When Should a Woman Have Sex With a Man?

The end of Wednesday’s blog post brought up a very important topic; perhaps the most common question I get asked by women whenever I give a speech:

How do you know when it’s okay to sleep with a guy?

I discussed this back in March, but most of you weren’t reading then. So forgive me for recycling, but my views haven’t changed, and you definitely want to get in on this discussion…

No doubt about it: The first time a woman beds down with a guy she’s crazy about is an exciting and special time. Still, the question remains: When? Well, it depends. Some women are happy to get down to business the night they meet; others will wait weeks or months before doing the deed. Whatever a woman’s decision, we had to wonder: Does the double standard still exist today? In other words, if a woman knocks boots with a guy too soon, does she automatically nix her chances for long-term love—or is that old-fashioned nonsense in today’s modern-day dating scene? To find out, we grilled three women about the ups and downs of when they get down to business… and what they said may surprise you.

My two cents on the whole thing?

Men are sexual hypocrites. They push women for sex, then blame them for having sex. They’re particularly stuck on the idea that if a woman hops into bed with them quickly then she must have done this with lots of other men as well. This lowers her value in his eyes. After all, if everyone can have her, she can’t be all that special, can she?

Men are sexual hypocrites. They push women for sex, then blame them for having sex.

On the other hand, I also know from personal experience that if a guy is crazy about a girl, and they move really fast, all the rules go out the window. In fact, this is the way MOST of my relationships have started. But then, I’ve always been determined not to be hypocritical when a woman has the same lack of morals I do. I love women with loose morals.

The sex question is a popular one because it comes up in every dating situation. However, there’s no set timetable or finite number of dates that will let you know when it’s time to give it up. I know one woman who was told by an “expert” to wait 10 dates before sleeping with the man she was dating. The guy dumped her her after 7. … That’s what you get for playing by a made-up set of rules. Sex isn’t something you “allow” him to do. It’s something that you share and create together. Turn sex into a reward for good behavior and time put-in and you’re missing the entire point.

Turn sex into a reward for good behavior and time put-in and you’re missing the entire point.

As a woman, your job is not to come up with an arbitrary number of dates, like the U.S. coming up with a pull out date for our soldiers in Iraq. Your sole responsibility before having sex is to figure out if he’s interested in YOU or in SEX.

I repeat: Your sole responsibility before having sex is to figure out if he’s interested in YOU or in SEX.

If you don’t know the answer, don’t have sex. If you think you know the answer, then have sex. And if you can’t handle the emotional consequences of making an occasional mistake, you probably shouldn’t sleep with anyone until you’re in a committed relationship.

This has been my personal policy for the past three years – no committed relationship, no sex – and it’s worked very well for me.

What are YOUR thoughts? Men, I want to hear from you, as well…

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Comments:

  1. 1
    susan

    Oh how timely! Being newly back on the dating scene I’ve been wrestling with this as not only a personal moral issue but also wanting to know other perspecitves. “Your sole responsibility before having sex is to figure out if hes interested in YOU or in SEX.” Excellent point and one to never forget. So far it’s been and easy distinction to make! Thanks for the great column.

  2. 2
    Rachel

    Hi Evan,

    Thanks so much for this provocative, thoughtful post!

    As for me — a 35 year old single mom — I’ve never been very good at keeping boundaries when it comes to sex. I’ve had loads of fun, but I’ve also gotten hurt. Badly.

    Nowadays, especially as a single parent, I’m learning how to have boundaries. This is what helps: carrying around a quote from Liz Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love.

    “When I get lonely these days, I think: So be lonely, Liz,” Gilbert writes. “Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled life.”

    I’ve used men as scratching posts. I’ve let myself be used as a scratching post.

    Ouch.

  3. 3
    Sarah

    I agree with your comments totally Evan. Women need to let go of this “time limit” that some often impose on themselves and just let live. I, personally, have waited months and I’ve also waited a couple of weeks to sleep with people I’ve dated. The guy that I waited months for, we ended up breaking up a few weeks later. The one that I only waited a couple of weeks for, we actually ended up being together for quite a while. It goes without saying though, that women have this tendency to put their “goods” on a pedastal without really thinking that maybe the guy they’re dating could be horrific in bed, but may never know because they’re waiting several weeks or months for the right moment when everything should go together. Sex is too important in a relationship to place conditions on.
    I have learned that there is no right moment or time. Sometimes, things just happen, and that is often how we learn. My philosophy is to stay aware of what a man’s intentions are, but at the same time, live and let live. No need to obsess about timelines in relationships, because that’s when people get dumped and feelings are hurt.

  4. 4
    redheadfromtdot

    My answer: Do it when it feels right.
    It may be my responsibility before having sex to figure out if hes interested in me or in sex but it’s also my responsibility to figure out how interested in him I am. Few guys will say “No, I’m not ready”, but the door does open both ways.

