Why Sex on a First Date is Passe

Not sleeping with someone on a first date is the number one rule of dating, but why? Well, we’ve discovered there are are many, many reasons, so listen up, ladies.

In the new book, The 30-Day Love Detox, CNN Human Behavior expert and former co-host of The Doctors, Dr. Wendy Walsh, writes a research-supported prescription for slow-love. Her mission: to help single women compete for a narrowing market of men who will make a commitment in a high-supply sexual economy. Here’s why we, apparently, should not be getting it on after a first date.

1. It reduces chances for real love

Sex is lust over love but it’s still a hugely intimate act. It can be fumbling, awkward, and frankly, more than a little embarrassing when normal bodily functions happen in front of a stranger. The way the brain deals with this awkwardness is to disassociate a bit. It creates emotional distance keeping the physical intimacy in one tidy little box and the heart in another, safely under lock and key. Attempting to have both emotional and physical intimacy on a first date would be too much for our psyche’s to tolerate. And once you’ve set up the two-box system, it can be hard to break. Therefore, in one study, participants who moved fast sexually, had the worst relationship outcomes later.

2. It can bring feelings of regret

Think about it. Most women want sex for the first time with a new partner to be a mind-blowing special experience that brings them closer to a mate. And in one study called “the passion turning point” study, participants who expressed feelings of love and/or had conversations about commitment before that first-time sex, found the event to be positive passion turning point. The sex made them feel even more connected and secure. But if they didn’t have these conversations, sex became a negative turning point in their relationship, evoking feelings of regret and needs for apologies. And, who, on a first date is ready to talk about love and commitment?

3. You Can Get Really Sick

Oh yeah, that part. Most women wouldn’t give the keys to their apartment to a man they’d just met, to water her plants, yet plenty would expose their bloodstream and precious eggs to the same man. Let’s face it. Women’s unique biology makes us far more susceptible to STD’s than men. We, after all, are the ones who accept deposits. And if you think, using a condom is enough, think only about the new stat that the HPV virus one of the biggest causes of throat cancer.

4. Women don’t as often, ahem, get off

Yes, I must mention the big “O” here. Many women report that first date sex is so awkward and run on a man’s timeline, that her body doesn’t receive the necessary warm up time needed to reach climax. Men’s sexual arousal pattern is like a microwave oven. Women are more like a crock-pot. And way to put sex on slow boil is to move slowly and wait until you’ve grown close enough to have good sexual communication.

5. It can make a man run for the hills

Here’s a study I hated to read. Groundbreaking work by David Buss at the University of California, Los Angeles, showed that the more sexual partners a man has had, the more he perceives “diminished attractiveness” in each new mate. It’s a race to the bottom for him. Each new woman disappoints him more. It’s as if he is looking for some princess of a woman whose sex will tell him he’s in love. And you can be sure, if he’s pressuring for sex on the first date, this man has had many partners. But, real love, of course, is something that takes while to grow.

Why Not Having Sex on a First Date can be Awesome After All

There’s nothing wrong with setting out to get laid on the first date, but there’s fun in going on a date that leads to no sex, or even not kissing.

I’ve been in a total “dating sucks” state of mind lately. Maybe it’s the winter weather that makes me want to bog down in a sea of fleece blankets, warm tea mug in hand. I’ve been apathetic, because all I can think about is how much work it is to make plans, get dressed, go somewhere, and keep up the effort of being cordial with someone who could be a total asshole at the end of the night.

People who are hyper-focused on being in a relationship will approach dates with tunnel vision. The same can be said for folks who are hyper-focused on getting laid, too.

I had to remind myself of all the fun times I’ve had on first dates that didn’t “go anywhere.” No sex, not even a kiss, and not even a second date. What ever happened to the joy of meeting people for the sake of meeting people?

And don’t forget, if you’re trying to find the right person, join LOVE TV as a member today, and you can streamline your search.

1. A sexless first date can make you see a friend in a new light.

no sex on a first date

The first time I went on a date with a friend was kind of odd, which, I guess, is to be expected. I saw it coming. He’d hint at his interest with suggestive comments about my outfits, my smile, not-so-overt innuendos, etc.

But it’s fun to see the different side of someone you’ve always viewed platonically. He held open doors and looked nicer than usual and gave me puppy dog eyes a lot. The charm was turned all the way on, and I thought “okay, I can see why someone would date you.”

It was cute! We didn’t work out romantically for a number of reasons, but it’s good to remember why you’re friends with people to begin with, and it’s good to see someone turn on the charm for you.

At the same time, if your date goes horribly that can be a sign that your friendship isn’t as solid as you think it is.

2. No post-sex regrets

I’m lucky to say (and it’s sad that I feel lucky in this) that I haven’t had too many sexual encounters I’ve regretted. It helps that I generally don’t have sex if I’m really intoxicated.

When you want sex you want it, and I tend to listen to my carnal desires if I don’t think they’ll have unpleasant repercussions. That being said, there have definitely been underwhelming coital encounters that left me thinking, “I could have had a V8.”

I believe that no sex is better than bad sex. At least with a sexless first date, the worst you get out of it is an hour wasted. There’s no lamenting over how you could have gone home and just pulled out your vibrator.

first date conversation

3. You can focus better on who you’re with.

I know what it’s like to go on a date with only the end goal of smashing in mind. You entertain the person you’re with, have amiable-enough conversation, lest they say something that turns you off completely and ruins any chance of you getting naked for them. No amount of friendly laughter and offhand jokes will hide what you want at the end of the night.

And hey, I’m not knocking this at all. If you’re being safe and smart about casual sex, more power to you.

But what would it be like to go into a date with no expectations at all?

I heard some good advice once about dating and “meeting people”: focus on friendship first. Think of a first date as a potential friend. Find out their interests, see if they’re fun to hang out with at a museum, or if they like 90s sitcoms, or what they do outside of their day job.

We don’t go around sleeping with our friends when we first meet them – or at least I certainly don’t. If you do, you might have some things to work on. (Don’t we all?)

The key to an enjoyable first date is the “no expectations” part. I live in a big city with so many interesting, weird, wacky and beautiful people – I wouldn’t do them (or myself) justice if I were only focused on sleeping with them, or making them my significant other.

more dates

Wow, I think I’ve actually convinced myself to go on some more dates! After all, the snow is melting, the days are getting longer, the sun is showing itself a bit more. Anything goes in Chicago though – we know it doesn’t really get nice until Memorial Day.