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. 61
    David

    Kenley, Ava, Selena,

    Cannot believe this. I checked in with her with a simple “How are you?”email and to my surprise, I got an email back initiating communications with questions. I wrote her back. Been out of this dating game for a while since I was married so not sure what to expect to do. Any comments?

  2. 62
    Selena

    Re: #61

    I really don’t know David, but often when people who “just aren’t into you” pop back up, it’s because they didn’t find anyone they really liked during the interim. Doesn’t mean they “came to their senses”, usually justmeans they are bored and/or horny.

    I suppose giving her another chance would depend on how you feel about her shooting you down aftershe got your hopes up. Again.

  3. 63
    Kenley

    David,

    I sometimes subscribe to the “Tough Love” philosophy of helping people. Most of usthought that you should walk away from this lady, but you didn’t. You sent her an email. Why? What your actionssignal to me is that regardless of the advice given, you are going to try to win her over.Based on what you indicated happened with her, I think you are setting yourself up for heartache. But, I already told you that. The fact that she responded to your email is not a reason to get your hopes up. She’s probably just trying to be nice or polite — that’s why I answer the emaisl of men I have absolutely no intention of seeing again. If a woman doesn’t want to see you again after she has had sex with you, youare done.

    I am no dating expert. I am only going by my personal experience and the things I have read. So, once again, my advice is to move onto someone else. Don’t waste time on her — and that means no emails, no calls, no texts, no nothin’.

  4. 64
    Karl R

    David said: (#45)
    “she told me she regrets what happen and how upset she is for allowing me and her to get into this situation”
    David asked: (#61)
    “Been out of this dating game for a while since I was married so not sure what to expect to do. Any comments?”

    In one of my serious relationships, my girlfriend and I had sex 4 or 5 days after we started dating.Later on my girlfriend told me that she didn’t want to end up in bed that soon, but she wasn’t able to withstand the temptation. (I’ve sometimes felt similarly, but I’ve never verbalized it to a girlfriend.)

    I see one critical difference in our situations. My girlfriend believed that it was her responsibility to withstand the temptation. She didn’t blame me for providing the temptation. When I was in her situation, I made conscious choices to have sex, even though it might have been a bad idea. In making those choices, I accepted that I might have to live with the consequences.

    Your girlfriend is holding you responsible for her choice. That’s immature. As an adult I accept responsibility for my own actions. I also respect my partners’ ability to make their own choices.

    Do you really want to be in a serious relationship with someone who can’t take responsibility for her own decisions?

  5. 65
    David

    #62 Selena,
    Trust me, I am not totally heart broken about it. Hey, if she is bored/ or horny, I could always use another lay :) and then take all of yours advise and run faster than Usain Bolt.

    Nothing within my emails suggest or asking her out. Nada!

  6. 66
    David

    #63 Kenley,

    You may be right that she is only being nice or polite in replying to an email. Thank you for all of your good advise. This whole dating thing is definitely not fun. I don’t like the drama and the games.

  7. 67
    David

    #63 Karl R,
    You know, I was a little surprised that I was blamed forboth of our actions. You are just lucky to have a girlfriend who accepted her responsibility for her choices. I was not even given the opportunity to explain, let alone, talk about things with maturity, which I am a little disappointed. Thank you all for all the advise and comment. It’s been helpful.

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  10. 68
    Katarina Phang

    Evan, this comment is 3 years late but since I just found it yesterday and was writing about this touchy subject for my forum, so I guess you'd like to know that I quoted you in my piece:
    http://gettheloveyoudeserve.info/forum/topics/here-we-go-again-should-we-or
    I agree with you about sex and I guess we are in the minority.  Most relationship coaches speak against having sex too soon or before commitment.  I see it as a natural -and in fact necessary- path toward commitment as my personal experience attests.

  11. 69
    Katarina Phang

    I'm rooting for Jay #44.  So true…so true!  We rarely see this from guys' POV that they have needs for connection too which mainly are facilitated through sex because we condescendingly generalize that "guys just want sex and they'll do anything to get in your pants."
    It's true for the most part, but sex can mean a different thing too -yes even for a guy- in a different context.

