To Sex or Not To Sex

7 years ago

As I’m writing this, I’m a little amused that my girlfriends and I are still discussing when to have sex with a new guy. But the other night, I had a long conversation with a good friend who was near tears because the man she slept with a couple of weeks ago has not called since. Yep, at this age we’re still having this conversation.

I have this conversation quite a bit and for some reason, I’m usually the one giving the advice. I say “for some reason,” but I actually know the reason: I’ve been single all my life, am good at dating, and I feel like I’ve got this aspect of dating all figured out. There are other parts of dating life that I don’t always get -— like the way men want you to need them but don’t want you to be needy -— but this one I do. So I’m going to take this opportunity to share with the many single women out there what I know about how to make the decision to roll around naked with the New Guy for the first time.

That’s right. A decision tree, for this not-usually-rational decision. When you have to make an important decision at work, you generally think about it ahead of time and seriously weigh the different outcomes. You don’t decide at the last minute. This decision should be no different.

Here’s a scenario. You’re at a bar/party/conference/car wash/restaurant ... wherever. You and “Scott” strike up a conversation and seem to hit it off. There’s lots of laughing, flirting, and witty conversation. At some point it becomes clear to both of you that you may want to dial things up a bit, either right now or very soon.

The “sex too soon” thing is something that only women grapple with. I’ve never heard a guy wonder how “when to have sex” will impact the relationship-that-is-yet-to-be. But the world’s not fair -— we already know that. Follow my advice, though, and it should help you avoid getting your feelings hurt.

The thought process is not a straight line, though. It’s more of a schematic. So pay attention, and be honest with yourself.

The first thing to ask yourself is: “What do I want from this guy?” (Caution: if you’re feeling really lonely, you probably should skip this exercise completely. Sex-because-you’re-lonely will probably make you feel even lonelier afterwards).

Once you decide what you want, you can decide your next course of action.


This is by no means foolproof. But I think it’s a pretty reasonable facsimile of the way things shake out much of the time. Go ahead and do your thing ... and let me know if it works for you.



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