Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Should You Have...Sex on the First Date?
In talking with a friend about this topic, she said definitively that sex on the first date is bad news. I know I sound like a cheap version of Carrie Bradsaw (of Sex and the City fame)if I say "so I got to thinking..." so I will re-frame my beginning.
The truth is that sex on the first date is an issue that everyone who is dating needs to think about. One of the things I find myself saying to my clients is "be sure you know what you're doing." Clients often ask me for my advice, and often wish I would tell them whether they should or shouldn't so something. Consistently, I say that they can do whatever they choose, but must be aware of what the effect will be of their actions. In other words, you can't simply do something without having insight into your behavior. Part of being an adult is realizing that your behaviors have consequences.
Many women and men have sex on the first date. Sometimes, it happens without planning. People get caught up in the moment and, before you know it, clothes are strewn all over the floor. Other times, people walk into a date with a set rule that they will not have sex on the first date under any circumstances.
I had dinner with a group of people Saturday night and I polled the group to get their thoughts on the issue. One member of the group said there shouldn't be any rules on the subject, and that people should trust their instincts. She sounded so confident that I almost switched my opinion!
However, my feeling on the subject is different. I think a good rule of thumb is to avoid sex on the first date if you are hoping the date could turn into a relationship. It's provincial to suggest that you should avoid sex early on so your date doesn't think you're 'easy.' Two consenting adults should be able to do what they want to do as long as they are careful. Our society doesn't need any more judgment than it already bears.
The reason to avoid sex on the first date is that having sex would suggest that you are willing to invest in someone you really don't know yet. For example, you wouldn't buy a car without test driving it. If you want to have a relationship with a person, you need to get to know them first before you get too hot and heavy. Sex brings up a lot of intense emotions, and I don't think you should let someone trigger you so strongly before you know if they are good for you. My goodness, even waiting a week is better than doing it on the first date.
The ultimate point is that you want to protect yourself emotionally. You want to know whether someone will be sensitive, thoughtful and caring with you in general before you start getting emotionally or physically intimate with them. Remember, patience is a virtue!
PLUS: Dr. Seth's new book, Dr. Seth's Love Prescription, is about how to stop repeating bad patterns in your romantic relationships. Pre-order today at Amazon.com or find it in bookstores December 18!