  12. 70
    Another Opinion

    David…
    David..
    I went out drinking one night and had sex with a guy the first night and I hardly 'ever' drink.  I was so embarrassed, I couldn't face him, I didn't feel good enough for him.  I'm wondering if this is her problem. I'm not saying she was under the influence of anything, but it could've hit her the next day too.  And I really liked this guy, this was 21 years ago and to this day the best sex I ever had.  And I couldn't bare to repeat it, but I loved talking to him on the phone, for months and months off and on after that.  Until he finally gave up, I wish he hadn't.
    Sometimes we blame ourselves for not having the person we want, but sometimes it's just them, their problem.  In my case, it was my problem.

  13. 71
    Julie Lantz


    Oh my god, do things never change?  After a particularly rough marriage and divorce,I hadn’t dated, or had sex for nearly 10 years – yes, 10 years! -  just didn’t put myself out there.  Recently met this guy through high school alumni association.  We hit it off via e-mails, and then phone calls.  Then lunch, more phone calls and then dinner and drinks.  Chemistry was abundant and I thought, “wow!”, can’t believe after all these years I’ve finally met a man I’m interested in, enjoy talking with and physically attracted to.  Sentiments appeared to be mutual, blah, blah, blah.  We ended up having sex and made plans for the upcoming weekend.  No red flags & no reason to believe he was anything other than what I  was seeing and hearing.   Haven’t heard from him since; have not called him and do not intend to.  Honestly, I’m devastated and simply cannot believe this kind of b.s. is still going on between men and women.  I’m older, don’t have time for this, deserve better, but now I’m feeling like that stupid girl in her 20′s with very bad judgment.  Beating myself up I guess.  I’ll be dead before I let anyone else in again.

  14. 72
    Anonymous

    Wow so this is really old I’m sure.  I agree with Evan about no sex without commitment.  Seriously though, what is true commitment is it just sayind that we won’t see anyone else clearly no sex with anyone else either.  Ugh after 4 dates with a guy I think I like him enough to actually say I wouldn’t date anyone else just based on how he is treating me and what I know so far.  On the flip side if I commit to him and I have sex the sex will put me in lala land where I don’t really pay attention to who he is.  This as burned me in the past.

    I’m definitely venting here.

  15. 73
    Goldie

    Ughhhhh I really do not get it. Not just on this forum; I had a similar discussion IRL recently. What does that even mean “no sex without commitment”? What if you’ve committed and had sex and it was absolutely awful, and you want to back out? Or, on a more realistic note, what if after having sex, the man got comfortable enough around you that he started being more himself, as opposed to putting his best foot forward like he’d done on those first 4 dates, and you got to see the side of him that you didn’t know existed, and you aren’t comfortable with, and now you want to back out?
     
    Plus, if we’re both mature adults, what is the big deal? We’re not joining our bank accounts, we’re not adopting each other’s children. We’re just going one little step above that “passionate kissing” everyone seems to think is perfectly acceptable after a casual date. What’s the huge significance all of a sudden? I try to understand and honestly do not. When I met my future husband, I’d gotten religion real bad that year, and then, yes it was a huge deal to me that I only be intimate with one person throughout my life. But if you take religion out of the equation, why is it such a huge step that I have to hold back and do not agree to sex with a man until he commits, like it’s some kind of a prize I give out, rather than an expression of our mutual physical attraction at the moment? Can somebody please explain. I’m puzzled.

  16. 74
    Selena

    Gee Goldie, haven’t you read the oxytocin threads? LOL ;)

    No sex without commitment is for those women who are going to get really pissed off if a man decides he’s not into her after having sex. And blame him for not taking into account that she would be attached to him because of the sex, even if they’ve only known each other a total of 20 hours, (5 dates, 4 hours each) or less.

    It doesn’t apply to those of us who view sex as part of getting to know someone and understand that sex alone does not a relationship make.

