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March 15, 2008

Living Well:
Is First Date Sex Ok?

BY
JOHN D. MOORE

In this article:

• Explore the causal reasons behind the first date sex (FDS) phenomenon
• Determine the pros and cons of FDS
• Finding a middle ground

Cupping the palm of his right hand over his forehead, the man sitting on the couch across from me sounded embarrassed. "It's not like I was planning for this to happen," he told me nervously, slowly, "we were just supposed to meet for dinner and then maybe a movie to see if we had any chemistry … but after hanging out for just a few hours, we somehow ended back up at his place and had sex." Now with a hint of healthy frustration in his voice, he added, "After that first date, we never spoke again. The crappy thing is that I really liked him."

Bob, who had a history of first date sex with attractive suitors, then brought up what was for him the central question, the one that made his last dating experience so baffling: "Why do I always end up messing around with a guy I really dig on the first date?" Shaking his head quizzically he added, "Am I some kind of whore?"

Can you relate to Bob? For lots of folks, First Date Sex (FDS for short) is a common experience. This is particularly true in cases where two individuals initially meet over an Internet Website and then engage in extended dialogue with one another via instant chat and/or the telephone before meeting face to face. Contributory factors to FDS include:

• The type of website where initial contact occurred (i.e. dating focused vs. sex focused).
• The nature and amount of ongoing electronic dialogue between initial electronic contact and a face to face meeting.
• The expectations of each person

Is First Date Sex Ok?
Is there something wrong with FDS?
The simple answer to this question is no. In fact, sex on the first date can be fun and even a little exciting. However, FDS can also serve as a barrier to relational intimacy over the long term. By this I mean to suggest that sex too soon with a person of interest can take away from the emotional build up that typically leads to love making. More important, FDS can create false impressions of each party, which can detract from the greater goal of a long term relationships.

Here are three tips on how to avoid FDS and perhaps increase your chances of relational success.

Tip One: Assess both of your intentions
Are you looking for a hook up or to date a person? This may be a question the person you are interacting with may wonder depending on the vibe you are giving off. For example, if your initial conversations focus too quickly on sex related topics (i.e. sexual likes and dislikes) a false impression may be given, regardless of who initiates such talk. If this is the case, it may be necessary to clearly state what you are looking for and/or ask your date the same. Bonus tip: If you are using web portals as a dating funnel, such as Chicagopride.com, be sure to clearly state your intentions in your profile.

Tip Two: Apply the booty brakes
Adrian Brune, author of, I did it on the first date!, suggests the idea of applying the booty brakes. Simply put, this means making a conscious choice to avoid sex - at least for awhile with the new person of interest. "The booty brake isn't always the most comfortable conversation, but once you've made it through, your real potential to be a couple will be revealed" she suggests. Application of this brake may mean that you will need to steer yourself or the other person away from sexual urges in the beginning.

Tip Three: Get back to basics
If the sexual energy is so hot that it is placing you and your date in temporary orbit around the sun, then search for a compromise. For some folks, this means being OK with landing on "First base" … meaning "French kissing". It should be noted however that this can be dangerous, particularly if alcohol is part of the mix – which can easily cause a person to unintentionally end up on second base (genital touching) or sliding into third base (sex). The point here is to plan in advance how far you are willing to go on that first date and then stick to your guns. To help fortify your decision, it may be a good idea to reduce alcohol intake or in some cases, avoid drinking altogether.

Summary
Again, there is nothing wrong with FDS and it is important to not cast judgment on oneself or others for engaging in carnal delights. The truth is, there are many people who have partaken in FDS with the person who is now their long term partner. With that stated, some people have personally found that FDS has served as a barrier to intimacy, thusly eclipsing future relational possibilities with an eligible party. If this is the case for you, consider employing the three tips shared above. Bob tried these tips and soon found out that he was dating the same person longer. He also found out that he got to know himself and the other person better.

So go ahead and get your sexy on and enjoy that first date. Just remember what your Grandma used to say... Sometimes the wait is worth the while.

©2008 By John D. Moore, LCPC, CADC

 
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Really well said John! You bring light to the idea of "Thinking ahead" and that is truly important!

I can't tell you how many times I hear people saying they wish they had something more substantial in their relationship lives. This is a healthy answer to that!

Cheers!
~Bill Pritchard
Posted by CPBill on Thu, 3/20/2008 1:08 PM
John,

I totally wish I had not slept with a guy I used to like on our first date. It ruined our chances of something more happening.
Posted by Nick on Sun, 3/23/2008 1:32 PM
Great article. I think managing the expectations of both parties is key. Avoiding alcohol is a great suggestion, too. On the flip side, I'd be curious to read a future article from you about people who really liked one another, waited to have sex, but hated the sex once it finally happened. Did they wish they'd had FDS? Was sex less important after they'd had a longer period of getting to know one another? Seems like it would not be so great to have sex as your first "issue" to work out. Just a thought.
Posted by SoloBronzeville on Fri, 4/11/2008 11:40 AM
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