When Should I Have Sex With Him For the First Time?

When Should I Have Sex With Him For the First Time?
In the latest “Water is wet; News at 11” report, the Journal of Sex Research reports that – get this – having sex too early in a relationship is a bad idea. Shocking, I know.

And before thou dost protest too much because you’re the happily married woman who hopped into bed and are still in love 30 years later?

Chill. You’re the exception. Here’s the rule:

“Investigators surveyed roughly 11,000 people on when a couple first got frisky. Compared to couples who had sex before they started dating or during the first three weeks of their relationship, those who waited actually rated their current relationship as more satisfying and more stable. They also reported greater levels of positive communication.”

“Sexclusivity”: don’t sleep with a guy until he’s your boyfriend.

You mean fucking an attractive stranger you’ve known for 3 hours and hoping that you’re compatible in the long run is a bad idea? REALLY?

“There is compelling evidence that waiting to have sex until later in the relationship is associated with better relationship dynamics and outcomes,” says study co-author Brian Willoughby, PhD, an associate professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University.

This isn’t just conservative Mormon B.S. This correlates with what you know from reality. He sleeps with you on the first date. You think it means he likes you or wants to be your boyfriend. In fact, all it means is that he wanted to have sex with you. He’ll figure out in a few weeks or months whether he actually likes you enough to commit to you. But why is sex too early so dangerous? According to the article:

Not surprisingly, having sex creates powerful emotional bonds. If those bonds are forged too early, they may saddle a relationship with baggage that can complicate the partnership before both partners are ready, Willoughby theorizes. Having sex sooner might also compell us to stay in relationships that we know aren’t built to last, the study suggests.

Finally, “women who delay sex are more driven to invest in their relationships,” says one researcher, adding that the research results were consistent across age groups, races, and religious affiliations.

The word I’ve coined for this is “sexclusivity”. Don’t sleep with a guy until he’s your boyfriend. Wait a month or so before you do so. And if/when you do finally have sex, you are guaranteed that it’ll be with a guy who you like, trust, and know enough to be worthy of commitment – as opposed to letting lust take over and then keeping your fingers crossed.

Read the article here and please, share your thoughts below.

Join our conversation (177 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 91

    @Karmic Equation:
    I have a hard time separating sex and having sex for sex’s sake.  I don’t really handle casual sex well but I have been doing lonnng periods with nothing.  If I like a guy enough to have sex with him then I would desire him as a boyfriend/partner.  With this last guy, I did not pursue him once we met off line and I did try to mirror the level of interest…I may have been slightly more “excited” on the third date – oh well. I realize this in retrospect.  So sue me, I’m human.  I don’t believe it would have been construed as desperation though…
    I don’t always get it 100% right and it seems one false move is all it takes.  Sigh.  Also he was a few years younger.  Yes, we had oral sex and I guess I agree somewhat with you but for me, intercourse feels more intimate.  I kind of regret the oral sex but I can’t take it back now, it felt a little awkward the first time, like “what am I doing?” but I hadn’t been with a man in three years so it was difficult to stop.  And he went first on me so it wasn’t like I was over eagerly trying to please him.  Here’s where my sex drive comes into play…..that pesky old sex drive!
    There was no future talk on my part, there was no possessiveness, I’m not a drama seeker.  I may have said one off-color thing to him but he said MANY things that would have possibly turned someone else off.  I tend to be tolerant and accepting unless the behavior is rude (although he did say a couple insulting “neg” type things to me, however…hmm…wil not divulge for privacy reasons)  He talked about his exes a LOT.  E.g.  We went to a restaurant and he made a point of saying that he and Susie Q came here and sat over there, and then I got to hear a little more about Susie Q.  This was typical. Definitely had player-ish tendencies but since he had children (50% custody) and was well educated I probably gave him a bigger pass.
    On our last date at a performance, he took and held my hand tenderly through the show, brought it up to kiss it gently, put his arm around me, etc.  He was very flirty and romantic.  We had a really nice fun time, ended up here in a passionate embrace, he emailed the next day, a couple days later….I emailed him after a week (which seemed Ok after five dates), he responded right away then disappeared.  It is what it is.

