Is Sex on the Third Date the New Normal?

Is Sex on the Third Date the New Normal?
Evan, to say I’m frustrated with dating right now is an understatement! During the past six months, almost EVERY man I’ve gone out with expects sex by the third date. Seriously! It doesn’t matter if it’s a man I’ve met on an online dating site or if it’s a blind date through a friend. And the ones that don’t expect sex just kind of fade away. I’ve asked these men WHY they expect sex by the third date. Their response is that they have heard that if they don’t get it by the third date, the woman isn’t into them. Of course, I’m not sleeping with them… and they fall off the face of the earth.

I’m so fed up with this! I’m 45 now and I never experienced this type of scenario until just this year. Is this all there is now? Now that I’m older, is this all I can expect from a man at this stage of my life? –Patti

Dear Patti,

You’re certainly not the first to feel this way, my friend.

I’m sorry you’re frustrated, but in my experience as a dating coach, frustration usually results when someone’s expectations are out of line with reality.

The way to mitigate the frustration is not to change reality but to change your expectations.

The first thing you can do is understand that men look for sex and find love. We are driven by attraction and have zero trouble separating the physical act of sex from the feelings of love.

In this case your expectations are that men should not be interested in having sex on the third date.

And reality is showing you that this is something that men are interested in.

What’s a slower-moving, more traditional woman to do?

Well, the first thing you can do is understand that men look for sex and find love. We are driven by attraction and have zero trouble separating the physical act of sex from the feelings of love. We’ll have sex with women we don’t like and women we’re barely attracted to. Especially if we’re lonely and sex-deprived (sex is always much more important when you’re not getting it!)!

I’m not saying you have to like this facet of men, but at least, at this point, you can stop getting surprised or upset at it. It’s like getting angry at rain or nightfall. Your opinions of it don’t matter much; it’s still going to keep on happening.

Next, you have to forgive these men for their ignorance. They know not what they do. Even if you believe their ridiculous statement, “If I don’t have sex by the third date, she’s not into me,” it doesn’t matter. What a man wants is not necessarily to have sex on the third date, but to have some physical contact that may, someday, lead to sex.

Men are like sharks that needs to keep on moving.

What a man wants is not necessarily to have sex on the third date, but to have some physical contact that may, someday, lead to sex.

If he’s been talking to you for a week, plans a date, picks you up, takes you out, grabs the check, drives you home, and is also attracted to you, you can be sure that if he’s at all confident, he’s going to make a first move.

How far he gets is up to you.

Then there’s going to be a second date. Same thing’s gonna happen. You can’t be surprised by this or blame him for this. All you can do is figure out how much you like him, how much you trust him, and how far you want to go. There’s no right or wrong. Your boundaries are your boundaries. You just can’t get too upset when he tries something.

Then there’s a third date. Same thing’s gonna happen. If you want to avoid sexual contact, you can make sure your third date takes place over a picnic in a park, at 5:30 after work, or at a crafts fair, but understand, he’s still driven by his attraction to you. He doesn’t know that he wants you to be his girlfriend yet.

So as I scripted, word by word, in Why He Disappeared, your job is to a) figure out if your man is interested in you or interested in sex, and b) figure out how to make it fun for him to slow down. Sex isn’t all or nothing and as long as you can take him around the bases slowly, you can buy yourself enough time to figure out if you want to be exclusive with each other. Play it right and he’ll stick around.

Make him feel like a sexually perverted sleazebag for making a move on you and you shouldn’t be too surprised if he doesn’t feel good about his prospects on the next date.

Join our conversation (324 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 211

    This idea that men can’t control themselves, so women should just expect it and get over it is so stupid.

  2. 212

    To each his own.  You both might pass on a really wonderful woman at some time.  Life is too short, yes it is, – too short to be narrow – minded and inflexible in your beliefs.

