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.

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  1. 91

    @ EMK:

    To play devil’s advocate here, I’m not sure that Mia was saying that it’s a “fact”, I think more likely it’s a case of venting frustrations, and I can understand that.  I used to be the same way, joking with a friend that I needed to be a frigid, mean, selfish bitch to get a good man.  Of course that is so not true, but that’s how it “felt” sometimes.

    It can be confusing, as a woman, to be told that we’re “easy” if we put out fairly soon, and “frigid” or have “trust issues” if we ask a guy to wait.  For me now, I could care less what men think.  If they don’t like what I think or what my boundaries are, well hey man, there’s the door, and make it quick so my cat doesn’t accidentally follow you! 😉

    I’m not saying she’s “right” per se, but I am suggesting maybe she’s just venting about how she may feel about the dating process.

  2. 92

    What I don’t understand is, how are you supposed to feel special in any way when you know the guy you’re dating will sleep with anything that moves? The man I’m seeing now is just such a specimen, and while he acts like a good guy, he readily admits that “sex is just sex.” And after reading all these posts promoting meaningless sex with random strangers, I guess he’s right. I’ve really been making an effort lately to lose the emotion I attach to sex, but I just can’t get myself to enjoy sex without it and I can feel myself slipping away from this guy. If this is the way most people are now, I’m beginning to wonder what the point is. I’m 43 and I guess it’s time to let go of the dream of ever making “love” in my lifetime. It’s kind of depressing.

  3. 93

    I can understand a guy getting angry if he found out that a woman was sleeping with someone on the side and telling you she wanted to take it slow….But many women have f-buddies just for this reason: to keep sex separate so they can choose the right guy. They are pushing you off for a while because they really really like you and want to see you clearly. so they’re sleeping with someone else, like eating before a wedding — so you won’t be too hungry.
    Usually, if they’re really into you they’ll dump the lover. It just takes the edge off dating.

  4. 94

    I just have to chuckle. I don’t think men are ever going to understand why it’s important to you to wait 6 dates before 3rd base with one guy, but perfectly okay to boink one of your best friends’ close friends a few days after meeting. I don’t see the huge moral distinction here, and I’m fairly experienced and open minded.

    What can I say but good luck. (And you’d be wise to keep your sex life private).

  5. 95
    Karmic Equation

    @Tom 92
    “I fully agree with your post, however, I wonder by living your philosophy could it place you in a vulnerable position of being strung-along by a guy who likes it as it is and doesn’t actually want a relationship? Would this bother you?”

    Honestly, I rarely get into situations where I’m vulnerable. Even this situation. I would only feel vulnerable if I *want* a relationship and he’s stringing me along. However, if I don’t care whether or not there’s a relationship, then he’s not stringing me along. He’s living his life; I’m living mine…and sometimes we meet in the middle, so to speak.

    Now, if you’re asking if I ever wanted a relationship with a guy who didn’t want a relationship with me after sex. That’s never happened. Since I don’t equate sex with relationships…if I have sex with a guy…and it isn’t great, I don’t care if he never calls me back. If I have sex with a guy..and it’s great…and he doesn’t give me a call back, I also don’t care if he doesn’t call me back. I wanted great sex, I got great sex. I won!

    I have sex with a guy when I feel like it, but I never expect a relationship out of it. That’s a bonus. Relationships take work though. So I’ve now learned to only work on having relationships with guys who are great lovers. They’ve “earned” that relationship commitment from me by being great lovers to me. If they stop being great lovers, bye-bye relationship. They lose because I’m a great person and even better girlfriend.

    It’s all in your perspective. If someone earns the SILVER medal in the Olympics, did they “lose” the Gold or did they “win” the silver? Guess it depends on one’s perspective.

  6. 96

    “how are you supposed to feel special in any way when you the know the guy you’re dating will sleep with anything that moves?”

    Because he has given up the opportunity to have sex with every other woman in the world – just to be with you! That’s an enormous sacrifice for such a specimen.

  7. 97
    Karmic Equation

    Appending to Karmic Equation #98

    I have to admit though, that I would be kind of bummed if the guy I had great sex with didn’t call me back. First because my *ego* would have wanted to hear back from him…and secondly, because I would have wanted the opportunity to have more great sex with him!

