Dear Barb – Sex on the First Date?

Dear Barb:

I am 18 years old and in my first year of studies with Athabasca University (AU). I’m looking forward to eventually receiving my degree in accounting. I did some dating in high school, but nothing that ever went anywhere. For the first time, I am living on my own with two roommates. I am fortunate that we all get along fairly well. However, I am feeling a bit awkward about something. My roommates, who are around my age and also in their first year at AU, are constantly bringing guys home to our apartment. They seem to think nothing of having sex on the first night. I don’t know if I’m old fashioned, but I am reluctant to have sex on the first date. What is your opinion? Is it okay to have sex on the first date?

Rebecca in Calgary

Hi Rebecca. Wow — sex on the first date! I would say avoid it at all costs. It’s not worth the risks, not only from a health standpoint, but also from a safety standpoint. Being alone, well we’ll assume you are going to be alone, with someone you have just met and who you know almost nothing about, could be putting your life at risk. You really know nothing absolutely about this person’s past. You don’t know if what he is telling you is really the truth.

If you are looking for a long-term relationship, you should know that having sex on the first date will rarely result in a second date. From an emotional perspective, women often feel used if they have sex on the first date and then never see the man again. The feeling of being used can exist even if there is a second date. From a man’s point of view, even though he may have wanted to have sex, he may be disappointed that a woman was willing to sleep with him so soon.

Despite the drawbacks and risks involved in having sex on the first date, many people indulge. In fact, statistics indicate that the Canadian population has one of the highest percentage of people indulging in one-night stands, as 52% of adults admit to this behaviour (1).

My advice to you Rebecca is to proceed with caution. If you want to avoid having regrets and feeling bad about yourself, say no to sex until you really know the other person and feel comfortable together. Follow your instincts and don’t do something just because someone else does it. What is right for another person may not be right for you.

Good luck, Rebecca.


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