What Do Men Really Think About Sex on the First Date?

The answer, according to our trusted spy, is more complicated than you might think.
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What Do Men Really Think About Sex on the First Date?

The answer, according to our trusted spy, is more complicated than you might think.

-Jod Kaftan

attractive young couple

My esteemed BettyConfidential colleague Carrie Seim recently revealed that first-date sex won’t necessarily make a man lose interest (see Is it OK to Have Sex on a First Date?). This may very well be true—if the man in question only gets laid about once every five years. Why do I say this? I happen to be a man and a reformed rogue, so you can consider me your mole.

The conventional wisdom is that men only have one thing on their mind when they first see a woman—sex. The truth is, most men have two things on their minds: They want a sweaty, all-night bone-a-thon, and they want to fall in love. Yeah, that’s right. We want to be happy, too. One is a powerful biological and psychological need, the other is spiritual and emotional. The problem for guys is that these two desires, especially during the dating phase, have nothing to do with each other. The only thing that ties them together is that they both live in the brain (well, one arguably lives in a “smaller brain”). Women, of course, have sex and then begin to have feelings. A man rarely can. Sex is the great distraction. He tells himself, “I’m getting what I want…right?” He’s not. He can’t hear his true calling because it’s being drowned out by the inner monologue chants of “do her!”

Read How to Get a Guy to Hit on You

Basically, this means that if a guy fulfills his sexual needs too early, it can muffle the call of his own heart. Before he can relate sex to intimacy, a man must first be made to feel; without feelings, sex is only about conquest and relief. One way to try to get him in touch with his feelings is not to put out on the first night.

But let’s discuss what I mean by “putting out,” shall we? I’m not saying women should be hermetically sealed, prudish cyborgs. A frisky first date can be a turn-on to an honest man. What I’m saying is to keep things comfortably at third base—OK, even first or second base. In other words, don’t open your legs. And never let a man get on top of you—especially when you’re down to your panties. Once you let him “knock on heaven’s door,” you’re sending a signal that you want him to enter. He’ll feel obliged. And no one wants to have obligatory sex (OK, there was a night in Tulsa I wouldn’t take back…).

You might be thinking, “Well, I’ll just ask him if he wants to do it. That’s the respectable thing to do.” It’s not. You’ll never get an honest answer from a man who’s on top of you. If you ask him this, he’ll worry that you’ll think he’s a wuss if he says no. Now I don’t have to go to great lengths to explain the moronic things men will do to avoid being labeled a wuss, right? (Declaring war comes to mind.)

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22 thoughts on “What Do Men Really Think About Sex on the First Date?

  1. i agree. It really depends on the date. If its just for fun, and nothing serious then yeah i would probably go for it. BUT if it is something i want to probably work out in the future, then I’ll wait. Give the a guy a little chase :)

  2. In July of 1990, after about two months of talking on the phone with a woman who worked for the same company as I across town, I had first date sex that was so intense and beautiful (yes, I am a straight guy) that it turned into a long-term relationship that never resulted in marriage, but has manifested itself into nearly a twenty year friendship with one of the most incredible people who I’ve ever met. That, of course, is not the norm, but I agree with you all in saying that it is probably best not to, unless you only want a night or two.

  3. What a crock of shit! Everyone’s different , for me sex on the first date is fine and it only gets better as the love develops guy’s fall in love from the physical. Oh and i’m not selling a book or anything, the author is telling women what they want to here.

  4. Let’s see a MARRIED MAN!!! unless the women here are looking for married men then this advice is way off. If both are ready and willing go for it! It take a while to learn each others bodies and get in good sync anyway. Plus it is fun! Someone who is making you “wait” is not to be trusted”.
    Me I would go out with others not waste time on a manipulator. Honesty is always the best policy. Be honest with your self too. If horny scratch. If you want to and he is hesitant make him feel comfortable and confident. Not every guy has had a lot of experience nor every woman. Be yourself.

  5. it’s not necessarily true that sex on the first date will turn off his emotional side or make it difficult to forge a relationship. my guy and i had sex on our first date, and he loves me for more than just what i look like on the outside- in fact, this is the most fulfilling relationship i’ve ever been in, sexually AND emotionally.

  6. While I disagree with this argument, it’s a really great column. AND he’s totally right — if you don’t want to go all the way, don’t let either party get on top of the other, hard to unring that bell!!

  7. I don’t think it’s so much about cause/effect as correlation. Most (not all) first dates that end up in sex are indicative of two people who are attracted to each other more physically than mentally. Couples that choose to wait a few dates do so generally because there’s more there than the physical.

    Of course, the exceptions prove the rule – so there are surely cases where people had sex right away and also had a strong mental connection or developed one. However, if you take most of the stories of “Mary and Bob had sex on the first date and it didn’t work out because Bob lost interest” – I’d be willing to bet he’d have lost interest if they slept together on date 4, 10 or never.

    It takes more than just sexual compatibility to make a relationship work. Having sex on the first date is a pretty good indicator (though not perfect) that sex is the primary thing y’all have in common. Waiting a few extra dates isn’t going to change that.

  8. As a guy I don’t suggest letting a guy even cop a feel on the first date. For sex to be meaningful, it needs to be inside a committed relationship. Far too many people practice recreational sex with no sttrings. Each time you do this without a committed relatinship, you get a little more jaded and cynical. Sex creates bonds that get ripped apart with casual sex. I have done it but regret it. My vote is no ladies. Make it meaningful and worthwhile, don’t succumb to your hormones or hope that it you put out on the first date he will want you and want to keep you. There are way to many guys cruising for easy sex. Don’t let them use you. That does not mean that you need to be a prude, let the guy know that you are worth the wait and the sex will be great once you get there.