    The reality is that if you start having regular sex with a guy and you LIVE IN THE MOMENT, enjoying him when he’s around; enjoying YOUR OWN LIFE when he’s NOT AROUND; you’d don’t get caught up in needing to be in a relationship…and you get to have great sex — WITHOUT THE ANGST — in the bargain.

    I know, I know, what if you fall in love with him! Well, you might. That is a risk. So what’s wrong with having great sex with a guy you’re in love with? Ohh…but you want to be in a relationship with the guy you’re in love with?

    Well, once again if you separate sex and relationship…and let’s assume for this exercise you can’t have both, what would you choose…

    (A) Do you want to have great sex with the guy you’re in love with?


    (B) Do you want to have a great relationship (which doesn’t include sex) with the guy you’re in love with?

    Nooo…(C) I want great sex IN A RELATIONSHIP with a guy I’m in love with!!!

    That love trifecta is hard to come by. Sorry! Choose A or B and sometimes, if you’re lucky, and the stars align, or you’re the best female person you can be, then C happens.

    Remember, relationships take work, sex is FUN! Why choose work when you can choose fun?

    Just call me a heretic 😉

  8. 98

    Heather – yes, that was a little tongue and cheek venting! 

    Selena, there is no moral difference between the two, I was referring to comfort level. It simply takes longer to get to that comfort level with someone from the Internet who you have no friends in common with.

    Amy, your comment is pretty much in line with my thoughts about this …  

  9. 99

    Karmic, I think you know you are in a minority of women. Fact:most women can’t have sex and not get hurt if the man disappears. For that reason most women are better off not having sex unless it is clear that the guy wants to be with only her.

  10. 100
    Karmic Equation

    @Wendy 95
    So slip away from the guy. What’s wrong with that? Or do you mean he’s slipping away from you? Let him!
    The double standards is working double-time in you and you don’t even know it.
    You don’t want to be perceived by society as being a bad girl for having sex outside of a relationship, so by golly, you MUST HAVE A RELATIONSHIP to justify the sex. Yes, oxytocin can make you bond to the guy you’re having sex with. Knowledge is power. Know that chemically, your BODY is making you bond with the guy, not really your “emotions.”
    Fight the guilt or acknowledge that your physiology is having an unpleasant side effect. Acknowledge ingrained the double-standard.
    It’s ok to want sex, in a relationship or not (but cheating is not ok, just to be clear). You shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting it or having it.
    BUT if what you really want is a relationship, then work on being the best female person you can be. Men can’t walk away from the best female person they’ve ever met. And if you truly cannot separate sex and relationship, then as EMK states, don’t have sex until he’s your BF. Otherwise, you’ll have to harden your heart.

  11. 101

    @Tom #92: “Fusee and RW. As people who advocate not having sex for several months do you ever worry that there might be no chemistry after all the build-up? In my experience there’s absolutely no way to know if it’s there until you actually have sex, and does it matter to you if it’s not?”
    Hi Tom, just to clarify, I do NOT advocate not having sex for several months. I do not believe in “waiting for sex” for a set amount of time or number of dates. What I advocate is progressing to that level of intimacy when – whithin an already established budding relationship – it has been assessed that both parties are on the same page regarding general relationhip goals, are compatible in values and lifestyle and did not detect any deal-breakers. It really is a matter of values and wisdom and not a matter of rules and mind-games.
    The time needed to make that progress will greatly varies between relationships. If both parties click quickly and feel comfortable to talk intimately early on, it will move faster than if both people are more reserved. It also depends on what kind of dates they are engaging into. Some types of dates are more conducive to making progress in emotional intimacy than others.
    With my very first boyfriend it took months. He was the first and I was a teen. With my current boyfriend in our thirties, it took six weeks. Am I advocating to “wait” for six weeks? Nope. I’m advocating to progress first towards having enough intimacy that you both could can talk about what you are doing, what you desire, and what matters to you, and see if it makes sense to progress to such physical intimacy.
    I agree that sex is part of building a relationship and getting to know someone intimately. However this is the highest level of intimacy and therefore for me it has to be kept within special relationships. The physical journey has to parallel the emotional one: from hand shaking to hugging to holding hands to kissing on the cheek to kissing on the mouth to kissing more passionately to making out to cuddling to more intimate touch to sex. This is a journey and the time does not matter. What matters to me is matching physical progress with emotional progress.
    Makes sense?

