What Guys Really Think When a Woman Has Sex on the First Date

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “Does sleeping with a guy on a first date really ruin my chances for a future relationship with him? What if it’s obvious we really like each other, the chemistry’s great, we have a lot in common, and we’re both horny?”

Straight Married Guy (Figleaf): I don’t think first-date sex together ruins your chances but it does change them.  You know the critical little “voice in your ear” that says, “Hold off: good girls shouldn’t ruin their ‘reputations,'” even when you’d rather not wait?  Men get that too.  Only ours says “Go for it now: losers never get another chance.” Neither “voice” is telling the truth but they can have an effect anyway.  Sometimes when we have sex right away the social pressure those “voices” represent get in the way of everything else we might feel about each other. So for both men and women I think it’s worth it to wait at least for the rest of your feelings catch up. And since when did horny have a shelf-life anyway?  Even waiting a few days (three days, not three dates) gives you both time to talk, a chance to take showers and sleep on it in your own beds, a time to decide what you really want instead of what you think you should do, and… time to get your respective bedrooms tidy and kitchens stocked for intimate guests.

Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Thinking that putting out on the first date will kill off any romantic possibilities is pandering to an old skool way of thinking about sex and love: that the guy must court, wait a gazillion years while the woman’s heart oh so steadily burns and yearns and he tries to satisfy himself on a nightly basis, Onan-style, until they are finally wedded before sex can even be in the equation. In the 21st century, sex on the first date could very well just mean that you “have a lot in common and were both horny.” Sex doesn’t always complicate, nor is it always a barrier to further emotional intimacy. On the contrary, in fact. Consider all the gay couples around the world who meet each other on a sex date/Internet hook-up/anonymous sex excursion, find that there are other things they like about each other and end up happily part of a pair years later. What really ruins future relationships is being dishonest about your needs and desires. So fuck on the first date if you like! Any guy who would dismiss you for it despite having such a great connection otherwise is too much of a fool to keep on seeing anyway.

Straight Single Guy (Mark): I don’t think there are too many absolutes in this crazy game of love, so a first-date romp doesn’t necessarily preclude any future relationship potential. What is a universal absolute regarding potential relationships is that communication is key (trite as it sounds, it’s so true). Let’s say you and your date are lucky enough to totally “connect” in all the ways mentioned above, and are also comfortable enough to acknowledge to each other how much you are on the same page, even about getting physical right away (and of course, as Em & Lo have taught us, keeping in mind, and also communicating about, all the relevant important safety issues involved!). Well, in a way, you already have some fantastic “They were inseparable (figuratively in this case, heh) from the moment they met!” romantic potential built right in!  So why, then, does the fun have to stop at the bedroom doorway? Now, as we know, it’s not always such an ideal world, with perfect communication right off the bat, so exercising a modicum of restraint (and building up anticipation for the fun after a subsequent date soon to follow) isn’t the worst thing in the world, either. So go with the flow.


Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; our Straight Married Guy is Figleaf, the guy behind RealAdultSex.com; and our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech god at Carnegie Mellon University (he was single when we first asked him this question, but he is now married!). To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. Relationships are strategic, not tactical. It doesn’t matter if you have sex on the first date, as long as you are being true to yourself.

    I know three women in their 40s and 50s that got married to wonderful men that they met while working part-time as escorts. The fact that they (obviously) had sex on the first date, the fact that the men hired them and paid them for those dates, and even the fact that the women were doing the same thing with lots of other men did not deter their future husbands from pursuing them and marrying them.

    What matters is who you are, not what you do on the first date.

  2. I have a question… I’m a pre-PA student (In an open marriage) who has worked at a hospital for the past year and shadowed doctors for over 100 hours. I became friends with the doctors I shadowed, and specifically, the one I have shadowed the most and I have since hung out numerous times for coffee, gone out for drinks, had numerous meals together, and even hung out at his apartment. He almost always pays for everything. I have to fight him for the bill. He gives great advice and is a wonderful teacher, and he’s really a sweet guy. We are relatively close in age (both in our thirties… me 32, him 39). And… as you’d probably expect, I developed a massive crush. He’s intelligent and witty, and a little naughty.

