Ask five people whether you should have sex on the first date, and you’ll get five different answers. Some claim doing the deed early on is a must; others call it a “relationship killer.”
I prefer to live somewhere between these two camps. Whether or not you have sex is 100% your prerogative. That decision does not fall to a pushy partner, your exes or the internet — just you.
Having said that, I recommend keeping these things in mind if you plan on doing the deed on date #1.
Do Some Pre-Date Self-Reflecting
Before you meet a new partner, it’s important to spend some quality time with yourself. Namely, you should reflect on your opinions of sex (and be honest with yourself).
Do you feel more comfortable getting intimate with someone you know well? Or do you prefer the thrill of a romp with a stranger? What are your likes, and most importantly, dislikes?
Figure these things out before you start making googly eyes across the table from your date. Showing up with predetermined boundaries helps you avoid getting stuck in an uncomfortable or dangerous position.
If you decide you want to wait to have sex, great. If you don’t, then keep reading.
Face Your Fears Head On
First, let’s address the fear of first-date sex making or breaking a relationship. Some fear that a partner will judge them as “non-marriage material” for putting out. Others are afraid partners will consider them cold and unattractive if they don’t.
If your new boo will judge you for what you do with your body, do they even deserve to get intimate with you? Either on the first date or the twentieth? Absolutely not. Thank you, next.
Part of what makes the “sex on the first date” dilemma so difficult are societal expectations. Women face sexual double standards constantly. If you put out, you’re easy. If you don’t, you’re a prude.
Additionally, religious, cultural and familial beliefs can alter your opinions about the morality of casual sex. To this, I say, go with your gut. If aligning with a religious or cultural expectation is important to you, then, by all means, do so.
But these influences — however powerful — should in no way keep you from doing something you want to do. Addressing sexual repression can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible.
Hope For The Best, But Prepare For Awkwardness
Now that you’ve addressed your boundaries and hesitations, it’s time for a reality check. No matter how well-intentioned, that first-date sex might be all kinds of awkward.
You’re both navigating a new body, figuring out its likes and dislikes and also juggling varying degrees of shyness and insecurity.
You don’t have to go into a casual fling expecting the absolute worst, but it’s wise to prepare for it to not be the best sex you’ve ever had. Or hey, maybe it will be — in which case, congratulations!
In short, give you and your partner some grace. Having sex with them isn’t going to feel like having sex with your ex of four years. And it likely won’t even be how you imagined it.
Allow yourself the room to experience whatever feelings may come up — pleasure, excitement, disappointment or weirdness — without judgment. Your partner will be feeling their own strange cocktail of emotions, too.
Be Safe (In The Obvious Way)
As important as it is to have fun, it’s also important to be responsible. The reality of having sex with a stranger is that you don’t know them — and they don’t know you — that well.
For this reason alone, you should use protection. Condoms and birth control help avoid unwanted pregnancies, as do morning-after pills like Plan B.
Condoms can also prevent some STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea. But they don’t offer protection against herpes, genital warts or syphilis. Ask your partner about their sexual history and when they last got tested for STIs. Be prepared to reciprocate the honesty.
If your partner is unwilling to share their sexual history or use protection, those are huge red flags. I don’t care if they’re the lovechild of Fabio and Jason Momoa — it’s not worth it.
Be Safe (In The Not-So-Obvious Way)
At the risk of revealing my inner crime junkie, I also strongly encourage you to let someone know where you are.
Before meeting up with a stranger, choose a trusted family member or friend, and let them know where you’ll be. A simple text that reads, “Hey, going on a date. This is their name, and this is where we’re going. I’ll text you tomorrow to let you know how it goes,” will suffice.
This is because you never know what someone is capable of until they do it. Letting someone know your location and who you’re with can mean life or death.
Additionally, consider holding off on the drinks if you plan on getting intimate. True consent isn’t possible when drunk. Staying sober (at least relatively) for a first-night fling can keep you safe.
And Of Course, Have Fun
Again, having sex on the first date is completely up to you and your partner. You should never feel (or make someone else feel) forced or coerced into sex.
Sex is natural and fun. But fun and responsible sex? That’s downright orgasmic.