  12. 102

    I’m really surprised to see how much heated debate this post has sparked.
    Going back to the original question that EMK based the blog on…I think it’s valid for a guy to wonder if a girl’s really into him if they’ve gone out on three real dates (not parties or ambiguous “is it a date?” hangouts) and she seems to be avoiding intimacy.  It seems like very few people in this comment thread have approached this question with the assumption that the guy might just be a regular, good guy who is really into the girl he’s invited out three times, and who naturally just wants to take things further.  Why wouldn’t he, right?  You’re hot, you’re charming, you act like you’re having a  really good time with him; he, being a man thinks about sex a lot; he’s psyched.
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to wait longer,  of course, and I think that if a guy puts up a fight about it, obviously the relationship isn’t going to be compatible anyway.  But I think the whole business of “rules” about sexual timelines- either in terms of always expecting it by a certain point or always withholding it until a certain point, is bound to be a turn-off to the other person involved.

  13. 103

    @Tom #92
    “I’d be interested to know why you think like you do if you’re not religious.”

    The cons of casual sex outweigh the pros for me.  I agree that sex as a whole is nothing shameful but it IS special.  If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t mind sleeping with many different partners at the same time and wouldn’t bother with monogamy.  When you’re horny, grab the nearest available consenting partner as long as you are taking the steps to be safe (in terms of avoiding pregnancy and STDs).  After all, you are just releasing sexual tensions.  Sex is both physical and emotional for me.  Sorry to be crude but horniness can be taken care of with one hand (or two :P) and this applies to both men and women.  Sex with a partner is about the connection and I don’t want to establish that connection over and over and over again with different people.  When I do establish it, I want it to mean something or the experience is cheapened.  I don’t want to run into people who have seen my husband naked or who have seen me naked.  If there are only two or three of those, the chances of that happening are far less than if there are 30.  The other big reason is that I want to know that I like the person for who he really is and that there is a good chance I will want him in my life for keeps.  I want to know this before I start liking him for what his body can do to me.  That will fade over time.  Personality clicks will stick around for a bit longer or it is to be hoped they will anyway!  Far too many people stay in relationships because the sex is good.  It is perk of the relationship, not the other way around.

    As for sexual chemistry,  I agree, that is hit and miss.  But in most cases it is far easier to improve someone in the bedroom than it is to change personality or bad habits.  I guess it comes down to a personal decision here: is sex the most important thing to you in a relationship?  I find that leaving because the sexual chemistry is bad is easier than leaving because your partner has a gambling problem or a whatever else problem (the good sexual chemistry keeps you hooked for longer).

  14. 104

    Sorry for the double post but I have another @Tom #92:

    If I read your post correctly, I respect your attitude because of its lack of hypocrisy…your daughter is going to be one happy girl with a liberal dad 😀

    However, most people wouldn’t be okay with their 18 year old sleeping with someone new every 4 to 6 months or in some cases 4 to 6 weeks and less but they do accept that behaviour for themselves.  Again, not judging but wondering whether this is an age or experience thing, etc.  Does it become okay after you’ve passed a certain age or after you’ve had a certain amount of relationship experience?  

    Tom: I think you are in same happy situation as me: no kids yet.  I wonder if you might change your mind after the fact.  I wouldn’t know but I’ve been told having one changes everything.  Who knows…!

  15. 105

    Tom, I think you’ll find your attitude changes a lot if you have a daughter. My Dad, who has always been a strong alpha male, actually choked back tears when he passed by while I was on skype to my mother last month telling her about the latest relationship where the guy disappeared after 3 months. He knows I’m sensitive and that I’ve been hurt a lot. He knows all I really wanted was a husband and a family and worst of all he knows he can’t do anything to help me find that or to stop me getting hurt again. He has also seen almost every player in town chase around after either my sister or me in our late teens and throughout our twenties (without much success but occasionally one passes himself of as relationship material) while we just wanted stable relationships. No man wants any of this for his baby girls -you just wait and see!

  16. 106

    @Evan #59, Of those women whose pants you were able to get into on dates 1,2, or 3, how many of did you ask to be your girlfriend? I hear it time and time again, on this blog and everywhere else, that almost always when the woman gives a man sex on dates 1,2, and 3, he declares that that is the reason he didn’t consider her relationship material. 

    You’ve acknowledged this numerous times on this blog yourself, Evan, as a warning to women who put out too soon. So, the man tries for sex really fast,  succeeds, then looks down on the woman and moves on leaving her feeling hurt and used. Does this sound like a decent man to you?

