The Pros and Cons of First-Date Sex

For women, the choice isn't always so easy.

Dear Monica, I am in my mid-forties and divorced. I have found that the dating world today revolves around sex immediately. Guys seem to expect it on the first date or soon after. Is it a big mistake for women to hop in the sack right away? —J.A., Phoenixville

The dating world has changed tremendously over the last 20 years. Men and women both seem to engage in sexual activity much sooner in a relationship. Gone are the days of slow courtship and making out on a sofa. Nowadays it is either a kiss good night or right to the bedroom. Having sex on a first date is not necessarily a relationship deal killer. While it’s in a woman’s nature to over-analyze, I doubt  the man you spent the night with is giving this as much mental energy as you are. Just because you had sex right away does not mean that you can’t achieve a long-term relationship with him.

That said, the decision depends on your end goal and how you’ll feel the morning after. Pass on first-date sex if you know it will only leave you feeling vulnerable or emotionally invested too soon. No matter what year it is, some things will never change. A man who gets around is dubbed “the eternal bachelor ” and represents a challenge to all women to see who can land him at the altar. When a woman has multiple partners, it is quite a different story. Waiting is fine, although not the norm today. If that’s all he’s looking for you will know. If the chemistry is instant then going for it may be the natural course. Use these helpful guidelines to assess how you might feel if sex enters the arena too soon:

  • Don’t assume you’re now in a relationship. This is Fatal Attraction territory and you are only setting yourself–and the relationship–up for failure.
  • Don’t over-think things. He might think you’re easy, and you might think he’s only interested in sex.  Give it a second date and see if the relationship is something worth pursuing. You should be able to tell a lot more about his motives by observing how he acts following first-date sex.
  • If you rule out any chance of a long-term relationship based on what happened, then you weren’t really looking for commitment anyway.
  • If you do decide that first-date sex was a mistake, don’t be too hard on yourself. Reevaluate your boundaries and know what you’re comfortable with. If you realize it’s too soon then refrain from hitting the sheets right away in the future.
  • There is the possibility that you will never hear from him again after your initial interlude. If this happens don’t blame him, but understand that one-night stands don’t have strings attached. If you want something physical and fun that is one thing. If you want something long term, you might want to slow down the pace before going at it.

Before making the decision to have sex with a guy you recently met, stop and think about whether this is just a spring fling, or if there is potential for a budding relationship? You need to evaluate if you think this person has redeeming qualities that are worth exploring outside of the bedroom. First date sex happens.  It can be something wonderful or a major slap in the face the morning after. You can’t change the past, but you can control how you react and move forward. While first-date sex isn’t always the best strategy, it can be something to build on if you are lucky, but know in many cases it can be just a one-night stand.