    Let me share my story, every guy that kisses me says how amazing the kiss is.  If the guy is attracted enough to want to kiss me it never fails, he is in awe of the kiss, it’s crazy.  I don’t want a guy to stay with me because I am am amazing kisser, I want him to want to know me, and that is why I don’t like kissing a guy on the first date.  My kiss is so poweful and attractive to men that I simply am not sure I want to share it with a man on the first date no matter how attracted to him I am.  And you might laugh, but seriously every guy I’ve kissed compliments me in such a way that is actually boggling to me.  Last guy said “A girl would love you”…!!!  They guy before that said “this kiss is breathless”….they look intoxicated, do I really want to get a man drunk on the first date…lol!!!

  3. 213
    OJ Simpson


    You should have sex whenever you feel its natural and cool… theres nothing wrong with having sex on a first or second date! Sex is great! If you have this thought “i’m never gonna have sex with a guy until up to a specific point” you are giving the whole dating thing quite an unnatural feeling for yourself to begin with, and you will project that on him too. If I sense this, its an immediate and complete turnoff for me as a man. It just tells me you’re not (ready to be) open about your sexuality, and thus I get the idea that I’m facing a woman with intimacy problems. Whenever things feel natural and you feel ready, just give in… its just sex. Sex is a great way to share intimacy…


    A man

    1. 213.1
      suzy q

      or you may be facing a woman whose heard from men one too many times they don’t want to get serious with women whose count is too high. Sorry but Some men are hypocrites when it comes to this point. Push for sex early and often from every women you date whether or not you want it to go anywhere but then decide you want to marry an inexperienced “good” girl. You know not like the ones you put all the miles on.

      Horrible user name by the way.


  4. 214

    I’m a guy, and I think that having sex by the 3rd date is insane. If she has sex by the 3rd date, how many other guys has she done it with? If you’re having sex and you’re not even in an actual relationship with each other yet, is one even going to happen and how fast is that flame for each other going to do die out?

    1. 214.1

      Daniel said: “If she has sex by the 3rd date, how many other guys has she done it with?

      I agree 100%.
      For me, a woman who “has been around the block a lot of times” is a major turn off, and someone who I will discontinue dating when I find out.

      1. 214.1.1
        suzy q

        See what I mean?????

        1. DeeGee

          suzy q said: “See what I mean?????

          I assume that you are attempting to reinforce your previous comment: “Sorry but Some men are hypocrites when it comes to this point“.

          I am not a hypocrite.  I don’t have sex with a woman unless I am in a solid relationship with her.  I haven’t had sex in so long that my virginity has grown back (it has been almost 15 years as of this post date).
          So your comments and points are invalid and incorrect.
          Not all men are the way that you think they are.

    2. 214.2


      I have had this conversation with my single brother who is close to my age. He has had women force themselves on him, and he is a beta male. He does not have sex outside of a relationship. It turns him off. He’s thinking how many times are these women doing this if they’re going out with a new guy every other week three times, is that 2 partners a month? I’ve told him that I think the same thing about men that are gunning for it by the 3rd, 4th date. Without a doubt, I’m not a prude. I love to kiss, love sex and am very passionate about all of it.. not in a casual situation, though.

      However, when the man is all over me or starts sending suggestive texts or nudging in the direction of wanting a ‘let’s get started around 8 p.m., come to my house and I’ll cook for you’ date, suffice to say they’ve (the ones I’ve dated) were wanting sex.  Early on post divorce, I was very novice and found myself in circumstances that I did make a choice to not get out of because I was uncomfortable with saying no. Twice I did have sex with men that I really just wanted to make out with, however, I felt immobilized and embarrassed because I did not understand how to have conversations before it got out of control or how to set healthy boundaries. I hadn’t dated during my adult life and was very ignorant to the process that first year. I thought if a man was behaving like my then husband would have behaved, that it was an implied relationship. And then, I wouldn’t hear from them. From those experiences, I changed my rules, read a lot, did not get into that situation again.

      I recommitted to the practice of wanting to wait until I married again (which is what I did with my first husband). I’m now in a relationship with a man that shares my faith and also prefers to wait. When we think of 99% of what’s out there isn’t for us. I feel like it’s 99.99% when we factor that little nugget of information in to find someone that one is compatible with, we find attractive and also wants to wait until marriage (even if they are also not virgins). Which means, you may have less dealbreakers outside of the obvious (no addictions, records, etc.). Evan hit on something that I think was important, as I would bank even men with personal convictions about sex outside of marriage still do need the hugs, kisses, holding hands. I do not think that my boyfriend would have been eager to ask me to be his girlfriend if I was not affectionate at all and didn’t make him feel attractive or make him feel hopeful that it would all work out just fine in the bedroom someday. The same goes for me. However, I know some people prefer to not even do that before marriage. To each their own!