    1. 106.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Margo – You haven’t apologized and you haven’t left the blog either. Here’s just a quick refutation of everything you believe – a study from Dr. Helen Fisher: “Random hook-ups can lead to serious relationships. 35 percent of the people surveyed segued from a one-night-stand to a long-term commitment.” Oh, and I married my first-night hookup (we didn’t sleep together, but we did other stuff).

      You just don’t seem to understand grey, Margo – only black and white. The reason women shouldn’t sleep with men too quickly are because a) SHE might get hurt if she doesn’t know that HE’s relationship oriented and because b) he MIGHT be the kind of guy who devalues women who have sex too soon. For this, I advocate foreplay – acknowledging male attraction and sexual desire without making him wrong (like you do). I also recommend withholding intercourse until you know that a) you can handle the possibility that he’s not your boyfriend or b) until you know that he wants to be your boyfriend.

      However, your original comment said that men who try for sex on dates 1-3 are creeps, pervs and potential rapists. I’ve already proven to you that you’re wrong. If YOU don’t want to date men like that, fine. But since I’M a man like that, I’m pretty sure that there are other good guys out there who are similar. So please, go away now.

  17. 107

    What a fascinating discussion.  In this part of the world there is a bit of an unwritten rule about the 3rd date….more so I think for younger than older people.
    however, I would say that the comment (Frank?) about a women not going slow with someone she likes hits the nail on the head.
    Add that to EMKs constant advice of only sleeping with someone who is your boy/girlfriend and that sums it up pretty well.
    I’ve followed EMKs advice carefully for the past 6 months, having suffered too many cuts and abrasions to my heart, and am now 6 weeks into an exlcusive relationship.  The commitment to exclusivity was made on date 5 and we spent literally hundreds of hours messaging and talking as well as talking in real life between first meeting and date 5.
    i’m sure that if i’d been ”up for it” sooner it would have happened but i was pretty clear on my expectations – no exclusive, no naked but also, when i’m sure i’m sure then it’ll happen for sure.
    A good guy will wait, as will a good woman, but at the end of the day whether it’s an hour, a week a month or a year, it’s only going to create something real if you both want it that way.

  18. 108

    @ Mia

     “Frank, what you describe happens all the time. In the last six months, I slept with a  ONS I knew for a few hours, went to third base by the fifth date with someone I was dating, slept with an old fwb and had a one week sexual fling out of town, but this week just had a seventh date with no nudity. Is the last guy a tool that I’m using? No, I like him A LOT. He has real relationship potential.”
    If you honestly feel that way, then don’t even consider squandering that potential by indulging casual sex on the side(he would never forgive you) – if he can wait, you surely can.
    “I don’t want to screw anything up and put pressure on things, or cloud my head, or prematurely force a “talk” – at this point”
    You might do well to communicate your intention to take it ‘slow’, as an indiction of your long-term expectations – that will reassure him.
    “But at the back of my head, I also know that men value women more who make them wait”
    You got that reversed Mia – men will wait for the women they value most.
    But, a woman CANNOT increase her value by making him wait.
    What this really comes down to is reputation and expectations.
    Whether women like it or not, they have earned a reputation for stringing along guys they don’t find attractive(and, conversely, putting out early for guys they find attractive), just as guys have earned a reputation for bolting after early sex.
    The problem is, that because of female expectations that a guy will bolt after early sex, some women try to compensate(for the guys they REALLY like) by making him wait – which only raises a red-flag that she is stringing him along into the friend zone.
    That’s why early communication is key, in dispelling uncertainty and doubt.

    @ Heather
    “It can be confusing, as a woman, to be told that we’re “easy” if we put out fairly soon, and “frigid” or have “trust issues” if we ask a guy to wait.”

    You’re only ‘easy’ to those guys who never valued you for a LTR anyway, and you are only ‘frigid’ to those guys who feel strung along(which isn’t to say they have designs on a LTR, which is why early communication is the key).
    @ amy

    “I can understand a guy getting angry if he found out that a woman was sleeping with someone on the side and telling you she wanted to take it slow….But many women have f-buddies just for this reason: to keep sex separate so they can choose the right guy. They are pushing you off for a while because they really really like you and want to see you clearly. so they’re sleeping with someone else, like eating before a wedding — so you won’t be too hungry.
    Usually, if they’re really into you they’ll dump the lover. It just takes the edge off dating.”
    I’ve seen alot of bad rationalizations(advice?) offered on this blog, but this is perhaps the most deluded.

