When To Have Sex: Which “Side” of You Decides?
As my divorced friend Ashley filled me in on a first date she’d just come back from, she was practically squealing. Not only was her date funny, intelligent and very much a gentleman, she was super physically attracted to him. “I kept reminding myself to stop staring at his chest,” she said laughing. “Visions of us getting naked kept flashing through my mind!”
At the end of their evening together, as he dropped her off at her house, Ashley said she practically “jumped out of his truck” as soon as he switched into park. “I knew that if he even so much as kissed me, I’d end up in bed with him.”
Let me clarify something right away here. Ashley does not have issue with men and women having non-love sex right out of the starting gates. In fact, since getting divorced, she’s taken numerous lovers to bed and enjoyed them for whatever lifespan they held.
But at this point post-divorce, Ashley is finally open to the idea of having a serious relationship. And if a woman wants “serious,” there are rules to adhere to, aren’t there? Here are a few I’ve heard buzzing around:
1) She *should* wait at least three or four dates before having sex.
2) She *should* do different ‘activities’ with him so she can assess compatibility, and
3) She *should* focus on being “friends” so they can really get to know each other.
These rules certainly appear simple and tidy in print — but in “live-time,” when one finds herself sitting across from a potential mate who seems scrum-diddly-umptious from head to toe, it can be very challenging to follow “The Code” and keep hormones in check — especially when a woman’s been enduring a lengthy “dry spell,” which any divorced woman or man will tell you happens far too often!
So what *should* we do? Who reigns supreme, the head, heart or body? And which of the three promises greater chances of relationship success?
To me, any decision we make is a gamble – we’re potentially damned if we DO sleep with him AND potentially damned if we don’t.
Why We’re Damned If We Do Sleep With Him
First, despite the current year and date, if a woman has sex with a man too quickly, that alone might kill his interest. Yes, it’s the old school “I-want-a-good-girl” thing, which is unfair and judgmental. But this kind of thinking is still alive and well, thus, our being “branded” is always a risk.
Secondly, if we have sex early in the relationship – say, after the second date – we are at risk of having our brains consumed by what I call the “lust cloud,” a euphoric blend of neurological chemicals that can easily impair our mind/heartset. Even though we don’t really know our partners, the lust cloud threatens to fill in the empty spaces with what we “hope” the other person is, instead of who he really is. All our senses are heightened, the world seems to dance in vibrant color, as our newly-released, pent-up passion pounds through our veins day and night. So powerful is our desire, so intoxicated are we to taste those sweet neuro-chemicals again, that our drunk minds overlook warning signs and convince our hearts to start dangerously wondering: Might this be true love? Phew – talk about distorted thinking! But in live-time, it’s hard not to ride that train.
Why We’re Damned If We Don’t Sleep With Him
Saying “no” to sex early on in the relationship can bring on a whole other slew of challenges. Number one, as my girlfriend Ashley’s date story demonstrated, it can be mentally and physically frustrating NOT to act on our strong physical desire. Sure, it depends on the woman and her libido – but hey, don’t judge her if hers is greater than yours; not everyone is good at going months (or years) without sex.
Secondly, if we fight off our desire to have sex with him early in the relationship and slowly come to the realization he isn’t “The One,” didn’t we, in a way, just miss out on a potentially fantastic, short-term sexual relationship? Isn’t there something to be said for enjoying any kind of passion we experience, even if it doesn’t turn into true love? Again, this depends on each individual woman and what she can handle; I’m not going to tell anyone what’s best for her. But I will point out that sex is a normal, healthy, beautiful experience whether it’s experienced under the canopy of ‘like’ or ‘love.’ And ALL our sexual experiences can be used as tools to teach us something about ourselves, our bodies, men, and even life.
Thirdly, if we wait a long period of time before taking a new partner to bed, we run the risk of them being, well….a lousy lover. I recently heard the story of a 35-year-old divorced mom who didn’t have sex with her new man for three months. By this point, she was in love with him and they were making serious plans for their future. When they finally decided to make love, it turned out her partner had serious erectile problems – he’d had them for years. Look where following the Rule Book got her…(shaking head); would you want to be in her bed?
Tossing The Rule Book
No matter how many happy couples you poll, you’ll hear of ‘happy endings’ from those who had sex right away, as well as from those who waited months. So in the end, I think it’s important that we not get too caught up in the ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’ of a rule book that guarantees nothing except feelings of upset or guilt when we follow it and it doesn’t work out. My only real conclusion at this point is that one should exercise a little bit of caution, a little bit of restraint, and work at being a BIG bit happy with herself and the choices she makes. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather make some well-made mistakes as I try to find my new Mr Right, than make ‘well-made excuses’ for how I’ve lived/not lived my life.
But for those of you who might find yourself in the same situation as for my hot and frisky friend Ashley, who’s STILL determined to wait till the third date before having sex, I’ll advise you in the same girlfriend way I did with her: The next time you see him a) don’t shave you legs or bikini before going out. And b) if you’re ovulating, for God’s sake, cancel!
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