  17. 75
    Jerry Jellison

    Hey Guys and Gals,
    The reality is that there is no one rule that fits all situations. Wish there was a better and foolproof way that both sexes could use to guide them…BUT there isn’t. So, both parties have to sense / feel their way and there are no guarantees…..EVER.
    But remember this. If you DO have sex early in the game and it’s horrible, but everything else is great, that doesn’t have to mean that the relationship is over.Sexual compatibility can grow and develop over time (practice makes perfect). Conversely, if the sex is GREAT, that does NOT automatically mean that the relationship is made in heaven and will succeed.What if all or many of the other important factors are not OK, is great sex enough to hold it together? NO!!!!!!! But it’s possible that the non-sexual factors will improve if the offending partner sees that it’s a case of fix these things, or you’re out. If he or she cares enough, they will work at it and MAYBE save the relationship.
    As someone earlier stated, there is more to solid relationships than just sex. So, finding the right balance between your sex life and life outside the bedroom is the objective. So, don’t give up too soon (unless all aspects of life together are unbearable). But also don’t conclude all is well too soon. It takes time to really get to know someone well enough to make a full commitment……time for both parties to show their true selves on all aspects of life. Nobody is perfect , but in the early throes of a relationship , love is blind…..meaning you aren’t clearly seeing all the things you should see. When the blinkers come off and your vision is more clear and laser-focused, you see things the way they really are.
    One other point worth mentioning is this. Since perfection is not in the cards for any of us,don’t be overly critical. Whoever you choose, is going to have some faults, habits, characteristics, traits, that are not pleasing to you. The reverse is also true. The meaning of real true love is that you accept someone the way they are……with all warts and blemishes and they do the same for you. If you are unable to do that, then you can be sure that you have NOT found the right person who you can love unconditionally.
    Hey, nobody promised you a rose garden in this game of love. But a lot of honest,open, conscientious communication in which everything is on the table, will help you get to the point where you feel ready and well qualified to make a decision about the long term nature of your relationship as well as when it’s OK to have sex. How long will this take? That’s up to you and your partner and how diligently you work at it and talk about things.
    Love is great , when it’s right and real. But it can be hell if you take it too casually and suddenly find your self in a situation that you just want to get out of as soon as possible.
    Best wishes for finding that relationship that works for you.

  18. 76
    girlfrommars

    I love this topic, and it gets so confusing.  I’m 22, and I have to admit I LOVE sex.  I don’t know if I love it more than most women, but I think I admit to liking it more than other women.  I really do love sex, and I love having sex at least once a day when I’m in a relationship.  And no, I don’t use it as a weapon.
    Before men start offering some sort of dating propositions…I’ll shut up.  haha.
    But yeah…my only want is that men are HONEST about what they want.  If I go out with a guy and end up sleeping with him, fine.  Whatever.  It doesn’t mean I want to marry the dude.  But the guy telling me what HE’S after would be cool.  >.<’ I mean, I am always really open.  And if a guy was like “I find you really attractive but I don’t want anything serious” FINE.  I’m not going to have a melt down.  I just want some frikkin honesty. >.<;;;
     
    Is that really so much to ask?  *looks pointedly at all men*

  19. 77
    realdeal

    “But the guy telling me what HE’S after would be cool.  >.<’ I mean, I am always really open.  And if a guy was like “I find you really attractive but I don’t want anything serious” FINE.  I’m not going to have a melt down.  I just want some frikkin honesty.”

    yeh but are you gonna sleep with him? men generally speaking want to improve their odds of having sex.

  20. 78
    Denise

    Realdeal is accurate, ESPECIALLY a man/boy around that age.  He wants to have sex.  And he knows that if he brings up anything relationship oriented, there’s a good chance everything is going to fall apart.  Plus, men don’t like to deal with emotions, so he also doesn’t know if he’s going to get a negative emotional response by saying something like that.  I would be really surprised if a man/boy would EVER bring this type of thing up proactively, it’s just not realistic.

    MEN ARE NOT MINDREADERS!

    If that’s how you feel, girlfrommers, then why not bring it up yourself, proactively?  I guarantee that guy would be really happy to hear he can have sex with you with no other commitment from him.  If you say that though, you better mean it :)

  21. 79
    East Coast

    Ladies, I’ve learned that we need to decide what it is WE really want.  Based on that, we should do whatever we are comfortable doing.
    There is no “time-line” for having sex.  That being said, if you are cool with knowing a guy wants only sex and nothing else from you (and the chemistry is strong), then I wish you both much pleasure on the first date or the tenth.
    HOWEVER,
    if you are not 100% sure that you can handle a “sex only” relationship, move-on quickly if the guy tries right away.  I feel that quite often, we want to believe we will turn a player into a boyfriend, but it rarely happens.  I had incredible chemistry on a first date with a guy just the other night.  I had to stop and say candidly “if we have sex tonight, I know we will both feel amazing.  I also know that tomorrow, you’ll still feel amazing and I’ll feel like crap”.  I honored that we had different agendas, but I did tell him I was disappointed that he tried because I felt that if he wanted to see me again, he would have waited.  I also explained that sex is only good for me when I’m “comfortable” with a guy, and that doesn’t happen on the first night.  We departed and I decided not to see him again.  I will admit, it felt really good in the moment and was hard to resist, but I know myself.  I’m past short term flings.