    @ Karmic Equation

    “BUT if what you really want is a relationship, then work on being the best female person you can be. Men can’t walk away from the best female person they’ve ever met. And if you truly cannot separate sex and relationship, then as EMK states, don’t have sex until he’s your BF. Otherwise, you’ll have to harden your heart.”

    Hard to argue with that.

  19. 109

    @ Mia:

    I totally understand your need to vent.  I went out on two dates with a guy, really liked him, but he decided to lie to me about why he was cancelling our third date,  I was more angry about the lie, than him ditching, really.  So, I went out with my girlfriend for martinis, and we mocked the guy.  Shamelessly.  It was all in good fun, over great martinis, and we had a blast.  I vented, got it out of my system, and was done.  My girlfriends were a wonderful forum for me to vent, as well as couple of gay men, who got such a kick out of my descriptions of the dates.  Alot of my venting was very tongue in cheek, but it helped me vent frustration instead of sitting and simmering. 

    It’s frustrating to be a woman in this day and age, but it sounds like you’re handling it pretty well over there.  And I do agree with you that being intimate with someone you’ve already known offline, can be easier than with someone you met online.  Now there are times where online people are people you can develop some kind of bond with before meeting in person, depending on the situation, but I get where you’re coming from.

  20. 110

    @Tom #99: Well, he hasn’t given up having sex with other women so that argument’s out. What else you got?

    I was so intrigued by this topic that I decided to talk about it with him last night. I know, I know…the dreaded “RELATIONSHIP” talk (I can hear you all chastizing me from afar).  I asked him, “Why should I feel special when I know your history?” (He’s always been very open and honest about his need to have sex…a LOT of sex…with a LOT of women.) His response to me was, “What I have with you is love, what I have with them is just sex.” So there we go again with the “sex is just sex” philosophy. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, but I guess I need to accept that this is the way people are today, both men AND women. I don’t see things changing after a year of dating, so I realize I just need to get over myself. It still makes me sad, though!

    @Karmic Equation #103: I don’t WANT to slip away from this guy. He’s good to me, we have a lot of fun and enjoy each other’s company. I’ve had a helluva time finding that! The only thing I would change is that “special” feeling I’d like to have to go along with the sex. But I know I can’t change the bed-hopping, partner-changing philosophy that society doesn’t just accept as the new normal, but now encourages. No wonder people are walking around hurt and confused all the time! Truthfully, I couldn’t care less what society thinks of me, and I don’t think of myself as a “bad” girl for having sex outside of a relationship. I want a “relationship” because I really like the feeling of security a good one gives me, knowing there’s someone on my side when I have a day where I feel like the world’s against me, and believing I’m making someone else’s life a little better because I’m in it. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get a sense of any of that when I’m popping in and out of different beds, bathrooms, alleys, cars, etc. every night like everyone else. And you mention that cheating is not ok, but…if sex is just sex to you, like just another thing you do every day such as having a cup of coffee, watching the news, or reading a book, then why would you care if your guy is having sex (or drinking coffee or watching the news or reading a book) with someone else? You sound like you want it both ways. Exclusive meaningless sex. Is that all we can hope to strive for anymore?

  21. 111
    Karmic Equation

    @Fiona 102

    Apparently, yes, I am in the minority. What I’m saying is that I shouldn’t be. I don’t accept that women must “continue” to be hurt if men disappear on them. It is our expectation of what happens after sex that leads us to be hurt…as if sex is some magic potion that ensures men WON’T disappear, as if this “means” if they disappear that there is something wrong with us or with the men.
    No, I don’t accept this, and neither should any other woman. Because this is just another way of saying MEN must be the ones to change, not us women. Well, that’s not going to happen. We can’t change other people, only ourselves. So if we don’t like being hurt either don’t have sex until you’re BOTH in love or retrain your brains/heart not to be hurt. And you can do tis simply by resetting your default “after sex” expectations.

    If your “after sex” default setting is to expect that men will NOT call, then you will set yourself up to be happily surprised when they do, as opposed to having a default of expecting a call and they don’t, which can only cause you pain. After all if they don’t call, which is what you expected, why would you be hurt?