    A week ago today, we met for coffee,and ended up spending most of the afternoon together, I wanted to spend time with him, so I skipped my evening class, we had dinner, and then went back to his place and hung out for awhile. I got up the courage to tell him how I feel, and that I was in an open relationship (since he knows I have a partner and child) and he told me he was seeing someone- which came as a HUGE surprise to me. He is a very private person, but he’d shared many things with me that he claimed not to have with other people. Anyway… when he told me that, I asked him if he’d ever been interested in me in that way… and he claimed not to have, even though he tells me frequently how cute, beautiful, and smart I am. When it became awkward, I started backing towards the door, begged him to forget I’d ever said anything, and prepared to make my escape. He gave me a hug and held me for a long time… and I could not figure out what was going on. I walked out the door and turned back and said, “It’s ok. I know not everyone’s attracted to me… and that’s ok. I hope we can stay friends.” and he gave me a funny look, pulled me back inside by the wrist, shut the door behind me, and kissed me. A lot… and I was very very weak. This was the man I’d been crushing on for months… and here he was fulfilling nearly every dirty dream I’d had about him. He begged me to stay… I told him I wanted to stay, we didn’t have intercourse, but there were other things that went on… right there in his front hallway… up against the wall. My phone started ringing… and I realized I’d promised to be home by 10. I wanted sooo badly to stay the night, but felt guilty not only about his girlfriend (who had not agreed to be in an open relationship) but that I was going to be late getting home to my partner and child.

    Anyway… I left, after one final deep kiss, and then got a phone call from him on the way home just a few minutes later… apologizing for being impulsive and saying that it shouldn’t happen again. And he promised he would still be friends with me.

    Needless to say… he’s been avoiding me for a week now. I’ve wanted to talk to him in person. But that has not happened, and we usually see each other twice a week.I think he wants to be ok, but doesn’t know how to be. We saw each other last night at work very briefly and I could cut the tension with a knife in the glance he gave me. He asked me if I needed any help with a patient and I told him no a little bit snidely… in front of other people. I was angry. I texted him later to let him know there was leftover ice cream for him and my other hospitalist buddy who were both on, and he was nice about it. We chatted a little. I’m reluctant to say we should meet to talk about things. How the hell do you have a conversation like that in public?

    Anyway… I didn’t mean to come across as a slut and let him do the things he did to me that night…I’m not even sure that qualifies as a first date… but in my mind, when you take a woman out to breakfast, lunches, and dinners, and drinks… and pay for it every time, and flirt, and talk about the things we did… doesn’t that seem like an awful lot of intimacy not to consider it a dating relationship of sorts whether he wants to admit it or not? I’m so confused. And I know he is too. I just have no idea what to do and where this leaves us.

  3. I don’t think sex on the first date with my future wife hurt the chances for a future relationship (a second date would have happened regardless of whether we had sex that night). We’ve been married for 12 years. A friend of mine who has been married for over 20 years jokes that his wife never went home from their first date (his wife makes the same joke). If the issue is over when the two of you decide to jump into bed, there are probably greater issues affecting whether you will be able to develop a relationship than the timing of when you have sex.

  4. I don’t think too many guys dump first-date lays based on antiquated ideals of purity. I think if I guy drops off after first-date sex, it’s more likely

    – the sex displeased him

    – he was never feeling it, but played it callow and seduced you anyway

    – he was never feeling it, but you practically threw yourself at him, and hey, he’s made of flesh.

    – he was on the fence, and sex wasn’t enough to push him over into “yes” territory

    … or something like that.

    But if you’re radar’s well-calibrated, you’re right about the mutual attraction and mutual interest, nah, sex isn’t going to ruin it.

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