As people stay in the dating pool longer than ever before, women are continuously inundated with advice on whether or not to sleep with someone on the first date.
Making that decision often involves canceling out a lot of unhelpful noise (whether it’s from your peers or from your date), not to mention worrying about scary stuff like STDs and the possibility of getting pregnant. Oh, and don’t forget to factor in your personal desires.
To add to all of that, the prevalence of online dating makes things a little more complicated: After those fateful right swipes, many women don’t meet their match in person until the first date itself, which only amplifies those aforementioned fears and unhelpful commentary.
Of course, there’s no “right” answer here — our feeling is essentially, “you do you!” — but we were curious what our readers thought about sex on the first date. So, we asked them. Here’s how 14 of them felt:
1. “The first date is not enough time to talk about any past sexual history that may have resulted in diseases, diseases that I might be able to catch.”
“I would never have sex on a first date with someone. The first date is not enough time to talk about any past sexual history that may have resulted in diseases, diseases that I might be able to catch. Also, I wouldn’t trust someone to put my best interests in mind — like preventing pregnancy and using proper protection — after knowing them for that short a period of time.”
2. “Treating sex like a prize or an arbitrary milestone teaches us to suppress our sexual desires for the sake of gender and social norms.”
“As a woman, I’m an adamant supporter of sex on the first date when I feel like it. I hate that we’ve been socialized to withhold sex from men and use it as a dangling carrot. Treating sex like a prize or an arbitrary milestone teaches us to suppress our sexual desires for the sake of gender and social norms. The only question you should ask yourself when deciding if you want to have sex should be ‘Do I want to have sex?’”
3. “Yes, if you do not care for the guy or just are not thinking about a relationship right now. No, if he is a keeper.”
“Yes, if you do not care for the guy or just are not thinking about a relationship right now. No, if he is a keeper. My fiance and I meet through work and flirted for two months before going out for the first time.”
4. “Chances are, if I wasn’t feeling a mental connection, we weren’t going on a second date or having sex anyway.”
“Sex is super important to me, and it’s a great indicator of how well things click mentally. Chances are, if I wasn’t feeling a mental connection, we weren’t going on a second date or having sex anyway, and I probably already faked an emergency to get out of dodge. If I think we are on a similar mental level, let’s have sex before we get any further. Because if the sex isn’t up to par, I’m out — nobody has time for a deferral of the inevitable.”
5. “Knowing somebody’s fave meal or band on a first date isn’t enough for me to sleep with someone.”
“I’m not exactly sure if the decision will be the same with every person I date, but most likely no. Knowing somebody’s fave meal or band on a first date isn’t enough for me to sleep with someone.”
6. “It depends on who the first date is with.”
“I think it depends on who the first date is with. For example, let’s say that the date is with a person you’ve known for years and they asked you to dinner. Dinner went extremely well. You get back to your home and invite him in. That’s not too early, because you’ve done all the getting-to-know-you part years in advance. Now the only question is: Are we sexually compatible? I would say sex on the first date depends on a lot of factors.”
7. “It seems like my generation has lost the meaning of sex with another person.”
“It seems like my generation has lost the meaning of sex with another person. Trying to form that bond after spending a few hours with someone is impossible. It takes months, maybe even years, to build that closeness with someone. You open yourself up at the inner level of your true being [when you have sex] — that’s a very big step to take with someone.”
8. “As you practice safe sex, an individual should feel free to have sex with whomever they choose on whatever ‘date’ number it is.”
“I have had sex the first day I’ve met someone and also waited a while with another. I’m no longer with either of these people. I firmly believe that, as long as you practice safe sex, an individual should feel free to have sex with whomever they choose on whatever ‘date’ number it is.”
9. “If I ever have sex again, whoever it is with will need to submit to STD and HIV testing prior to us having sex.”
“I used to. I love sex, and if the sex isn’t good, it wouldn’t have been worth continuing the relationship. However, it’s been three years since I have had sex, and last year, all the STD tests came back clean. I decided that, if I ever have sex again, whoever it is with will need to submit to STD and HIV testing prior to us having sex — and the results need to be spotless. It’s probably because I am older now, but I’ve taken too many risks in the past, and I now realize people need to earn the privilege of having sex with me.”
10. “I think it gives you very little pleasure compared to having sex with someone you have feelings for.”
“No, I wouldn’t, but I have. Growing up, mistakes are made, and sometimes you’ve got to try something for yourself to see you actually don’t like it. I had meaningless sex, and as a woman, I think it gives you very little pleasure compared to having sex with someone you have feelings for.”
11. “I think putting a number on the dates-to-sex ratio can be stifling.”
”If you’re feeling the kind of sexual chemistry that makes your knees weak, I say go for it. I think putting a number on the dates-to-sex ratio can be stifling. We could all benefit from trusting our instincts and ourselves a little more. I don’t judge someone for getting their freak on, and I wouldn’t date a man long if he judged me for my healthy sexual appetite and attitude.”
12. “I had been dating a guy for a few months before the first time, then we did it and it was bad. And weird.”
“I believe in sex on the first date, or at least by the third. I had an experience where I had been dating a guy for a few months before the first time, then we did it and it was bad. And weird. Easily the worst sex of my life. If we had done it earlier, I would have saved myself some time and energy.”
13. “I think in 2015, if you’re on a date and there’s chemistry and you’re both consenting adults, have at it.”
“I’m 22 now and engaged to be married to a man whose bones I wanted to jump with or without a first date. I think in 2015, if you’re on a date and there’s chemistry and you’re both consenting adults, have at it.”
14. “It’s rather important to make sure we are compatible in the bedroom as well as outside of it.”
“If the vibe is right and I like the person enough to want to go on a date with them, it’s perfectly acceptable. Sex is fun. If I like the person, why not enjoy everything I can? It doesn’t mean we have to have a relationship work out — or even have a second date. In fact, given sex is such a huge part of my relationships, if there is no spark in the bedroom or someone is bad in bed, I won’t continue with a relationship. If I think there could be more there than just a casual friend, it’s rather important to make sure we are compatible in the bedroom as well as outside of it.”
Moral of the story:
There’s no “right” or “wrong” thing to do — sex on the first date is really a different-strokes-for-different-folks kind of thing. Just try to focus on what you want and, of course, be safe.
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