Need your help

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Need your help
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 2:12pm
I'm pitching a series of articles on some of the common relationship no-nos women tumble into. The first article is on whether or not sex on the first date directly contributes to a relationship not developing. I'm looking mainly for guys' opinions on this, but if any of you girls have personal experience you'd like to share, I think I can incorporate it. Even if you've never had sex on the first date I'd like your opinion on how that affects a relationship.

Names will definitely be changed, but if you could list age and city (and occupation if you can part with it) that would be great. If I sell the article I'll let you know where to look for it.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 2:36pm
Hmmm... Dates... Not just the things that grow on trees. What's a date? Some people say a "real date", is one where the guy makes plans, invites the woman at least 2.5 days in advance and they get together and do the pre-planned special thing. Someone stopping by for pizza, beer and a video tape definitely does not count.

However, when it comes to having sex my criteria is different. Even being a guy, I don't feel comfortable having sex with a complete stranger. Even my "one night stands", were with people I had spent at *least* 8-10 hours talking to. In 1 case I had known the woman for years. In another I had known her for probably 6-8 months before having the one night stand.

Would sex on the first date leave me with a negative impression? Like I said, it depends how long I've known her for. I prefer to know a woman for a while before ever going on the first date. If I know her and I'm comfortable with her, then sex early on (1st, 2nd, 3rd date) is just the next step and perfectly normal for me.

Anecdotally (sp?), the one woman I waited the *longest* to have sex with (5-6 dates), turned out to be the shortest and most ill fitting relationship I've ever had. The sex ended up being the thing that held it together as long as it did (2 months). We really weren't suited to each other. All my long term relationships started with sex on the 1st or second date. I also had 3 one night stands, and couple short term relationships where we had sex fairly early.

I have not had a relationship of any meaningfull duration (longer than 1 month) where we didn't have sex. Basically, if I feel enough of a bond to be with you for a long time, then I feel comfortable enough to have sex early on (kind of like FighterChick).


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 2:43pm
Here would be the potential pitfalls of sex on a first date (caveat: two of my friends are happily married to men they slept with on date one or two - so this is just my answer and not generally applicable!) Another caveat - I have no interest in flings or casual dating.

- risk of skipping the steps of getting to know each other and seeing the person through the haze of sex, afterglow, lust, etc.

- being seen as "easy"

- risk of disease/pregnancy

-risk of being unnecesarily vulnerable with a stranger - I would definitely become emotionally attached for example

- risk of unnecessary awkwardness and wanting to have the "where is this going" talk way too soon

- risk of losing self-respect or feeling bad about oneself (again unnecesarily)

Age: 36

Occupation: Lawyer

City: New York

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 4:37am
It will if you let it - it's all in your mind. I don't think sex in and of itself will make any difference, but the attitude of those involved makes all the difference. If a woman (or a man) can't handle the sex on the first date for whatever reason, she may awaken her emotionally-needy side too early and scare him off. If she's totally comfortable with it, her attitude will show and the relationship will be free to develop. If a man is of the type to judge a woman as easy when he himself did the same thing, then (number one, who'd want him anyway? and number two) the two people are evidentally not compatible anyway and the relationship is ultimately doomed. But if you get two people who are totally comfortable, then the *sex* won't be the maker or breaker of a relationship.

I think when it comes to sex, a lot of the gender differences and attitudes we hear of are _learned_ behavior: cultural, religious, regional etc, and are not based on any _natural_ reasoning. The whole reputation thing, for instance, is purely learned. Even a part of the emotionally-needy thing is learned. Especially the guilt feeling that so many women get after sex. I'm a recovering product of a catholic upbringing - I know all about the guilt teachings and only understood as an adult that it was all in the teaching, and doesn't have to be that way. There's no point for anyone to quote me some species of the animal kingdom where the males have more sexual freedom, because I'll just quote some other species where the females have more sexual freedom.

