Monday, August 8, 2011
First Date Sex
There's a good article over at The Good Men Project considering the question of sex on the first date. The author surveyed people amongst her Facebook cohort, and got a lot of interesting feedback on why people do and don't have sex on first dates. Some of the reasons are worth looking at a little more closely.
1. Slut-shaming. This is one of those gender based double-standards. Simply put, men still get away with having more sex with more partners without it having a negative effect on their overall reputation. Women, wrongly I think, are in the position of never knowing if having sex early on with a date will destroy their chances with him. Or if others will judge her for doing so, including other women.
2. Testing "chemistry." One of the reasons people cite for actually doing it on a first date (or really early on in a relationship) is out of a desire to see if they are sexually compatible. I'll admit that I have done this before. It may have not been the only reason, but it certainly was one of them. As I have gotten older, though, I'm less inclined to rush into sexual intimacy - especially with someone I don't know. The last few relationships I have had were with women I'd been friends with beforehand, so you might say that the timeline played out a lot slower in those cases. Earlier this summer, I dated a woman for about six weeks and we were quite open with each other about our views about sexual intimacy, but also chose to wait. And when I decided that I felt the connection we had was more friendship than intimate partners, she agreed, and was glad that we hadn't had sex. As was I.
3. Conversations about boundaries and preferences. Emily Moss, the author of the post, points out that early on, it's really difficult for people to have honest, open conservations about their sexual boundaries and/or preferences. Of course, some people don't really have a good idea about any of this stuff, and simply plod along sexually. However, for many of us, it's more about having enough trust established to expose ourselves in such a way. That trust simply isn't there when you start out. You might feel something like trust right from the beginning, but deep-level trust takes time to develop.
4. Don't want to deal with potential "messes." The one time I truly slept with a stranger, a woman I met online about three years ago, the few days after were filled with "now what?" and "why did I do that?" kinds of questions. The reality was that I had been single several months, and she was enjoying "being casual." But I really didn't want a relationship with her, nor was I even sure I wanted to hang out with her again. And I worried she wanted more, even if that more was just someone casual or short term.
After a few days, I wrote her and said I had a good time, but didn't think we were a good match. Maybe she was just fine with it, but I felt like a slug. And that situation was a great reminder to me that I'm not built for casual sex, nor casual relationships.
What are your thoughts about first date sex? Have they changed as you have gotten older?
Allegory of Lust
Oil on panel, 146.5 x 116.8 cm
London, National Gallery