  22. 80
    Kathy

    About the woman waiting 10 dates before sleeping with a man.  Then he dumped her after 7. 

    Great advice to wait 10 dates!  She didn’t get attached. She didn’t get hurt.  It would have hurt much worse if she’d slept with him on date 6 and he left the next date.  If a man is crazy about a woman he wants for a relationship, he’ll wait.  A man just out for sex will get frustrated and then good riddens to him.

      

    1. 80.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      The point, Kathy, is that it’s TERRIBLE advice. Because she could have waited 10 dates, let him sleep with her, and THEN he goes away. That’s why it’s not about a number of dates or a time frame – it’s about whether he can commit before having sex. Not sure how you missed that one in my post.

  23. 81
    KAT

    Well, let me see, I think that It is okay to sleep with a man when you want to, as long as he turns you on and you can’t resist, no matter if it’s the first date or the tenth. Personally I wouldn’t go out with a guy I did not want to sleep with. But it is important for you both to be honest about what you want, Personally I hate dishonest men who just use you, and have been lied to many times, of course I never ever want a second date with a man who lies regardlles if he is good in bed or not, as mostly I am very sexual and cant help myself.But I dont get why guys just cant be honest in return, life would be much easier that way.

  24. 82
    Cindy

    O.K. I am so confused!!!! I took all your advice Evan and had some great dates with a guy over the course of about 6 weeks. He pursued me, I mirrored him, I was present in the moment, we had so much fun. Our kissing started out sweet and then became more passionate. We had a fun romp in the back of my car that started to get hot and heavy. He stopped it and said things like “I don’t want our first time to be here in this car, you are an “all-night-wake-up-in-the-morning-have-coffee-together” type girl.  You are so elegant, you carry yourself so well, you are so sexy…. We laughed and joked about his “rules” but throttled it down and shared some more passionate kisses. I left the next day on an overnight trip and he said to call him when I returned. I did and guess what… he disappeared! He has never returned my call and that was 3 weeks ago. PLEASE someone tell me what would make a man act like that????

    1. 82.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Cindy: he was using you. Be glad you figured it out in 6 weeks instead of learning over 6 months.

  25. 83
    sheila

    Your sole responsibility before having sex is to figure out if he’s interested in YOU or in SEX…….  of course the man is going to say “He’s into you” – if he thinks he’s got a chance to have sex. 

    Understanding that men do what they want to do when they want to do it, but when it comes to sex, they’ll take it.


    So my question is…..  how do you know he’s in it for SEX or in it for YOU?

  26. 84
    Londongirl

    So timely that I’m reading this…I had an amazing first date at the weekend and the chemistry was there instantly. We got on like a house of fire, lots of laughing, non stop chat…good times! After a great night, I went back to his house for a cup of tea, but didn’t sleep with him. I wanted to (he’s a sexy guy), but also told him that if we liked each other, we’ll see each other again. And I’ll know for sure that he likes me (ME and not my boobs!) if he continues to follow up – ha ha. In the meantime, I’ve lost nothing. Glad that I held back. I don’t have dating rules, but I finally feel like I’m getting smarter about dating and doing what feels right for me. Thanks Evan!

  27. 85
    Isabelle

    Reading everyone’s posts here has been so enlightening. I guess it’s because everything I have done so far with regard to my relationship is unusual and not very smart–from the outside.

    I have been friends with L for over five years. We met at a work situation then continued contact over two years during which we became very close, talking almost everyday. He lived in another state so we would just see one another whenever he was in town.

    All throughout this it was platonic but with flirtation and sometimes he would touch me on my knee, put his arm around me, etc. The reason i never responded is because he has five children and was still not legally separated from his wife. I guess I had hangups about this which is why I denied that I was falling in love with him.