  5. 215

    i thought it was just me!   Men always push hard to have sex early on with me.  The sexual comments start by the first date.   Guys let me tell you this I’m tired of men who just want to sleep with me and only recognize me for my looks.  I’ve gotten that my whole life.  Yes I know I am very attractive and I have big boobs I like you am not blind.  But I want a man who wants more than that.  Who wants to know me for me.  I could sleep with a different guy every night as could most women getting sex is not a big deal for me.   So what I am saying is that a guy that pushing for sex early on who I otherwise was really into blows it with me.   It’s a huge turn off.   Pushing for sex could be inappropriate comments, or constant invites to his place or even outright requests as to when I will give it up.  In fact a man that lets me lead with the pace of sex with likely get laid a lot sooner than a man that pushes me.  Just some thoughts.

  6. 216

    Well, I’ve read most of your comments on when to add sex in a relationship and I’ve come to this conclusion. What works for you as men and as women is the course you need to follow. To expand on what works for you is difficult because it is so individualistic.

    My first love was so special, as long as I was near her I did not care what we did or where we did it. We waited months for our first sexual experience, I still remember my heart pounding in my chest with anticipation as our bodies touched. It was worth every minute of the wait.

    After 3 years and an engagement I was kicked to the curb, this was my first real breakup and broken heart. Do I regret those 3 years? No I thank God for them.

    I’m married now with 4 children to my best friend and lover, she is so special

  7. 217

    Affection and communication is important. I feel that if you, are comfortable enough to sleep with the man or woman on the third date then, by all means go for it. However, know what you’re getting into. You should know what your haves and have nots are, you should know wether the person is looking for a commitment or just sex. And, you should definitely know if you like them on a more personal level and vice versa. If you decide to sleep with a person not knowing anything about them, expect that they can and may leave once someone else comes around that is interested in knowing more about them; that goes for women and men.

    Dating is complicated just for the simple fact that we set unrealistic expectations and ask advice on wether its appropriate to have sex on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd date. In my opinion, do what you feel is right! What you should be concerned with is how the other person feels. You should know before you go out with them what they are looking for. If you have gone on a couple dates and you still don’t know; use the third date to find out. Don’t put yourself in a position that will ultimately lead to sex. It is okay to say no even if you are wanting the same thing.  To me, sex is about physical attraction, feeling comfortable and appreciated. ♡ Let your heart be the guide however, keep your mind focused on the fine details. The best thing about people that we all seem to fail to catch on the first date is that just by reading someones body language and REALLY listening to what they say, we can learn a whole lot about that person and their intentions. Good Luck!

  8. 218

    This is one of the first times I fundamentally disagree with you. 1. The dudes saying women sleep with men on the 3rd date is the biggest manipulative bunch of bullshit I’ve ever heard.

    2. Women like sex just as much as men. Stop making men out to be weak sex driven beings.

    3. You’ve given her some terrible advice. Lady! There are men out there that won’t view you as an object and will respect you and Wang to get to know you first.


    You’re feeling frustrated because these dudes ate being losers.  End of story.


    Tell them to hit the road and keep meeting new ones until you find the respectful one that clicks. Hell you might be the one wanting to sleep with him right away.

  9. 219
    Miriam Tier

    Wow, what a lot of conflicting opinions.  The funny thing is, I met my husband-to-be (but we didn’t know it then…) 43 years ago, when we were both 20, and we had sex on the second date, as neither of us wanted more than a fling.  However, we soon realised that a real affection had grown, and we both ditched the other people we were seeing, and became exclusive.  This lasted until his death nearly 5 years ago.  We were never ashamed of this, or thought it odd.

    Now that I am back dating, things are very different, and if anything, less liberated than we ever were.  I have tried it both ways – early sex, late sex, etc.etc.  I have concluded that what matters is the people involved – their individual personalities, intelligence, kindness and self-awareness.