    Determining sexual compatibility can be an important part of forming a relationship. Sometimes I want to get to know him on a physical level as I’m getting to know him on a personal one. Whether that’s on the second date or the fifth, I’ll do it when it feels right and natural, not when I think I “should” or when he think so.

    1. 4.1
      heidi

      best answer of all!!
      Why would we leave it to the guys only. We are responsible for our own actions and emotions.  no one gets used unless we allow them to do so.

  5. 5
    Paul

    You know, you can always do what the bible says to do and save sex for marriage. I know, foreign concept, but it has it’s advantages…just think how clearly you’d be able to see the guy and who he really is if there was no sex involved? And for the guys, same thing. Would our decisions be the same, especially in marriage partners? I doubt it. We’d all see a little clearer. I only wish I could follow His wishes, which, so far, have eluded me. I sometimes wonder why our sex drive is so strong?

  6. 6
    BeenThruTheWars

    Evan, swell post. To your statement: “Your sole responsibility before having sex is to figure out if hes interested in YOU or in SEX,” I would add, “… and behave accordingly to protect your own heart, ’cause ain’t nobody else gonna protect it for you.”

  7. 7
    Stephanie

    Cheers, Evan! Women’s sole responsibility is to figure out if the guy is really interested in us or just sex. And i love what BEENTHRUTHEWARS added, “to behave accordingly in order to protect your own heart coz ain’t nobody can protect it for you.” Especially that nowadays, the world’s getting doomer and almost all guys are just after sex without emotion. Sex is a good thing, that is supposed to be shared by two people licensed on it. What i mean, is married couples. I know, the westerns have liberal views on this one. I am not here to debate about it but just sharing of the true, profound profile of sex. I hold the Bible-based view anyway. That sex is created as a bonus for 2 married couples. Extracting from Evans’ pointview that we are to figure out responsibly a real man, then why not follow what is the truth. It’ll really protect your heart. If a guy leaves you because you don’t give into him then it’s not our loss. We may feel hurt but it’s just transient. That guy doesn’t deserve us and we don’t deserve him. We should not settle out less than what is planned for us. Some people just have a worldy definition of happiness. Many people get a mistake on this and so, in return they are hurt. Man has a strong sex drive, that is because of the things seen,heard, read. the battle is not really on the flesh but on the minds. :) Peace!!

  8. Pingback: It’s About Making Babies! » Blog Archive » The age-old question of dating - how soon to sleep together.
  9. 8
    SWF42

    I firmly believe that it doesn’t matter when you have sex with a guy. If he’s going to call you again, he will. If he’s not going to call you again, he won’t.

  10. 9
    Lisa

    I agree with this article and my personal motto too is no sex until I’m in a committed relationship. My problem is, the men I meet make it clear up front that they’re just in it for the sex. My common complaint is that I never really feel that the guys into me.

  11. 10
    david wygant

    Hey

    Great minds think alike. I wrote the same thing the other day. Now i know why you and I are friends and in the same business!!!

    Good stuff EMK!!!

    David Wygant

  12. 11
    A-L

    Well, Paul hit the nail on the head. I have been following the bible’s recommendations on holding off on sex until marriage. Unfortunately I’ve been having a very hard time finding a man who’s willing to live that lifestyle while he’s with me. Most guys respect me for sticking to my guns, admire my reasoning, just can’t seem to forsake their own sexual drive. Alas!

  13. 12
    thomas

    Every man is different, every woman is different, every situation is different… there is no wrong answer, there is no right answer….

    When I am around women, they think that they know what they want. Yet, when they get it, it is not what they wanted at all. I see too many people, women and men, chasing after something that they think they want because it is on television or a person next to them has it.

    In the end, this is not sex in the city. These are real people, with real problems, with real lives. Nothing is ever perfect. Some relationships go down hill the moment sex is introduced, while others will never take off without it.

    You can never tell when it is right. It might be great to go for it within the first 5 minutes you meet someone, or it might be better to wait 5 years after you meet that special someone.

    I am a guy, I am a male. It is all in how you intriduce yourself to a guy.

    I have had girls introduce themselves to me by showing me their breasts while they are asking me questions. Well, I am not going to try to really get to know them and I am only going to really get one thing out of them before I move on. Granted, they have gotten my attention. Yet, they got pissed at me when I tried to get into their pants.

    On the other extreme, I have had ladies act real professional towards me. After a few months, they get pissed at me because I never made a move or asked them out.

    When should a woman have sex with a man? It all depends on how you are presenting yourself and what you want in the end. Do you want to grab a man’s attention? If you offer to have sex with him the first time you meet him, you are going to grab his attention.

