women get all emotional and crave the connection.If men could have their way they would just **** and move on lol. I got a huge libido for a girl and it can create some freakin problems you know cause any femme that walks this earth makes me week.

    LMAO “Scratch My Itch” sounds so very manly.

  7. 7 Rebecca
    October 15, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    OOPS I meant “WEAK”

  8. 8 Eneb
    October 16, 2008 at 4:22 am

    Ok so this isn’t an issue that’s currently relevant to me because im in a relationship at the moment 8months. <–Disclaimer just in case my insanely Jealous Prada-wearing girlfriend , who I adore :), is reading this .

    But my issue USE to be that, I wanted sex without commitment But I have a problem that prohibits the whole sex on the first night issue. Im a germ-a-phobe… don’t laugh at me! I cant get down with a chick unless I know her hygiene habits. Its crazy but I just cant. I know It sounds insane, but my MOUTH goes there. I have to know. I literally have to go to their house/apt most importantly their bathroom and like do a CSI investigation. Basically I need to know what products they are using etc……Im laughing at myself just typing this. But its true.

    The problem is, because I wasnt trying to have sex with them on the first night, they would think I was trying to get to know them better. and that I wanted an relationship. And up until recently that was the furthest thing from the truth. I felt like I was completely upfront with my intentions but the whole , not sleeping with them when they were giving it away , kinda throws them off.

    But as far as our view of sex and its meaning to some. Even though im a horrible horrible role model , I truly truly believe sex is supposed to be something more than what we use it for. And I know that it sounds really conservative , which im not, and maybe a little romanticized but I truly do believe its lost its weight and it makes me a little sad I guess. Especially when I see they way sex is viewed by teens and younger now. I don’t think it has anything to do with women or men becoming more liberated and strong, I really feel like were losing something here. What exactly im not sure.

  9. 9 AussieGirl
    October 16, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Speaking of itches, I, too, am a germaphobe. Although, it’s more pronounced when it comes to sleeping with men. I haven’t slept with anyone (man or woman) on the first date or that I’d just met at a nightclub due to my fear of STIs, but there have been situations where one more drink could have done it for me.
    I used to hold the belief that I’d only ever sleep with someone that I was in a relationship with, but I was 18, naive and was with my first girlfriend for three years. Now 22 and no intention of getting serious with anyone, I’m more than happy to just go on a few dates before shagging. The downside to this approach, as Eneb mentioned earlier, is that the other person gets attached and expects something more, knowing full well that I am seeing other people.

  10. October 17, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    This was so well written Jessica, I loved it! That’s cute that Lacey would be worried. Aw! I’m all for talking about anything, everything, anytime. Ha-ha. I’ve had a few encounters with sex on the first date. Or — party encounter. We won’t get into it. Eek! I can’t say it was the best choice or why I even did it besides I had no reason not to. I remember once, after having dinner with one of my exs, we were kissing & I didn’t know what to do next. Sex was the only logical step right? In a car no less. Not my brightest moment mind you. I take it as young & unexperienced since I was ripe out of high school and honestly had no real examples to draw from on my own. I would never again and yes I do look back and I think, “Rachel, Oh my Goddess. WTF?!” Ha-ha…

    I’ve always thought sex on the first date as a “no-go,” at least for me. I am in no way a Shane from the L Word type of character. In order for sex to be good for me, I need to love the person, know the person, or at least gotten intimate on an emotional level in some way. I think a few friends and I are just romantics and we like giving gifts, making the person feel special, knowing their ins and outs, because ultimately yes, I am forever looking for “the one,” to be with not just “another one.”

  11. 11 jessica clark
    October 19, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you all for sharing; it’s fascinating to me how different our takes on these things are, and yet there is always a common thread too 🙂

    Sex is such a strange thing when you break it down, but it means so much. I look forward to more discussions with you all!

  12. 12 jessica clark
    October 19, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you all for sharing; it’s fascinating to me how different our takes on these things are, and yet there is always a common thread too 🙂

    Sex is such a strange thing when you break it down, but it means so much. I look forward to more discussions with you all!

    I enjoyed my time out there, but I would have to concur that as steamy hot and crazy as it can get, there’s nothing quite like the thrill and deep connection of being that intensely intimate with the one you love above all else.

  13. 13 Me
    October 20, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    A few thoughts:
    1.) I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned biology. Women actually do have a biological trigger that gets tripped when we hump. Not 100% of the time and not always with the same intensity. But for most of us, on some level, it’s there.
    2.) I’ve had more casual sex than I really care to divulge. Most of it wasn’t good. Consistently, across my life, the best sex I’ve had has been within the confines of a committed relationship. Is that because of “love”? Maybe. More likely though is that my clitoris is particularly picky and my partner has to get some practice to learn to satisfy me.

  14. 14 CJ
    October 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Yes Jessica…Great topic!!!! I loved it ~blessings~

  15. 15 Anthony
    October 30, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Well I speaking from a gay man’s point of view and I really feel that its up to the two of you if the chemistry is there and you both want to have sex then yes I think its okay to have sex on the first date. Although men that have sex with me on a first date I do not think of as relationship material. Unfortunately with gay men most of them just want a quick fuck. Its really hard to find someone thats just wants to get to know who you really are and put the sex off untill they have spent time with you doing different things together and seeing your likes and
    dis likes. I do believe that opposites do attract. holla .

  16. 16 lucy
    May 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    well written.

    btw., i was a little bit surprised because i didn´t know that you love the mens too.

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