    There are no rules.

  10. 220
    Mike M

    Guys, if you’re not gettin’ it, someone else is!
    Be that “someone else” not the sucker who waits.  😉

  11. 221
    Arent We Supposed To Be Equal?

    I honestly don’t understand why a woman WOULDN’T want sex by the third date. Idk why there’s also always some stigma that makes it seem like women don’t enjoy sex like men do: i.e. a guy is always a dick if he has sex with you and doesn’t call you again (as if the woman only does it because it will hook the guy on into a relationship while the guy is interested in the pleasure); it is always the woman that decides when sex enters the relationship—while the man is never the one who says he’s not ready yet; etc. All the women I’ve had sex with loved it just as much as I did, and the ones I was in a relationship often wanted it more. Once you’re in a sexual relationship, it’s a different story. This is just in reference to women delaying sex into the relationship. Dispelling common reasons a woman refrains from sex:


    —Some sort of principal or moral point of view: Who cares how many guys you’ve had sex with? We’re animals, and sex feels good. The only reason this perspective really matters is when other people know you’ve had a lot of partners, and you share a social environment with them. If you’re dating someone that doesn’t share social circles with you (in a city, for example), then nobody will know you’ve had so many partners besides you. Other than people knowing and “thinking you’re a slut,” who cares?

    —If you have sex with him, he’ll stop calling: If he stops calling you after sex, then he wasn’t going to stick around indefinitely either way. Better to get that out of the way so you can move on to the next guy instead of dragging on the doomed interactions.

    —Religion/waiting for marriage: Religion is ridiculous and retarded, and to sacrifice parts of your life for a facade is even more retarded.

    —You’re worried the guy will think you’re a slut, and that will prevent him from falling for you: That’s why we’re talking date three here. Sex on date 1 = maybe he may think this and subconsciusly allow it to affect his ability to become attached. By date 3, it’s time.

    —Sex is a super-important part of a successful relationship. If you wait an extended period, and then have sex and realize the sex sucks/his penis sucks/he’s got a colostomy bag (lol)/etc./etc., you’re more likely to continue the relationship and be stuck in a shitty sex life. Every woman has the right to be in a relationship with awesome sex/a penis size that fulfills her/etc., and if you know it won’t be on date three when you’re not too emotionally involved, you can move on. When we first start dating, you look to make sure that your partner has so many factors that attract you: intelligent, funny, well-employed, sane, etc.; since sex is also such an important part of a relationship, why do we wait until so far into dating to make sure that part of him attracts and satisfies you?


    Valid reasons a woman gives for not having sex with you for the first time: legitimately not being in the mood; period; failure to shave is a so-so reason (you knew you were seeing him, right?), and pubes are also actually having a comeback—you can see this in modern porn or specifically on websites specializing on nude selfie photos, which are typically images of women 25 or younger… younger girls are starting to grow it out again, I can tell you I’m 26 and it totally turns ME on; not feeling so fresh down there (if she’s on a date, and while in the bathroom she realizes something funky is going on). The dispelled reasons above are all on the basis that the woman in reference is ultimately seeking a long-distance relationship. If she isn’t, then there’s even less reason to hold off.

    1. 221.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It all falls apart here:

      “If you wait an extended period, and then have sex and realize the sex sucks/his penis sucks/he’s got a colostomy bag (lol)/etc./etc., you’re more likely to continue the relationship and be stuck in a shitty sex life.”

      Actually, you can go around the bases, enjoy foreplay, get a sense of each other in bed without penetration/commitment – and be better equipped to decide in 4-5 weeks whether you should be boyfriend/girlfriend than just jumping into bed and keeping your fingers crossed. And if you didn’t notice, lots of women don’t like having sex with men who are actively looking for other women on Tinder. Waiting to see if he’s interested in being a boyfriend is merely common sense for such women.

    2. 221.2
      Emily, the original

      Arent We Supposed To Be Equal?

      How about: She’s just not feeling it? Some women will date a guy who she’s not sure of a few times to see if an attraction/interest/compatibility grows. And sometimes it just doesn’t. For either party.

