Sex as an Appetizer

There was a time where it was the norm that men made an effort to pursue women. Women reveled in men planning dates, bringing them flowers or writing thoughtful notes, picking them up to take them out, opening doors, and making them feel special. After several dates the couple would make the decision to take their relationship to the next level physically. All of the time they waited would culminate into the beautiful bonding experience of sharing their bodies with each other.

In 2016, that dating structure seems to be long gone. Out of 10 guys that I meet, 8 of them suggest a first date at their place..if you can call that a date. Whether its “let’s watch tv and talk” or “let’s cook dinner and drink wine” or “come over so I can get to know you at 11pm” I know how it works. It’s the first thing out of their mouths as if they’ve never heard of doing anything with a woman that wasn’t close in proximity to their bed. Luckily the other 2 out of 10 that actually offer to go out somewhere never disappoint, so I don’t get too hung up on the others.

Is sleeping together early on the new dating structure? My friend sent me an article on nymag.com titled “The Secret to a Good Date: Have Sex First”. In it, it discussed how uncomfortable dating can be when you’re sexually attracted to someone but haven’t had sex yet. You spend the entire evening being self conscious, making sure you’re always seen in the best light, and wondering if they’re thinking the same thing you are.

It also talked about how the anticipation of having sex can distract you from listening and dictate what you order for the entire evening. Women shy away from heavy meals and both men and women want to drink less. In the case they get lucky later on in the evening there’s nothing worse than having a full stomach or being too drunk. So the article suggests having sex before dates in order to cut out the awkwardness in order to truly enjoy the evening.

Great, long lasting relationships can begin with sex. As long as you both are doing what makes you comfortable and being open and honest about what you want. The double standard of men sleeping with women frequently and quickly then being high-fived for it but when women do the same then are slut shamed for it is becoming a thing of the past. As women have fought to be treated equally in life, the bedroom is also one of those equal opportunity places.

There are some who feel like sleeping together too soon can diminish the seriousness of the relationship. “Will he think less of me if I give it up right away?” “He must do this with all women so I’m definitely not going to see him again.” “If it was this easy for me to have sex with her, is this what she does with all guys?” Then there are other progressive thinking individuals who think having sex early on is one step to making the two of you closer.

Some people still get hung up societal stigmas about the sexual history of their partner or themselves, as if most people really give an accurate assessment. It’s not like a professional resume where you can dial up their former lovers and references to verify all the information they’ve provided. As with resumes, many people are dishonest about their prior experiences. As long as you both are being safe and honest about your current sexual status, someone being sexually liberal while being single shouldn’t rule them out.

I personally think there’s no right way to determine how long you should hold out (or not) on sex.  If you feel it, go with it. If you want to wait, the other person should respect that. I have long since shed any judgement of others about how they choose to use their own bodies. I have friends who exercise both ends of the spectrum, they’re happy, and I’m happy for them. Sex as an appetizer or dessert shouldn’t matter as long as you’re interested in the main course.

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