  2. 92

    Susan61 #90
    “I get tired of the woman always being expected to have to control her sex drive when are still allowed to plow full steam ahead… (as if she is dirty or damaged goods somehow, for being sexual/having sex). Sigh.”
    I’m also sorry to hear about what happened with your most recent dating episode – I remember reading your initial posts describing it. Sometimes you can do everything right and it still doesn’t work out.
    Like you I am also dismayed when I read comments from some men on blogs disparaging women for exercising their sexuality. However, although there will probably always be a percentage of men who judge women I believe the number of men who support and encourage women to express their sexuality in whatever way that suits them is growing. The majority of male posters on this blog appreciate that women are sexual beings too.
    I just can’t even imagine even contemplating inhibiting my sexuality due to worrying if others might judge me, so I can appreciate it being difficult for women with high libidos.
    Karmic Equation #92
    “I think oral sex, especially when a woman gives it, is MORE INTIMATE, and I think subservient, than vaginal sex. Frankly, I don’t think men deserve oral sex until he’s your bf.”
    I’ve had a lot of one-night-stands over the years and I’ve always been slightly intrigued and bemused by what different women consider more or less intimate. I would say on balance the majority of women are like you and are more likely to have vaginal sex before oral sex. However, what always struck me as odd is the significant amount of women who don’t mind giving oral sex to me as a stranger but don’t like to have the favour returned. I’ve had regular sex and received oral sex from a lot of women and then when I tried to reciprocate they looked at me askance and actually said “but I don’t even know you,” I’m like huh? You just did it to me! Bizarre.
    Trying to crack the female psyche is just so interesting!

  3. 93
    Karmic Equation

    Sad to say, but it sounds like he may have found someone else.
    Well. I think fellatio is a skill that some women pride themselves on and is a thing to “show off”. My “girl-game” tells me that in a world where men can get bj’s at the back of a dance club, telling a guy he has to be a bf to get THAT from you makes him go, “hmm, interesting.” An easy way to tunnel into a guy’s head and if he really likes you, he works toward that in spite of himself. I just planted the seed, he makes it grow. But that isn’t why I withhold. It’s because I think fellatio requires NO effort on the guy’s part and a guy who isn’t your bf doesn’t deserve to have “no effort” release from something you (“the woman”) has to work to give him. Too subservient, imo.
    It is really bizarre if a woman thinks it’s ok to give oral to a stranger but not receive it because you are a stranger. LMAO. I have to admit that makes not sense to the logical me; but the woman in me understands the sentiment.

  4. 94

    I believe that the empathasis shouldn’t be on when or when not to have sex, but more on determining on what you need and want in a partner and whether or not having sex too soon would interfere with determining that.  I know ththere’re are no full proof ways of success with relationships but if you use your head and heart, be true to yourself – whatever decision thou make will be from a place of strength. I think it is best to get to know restraint only because I know what I want can not be s determined within a few dates, and I don’t want to share that part of myself with someone I don’t feel strongly about on a deeper level. 