    A couple of times we were in the same hotel room or same apartment, and still, he only made verbal hints about sex but never made a move.Not even a kiss…

    Just when we were getting really close, I was plotting a seduction scene to just make everything easier for us both…he met someone else. He told me all about her and I faked that I was happy for him.

    Several months later I confessed to him how hurt I was…actually I was a total wreck and could barely think straight at work! I told him I had feelings for him…this was in person. He said nothing!

    We saw each other again 2x over the next two years and finally last year he confessed that he wants me, thinks of me all the time, misses me.

    SO finally I invited him over, nearly seven months later. We deliberately avoided talking about our situation (the woman he met is still in the picture but their relationship is at a standstill because he’s not yet separated legally–she also lives in another town so it is also long distance for him). We had a wonderful time together for two days, first at my place, then his hotel. He was the sweetest thing, in and out of bed, and I wonder if it was the smartest thing to not say anything about our situation.

    I haven’t heard from him and it’s been five weeks now. I texted him a few times and he replied, just chitchat about nothing and anything. Whatever he has to day to me, I don’t know if I’ll ever hear it.

    We are practically soulmates and have known each other for nearly six years. So when is the right time to have sex? When you know it’s a committed relationship, how come that is always easier to say and the hardest thing to do?

  28. 86
    lili

    “The answer will always be HE WANTS SEX!”
    Pretty much sums it up.  LOL
    I waited until marriage to have sex.  Biggest mistake of my life.  I am not resentful about my divorce.  I’m resentful about the church lying to me.  How would they know what my life would be like, better waiting or not?  It’s a crock.
    Now I’m going to be back on the dating scene, with an STD (that’s right, Christians, from my ONE partner, because I had NO experience and had NO idea what a decent guy was–screw that crap!)
    Knowing what I know now, I’ve decided I’ll sleep with a man when he’s ready to go take an STD screen with me and see what he’s really sharing with me… that’s pretty much it.  If he’s clean he’d be crazy to sleep with me.  If he’s not taking the test forget it–the last thing I need is another STD.  If we’re compatible, I’ll do it when I want to.
    And even though many of you may not have STDs or think you don’t, I’d advise you to do the same.  Condoms do not protect against herpes (only partially) and worse, 90% of people with herpes don’t know it.  Get screwed but don’t get SCREWED if you know what I mean.  LFMF…

  29. 87
    lili

    Oh, and for those wondering about herpes and condoms:
    “Despite the use of condoms and the avoidance of sex, the chance of transmitting genital herpes to an uninfected partner has been estimated at 10% per year. The risk of a man transmitting to his female partner is far greater than the reverse. In fact, the females’ chances of acquiring genital herpes are estimated at 30% each year.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980311072130.htm
    Voila.  :(
    Oh, and let’s not forget HPV, which can also be transmitted even when using a condom.
    If they won’t test, don’t sleep with them.
    Please, please girls, learn from my fail.  If the idea of having an STD isn’t enough, imagine passing it to your newborn child because you don’t know you have it.  It happens.  :(

  30. 88
    LanaTwist

    I agree with Paul; my last boyfriend would have agreed with him too. After he told me he loved me, he also stated (surprisingly) that he wished that we had waited longer to have sex! By the time we had started sleeping together, we’d probably been dating about 2 months. But he said that there is something so pure about that “first love” and the moment that one loses their virginity & it would be so wonderful to recapture that moment. He was 42! The guy I’m dating now is 34 and is always saying how great it is to feel like a teenager again when he’s around me, & even though I drive him crazy (sexually), he loves being teased & just thinking about sex! My opinion: a good man just wants a good girl to like him & he’ll stay in pursuit if he likes you because men love the thrill of the chase.
     I once had a girlfriend tell me that 3 months was a good “time limit”; but I think it should just be whenever you feel like you and he are friends who happen to be heavily attracted to one another. As it happens, 3 months is usually about the amount of time it takes to feel like you’re friends with someone, no?

  31. 89
    Sallie

    I completely agree with KAT. I would never keep dating a guy in the first place if I don’t want to sleep with him. if he’s the right guy, then it doesn’t matter when you sleep with him.

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