(404) 874-8536 johnballew@gmail.com

Sex on the First Date?

A familiar story:

“Before we went out, I told myself I didn’t want to end up in bed with him on the first date no matter how much I liked him.  We went out to dinner and hit it off.  When we finished eating, neither of us was eager to have the evening end.  He invited me back to his place for a glass of wine.”

You can guess how it went from there.

“I was surprised when he came on to me.  I didn’t think he was that interested!  One thing led to another, and….”

And another New Year’s Resolution bites the dust.

How we decide when we’re ready for sexual intimacy is a highly personal matter.  I recently spoke with two men, each of whom described having a “four date rule.”  What they meant, however, was exactly the opposite.  Bachelor number 1’s rule was that he didn’t feel sex was a good idea until he had at least four dates with someone.  Bachelor number 2 meant that if sex hadn’t happened by the fourth date, it was over.  Hopefully, these men will not date one another.

For some men, sex on the first date is not a big deal.  (That’s especially true, of course, if dating is just a euphemism for hooking up.)  There are reasons why many men choose not to get too hot and heavy as soon as they get to know someone:

  • Some men find that if they have sex early in the process of getting to know someone, they get invested too fast. It’s as if they fall in love before they really have had a chance to find out if this is someone they really want to be with.
  • Other men have just the opposition reaction – they’ve found that after they have gotten it on with a guy, they have little desire for another date with him. For these men, postponing sex is a strategy for keeping interest up and letting relationships develop.
  • Some men have ethical reasons for not having sex right away. They’ve made a decision that the level of erotic intimacy with another person should be proportionate to the level of overall intimacy with him.  Getting sexual too soon feels out of place to these guys.

Making these choices is highly personal – but it’s important to realize that we’re talking about exactly that:  choices.  If we’re on automatic pilot when it comes to sex or dating, we may not be considering the impact of our decisions.

If you’re dating, take some time to notice what’s going on.  What’s the impact on how you feel about someone after you’ve had sex with him?  Do you feel closer or more distant?  Does it cloud your judgment about seeing your new guy objectively if you’ve had hot sex with him?  In fact, what does having sex mean to you?  If you equate sex with making love, it stands to reason that the choices you make will be different from someone who approaches sex as recreation.

So what about that first date?  If you are serious about not getting sexual right away, watch your alcohol intake.  Alcohol lessens inhibitions – it can make you a pushover.  Avoid ending the evening back at your place or his place.  In fact, think about how you might want to end the evening before it starts.  If your guy is interesting and you’d like to keep it going, you can always plan a second date rather than letting the evening get so late that it gets away from you.

About John

I have been  licensed by the State of Georgia as a professional counselor for more than 25 years.  My areas of specialty are relationships, intimacy, sexuality, anxiety and depression.  My passion is helping people build happier lives and stronger relationships. 

I know it isn’t always easy to talk about problems.  My approach to counseling is nonjudgmental and compassionate.  If you have questions, I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about working together.

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Whether you've worked with a therapist before or are exploring counseling for the first time, you probably have questions.  It is important to have the information you need to make a good decision when selecting a therapist.  I welcome your questions -- about your specific situation, about me or about my approach to therapy. Making things better can start with an email, or you can call me at (404) 874-8536.