  5. 95

    Hindsight is 20-20 but the writing was on the wall when he was so elusive. If a man likes you, he will let you know.  I don’t think this has changed in the 21st century or at our age.  He might be klutzy or shy about it if he’s not experienced with women but I feel that this guy doesn’t fall into that category.  They will phone you, they are easy to get hold of, they dont’ go dark for days, they don’t operate via emails/texts and ambiguity. They don’t bang on about their exes.  You do get prime date nights (Fri/Sat).  He will want to see you at least once a week, with it increasing over time.
    It’s not about one false move unless it was completely egregious. There is nothing wrong with being excited about a date or being affectionate.  They should like that!  If a man disappears because of that, well, he did you a favour.
    I have way more sexual experience than my boyfriend. He doesn’t judge me for it at all. I judged myself though, so maybe you judge yourself more than the man did. You should let yourself off the hook.
    If you cannot have sex for the sake of sex I would accept that about yourself and act accordingly. I don’t think you’ll be limiting your options too much to only get intimate with men who show genuine interest. It’s oldfashioned, but you should be able to FEEL them making an effort. They want to do things for you and give to you . It was a man who said that to me, by the way, not a woman (for the record, I thought what he said was ridiculous and would never happen for me. I was wrong).  While women may have high expectations around chemistry and his job etc, many of us seem to have shockingly low expectations around how he actually treats us.  Someone being cuddly with you on a date is nice, but it’s  not that big a deal. Especially if you’re attractive, friendly and warm.  Why wouldn’t he? 
    Going on his past form he could be back (via email) for a do-over if his other options fall through.  If so, think about whether he has anything genuine to offer. I don’t think this guy is bad or hurtful. But it has every potential to become quite a mess for you if you continue engaging with him and analysing him and yourself. I find that the more time I spend thinking about a relationship, the less substantial it actually is in reality.  There’s no need to grab at straws just because you’re going through a lean patch, if anything, it’s time to get serious about what you’re really looking for. 
    I understand that online dating has its own challenges  and exceptions, and I’m sure Evan has specific advice on that.

  6. 96

    marymary #97
    Beautifully articulated.

  7. 97

    @ Karmic #95:
    As I understand it, some (many?) women are uncomfortable with the way their vaginas look.  I would expect that those women would be uncomfortable with having a strange man with his face in her crotch.

  8. 98
    Karmic Equation

    @Joe 99
    Yes. That is what the woman in me suspects 🙂
    Women are not as proud of their private parts as most men are. LOL

  9. 99

    @Karmic speak for yourself, I am completely fine with mine.

  10. 101
    Karmic Equation

    Good for you that you’re one of those women who are ok with strangers going down on you.
    It’s apparent that you don’t read all the posts since you’ve written so many responses out of context.

  11. 102

    I agree with this post. I love the word “sexclusiviti.

  12. 103

    I would advise that sensitive women/men  delay having sex as long as possible as it can take a long time to assess someone’s character.
    Unfortunately there are a lot of men ( and women ) out there who have personality disorders and it may take you many months to work this out as you need to see the person in different settings and see how they treat you and other people,.
    When we want to be in a relationship and meet someone who is : fun, charming, attractive we can initially make excuses for worrying or poor behaviour but it takes time to see that these are not isolated incidents but true reflections of how the person functions.

  13. 104

    “When should I have sex with him for the first time”?  When you are married to him!!  Simple really…  Nobody wants to wait anymore, instant gratification – no wonder there’s so much confusion and hurt out there.  Giving yourself away time after time…. hmmmm.

    1. 104.1

       Are you serious?

  14. 105

    I once was in a similar situation you described. I had been dating a man for a couple of weeks, everything went well and I wanted to become intimate with him. At that point I found out he had been meeting some other women simultaneously. The consequence was that I got so disappointed and discouraged emotionally that I slowly but surely lost interest in him. He tried to explain to me that he hadn´t been seriously interested in those other women and yes, our dating had been casual up to then, so I shouldn´t have bothered, but the reality was that his behaviour put me off and finally I stopped meeting him. You might say that I wasn´t fulfilling his expectations but in reality he was not happy about how the things turned out, so obviously I wasn´t such a bad option for him. So maybe it is wiser to give a chance to one woman over a considerable period of time without mixing with others at the same time. I am about your age, btw.

    1. 105.1

      I agree but online dating ruins this.  Men and women have two many choices its nit going to happen this way.

  15. 106

    @elli #107. Like I said for the most part I DO deal with one woman at a time but if I know for sure it’s not going to be a “long term” thing for me because I don’t have those kind of feelings towards her I’ll be on the lookout for someone who’s what I might have THAT kind fo connection with that’s all. That doesn’t mean while I’m sleeping with someone I’m going on 3 “meet & greets” a week or anything it just means I’m looking and keeping my options open.

