Sex on a first date. Would you?

ANNABEL ROSS
Last updated 12:28 03/10/2012
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OPINION: So, according to research by dating website RSVP, older women are more likely than younger women to have sex on the first date.

This surprised me at first, but when you think about it, it makes sense - older singles aren't necessarily looking for a relationship - in many cases they've already been married, had children and divorced - and are often quite content on their own.

Younger women aren't necessarily looking for "the one" either, but many aren't willing to put out on the first date regardless.

Old-fashioned values have been instilled in us from our parents (ironically, the group less likely to wait should they find themselves single now), and popular culture tells us that sleeping with him on the first date is a sure-fire way to heartbreak, and/or "slutty".

But is it necessarily so? Does sleeping with him on the first date ruin your chances of it developing into anything more?

I recall speaking to a girlfriend last year who was utterly distraught after yet another unintentional one-night-stand.

It was the same old story, they'd gone out, gotten drunk, gotten horny, gotten into bed together. She left, he never called. Never texted. That was it.

"I don't get it," she said. "We got along, we had great chemistry, the sex was good, and now he wants nothing more to do with me."

I could empathise with my friend. We've all been there (well, most girls I know have, anyway).

We think in this day and age, it shouldn't matter whether you sleep with him on the first date or the tenth.  We think he's looking pretty damn hot, especially after our fourth cocktail.

We think that we're not judging him for sleeping with us straight off the bat, so why should he think badly of us? We're really attracted to each other, that's a good thing, right? Why should we have to wait?

Unfortunately, time and time again, this sort of thinking doesn't quite work out.

I know that my most meaningful relationships have occurred when I waited.

This same friend, so distraught a year ago, is currently seeing someone for the first time in four years. She waited over a month before sleeping with her current boyfriend. She'd been burnt too many times before.

There are exceptions to the rule of course. We hear of the one night stand that turns into marriage and kids, or at the very least, into a lasting relationship.

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But these stories are few and far between, and I'd argue, in most cases, there's a vital difference.

Among my friends, every time first-date sex has turned into something more, it's because the girl didn't have any kind of expectation going into it.

If she's completely nonchalant about it, and leaves the next morning without trying to pin him down for date number two, chances are he's going to want to see her again (particularly if the sex was good).

The thrill of the chase and all that.

Self-esteem can play a big part too. I know women who would continually sleep with guys on the first date because "I wanted him to like me".

It's common among younger girls - we usually find out pretty quick that the way to a guy's heart is not between our legs.

For the long-term single gals, there's, as one friend elegantly put it, "Not knowing where my next root is coming from."

He's there, he's willing, he's able - I'm taking it for the team!, she thinks.

What feels great at the time feels less so in the days following when he fails to give her a call...or respond to her text messages. Dignity in tatters, girls are reduced to feeling like the very "sluts" we were so fearful of being in the first place.

Again, it comes back to ego. Irrespective of whether or not we really, genuinely like this person (something that is pretty hard to establish after just one date, regardless of how many fireworks there are), we still want to feel desired and validated, and not like mere vessels providing a quick means to an end.

I think that as long as you go into first-date sex with no expectation that there will be a second or third date, it's not an issue.

But for lots of women it's impossible to stay emotionally detached, try as we might to convince ourselves otherwise.

So, what do you think? Can fourth or fifth-date sex live up to the unbridled lust of a first-date romp? In having sex on the first date, are you doing yourself a disservice? Guys, would you date a girl if you slept with her in the first 24 hours? Have any men out there regretted sex on the first date?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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