Should You Sleep Together On The First Date?
Jaimi Heimbuch / Flickr
"Having sex on the first date is like reading the back page of a book before you’ve even started it."
A couple of weeks ago, my two friends invited me round to their house for Sunday lunch. Over dessert, one of them announced to the table that the other had a date that evening.
“What?” I said, “on a Sunday night?”
“I know,” she said. “Bit weird. But it’s the only night he could do and I really like him.”
“Well, if you really like him don’t have sex with him,” a friend chipped in.
“Yes, no sex,” I agreed. “But definitely some kissing.”
“No, definitely no kissing.”
“What? DEFINITELY kissing. If there’s no kissing then it’s not a date!” another barked through a mouth of banoffee pie.
“Fine, kissing, but no tongues.”
“What? You can’t kiss with no tongues.”
“Or you could do what Catholics do and just have anal sex because technically they think that doesn’t actually count as sex,” I said.
“Do Catholics do that? I don’t think they do,” and so on and so on. Sunday lunch had turned into a braying, late-night SBS discussion show, the sort that went on for five hours and aired in the late eighties. This week’s topic: sex – how soon is too soon? And the majority consensus was: absolutely not on the first date.
I have long been an advocate for not having sex on the first date. Having sex on the first date is like reading the back page of a book before you’ve even started it. You get the instant gratification of knowing how it ends, but wouldn’t you prefer to wind your way through the pages to get there? Wouldn’t you prefer to discover all the other chapters of that person before you get to the best one?
The question of sex on the first date is all too often discussed in completely mad terms of female power, like it’s a woman holding some sort of carrot in front of a rampant donkey. That’s obviously not what initially abstaining from sex should be about at all. I am sure you’re well aware that the woman you’re on a date with will want to jump your bones just as much as you want to jump hers. Waiting a few dates before sex is just a good mutual decision to make if you’re both keen to string the thing out. Because the general rule is, the quicker you have sex, the quicker you raise the question of what “you are” and the quicker it’s all over.
Sex takes you to a place of comfort, of knowing someone really well. There’s something fundamentally coupley about having sex. Doing it too soon is a passion-quasher and a relationship accelerator. And why would you want to rush those first stages? When you think about it, the only thing sexier than having sex with someone is not having sex with them. Nothing fills you with lust like getting in a cab home after a spectacular date and lying awake all night because you can’t stop thinking about them.
Plus there’s all the kissing. Kissing will never be as important in a relationship than it is on those first few sex-less dates. Enjoy the electric, adolescent sexiness of just snogging for hours on end -- of pushing someone against a wall and running your fingers through their hair and kissing and kissing and kissing until your lips are chapped. Kissing will never be the main event ever again. If you’re still with that person in five years time, kissing will become nothing more than a signpost that that person wants to have sex with you that night even though you can’t really be bothered and you’ve just put some toast in and you don’t want it to burn and also Girls is on and there’s some sort of twist.
All the above said, it’s totally your judgement call. I know a couple of rare examples where great love has bloomed out of first date sex. And, hey. We are all grown ups. And being a grown up is hard, man. We need some perks. It is our god-given right to both party and have sex on the first date or indeed whenever we want to. Just be aware you run the risk of killing something before it’s even started.
And as for my friend, I stayed drinking whisky through Sunday night with her housemate while she was on her date.
“I’ve run out of all my good anecdotes” she texted me at 9 o’clock.
“Do not fuck him,” I replied. “Think of better anecdotes.”
But then, lo and behold, at one am in what was now the wee small hours of Monday morning, we were onto port when they giggled and stumbled into the house. She has since told me that she had asked the female bartender of the pub she was in whether she should take her date home or not. The woman told her that frankly she wasn’t bothered as long as they could finish up because it was past closing time on a Sunday and everyone had homes to go to.
She cornered me in the kitchen as we smoked out of her window and our other friend entertained him. “Dolly,” she hissed, her mascara smudged and her breath heavy with Sauvignon Blanc. “I think he’s the one.”
“Ok yeah but DO NOT FUCK HIM,” I said.
The port was finished and the working week was due to start in a few hours so we all called it a night. As I fell into my mate’s bed half clothed, we heard some tremendous crashing about upstairs.
“Shit,” she said. “I think they’re definitely going to have sex. And on the first date.”
“Yeah I think they are,” I slurred, my eyes closing as I drifted into sleep. “But on the bright side, I think I can probably get a column out of it.”