  16. 107

    I understand what you are saying. I just wanted to point out that we women are sensitive beings and certain male behaviours that seem perfectly acceptable to them may completely put us off emotionally. E.g. the man I was dating invited me for a romantic dinner, we were holding hands, I got a nice present… and later I found out that the first thing he did on coming home was sign in to a dating site where he spent about three hours. So yes, mentally I understood we were dating casually and hewas meeting other people, but emotionally I couldn´t absorb it. While I was replaying the nice moments we had spent together, he was already chatting with other women. And like I said, I dumped him because my interest dropped sharply from 90% to about 10. 🙁

  17. 108

    [email protected]
    Are you meeting women online?  How do you focus on one person at the initial stages of dating?  I open my profile, I start talking with 10 women, 2 disappear before I get a chance to ask them out on a date.  Then I need to start meeting the 8 (or 3 or 6, I’m just throwing a number out) women.  Unless I have some strong feeling that one of them is Ms. Right, I don’t want to focus on #1 and ignore 2-8.
    Anyone have a solution on how to juggle numerous prospective dates?  I even joined EHarmony thinking that would slow things down.  It didn’t work because everyday there would be several matches I might be interested in initiating the guided communication.

  18. 109

    @ Overwhelmed #110 Yeah I know what you’re saying….I like to call them “scenarios” and I usually never have more than 3 or 4 going on at once in various stages of emailing, chatting, and meeting etc…. and it usually sorts itself out within a week depending on who will actually MEET me or TALK to me and who for whatever reason just stops returning emails etc…. In other words I’ve never had close to 10 going on at the same time. Not that “I” really have a choice but it seems I keep it at 3 or less most of the time. I’m a very busy man and it DOES get confusing….LOL
    @elli #109 I know what you’re saying. I’ve been on great dates with women and come home and see them immediately log on Match and stay for an hour. Like Evan would tell you that’s part of online dating. Unless they tell you “you’re my girlfriend and let’s take our profiles down” anything is fair game. If either of us don’t like it we don’t have to continue to see that person. That’s “dating” in 2013. I know it hurts when you see someone you’re really into logging into Match everyday believe me I KNOW….LOL

  19. 110

    @ Overwhelmed: Have you heard of a book called the Paradox of Choice? You should check it out.

  20. 111

    @ marymary # 97
    Loved that post.  My favorite line… “I find that the more time I spend thinking about a relationship, the less substantial it is in reality.”  I texted that line to my sister, it was that good.

  21. 112

    John 10 – thank you for your refreshing honesty. 
    Some men will wait, and others won’t.  Ditto women.  When I was 20, I assumed that young men waited, knowing full well in my heart that some of them weren’t waiting at all, and, to be fair, after a while, I thought, what’s sauce for the goose, and did my own thing.
    I recently met someone who said he has many many girlfriends.  Don’t like to ask – but sounds as if these women are his mistresses, I’ve no idea.
    People can promise to be faithful, and wait for the other (even in marriage and committed relationships) but that doesn’t mean that they don’t change their minds.  
    Life can be difficult – a woman can not feel like having sex (periods, pregnancy, general stress and fatigue) or a man too (for different reasons) and probably the best couples discuss these issues.
    An old wise woman once told me – how he treats you outside of bed – is how he will treat you inside it too.  (And naturally, this goes for women too).
    How true.

  22. 113

    And can someone please tell me what “making out” means? I really don’t know this term.
    Is it kissing and cuddling, or foreplay??
    Or is it actual sex?

  23. 114

    Judy- it can be anything up to, but not including, sex. 

  24. 115

    Joe87 – I think most women over the age of say, 16, understand that men have other women in the pipeline so to speak.  Whether a woman waits or not is up to her.  And that is really a comment irrespective of age.  Some things just don’t change.
    J 114 – Thank you.

