You would think that after 250,000 years, Homo sapiens would have the whole thing figured out. But the mating game is a subject still fraught with anxieties and wonder and joy. No subject has fascinated humankind more, in recent years, than the question of how soon is too soon? There are two schools of thought on this.
1. It's Definitely Not OK
The first school of thought is the voice of our Mothers whispering in our ears not to kiss on the first date. Nowadays as adults it's been updated to: Don't give it all away on the first date. Reasons include:
- The other person gets what they want up front, so they're not inclined to get to know you as a person;
- Going slow and prolonging that eventual connection will make your eventual connection all the better;
- You'll get a reputation of being easy and therefore not as high-value.
- This is physical contact, which can lead to nasty diseases.
- There is just something indefinably dirty about it.
2. Yes, It's OK
The other school of thought says that we're all big boys and girls, and we can handle ourselves. Following the "Not OK" camp's reasons, the "It's OK" camp says:
- Being wild and spontaneous sometimes, especially if it's out of character for you is exciting.
- STD's can be avoided by taking precautions...use your brain!
- Who cares if people think of me as easy? I'm secure in myself.. besides it's fun, and it's free!
What The Dating Gurus Say
LEE: The immediate and short answer is that it depends on the people. Different strokes for different folks, that type of thing. And while true, it's a bit of an oversimplified answer.
One reason I find "it depends on the people" over-simplistic is because you may know yourself, but you don't know the other person.
If somehow you gained insider knowledge that this person you've known for 4 hours is cool, and isn't some weird stalker or maniac, or even someone who will fall madly in love with you solely on the basis of what you plan to do (fine to fall in love for other reasons), then you're the smartest person in the world! You can read minds! Hooray!
But that person is an unknown quantity. It's impossible to know what feelings this person harbors.
The other side of it, which I equally feel, is that you gotta be yourself; don't edit yourself. Be free and live life to the fullest, if that's your definition of full living. It is fun. It is not dirty.
And yes, going back to the oversimplification, it does depend on the people. If you're both the type for whom physical contact can be fun and not a hang-up, then you've both hit the jackpot. If you're the type that needs to hold back, then you've also hit the jackpot--just a different kind.
SHARON: I guess we have to define the first "date". Are we talking about the traditional, "I'd like to go out with you for a cup of coffee or for lunch or a brewski" kind of thing, where you know the person, even superficially, through online dating communication, or through a friend? In this case, there is usually at least a basic understanding about what each of you may be looking for or open to, i.e. dating, hoping to meet someone for a relationship, yada yada.
On the other hand, maybe we're talking about meeting up for one thing only, where you've met someone out in the world, or on a less than wholesome online dating site (maybe through POF?) don't know them very well, there's an attraction, and you exchange numbers. The other party contacts you, or you contact them, and you decide to hook up. In this case, you may know what you want, but not necessarily what the other person wants. Maybe you're into some wild, abandoned sex with that hot new person, but who the hell knows if they think you're open to more? Things can get complicated fast.
So, if you're asking me, I would be a total hypocrite to say that its not OK to do it on the first date, but if you choose to do so, then caveat emptor! You could end up with a stranger blowing up your phone with texts or calls if it turns out that they want more than you intended.
I think that if there is chemistry between two consenting adults and you're willing to take the chance that:
- the person isn't a psycho
- you MIGHT be jeopardizing a potential relationship (if this is what you are also hoping for) by putting yourself in the no-challenge/too easy/category.
- the person might be harboring cooties (BRING PROTECTION!! USE IT!)
I've had it work both ways. I've been the "too easy" girl, because I was attracted to someone, or wanted to jump his bones, and thought he was didn't have moral hang-ups and judgements (wrong!), and I've also had it work out for me... the person felt the same chemistry, and was open to expressing himself physically with me without considering me an a-moral wrong-side-of-the-tracks kind of gal.
My final answer, though, if you're really pressing me.. is that, as a woman, if I had do-over options, I would wait until after the first few dates to get heavy if I sensed that there was any possibility that this person would end up being more than a one night thing or friend with benefits.
Why? I love the anticipation that builds between two people who really LIKE each other, and turn each other on. I like that tension, of knowing that it's going to be damn good when it finally happens.
I've had my share of simple action without attachment, and I've experienced the opposite with a lover who is also a partner, boyfriend, whatever you want to call it, which is eight thousand times better, on every level.
Now, that said? If two people have agreed beforehand that they are getting together with for the same goals (sex, release, fun) and both are cool with this, go for it!