Having said all this, I have never had proper sex on the first date, though have come pretty close. Second date once or twice though. It didn't make any difference to the relationship development, because I was comfortable with it and didn't let it. When I was younger, my guilty conscience usually got the better of me, regardless of how many months we'd dated first. My fiancee and I had sex very early on - can't really count the proper dates, but we had known each around a week and a half. And so far so good ;-)


Age 29, bioengineer and medical researcher


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 8:10am
Title: I want to agree with want you've said, because it is pretty much my thinking as well...but...

"But if you get two people who are totally comfortable, then the *sex* won't be the maker or breaker of a relationship."

I think, depending or what you mean by "maker", sex can be the "maker" of a realtionship.

I known people, including myself, who would NOT have been dating had they not been sleeping together. That if it weren't for the sex, they wouldn't have been bothered.

The logical extension of this...where I am going with that if sex had not happened early on (first date or third or whenever), there would have been opportunity for both persons to learn that they didn't care for each other before their relationship became sexual, and THAT became the tie that binds.

Again, I agree with the most part with the sprit of what you've said, but I think as I read it you seem to discount sex (timing or quality) having any influence AT ALL on the relationship, and I just don't think that is the case.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 12:39pm
None of the dates with whom I had sex on the first date ever turned out to be lasting relationships. In my opinion, sex became an event on the first date because that's what we were both wanting - not a relationship. In fact, sex on the first date became a predictor for a short, unsatisfying relationship. Long-term relationships in which we were best suited to each other (emotionally, socially, financially, etc...) were those in which we chose to hold off sex until the relationship was well established. Sex was then the icing on the cake and all the better for it.


Graphic Artist

Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 7:19pm
Ok, true, I overlooked that. The quality is of course a big issue. I agree it can be breaker (or a big plus) with regards to quality. It may even be a 'maker' for a short time..... I was really only talking about the timing aspect in my post. And I still hold to it - that the *event* of reasonably good sex on the first date with 2 comfortable people won't sabotage the development of a relationship. The quality is another story though.

And sex on the first vs. the third date won't make a huge difference (again, timing-wise, not quality-wise), but I agree that sex on the first vs. the 1000th date is a huge issue.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 7:46pm
Title:Hmmm....I think you still missed my point...

"...the *event* of reasonably good sex on the first date with 2 comfortable people won't sabotage the development of a relationship."

THIS I agree with...that if two people are indeed compatible, and really should be dating in the first place...then having sex on the first date will not cause damage to the budding relationship.

But...and I think this is more in the spirit of Artie's question...I think there **IS** a reason why women might want to be wary about sex on the first date (or maybe even third date). It isn't so much that it wil sabatoge a relationship that SHOULD is that it can create a relationship that SHOULDN'T be.

Its that whole "source of sex" thing again...and again, while I know it is a difficult concept for most women to grasp with total ease because it doesn't work that way for women, you ladies would be smart to keep in mind that it DEFINATELY works this way for most men.

Women, typically, don't make relationship decisions based on access to sex, because a woman knows she can get it whenever she wants. I've seen women stay in "bad' relationships because the sex was great (as you sort of alluded to)...but a woman TYPICALLY won't stay with a guy, or even date a guy more than once or twice, simply because she doesn'tt have anyone else to sleep with.

Men, typically, will ABSOLUTELY do this. You sleep with a guy on the first date, there is a real good chance that there will be a second date, and a third, and as many dates as it takes for him to replace you with either someone else he really likes, or at least someone else to sleep with.

That is my point...that when a woman sleeps with a guy very early early that she can't honestly say that this guy has had enough time (or taken the effort) to get to know her, then she can't really say if he is coming around because he likes her, or for the booty. Of course...these two do not by definition preclude each can get to know someone, and genuinely like them, while collecting booty rides. Indeed, as I posted recently, I suspect this is how most relationships actually progress. I mean, really, how many of us can say we indeed waited 1 to 3 months before doing the deed (yes, I do realize some of you can say that...)

But, and I know this is true because I have done it, many guys will go out again and again with a woman SIMPLY because they know they can / will get laid. They don't really like her...but they know there will be a payoff. So...they keep going out with her...and the while shopping for her replacement.

