There's No Such Thing as Having Sex "Too Soon"

The only person who gets to define what “too soon” is for sex is you. It could be after one date or after 20.
Publish date:
July 1, 2013
Dating, first dates, M, Sex,

There is a great deal of shame and embarrassment that many of us feel when we sleep with a guy and he fades. We beat ourselves up for getting invested in all that attention. Once we’ve sufficiently kicked ourselves, we wonder if maybe all those times we heard friends say that men like a challenge, they were right.

Maybe we had sex “too soon.”

What if I told you that there was no such thing as having sex too soon? How would you feel if it turned out that the reason why that guy disappeared had nothing to do with you or when you chose to sleep with him?

It’s possible that he simply decided that there wasn’t enough chemistry or potential compatibility to move forward. That doesn’t mean that’s all he wanted from the get go. His radio silence might actually be his hesitancy to admit that he didn’t think you and he had a future. Yes, The Fade is the easy way out. But who actually likes delivering bad news? Sometimes no answer is the answer.

I tend to think we jump to conclusions and assume a guy just wanted sex because of the timeline involved. Let’s face it; it’s a lot easier to think that the guy was a jerk than wonder if maybe we just didn’t do it for him in some way. The sex could have been the final litmus test wherein he decided there was no real chemistry. I would wager that that explanation is far more common than we care to consider. That’s probably because we’ve heard so many warnings and myths from our female peers.

When we were younger, the last thing any of us ever wanted to be labeled was a slut by our girlfriends. This fear has stayed with many of us well into our adulthood. So much so that some of us have taken to fibbing about when we went home with a guy or how a date ended.

A close male friend of mine once met a woman on Match. A Google search of her led him to her blog. There were a few posts about how men were expected to perform various duties (ask her out, pick a nice date spot, pay the check) before she would even consider letting things go past a kiss. She ended up going home with my friend on the first date and sleeping with him on the second. A few weeks later, they were heading out to a party one of her friends was hosting. She prepped him for the various questions she knew would arise.

“Just an FYI…I told my friends we didn’t have sex until the fourth date” she said. This was not the first time he was given such a heads up.

I tend to believe that any of rules and guidelines that have been drilled into our heads have been distorted. I don’t think we’ve always gotten the full story. I suspect that few of those tales we’ve heard from friends and co-workers about how their relationships began actually involved a hand job in a hallway and not just a chaste kiss on the doorstep.

Consider this other possibility. You could have done everything right and waited several dates and he still could have done a post-coital bail. Maybe that’s how it was going to play out all along. How is that your fault?

Unfortunately, some guys know exactly what to do to lull us into a false sense of security. If a guy seems too attentive and too available right off the bat, be wary. Give him a chance, of course, but keep your douche-guard at a level blue.

Rather than trying to side-step every possible pump and dump, why don’t we just relieve ourselves of the guilt trips? For some reason, we automatically go down that shame spiral when a guy ghosts after sleeping with us. We rationalize that it had to be because of the sex. We must have given the guy the wrong impression.

Here’s a question: If a man were to formulate a negative opinion of us after doing the exact same thing himself, why would what he thought matter? Doesn’t that automatically invalidate his opinion?

The only person who gets to define what “too soon” is for sex is you. It could be after one date or after 20.

Because I’m servicey like that, here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Telling a guy you don’t plan on sleeping with him on the first date is like throwing chum to a shark. It’s considered a tell. For that alone, based on past experience, they believe sex will be had by the second date, if not that night. If they were on the fence, that revelation will keep them on board. Coming out with declarations like that actually reveals that you care quite a bit about what that guy thinks of you. Never give someone you just met that much power.

• Including a disclaimer in your profile about not looking for a hook-up will also draw the one and done types to you. A lot of men will infer from that declaration that you have fallen prey to certain tricks once before and likely will again.

• Never justify to a guy why you prefer to wait. Just wait. You’re not on trial. The more you justify it, the more you’ll seem defensive. A lot of guys -– good ones -– might fear that there’s too much baggage there to proceed. If he tries to debate you as to why waiting seems silly, send him packing.

• I do believe that there is a window of time that a guy will wait for sex. How long depends on the guy and his options and experiences. This is why I don’t ascribe to the narrative that, if a man likes you, he’ll wait. There’s a caveat to that statement.

“But how will I know if he just wants sex???”

That’s just it. You probably won’t. Not for sure, anyway. Which is why the best course of action is to stop assuming that, if he does fade after the sex, it’s because you did something wrong. Most importantly, stop being afraid of the pain you might feel should he not stick around. You will survive the disappointment. You will go on and meet someone else. He’s one guy. If you got him, you can get another.