    Again, I’m going to be a heretic here…Sex itself is not special. Who says it’s special? Society? YOur mom? Your dad? (They had agendas to keep their little girls pure, so you have to take what they said with a grain of salt). Sex is biological, a function to propagate the species. Sex by itself is “beautiful” not necessarily special…What is special is sex “with love” – But how can you love someone by the 2nd or 3rd date? You really can’t. If you do, you have other problems.

    And I can tell you from personal experience that sex with love isn’t always special, because sometimes even with love, sex isn’t all that great or special (hence my divorce).

    Separate sex from relationship expectations and you will empower yourself.

    I’m not advocating sleeping around…I don’t…but I can if I wanted to. And when I want to, I have no guilt and no expectations…which coincidentally seems to draw the men towards me and inspire them to want a relationship with me in spite of themselves. I’m dating a very confused player right now…a confusion which I caused, btw…and I’m loving every minute of his confusion. I have no idea if this will result in an exclusive relationship because he doesn’t know. I’ll know when he figures it out. I’m not looking for a relationship, but if one happens and I think he’s worth it, we’ll have a realtionship. In the meanwhile, I live my life just as happily without him as with him…which drives him batsh*t crazy. It’s awesome.

  22. 112


    This thread has been about when people decide to have sex with each other and expectations surrounding it. I haven’t seen anyone discuss the expectation of being in a non-monogamous relationship for a year – much less indefinetly. I don’t know how you are drawing conclusions “that’s the way people are today”.

    You’ve chosen a relationship with someone who’s been open with you about wanting a LOT of sex, with a LOT of women. That’s not what the rest of us are choosing. If this fellow’s companionship is worth it to you to continue, that’s on you. I’d find such a long term situation repellent.

  23. 113

    What I want as a guy is a woman who isn’t sleeping with anyone else when we are dating. I won’t put up with being on her “slow track” *WITH ME* while she is getting it on with someone else, be it an FWB or a close friend of a close friend (sorry Mia), even though I get amy’s rationale. I won’t hold it against her for sleeping with me on the first date (happened before) and no I’m not naive to assume that I am the first guy she has done that with or that she has sex only in relationships.

    So with the above in mind, there’s no contradiction about us moving deliberately to the bedroom. Hope #105 is right in that if we like you and are attracted to you, we will want to have sex with you.

    There is also what I said earlier too though. Until we are exclusive, we know that you are probably seeing another guy. We also know that, if we want a relationship with you, the first guy to sleep with you will probably be the one to get that, no matter who your first choice was before.

  24. 114
    Karmic Equation

    @Wendy 113

    Again, you’re mixing sex and relationship expectations.

    They don’t go together for men. Having great sex with you doesn’t mean man’s going want a relationship with you. And having a great relationship with you doesn’t mean a man’s going to want to want you to be his girlfriend.

    Men can have sex without love. And some men I know can have love without sex (but this is more difficult, of course).

    I think the question you need to ask yourself is why is it so important that you have a relationship with a man to provide all the goodness you provide? All the things you listed you can be to your girl-friends, to guy-friends, to your parents or siblings. You don’t need a man to give all the things you want to give nor receive all things you want to receive.

    I am dating a guy who is non-exclusive with me. And I am non-exclusive with him. I see this as a pro, not a con. Because I get to have great sex with him…and explore other options without any guilt. So does it bother me that he sleeps around, yes…because I’m possessive (THAT IS MINE, darn it, even though it literally belongs to him :)) — not because I’m afraid he’ll fall in love with his other girls and dump me. There will be no dumping because we’re not in a relationship. We’ll fade or we’ll grow closer. Those are the only two open routes.
    I’m in no hurry to be in a relationship (they are so much work!). I’m having a blast with him in bed and out…so I just live in the moment with him. You should really try it. Say to yourself over and over…there is no yesterday and no tomorrow, just this moment. And you’ll really learn to not get worked about your lack of relationship.

  25. 115


    If you are happy as you are, fair enough although if you say you feel possessive towards the man you are sleeping with, I do wonder. However, I don’t think it is fair to say that you ‘shouldn’t’ be in the minority. I, like many women, feel bonded to a man I sleep with by the oxytocin overdose and I get hurt if he leaves me. For this reason, I don’t sleep with anyone until I am in a relationship because although I am just about prepared to get hurt again in the pursuit of love I am not prepared to be hurt by a one night stand. 