  12. 222

    @ Emily,

    Fair point.A guy usually know whether he’s attracted to a woman or not from the beginning, then takes a while to (1) see how attracted she is to him and (2) decide what he wants to do with that attraction. I used to think women did the same, but they often do not. Women can (and many apparently do) develop attraction to a guy one several dates, before they’re sure. In that case, I can understand why a woman would need several dates to decide if she wants to have sex with this guy at all. Maybe because most of us guys know right away, we assume that women do, and that just isn’t necessarily true

    1. 222.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi Buck25,

      Maybe because most of us guys know right away, we assume that women do, and that just isn’t necessarily true.

      I know right away, too, but I know women personally and have read many comments from women on this blog who say they develop interest over time. I’ve tried to do that, but it just doesn’t work for me. I may develop a fondness or a liking for the man but not attraction.

  13. 223

    It’s preference. You can complain about what women or men do, but the results are telling. If you are dating all these guys but you just get left after 2-3 dates, that means you aren’t being as sexual as you need to be.

    You can disagree but I guarantee that not putting out until weeks or a couple months or however long is going to exponentially decrease your chances to finding a mate. If you are ok with that fine, but if what you want isn’t happening, it’s stupid to keep trying the same thing and expecting a different result.

  14. 224

    I’m a little confused about “going around the bases.” Last guy I dated there was pretty great kissing on our first date followed by an invitation to go home with him. He was OK with me wanting to get to know him a bit better before I spent the night with him though. Definite second base action on date 2, but here’s where my confusion comes in.

    I know oral sex is considered third base, but for me, oral is far more intimate than intercourse, or am I misunderstanding third base? When he took me to his place after date 3 all we did was oral (he had a bit of an ED issue – we’re both in our early sixties) but we got just as naked as if we were having intercourse. There was no doubt in my mind, and I don’t think in his, that what we were doing was having sex. He disappeared after that night and I suffered through the inevitable (at least for me) hookup hangover.

  15. 225

    I think sex by the third date is a totally reasonable desire. I would hope that by this time, a guy would make a move. It doesn’t mean you’d have to have sex that soon. I think by that time though, you’ll probably know if that’s where you want it to go or not.

    Here’s my compromise: don’t let them pay for everything!!! It’s a less reasonable expectation if you’ve gone dutch, or at least treated them to a meal on your dime.  If you treat dating as a partnership early on, there’s also a better chance of developing a relationship in my experience. I can totally understand men not wanting to be used. Think about it in terms of their resources. An average date is 75 to 125 dollars. By the 5th date they’ve spent around 500 dollars. This kind of means that unless they are super wealthy, the average guy cannot afford to date multiple women at once, nor can they do it month after month with a different new girl, and possibly getting nowhere. That’s 6K  a year that would potentially be better spent on an escort.

    So what to do as a woman that doesn’t want sex until they are more comfortable. Cook him a meal, buy tickets to a concert or game, you can even say you won them if it would be more comfortable. State your own expectations about when you anticipate sex, but make it clear that you are looking for a relationship and that’s what you expect if you wake up in his bed.

    Personally, I get a million first dates and few second ones. So maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. It could be that now guys are expecting lots of chemistry from day one, so if you’re getting to a third date, there’s possibly something there. It’s worth testing sexual chemistry on some level, but do what you feel comfortable with.

  16. 226

    I am 52 and am dating again after several years. For me personally I have had sex when I feel a connection and I am sexually attracted to the guy and there is an opportunity. I personally have not ever been the one to make the first move through. It feels munipulative to wait for a number of dates.  When there is a spark I go for it. If there is no spark I typically don’t date them any further.

  17. 227

    This: “What a man wants is not necessarily to have sex on the third date, but to have some physical contact that may, someday, lead to sex.


  18. 228

    Your answer is ridiculous! Maybe men should respect classy women who aren’t looking to jump in bed with everyone and VALUE THAT!! If he fades away he wasn’t the one for me!

  19. 229

    So going forward, my recommendation to anyone who is reading this is.. “No”.do not have sex on the third date.. please! Save yourself from this dramatic experience. 

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