  14. 13
    Jan

    I personally think that you can not sleep with a guy and he will/wont call and you can sleep with him and he will/wont call… I dated a guy for two years who I never slept with, he still wanted to date me, I slept with my now fiance on our first date 4 years ago… I think the key is working out if they really like you, if they really do and they are a nice guy they will wait or be just so happy you want to sleep with them too!

  15. 14
    Joy

    If you are attractive enough, he will date with you after sleeping with you. If not, he may diappear! Men always use nether part to consier all things including relationship!

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  17. 15
    Dollbaby

    Wow, well in any case I meant a man we talked for many weeks befor we meant up.Yes an on line dateing thing. Went on a date then came back the next time and stayed over with him. I had only had one man my hole life and walked out on me and I wanted see what I had been missing. I’ve been seeing this man for 4 months now. Its been hard but also been really good for me. He is like a best friend. We do have our ups and down because yes I want more and he got a lot to deal with right now with other proubles as I do myself. We both have kids and other poeple that are casing trouble for us but they are out of our lives all togthere. I live in USA and he lives in Canada which make thing even harder but when we are togthere he tells me how he missys me so much and even calls .. some times was to much in one day. Is he in love or what… Been very careful because we both have our childer to think about too. I’m can say I do love him and his son. But I was in love with him befor I very meant him in person! Q: What should I do ? We talk mostly thourgh e-mails or chat on line. He works long hours and live at home with mom and dad so he can keep his 4 year old son from his ex.

  18. 16
    mitcoes

    Would a non lesbian or bizsxual woman date a man?
    NOOOOOO
    Then is sex from the very first date.
    The question is to have sex intercourse the very first date or later.
    I think better as soon as possible, because it can be bad sex, or not as good as you would like, and next dates, if there are, would show you the real man.

    Cheating your desire to force him to cheat his love is all cheating. If you are there and you want sex, and he does want sex, just do it, enjoy it, and if someone is old fashioned play role reverse. For example:

    I won’t think you are a bitch if we make love, I’m a good person and I do like sex with men I do like, but if you would consider you are not prepared yet becouse you have some moral troubles I will understand.

    Or something like that as funny as you can.

    The question is Do you like sex? or Are looking for a daddy love ? and sex is the price.

    If you do not like sex, and it is only a price for having a daddy. Do not have sex on first date, and never, incest, even in a imaginary mode is really a bad moral behaviour .

  19. 17
    vlh

    Date #6 is good. Soon enough to know if you like the guy and he likes you. Wait months into the relationship, and you and he are already emotionally involved. If the sex is crap, dumping him will be so much more difficult at that point (which I think is why so many women end up in relationships that aren’t satisfying to them sexually — too afraid to hurt the guy’s feelings!)

  20. 18
    Dating Advice

    I am convinced that it does not matter when to have sex – first or tenth date. Here is how I look at it; if a guy likes you, it doesn’t matter if you have sex on the first date. He will call you again, especially if sex was good. If he does not like the woman all that much, he can still have a one night stand with her. It doesn’t matter if she does or does not have sex with him; he will not call her again anyway, and not because she put out of the first date, but because he does not like her.

    From my own experience, all of my long term relationships since my last divorce resulted from what I perceived as one night stands. On the other hand, a guy friend of mine once told me about a woman he had slept with on a second date. He said that after that he was not going to see her again. When I asked why, he said sex was not good, but I take it that he was not really interested in HER in the first place, and only wanted sex.

    The tricky part when deciding whether to have sex on the first date or not is that you really don’t know how a guy feels about you and whether he really likes you or just wants a quick lay. If he really likes you, he’ll continue seeing you even if you have sex too soon. If he does not like you, withdrawing sex will NOT keep him around.

  21. 19
    Selena

    Dating Advice, You wrote:

    “The tricky part when deciding whether to have sex on the first date or not is that you really dont know how a guy feels about you and whether he really likes you or just wants a quick lay. If he really likes you, hell continue seeing you even if you have sex too soon. If he does not like you, withdrawing sex will NOT keep him around.”

    True. But some women prefer NOT to have sex with a guy who won’t stick around. And since you don’t know how he really feels on the first date, why do it? If he drops you after the first date because you withheld sex, GOOD, better to find out what he was about right off.

    By contrast, after you get to know him somewhat better (whatever # of dates that might be), you may have a much better sense of how he really does feel about you and how likely he is to stick around.

  22. 20
    vino

    “But some women prefer NOT to have sex with a guy who wont stick around.”

    Stick around? What guarantees will he give you? Will she give you? Collateral? Pormissory note, what?

    Reality is there are no guarantees. Cold, yet true.

  23. 21
    Selena

    Yes Vino,
    I have to agree; reality is there are no guarantees. I’d like to believe that when *most* people marry, they do so believing they will stay together until death parts them, at least at the time they vowed it. But with divorce statistics at 50%, it seems half of those sincere couples are later proved wrong.

