Seriously, what are the odds?
In a recent post on Salon.com, Mary Elizabeth Williams talks about how "decades of sexual liberation" haven’t erased the stigma of being too easy when you sleep with a man on the first date. Her article references a new book called It's Okay To Sleep With Him On The First Date by Andrea Syrtash and Jeff Wilser, as well as a NYmag.com article by Alyssa Shelasky that explores the same issue.
Williams' article explores the idea that men, not just women, need to consent to sex on the first date. This seems silly to me because most men are happy to jump in the sack whenever, and let's face it: many men feel sexual prowess by having multiple partners. The double-standard here is that they sometimes don’t want to think the women they date are "easy" or have "been around."
For her NYmag.com piece, Shelasky interviewed several women and men who had first date sex to discover what happened after the fact. Turns out, three out of eight women interviewed found lasting love, but five (62 percent) had regrets and never saw the guy again.
This got me thinking about some big lies women are told about first date sex:
1. Women are told that both genders need to consent, and while that's true, it's typically up to the woman to make the final call.
2. Women are still made to believe they should make a man wait.
3. Women are considered manipulative if they do make a man wait, leaving him wanting more.
4. If women decide to go for it on the first date, they are still sometimes considered "slutty."
Here's the big secret: the issue is not about sleeping together too quickly or what men think. It’s about your expectations and emotional state after sex.
Maybe there are fewer men today holding the sexual double standard. But as a dating coach for women over 40, honestly, I don’t care what men think about this. I care passionately about what you think and how you feel.
So should you sleep with him on the first date? Here's my answer: It's up to you.
That said, there's a lot to consider, and you should be certain you can deal with the consequences of your choice.
If you want to have first date sex, be safe and smart and stay healthy. If your self esteem is in good shape, feel free to do whatever you'd like. It's your choice to not care what he thinks, and it's your choice to see him again or enjoy other sexual partners. Heck, you’re a liberated woman and can do as you please. According to a New York Times article, college girls today are having more casual sex than the guys on campus!
However, there's a chance things might not work out. If you're going to obsess about why he didn’t call, feel badly the next morning, judge yourself or fall apart from rejection, then definitely consider putting on the brakes for first date sex. The reasoning here is not because of what he thinks, but because of how you will react. It's important to take care of your emotional health.
And while fewer men hold onto an unfair standard or peg you as easy, some still do. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell who's a liberated thinker before you do the deed, so that's a risk you'll be taking. (But if he does judge you, do you really want to be with him?)
Yes, some women sleep with a man on the first date and end up in love. Yay for them! But a lot of women have sex on the first date and feel crummy. The cold truth is that, mostly, you'll have a fun night and nothing more. Needless to say, this is the case for most dates; they don't always end in marriage.
If that works for you, enjoy it! If not, don’t throw caution to the wind just because you have the hots for a cute guy tonight. So, sex on the first date? The choice is yours. Just make sure you are really ready for any potential consequences.
Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan is the author of Is He the One? Find Mr. Right by Spotting Mr. Wrong which radically simplifies understanding men. Get more dating wisdom in her free book: 7 Dire Dating Mistakes that Keep You Single.