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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sex on the First Date, Do or Don't?

Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. ... How many people have wondered that the morning after? Whether completely crushed or in total remorse, a number have pondered this very matter, often during their morning “walk of shame.”

Was it wise to have sex right away? Should I have waited a few dates? Some will never know.

To sleep or not to sleep with someone on the first date — or after a chance meeting, for that matter — is a major decision. Yet between husky whispers, succulent kisses and clothes on the floor, the decision often becomes an afterthought.

Budding love affairs don’t always launch as lovers rush to home plate. So is staying on first base ultimately your best bet?

It can be hard to resist sexual advances on a first date. Signals of interest are very seductive, like lip-licking, head tossing and lingering glances. People have trouble resisting opportunity, especially with a flaming hot risk-taker who wants to get naughty.

We’re drawn to people who are friendly and interested in us. We like people who are willing to do things, including the sexually taboo, for us. And it catches us in a sexual trap all too easily.

According to research published in Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 30 percent of women who use online dating services have had sex on the first date. It’s probably safe to say that a great deal of e-flirting took place before they met their date. Regardless, one has to wonder if those gals ever went on a second date.

I don’t say that to sound judgmental. It’s just that it’s a valid matter to consider, given that both men and women don’t often get a second dance.

Like it or not, sex on the first date instantly introduces a number of beastly and complex problems and perceptions as lovers size each other up. Suddenly, your possible soul mate has become so-so attractive, given issues like ...

Post-Sex Expectations

Even if you were hoping that this person could be “the one,” a love affair on sexual fast-forward can be a bit much to swallow. In dealing with real or perceived too-much-too-soon pressure, either lover can freak out, feeling that they’re not ready for the emotional responsibility that comes with being sexually intimate.

Do You Do This with Everybody?

Sex on the first date may not be your style, but try convincing your new partner that you don’t normally do this. Unfair or not, people who are “easy” are labeled “promiscuous,” even if they have star qualities in every other respect. While a partner may try to accept the defense that you don’t do this with everybody, he or she is going to be having serious questions about your sexual history. And such concern is likely to go both ways.

Can This Person Be Faithful?

People who at least appear to “sleep around” are often scrutinized on their ability to commit. The thought is: if you can fall into bed that easily with somebody, who’s to say that you won’t be so easily seduced when you’re in a relationship? Some people will be uneasy with your desire and your capabilities of commitment.

Oh ... So That’s What We Are

For those who wooed each other before the big date, sex so soon can indicate that you’ve just entered nothing more than a “friends with benefits” situation — if that. While some may relish that they’ve just found a “fornication” buddy, others will become disenchanted with any hopes they had of something much, much more. The would-be relationship becomes one of casual sex, and often a short-lived one at that.

Game Over

People like a little bit of chase. And when that comes to a grinding halt at the start of the show, lovers lose interest. If that game was too easy, even a “match made in heaven” cannot be resuscitated. Being a bit hard-to-get is actually effective, up to a certain point, if you’re longing for long-term loving.

Scarlet Letter Factor

For those ruled by social notions of “proper” sexual behavior, the mere stigma of having a partner who was willing to put out prematurely can eat away at them. While hypocritical, they can’t bear the idea of being attached to somebody who is socially frowned upon in his or her sexual behaviors.

So given all of the headaches sex on the first date can create, how long should you wait?

This is a very personal question — based on your values, age, experiences, and wants, such as the type of relationship you need, and a host of other factors. Some people can pull off sex on the first date. I know couples who have gone on to fall madly in love with each other for the long-term.

But most aren’t so lucky, which is why every person — and every potential or committed couple — needs to take the time to contemplate when to go all the way. For some people, such “sexpectations” involve anywhere from four to nine weeks of dating. For others, it may take months or even a couple of years. In the meantime, most expect plenty of kissing — at least just for the first date.

Sexpert Q&A: How do I get over my fear of being on top?

Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."