This is kinda why the "3rd date" rule works. I don't think most guys would go out with a woman for more than 3 dates that they didn't like, just because they were hoping they would get lucky. I think after the 3rd date with no nookie, most guys would simply say "hell, I don't like her anyway...this is taking too much time / effort / money. Time to invest in a new set of panties". On the other hand, if the guy really does like you, then I don't he would bail on a girl he really was onto just because he was O fer 3. O fer 30...yes. But not O fer 3.

Put it like this...if **I** came back in my next life as a woman, but posessed all my current knowledge of men, I'd NEVER sleep with a guy I actually wanted a relationship with inside of 5 dates. I'd drop trou on the first date for guys I just wanted to bang...but if I really liked a guy...and thus would be hurt to learn that he was just using me for sex...I'd make him wait a tad...thus giving him a change to really get to know me, and decide accordingly..

Just my thoughts on the subject...

Edited 4/13/2003 8:14:38 AM ET by gogobear

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 1:55pm
Ok, now I see what you mean. Yes, I can see your point and agree it could be a problem. I guess if the woman is comfortable enough to have lots of sex with a man who may or may not be very serious, then it's alright. Of course, where I live, not too many women are in a hurry to get serious either. Sometimes, women are in WAY too big a hurry for the relationship to get serious in other areas/states IMO.

(but if the sex is that good, who cares? LOL It may be relatively easy for women to get sex, but good sex?... don't knock it.... LOL)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 11:48am
I do not believe that sex on the first date contributes to a relationship not developing. I do not believe that it contributes to one developing either. It is something that is done by two people who share the urge to physically be with the other one, though those urges may or may not be the same. Some reasons for the urge: To satisfy a personal desire to have sex with someone else of the opposite sex, Because of physical attraction, because of attraction to the persons personality, to get back at an ex, to become closer emotionally with the person, because they didn't have the courage to say "no" to the person, to feel more "alive", to cheer someone up who is sad, ...etc.

If two people are looking for a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, they enjoy each other, are attracted to each other, talked on the phone or on-line for a long time and feel they know a lot about the other one, and they decide to have sex the first time they meet in person...they stand a great chance of have a relationship work out...because of all of the areas of communication and attraction. Chances are, a couple people who meet for the first time, find themselves a little intoxicated and attracted to each other who go home together and have sex, then the next day are wondering what the persons name was, probably won't be having a long term relationship with one another.

Curtis, 33, Speaker and Success Coach

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 12:16pm
Subject to the individual's perception of life and themselves and their responsibility to themselves, of course.

Husband #4 - I was 27 to 35

I had sex the first time once on a "kinda date" - we never parted company after that, we were together 8 years (married 6), and it was a MISERABLE situation for everybody involved throughout it. I perceived me feeling good about myself was tied to his acceptance of me...which was tied to my willingness and ability to provide for him what he refused to provide for himself.

Husband #3 - I was 24-26

I had sex the first date once - we were together for 3 years (married less than 1) and it was a MISERABLE situation for everybody involved throughout it. Same dynamic as above.

Husband #2 - I was 19-23

We didn't have sex for a long while because of schedules and because we were 20 years apart in age, and we never really dated. He didn't know how to "date" - and I was living in terror. Someone on the run trying to hook up with a cop 20 years her senior is SO not mature and living in reality. But, the second we had sex we were "committed" to marriage and we did it immediately and pretty much throughout it all - I was miserable, and he was just "there". He ended up pretty embarrassed at the end when I left.

Husband #1 - I as 17-19

I was totally clueless as they come....he was totally without morals or values as they come. We had sex, we got married, we had a baby, I got abused...I got out. He wasn't miserable - he had more than ever. I was terrifid - that says it all.

Today, at 40, I haven't got "sex" tied to security, success, or happiness...nor do I have "relationship" tied to those things. So the first time I had sex with my current "friend" - who we don't live together or even close - I understood the difference between physical instant gratification and long-term success and satisfaction. Instant gratification - I get from him. Long term success and satisfaction - we'll see in a few years, depending on where our lives go.

It's all in what emotional association you have with it, how responsible for self you are, and how self-aware and accepting you are as to whether "sex" is a pivotal issue and turning point, or whether it's just fun.