  9. Too many of the articles on this site just go ahead and assume every woman wants to get married, or even if they don’t, they want long-lasting relationships. Given the divorce rate, why get married? Given the failed-romance rate, why go for the long-term? Can’t women get by without a man in the same living space? Why do so many lack the independence to live alone and like it? I was very sexually active until I was 40 and then had to concern myself with other things, but some of my best memories are from one-nighters I initiated.
    However, I never thought of it, and hate men who do, as “putting out,” “giving it up,”
    “we’ve gone this far, so…,” “but you must!,” etc. There were no bases to reach, in my vocabulary, and certainly no wheedling or game-playing/mind-messing. That men so often use these terms or come-ons only shows really p*sses me off. Such “thinking” about a woman indicates disdain, lack of respect, and only one thing in mind and it’s not a relationship. BTW, I’ve been married and had relationships and found utterly, utterly over-rated. Maybe when I’m old I’ll want one with a younger man who can take care of me when I really am frail and need taking care of. Until then, this old-school feminist has some advice for all those yearning to be shackled by law or emotion: Get independent, get strong, and then you can pick and choose and not depend on or worry about what the godalmighty “HE” may or may not think about you or want to have with you.

  10. I couldn’t read much past this sentence: “Women, of course, have sex and then begin to have feelings.”
    Have you ever actually spoken to a woman about this topic? Because your assertion leads me to believe either you have never actually had a real conversation with a woman or you are so self absorbed and full of yourself that you don’t take in what they say but instead dismiss it and tell them what they are thinking. Girls fall in love ALL THE TIME way before getting to sex. And, brace yourself, just because a girl has sex with you, doesn’t mean she’s going to fall in love with you after.
    You are so sure of yourself that you had to throw “of course” into that sentence. If you were generalizing about men I see how you might include that all encompassing phrase. But you are a man stereotyping women despite the fact that you clearly know nothing about women. I hope no women (or men for that matter) are taking any advice from this crap you have written.
    …To be fair, I read the rest of this article before posting this comment, and I stand by my belief that this guy is a complete fool.

  11. There is actually scientific evidence that shows, if a woman sees relationship potential with a guy, she is more likely to make him wait, but if she sees him as a casual fling, she is more likely just to go for it.

    Doesn’t always work out that way. I remember this one babe, bagged her the first night. Thirty years later, we’re still married.

  12. It TOTALLY depends on the individuals involved! I spose you’re gonna try tellin me my b/f of more than a year now doesnt really love me, huh?! cuz i certainly didnt wait more than the first date! We’ve even spent the first 6 mos living in diferent states! I only saw him about once a month! So, you cant tell me that its a COMPLETELY bad thing! BTW, we’re currently living together(and have been for 5 mos, now) and get along very well!

  13. I’ve always been sexually reserved, but if I choice to have sex on the first date, I’m after the same thing I agree with the article. But from a real woman’s perspective. I’ve always been conservative when it comes to new sex partners, but if I choice to have sex on the first date, I’m after the same thing the guy is after; gratification (hopefully) based on a physical attraction. If I do you on the first date, I want nothing more from you; unless you want to be my boy toy (I’ll call you.) I make the ones with potential; the ones I really like, Wait.


  15. Jod Kaffan is a “mole” from a “former” scoundrel’s point of view. He doesn’t speak for all guys, even the attractive ones!. As a man (not just a “guy” or a “boy”), I like connecting with a woman over a few dates – maybe with heavy frisking or just a little kissing. I’m attractive and straight – yet I enjoy a woman sensually IF she’s engaging me on a lot of levels. I enjoy anticipating sex over a few meetings. Point is – there are different kinds of guys – if you take the time to find out. My behavior may be in the minority – but it’s hardly “unheard of”. But I don’t hit bars “expecting love” either. I have women get insecure that I’m not attracted to them or even that I may be gay if I don’t “sack them” on the first night. That’s how SOME women are. And many women seem attracted to scoundrels – and are hurt the “rogues” don’t want to be with them beyond one night. There’s an ego in some women (most?) who feel they have tamed an “untamable” hot catch if the “wolf” calls them back. You NEVER know EVEN EOUGH of what’s going to be important on a first date. That’s luck. But if you want to be hurt less often after sex on a first date – take a few meetings to connect in a real way first. Granted, many men and women don’t really want that or know how. Some guys will hold one or the other choice against you – others won’t judge – yet others will be just greatful. A hot guy who has options AND indulges one nighters OFTEN will usually move on. You never had him anyway. That’s the kind of guy HE is – not all guys.

  16. Addendum: The 2 times I had slept with a woman on the first date, I did continue to see them til we amicably broke up for other reasons. Any insecurity that they slept with other guys on the first date didn’t matter – because I already was responding to things I liked about them. Even if they were “sluts” – I could get over it – as long as they were “monogomous sluts” with me. I trusted my ability to find out that they were with me not just cus they were needy “imnsecure sluts”. I knew taking the time for honesty and clearity leads to truth. So – no worries. One of those 2 women is the only woman I ever felt I could marry – but she was moving east coast (going to Yale grad school) – I had to stay west coast (developement deal and an old grandma to keep an eye on). But the long distance relationship got to “hairy” for her to maintain emotionally and physically.So I had to move on.

  17. The problem with this thinking is that it trains women to be ashamed of their sexuality if they decide to have sex on the first date. Meanwhile men are congratulated for having sex on the first date because it means that they "got some" (we see the double standard here). Then if nothing develops, women get blamed entirely for men's actions, when both parties are to blame. Women need to stop blaming themselves entirely for relationships that don't work out. If a man only wants sex, it doesn't matter whether he gets it on the first date or the 500th date; if that's all he wants then he'll leave once he gets it regardless.

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