  26. 116

    I may have been a bit blithe in my earlier assertion that there’s nothing particularly special about sex – I can appreciate how it can be special in the context of a relationship. You hit the nail on the head here: “is sex the most important thing to you in a relationship?” I suppose if you are looking at it with a life-time commitment in mind the importance of hot sex seems frivolous – I haven’t reached that maturity yet.

    I don’t see why it’s a problem to run into people who have seen you or your husband naked though!

    Thanks for your response – which makes sense 🙂 I follow your logic and I think it’s similar to what Evan advocates, i.e. establishing that your goals and values are aligned rather than setting an arbitrary timeline.

    “When the woman gives a man sex on dates 1, 2 or 3 he declares that that is the reason he didn’t consider her relationship material

    I’ve never known a man to declare that – how hypocritical and judgemental would that be! I think Paragon makes an important point here – “a woman CANNOT increase her value by making him wait.” I.e. a man’s view of you regarding suitability for a relationship is formed irrespective of when you have sex – so why would you worry about what he thinks? Just do it whenever suits you.

    “I think you’ll find your attitude changes a lot if you have a daughter…no man wants any of this for his baby girls”

    I accept that it’s impossible to know now how one would feel in that situation, however, I still maintain that if there’s nothing inherently wrong, shameful or negative about sex then it shouldn’t be a problem for my daughter to enjoy it either. It would be very unfair of me to expect my daughter to abide by a different standard than I would set myself.

    “well, he hasn’t given up having sex with other women…I’m popping in and out of different beds, bathrooms, alleys, cars etc. every night like everyone else”

    Well you certainly have an unusual relationship dynamic there, but you don’t “need to accept that this is the way people are today.” Accept what is right for you and if you’re not fully satisfied with your current situation change it!

  27. 117

    Women nowadays are dating too many guys simultaneously… especially if she is using online dating sites. Therefore, for us, sex is a way to make the relationship for exclusive or at least validate that she’s sufficiently interested. 

    Women get tons of message per day from online dating sites and the attractive ones get checked out many times in real life. How are we suppose to know how much a woman likes us by just taking her out to dinner?

    I agree with other commenters in that it’s better to be rejected by the third date than to be rejected by the third month. We don’t want to wait three months before knowing that she’d fall in love (and had sex with) another date.

  28. 118

    @Karmic I think its nice that you found a situation that works for you. The majority of women who read this blog, however, are looking for a monogamous LTR that might eventually lead to marriage. That situation doesn’t work for most of us.

  29. 119

    @Tom 119: I have to agree with Margo on this one. I know several of my girlfriends have experienced this hypocrisy, too, so it’s not as uncommon as you might think. I slept with a man on the first date only ONCE in my life, and while we tried to continue dating and move on from it, he just couldn’t get past the idea that I was a slut and it ended ugly. I will NEVER do that again. I totally agree that you can increase your value if you wait, at least for a few dates. As long as it’s not the first date (my new rule of thumb), I’ll have sex with a man whenever he wants it. You have to if you want him to call again. Even the man I’m seeing now has told me that any woman who sleeps with a guy on the first date has to be a “special kind of stupid” to think she’ll ever see him again, but if he liked the sex, then he just might call her so don’t give up hope. However, I don’t think I’ve ever known a man who would wait for sex until he was “in love” or prepared to label himself “the boyfriend.” That would take way too long!

    Also, if I waited for what is right for me (getting to know the guy BEFORE sleeping with him), I’d die a lonely old woman! My personal experience has been that a guy won’t stick around if he isn’t getting any, and you can’t get to know someone who isn’t there.  So as far as the “sex-by-the-third-date” rule goes, I think it’s pretty normal (and necessary if you want a fourth!).

  30. 120

    I’m open to whatever makes a man or woman comfortable.  I’m in line with Evan’s view that there is nothing inherently wrong, but you may have to plan to be emotionally secure before you do something.  I take my time, because taking my time works for me and is in my best interest.  If my dating life sucked as result maybe I’d change my mind, but it doesn’t.
    @Wendy, I don’t think I have ever had sex on date 3.  I get plenty of dates 4s and 5s and so forth.  Often I end it after date 3, if I can’t see myself wanting to have sex with him at some point in the future.  I don’t think I’m that uncommon.  I also have some friends who think they can’t get the next date if they don’t sleep with a guy.  It might be about perception.

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