Does sex on the first date ruin your chances at developing a relationship?
The short answer is: No. The longer answer is: well, it can if your dating partner is judgmental and hypocritical but you would discover this eventually even if you “hold off” to appear presentable.
This question highlights that there’s still the tendency for many of us to date as if we are playing a game. However, if your goal is a heart-centered and connected intimate relationship, you will never win dating in this way. Of course, you can still check off boxes in your life with a romantic partner such as getting married, buying a home together, or having children but, dating in a scripted way, will always limit the depth of satisfaction you can feel with your partner.
Sex as a Means of Power
I was recently watching an interview with Dr. Venus Nicolino (aka Dr. V) who shared that dating rules regarding when to have sex are obsolete. She added that sex on the first date can led to a successful, lasting relationship. In fact, she and her husband of 21 years had sex on their first date.
She highlights that rules around sex reveal many women believe “our sexuality can be bargained.” However, she adds, “you own your sexuality; it is yours, you do with it what you want to do.” The idea that women’s bargaining power to secure a relationship rests on their attractiveness and sexuality comes from patriarchal traditions. So, if you desire an egalitarian relationship, these rules around sex do not apply.
Prevent time Wasters
Rules don’t enable us to develop a successful, long-term relationship as they are inauthentic. However, Elysia Downings, who designs lingerie and runs a successful webcam business, asserts that her strategy of consistently having sex on the first date weeds out time wasters. Her rationale is that this approach will reveal if a man just wants sex or a relationship. Although promoting this tactic, she is ambivalent about it. She shares enjoying the fun and passion of first date sex but that she has a preference for emotionally connected sex (and that this type of sex more often leads to orgasm for her rather than sex early on). Furthermore, she states,”overall, with the men I’ve slept with on the first date, I’ve had more negative sexual experiences than ones that I’ve thought were definitely worth it.”
I would, in general, recommend a different approach if you want to see if someone is wanting to connect deeply or rather, prefers something casual. This tactic can be intimidating but it’s very simple: just talk to them. Speak directly with your date about what type of relationship you are seeking to create with another person whether that includes long-term dating, marriage or having children/co-parenting. As Dr. V says “there’s never a wrong time to bring up what you want or what you need.” Sure, you may not be a mutual match, but you cannot scare someone away with this authentic approach unless the other person genuinely doesn’t want something committed.
Have Sex When You’re Both Ready
Of course, this approach can include first date sex if this is something you both want! Sex on a first date can never prevent a lasting connection with a person who values similar things and who respects autonomous sexual decision making. It’s totally ok to wait to have sex too if you want to build a connection over a number of dates that feels right to you! The most important thing for a healthy relationship to develop is to first be honest with yourself about what you prefer and helps you feel secure and then to communicate that both verbally and non-verbally with your partner. In conclusion, there is no script but that’s actually less pressure – you get decide on each date what feels right to you and go from there!