The night's going great, you can't believe you're hitting it off so well on a first date, he's a great kisser, you take him home…
Whatever you do, don't sleep with him.
You've heard it before, but I'm not going to browbeat you about the immorality of going all the way on the first night. I'm also not going to say, as the London Telegraph does, that you're likely to drive away relationship material if, as the adage goes, the man "gets the milk for free." (If that drives him away, then be glad you're seeing the taillights.) No, take it from a man who knows: there's a hidden reason that — if you play it right — you should never have sex on a first date.
Holding out on the magic night for at least one night — and even for a number of candlelit evenings after that — will actually improve your sex life with the beau in question, both in the moment and down the line. When you know in advance that you're not doing the deed, you have no choice but to compensate by exploring the full-range of the available possibilities, whatever you dictate them to be.
Setting up limits with new lovers makes both of you focus on the little luscious details that can often get rushed over in the enthusiasm to get it on (especially if you've had a few cocktails). And once you've let the sexual barrier be broken, it's harder to go back and work on the glory and wonder of engaging lips, of fingers tracing and teasing, and all the other delights that exist between first and third base. It's not that all men will ignore these things; it's just that a lot of them will be less motivated to give them the extra time once home plate is available.
By taking your time during the first hookup (and several thereafter), you train each other to become better kissers, touchers, and lovers overall.
You explore, you finesse, you linger and you discover. The key, though, is not only that you don't have sex on the first date (71% of you don't anyway); it's how you break the seemingly bad news. For this maneuver to work, you can't yank on the reins after your bra and panties are already hanging off the headboard. It's vital that you announce it early before you go anywhere near the bedroom. In fact, the absolute best time to tell him is the minute you've decided you want to fool around.
Understand that when you tell a guy that you're not going to have sex, he doesn't take it as a literal there's-no-chance you're getting in my pants; he takes it as a challenge, a chance to rob the gold from Fort Knox. From that point on, he'll not only want it, he'll want to get you to want it — and that will bring out the best lover he can be.
If the evening is still young, he takes your limit-setting as an exciting dare, not a disappointment. The longer you stick to your guns, the more effort, creativity and care you'll get out of him. Just as he might offer a massage to try to get your shirt off, he might offer a lot more to get the rest. In some cases, you'll make him a better lover than he knew he could be.
And it's not like you're missing out on much — at least for that night. Sex is great (or should be) but you'll make it there eventually if he's the right guy. But early in a relationship, everything's so new and butterfly-inducing (yes, for guys too), that even a little fooling around will still feel very exciting. And again, if the guy can't stand to wait a bit, you can help him find the door; he was probably going to be just as hasty when horizontal, and who wants that?
The challenge of course is willpower.
I confess to getting a lot of pleasure out of convincing women to go back on their insistence that "there's NO way we're having sex tonight." Having done precisely what I'm describing above — bringing out my best in hopes of bringing out their wildest — I can't help but relish it if my date caves on her early commitment. But you know what? It made the actual act better for me —and the evening more fun overall. And for her? She got a few hours of me trying my hardest, and probably got better boot-knocking than she would have had we just sloshed back to my place and done it. Even if you find yourself saying "yes" after an evening of saying "no", your time in bed (and the date as a whole) will benefit from whatever deferral you were able to muster.
The fact is: If you're compatible, you'll eventually make it to sex, but the longer you put it off (as long as nobody is getting too impatient), the better you'll be at all the non-sexual parts of loving — all the stuff that adds and enriches the sublime dance —and that will pay dividends down the line.
"Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly. Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who speaks highly of you. Someone you can laugh with. The kind of laughs that make your belly ache, and your nose snort. The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs. Wit is important. Life is too short not to love someone who lets you be a fool with them." — N'tima Preusser
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