First-Date Sex: Yeah Or Nay?
Recently, I asked my Facebook friends whether they would have sex on the first date. I received over a hundred responses—roughly a 50/50 ratio of men to women and ranging in age from 25 to over 60. Their reactions were, as expected, varied and based on personal experiences, upbringing, beliefs, and cultural opinions. I was a little bit shocked (because I myself enjoy one-night stands) at how many women said no to sex on the first date while the majority of men said yes. A few male friends said something like, "If a woman has sex with me on the first date, I think she'll do the same with other men. Men like to chase women. So, if the chase is gone, what's the point?"
What I know about attraction, dating, and waiting for sex:
Everyone does it, but for some reason, most of us still can't talk about it. How do you think my BFF ended up pregnant with twins? How did my second cousin end up in the emergency room for an STD? As long as we treat sex like it's taboo, the shame, misinformation, and dis-empowerment associated with sex will persist. If an issue stays hidden in the shadows, it will never be resolved. We are only as sick as our secrets.
1. The way we judge others is reflective of the way we judge ourselves.
There is no one right or wrong way to deal with sex. And we must remember that the way we judge others is exactly how we judge ourselves. We can be hard on our sisters and many of us slut-shame others without another thought. What's good for one woman is good for all, and the opposite is also true. Labelling and criticizing one woman sets all women back in terms of empowerment and progress.
I was appalled by how many women responded to my question by saying they wouldn't have sex on a first date because that would make them a "ho" or a "slut." Ladies, the only person who can make us feel the self-loathing associated with those terms is us ourselves. Historically, men have been encouraged to have sex before marriage while women are expected to remain "pure" until their wedding night. Who, then, are all these men having sex with? Just some food for thought.
Women and men can enjoy consensual sex with anyone they want. It isn't up to us to criticize anyone's choices. You don't get to pass judgment on someone else's life or decisions. You don't know the whole story and you never will. Acknowledge that, and be gracious in your treatment of others.
2. If first-date sex feels good to you, then it's always OK.
Having sex on the first date doesn't make me feel denigrated or shameful. Physical intimacy is important in my personal relationships. If there's no sexual spark in the beginning, I know a relationship isn't going to work for me. Imagine investing time and energy on someone for weeks or months, then falling into bed only to find there are NO FIREWORKS! To me that would be a waste of emotions, time, and energy.
3. Sex clouds our judgment.
Women especially are emotionally driven creatures. Imagine dating and waiting for sex, and then, after finally diving in, having the person just disappear. If we've been dating someone for even a few weeks, there's at least some kind of emotional attachment. So does that mean we're going to be more let down by the disappearing act or the breakup? Why?
Is it worse to have our hearts tampered with after just 24 hours of meeting someone, or after a month? I don't know, but to me, heartbreak is heartbreak, no matter the time frame. If we decide to connect with someone sexually, is keeping our emotions out of the picture possible? It's something to think about.
4. Chemistry is key.
OK, so let's assume the chemistry is there—or better yet, off the charts—between two consenting adults. Perfect! We all need sex, affection, and love to feel connected to our partners; it's essential to our fundamental being. But let's dive a little deeper here. To me, consensual means we are both going to behave in an adult manner.
We are not going to be dramatic if the other person does not call us the day after, and we realize it's been a one-off. Instead, we should enjoy the experience, take away what was great from it, and store it away for whenever we might need it again.
5. Always enjoy the journey.
Dating, companionship, and sex are all part of the journey. It's emotional, exciting, and it makes us feel alive. When the waves are crashing and the sex is incredible and we go into the bubble of sexually gratified bliss, we have to remember to enjoy the fun for as long as it lasts—but know that when it stops being fun, it's time to get off the ride. Would you ride a roller coaster a second time if you threw up your funnel cake the first? Doubt it.
We all have choices to make. The right choice is what feels best to us at any given time. Know that the right choice at 20 might not be the right choice for us at 40. Regret is a waste of energy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying sex. That is, in fact, what it's for. If we can let ourselves go, ignore the naysayers, and enjoy the roller coaster, who knows what kind of fun we'll have?