    Still, you took my quote out of context. It was in response to the person calling herself Dating Advice regarding having sex on the first date. I’ll stand by the theory that you might have a better sense about someone sticking around (at least for awhile), if you actually spend some time getting to know them, as opposed to just saying “Why not?” and sleeping with a virtual stranger on the first date.

    If you don’t care if it turns out to be nothing more than a one night stand (like Dating Advice) who cares? But some women (and men), ARE bothered by sleeping with someone who dumps them shortly afterward. For those folks, I wouldn’t say first date sex is well suited for them. That’s all.

  24. 22
    vino

    Selena,

    Actually, I meant the comment in the same context you used it (first date/early in dating). It also happens to apply to marriage.

    I happen to agree with your conclusions. :-)

  25. 23
    hunter

    To Paul,

    I have heard of the biblical statememt, but, no sex ’till marriage, doesn’t that, create a somewhat, social paralysis for some people? I mean, one has the hots so bad, that, social functioning comes to a stand still…

  26. 24
    hunter

    to Paul,

    ….I am talking, lots and lots of young men(and some old), struggle with this…

  27. 25
    hunter

    to Paul,

    ..given, no one has ever died of no sex….

  28. 26
    Rusty

    I was recently racking my brain with this very question, and was rewarded by my correct decision on how to handle my current situation. I think the mentality of Evan here is perfect; throw out the rules, and just use the instincts that were given to us by Nature.

    A girl I met New Years recently came back in to the picture, and I believe there was some residual chemistry from our first meeting. I’ve been dating her for only a few weeks, but we’re just electric together with our eye contact, conversation and general attraction. As a result, I think our timeline was significantly reduced w/ both the long-term simmering that went on between New Years and now, and the satisfaction of having our thoughts finally realized. Our first time was amazing, and I still look at her exactly how I did when I first met her New Years. That’s how you gotta play it; just be aware of her readiness, in combination with your own, and then just be open and communicate about it. As long as the girl knows what you’re there for, things will be fine!

  29. 27
    vino

    “How do you know when its okay to sleep with a guy?”

    It’s ALWAYS okay to sleep with a guy! ;-)

  30. 28
    Paul

    Rusty…go soley by your instincts? Are you kidding? Then what’s the difference between us and animals?

    Hunter is right, no one has ever died by not having sex. The only way you can not have sex is with Gods help. You could never do it alone. The drive is too strong. I don’t think as long as someone could sit here and explain it to women, they will never understand what it’s like… men are conquestors. We’re wired to be into conquest and if it wasn’t for that we’d all still be in mud huts. Just think how much more power you would have if you never had sex with the woman? When you have sex with her, in a way, she owns you. She controls things now…she owns the candy jar! You just want more of it…you’ve tasted the sweet stuff! You owe her something actually. You, in a very real way, took something from her and she knows it. And now it’s sooooo good that you will do anything, compromise just about anything, to keep the sex coming (no pun intended). Don’t bow down to societies norms. The hard way (again, no pun intended), just as in the hard decisions, are usually the right ways, or decisions. The easy way out, in this case to have sex, never is the best decision. Can you imagine what it would be like on your honeymoon, if you had honored God, and you actually got His blessing on your sex life? It would be better than you ever could imagine. Remember, He is the one who invented sex! He wants us to have sex, and enjoy the heck out of it…and in fact there is specific instructions from God (I think specifically to women…ha ha) to have sex and have sex regularly, only stopping for prayer and fasting, then to have a plan on when it is to commence again…it is that important! Just in the right context. It is to keep temptation out of your minds/marriage, and frankly, to enjoy for pleasure’s sake. It is for our own good not to have sex out of marriage…how much better would the world be if there was never anyone having sex outside of marriage? Lets see…no adultry, no STD’s, no unwanted pregnancies or babies born without fathers…on and on. And that my friends is the truth according to GOD.

    1. 28.1
      Karm

      Paul—
      I hate to burst your bubble, but your logic is flawed.

      STDs can be transmitted from mothers to children during pregnancy or birth. & STDs didn’t originate as punishments for adultery or sex before marriage. So they would have occurred regardless. Maybe they wouldn’t have spread as they did.

      & just because you are in a marriage doesn’t mean you can’t have unwanted pregnancies. & just because your not married doesn’t mean a pregnancy is unwanted.

      & just because you were conceived in wedlock doesn’t guarantee a child will have a father. Fathers can die: wars, violence, sickness, old age.

      It would be nice for everyone to behave the way you want, and it produced the result you want. But that’s not life; that’s a fairy tale.

      The best way to live life, I find is to be informed, plan ahead & roll with the changes.

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