A couple of weeks ago, I was brunching and gossiping with a group of friends. You know, one of those brunch days after a big night out where you remember places you went and things you said, and laugh about your one friends who wound up puking in a stranger’s apartment the next morning.
One of said friends had slept with a guy she had known for a little while through friends of a friend. She was hopeful it could turn into something else—gushing about little details and their exchange of numbers. You could just tell she had this hope. Until someone else said: “Well you can’t date now, right? You broke the cardinal rule.”
I had to contain the look of shock on my face, because to my surprise, everyone agreed with her. The consensus was: this dude will never date you, you already gave it up. Did I mention this was this year? 2014?
So this got me thinking. Does everyone think this way? Am I the only one who thinks a woman can have some say over her sex life, without being judged? Is this still the mentality—a woman who has sex too soon is undateable—a slut?
And with all of this rattling around in my head, I set out to get the truth. I asked about 10 of my girl friends their thoughts on sex on the first date, and I also sent out a survey to the same number of dudes. Almost all straight 20 somethings—and almost all agreeing on one thing: NO SEX ON THE FIRST DATE.
I suppose this isn’t too surprising. But here is what was:
All of the girls addressed the issue of building a relationship. Almost each girl said, “If you want a relationship with a guy, you cannot sleep with him on the first date.” They also addressed the idea of intimacy. Sex can and should be an emotional experience as well as a physical one. The girls mentioned how love and connection can make sex better, and that waiting is worth it for that connection.
None of the men mentioned relationships. None of the men, in fact, said anything about waiting. Rather, the overwhelming opinion was, if a girl is going to have sex with me on a first date, I will, but I probably won’t talk to her again. A couple of them used the word slut.
I even had to get clarification on this issue—and repeatedly asked—“So you’re telling me if you were on a date, a GREAT date, a drinks-turns-to-dinner-turns-to-a walk-turns-to-more-drinks kind of date, and the connection is there, and you have sex—no matter what you thought of her before this—you can’t like her anymore?” The answer half the time was yes.
There were a couple of good answers (I actually show some excerpts below) but this was overwhelmingly the consensus. It’s unsettling. But I suppose it’s helpful to know. Sex is still something that boys will always take, and if you give it too early, even if you’re a grown woman with sexual desires and complete control over the situation, you’re often viewed as nothing more than a slut.
It is sad to me that this is still the norm. This is not to say I’m a big supporter of women giving up sex at all times with random men just because, trust me. But I do think the idea of being judged and called a slut for acting on a desire—which by the way the person judging is complicit in!—is pretty shitty. And pretty outdated. And, unfortunately, something that doesn’t seem to be going away in any fashion.
So, in conclusion, here is what I have learned. If you want a relationship, really, really truly do not have sex with this person too soon. While there is the exception here (oh but my friend’s friend’s, friend got married to their One Night Stand!), it is definitely not the rule. Is this fair? Absolutely not. But, if you meet someone that you have a connection with, if you think it’s worth it to give them access to your vagina, it should be worth it to wait.
3 Chicks On Sex On The First Date:
“When I date, it’s not just for sex, so I don’t want to do that if I don’t see the date leading to a relationship. Plus I don’t really think you know whether or not someone is a ga-broni or a man whore or hell a freaking stalker until you get through a couple dates.”
“Speaking from a true prude: I am a strong no if you’re looking for a relationship. If you’re up for fun and games, it’s not the worst, just wrap it up! Not sure how long or how many dates you should go before you actually do it.”
“I couldn’t care less if anyone else went for the gold on a first date because lord knows the drinks get to flowin and people get frisky- get it girl. But, in my personal opinion if you are truly looking for a relationship, then you need to hold out. Guys will sleep with just about anything that shows them a little attention. Let a guy get to know you before he gets to know your vagina.”
3 Dudes On How Sex on a First Date Changes Their Opinion Of Her
“Yeah I think having or not having sex makes you think about the evening, or breakfast/afternoon delight, in different ways. Whether that is positive or negative (or somewhere in between) is more circumstantial than a straight yes or no answer. For example, if a girl came up to me at the bar at 1am and we went home together and had sex then it would make me reconsider hanging out again. And also make me question why I slept with her (two way street). It would raise a few questions like, does she do this often? What was she looking for?”
“It does not change my opinion of her. It does however change my opinion on my own decision making. Leaving me questioning whether or not I actually needed to take this said girl on a date (spending money, gas, etc.) to have sex with her or if I could have used the tried and true move and asked her ‘want to come over and watch a movie?’”
“It does change my opinion of her. I believe the term I would refer to it is slut.”
[Lead image via Marina Svetlova/Shutterstock]