No shame, no regrets.
We live in what is called a hook-up culture.
Despite what we may think, hooking up isn't new!
Hook-ups started gaining traction in the 1920s with the creation of the first automobiles, according to an article by the American Psychological Association.
Suddenly, people were able to "court" without their parents watching over them.
And with the help of feminism, hooking up gained even more traction in the 1960s, with widespread access to birth control and integrated college parties.
Now, thanks to the easy access of dating sites and apps on our smartphones, it's become easier than ever!
And while you might think that's just a thing for the young, hook-ups are spreading into all age groups —even senior citizens. Don't believe me? There are actually problems in nursing homes with transmission of STDs!
The APA article identified the two different sexual encounters women regret the most: one night stands and sex within the first 24 hours of meeting someone.
So with all of that potential regret and heartbreak, how do you know when you're ready to take a chance and have sex with someone new?
The responses from some big name relationship experts — Melissa White, Kira Gould, Susan Bratton and John Gray from Men are From Mars fame — offer four steps to help you decide if you're ready to have sex with someone new.
Step One: Think about it.
Very often, women find themselves in a vicious cycle. They are instantly turned on by a man, have sex with him and he doesn't call back, leaving her heartbroken (and, more often than not, questioning herself on what she did wrong).
Why put yourself through that again unnecessarily?
Stop and think: if you have sex with this person and they never call you back, will you be heartbroken?
Step Two: Be honest with yourself.
You do neither your partner nor yourself any good by being dishonest.
Any therapist (or good friend!) will tell you that only YOU can know when you're ready for sex with someone new. .
So be honest. If you're not ready, that's ok. If you know you're going to be heartbroken if he suddenly ghosts you, that's ok too.
As long as you stay true to yourself and your desires.
Step Three: Slow down.
There are only two outcomes from asking a guy to slow down if that's honestly what you want.
A. He will slow down and wait until you're ready like any good partner would.
B. He isn't willing to wait. and
If he bails, he was never really available to you in the first place. He was going to leave you without another word after the sex anyway so you managed to save yourself some heartbreak.
Contrary to popular opinion, most men have no problem with slowing down.
This is also a great time to talk to each other about your sexual histories and boundaries, topics that often get glossed over in a whirlwind sex encounter.
Step Four: Give yourself permission.
If you've come to the conclusion that both you and your partner are ready for sex together, then go ahead. The biggest thing holding you back is often ourselves.
And while having sex on the first date might not be the best rule to live by for everyone, there is no harm in letting go for a night.
Enjoy, feel beautiful and loved and wanted.
There is nothing wrong with wanting sex — or having sex.
As long as both adults are truly ready (and consent!) it is a wonderful thing.