  25. 116

    Evan – Firstly I love your posts and secondly this one was 100% on the money.  I am in my late 20s and like most women have had many many ups and downs in the dating world so I’ve experienced this dilemma on multiple occasions.  None of the ‘relationships’ I have had where sex happened fairly early (before we really KNEW each other) have succeeded (that is 100% the rule).  Presently I’ve been seeing a guy for the last two months and just last weekend he asked me to be exclusive and that he wants us to be a real couple.  I have let him lead and have just said “yes” to dates.  We have not yet slept together but have shared a bed a few times over the last month since live about an hour apart.  We had a discussion about sex early on and I had mentioned I wanted get to know him without sex clouding my judgement, he agreed and even now that we aren’t seeing other people he is in no rush.  Being open and honest about what you are looking for is key.  Every pot indeed does have a lid 🙂

  26. 117

    There was a comment above about oral sex being more personal than good old-fashioned coitus (and I love this word in its clinical usage!!!) Why? Kissing in general is VERY PERSONAL. How much does the FIRST KISS in a relationship matter? I am referring to a relationship kiss, not some hottie you are smooching with at the bar after a few drinks. Can this be fun? Sure. But, really think about it.
    You anticipate the FIRST KISS (in a “blossoming”, not to sound corny, relationship) and there is tension and excitement and then when it happens, it sets the tone. Was the timing right? Was it good? Was there a spark? Do I want him to stop or not? It makes you think what sex will be like with him. Has anyone every thought in their head right before a “FIRST KISS”, is this it? Or, I KNOW he wants to kiss me, grab me and kiss me already!
    I think if a man really sees you as part of the long term, his attitude toward you is different. He will want to make sure that you see that he respects you and cares about your feelings. Otherwise, you could send him packing. And if it’s for real (and at some point I do think he pegs you as “a keeper”), he is not going to approach you as he would “a fling” or a “one night stand”.  This alone has thrown me for a loop…another post for another time.
    I read somewhere (cannot remember for the life of me) that once you have had a long term relationship sex is “the next step” because that’s how things progress when you’ve been with someone, there is no sense of caution. But, when your in a very new relationship, you need to retrain yourself to think that while it feels natural, you don’t have this committed relationship and sex after kissing is not what should happen like it did before. This idea is so you can develop a relationship one step at time (or “one base” at a time as EMK puts it). 🙂
    I’ll be totally honest. I do not have sex with just anyone AND I don’t judge anyone who does. I am not a cold fish to say the least, I can assure you. I am not perfect either. This is my personal choice. Why?  Because I want the man to know that he is ONE OF FEW and whatever I do with him, I haven’t done with a hundred others. Like I said, I am not judging. From all that I have read about SEX EARLY in a relationship, its bad (And I have read comments by men who agree!) He could be such a loser or a liar or boring (or just plain gross!!! ) and your willing to have sex with them early??? Do we (I mean people) have sex early because we already see the relationship is dull and lack luster so you add some, “sugar and spice”? Or, is it just intense attraction so sex feel logical and necessary? Just some thoughts 🙂

  27. 118

    How can you know someone in one months? that you can trust, and worth a commitment? One month is still too short.

  28. 119

    I’m shocked how fast people have sex without knowing. I made him wait 5 months and he was so overly excited the first few times, he didn’t last longer than 5 mins! He could have waited longer to have sex but one night I was in the mood and he really went all out for my birthday taking me to san diego, the lavish hotel, and dinner. He surprised me. Well done. I’m not letting this one go, especially after what I’ve been through with other men.

  29. 120

    I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with being intimate with someone early on. The truth is, a guy will lie if that’s what he wants to do. I can see going on a few dates to make sure you are attracted to the person’s personality, but I feel like a real physical attraction can’the hold out for months. Sleeping around is not okay, but we are adults. Sex is natural. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *