There is a wide variety of perspectives when it comes to hooking up on a first date. There are the people who see it as inappropriate and are quick to slut-shame. There are also all your well-meaning friends who will warn you that ‘you’ll be seen as easy’, ‘he won’t respect you’, ‘you won’t respect yourself’, ‘you need to keep him/her wanting’, etc. And there’s those who reject the repressive trends and claim that we are all free to decide for ourselves and that there’s nothing wrong with sex on a first date.
Over the years, my own opinion on the matter has changed.
And I don’t fully agree with any of the popular points of view because I find that the complexity of human nature makes decisions like this one a bit more complicated and multi-dimensional. The same decision (either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’) under different circumstances can have completely different results and consequences for us. However, after studying human sexuality for years and witnessing the intimate lives of clients from all over the world, I recognize that there are a few main points which are worth keeping in mind.
First of all, I do stand strongly against the guilt, shame and repression forced upon us by the religion, society and political organizations. I support sexual liberation and will encourage anybody who wishes to reclaim their own power and say, when it comes to their body, nudity and genitalia. So, from that perspective, if both people are consenting adults, nothing stands in their way if they decide to have sex on a first date.
But there’s also a deeper perspective that I’ve acquired over the years.
As a woman, I used to think that men would leave me if I didn’t give them sex. I believed that I needed to be not only sexually available, but also keen to please and pleasure them in many different ways. Otherwise, he’d probably never call me again, choosing to move on to a more available woman.
Now I see that I was driven by fear and that my decision to sleep with these men was not empowered at all but rather a response to my insecurities and anxieties. I was offering him my body in a hope that he would take care of my heart.
Similarly, women who choose not to go to bed on a first date out of fear that they might be judged or slut-shamed, are also disempowered. They allow others to dictate the appropriate behaviour and reactions instead of trusting their own inner voice, instead of expressing themselves truly and authentically.
This is why being able to separate the external influence (society, your friends and family, your date, etc.) from your own internal decision is important.
Being able to hear your own authentic ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is crucial here and should concern you much more than what others might think about your choice.
But what’s also important to remember is that there is magic in waiting. The anticipation of each kiss, each touch and each eye gaze is an intensely beautiful part of the early stages of being in a relationship.
I deeply believe that when it comes to sex, instant gratification is overrated.
And the longer you can drag out this initial ‘honeymoon period’, the more you’ll be able to enjoy it. People who fall in love often experience the delicious torture of not knowing – not knowing to what extent their feelings are reciprocated, not knowing when they’ll get to hold each other again, not knowing when they’ll end up in bed together… All this ‘not knowing’ is intensely exciting and will be lost once you settle into a safe routine.
Imagine starting a relationship with a prompt, impatient giving in to the sexual desire on a first date. Of course there is nothing wrong with that! But now imagine the opposite – initial dates full of sexual tension and anticipation, full of unanswered questions and curious glances, full of torturous anguish and extreme joy of each touch, kiss, caress…
Waiting is fun, it’s exciting, it’s arousing!
And if your date isn’t up for waiting with you, they probably weren’t the right person for you anyways.
When I first met Dave, we lived about a thousand kilometres away from each other. We spent hours talking to each online before we finally physically met. A month of virtual dating forced us to keep our hands off of each other until we finally arranged to meet. By that time, we had shared a lot of secrets, discussed our dreams and exposed the vulnerable parts of ourselves. The connection felt deep, strong and intimate. And the excitement of finally touching each other was intoxicating…
That mix of intense feelings and anticipation created a meaningful and deep connection for us which didn’t wane over the weekend that we finally spent together. And I loved every moment of it.
So my words of advice are – listen to your heart and make sure you’re being true to yourself. There’s no rush so make sure to give yourself as much time as you need. Remember that delayed gratification and anticipation of beautiful things to come can be absolutely wonderful!
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