When Should You Have Sex

Women's Dating

When Should You Have Sex?

Dr. Wendy Walsh
Dr. Wendy Walsh Updated:
Discuss This! Discuss This!

It’s probably the hardest decision a woman can make. To have sex or not with a man she is attracted to. Feminists who use a male model of sexuality to define women’s sexual freedom might say, “If he’s hot and you use protection, who cares if he’s playing you. You can play him, too!”

But there are two big catches to this plan. Most women have trouble separating sex from love and most men still put women in one of two categories — sexy date or wife material.

If you’re dating a man in hopes of building a strong, intimate, committed relationship, you are quite wise to consider carefully timing the sex.

First of all, know this:

The skills you need to build a long-term relationship are very different than the skills you need to have a short-term relationship.

To have a short-term relationship, you need to be attractive, fun, flexible and available. To have a long-term relationship, you need to have empathy, good communication skills, good conflict resolution skills, and be loyal and loving.

The problem is this:

When you are busy having sex, the physiological assault of sex hormones on the brain is just too overwhelming and you can’t possibly build long-term relationship skills.

Research supports the idea that the longer you wait to have sex, the better your relationship outcome. In fact, there is no such thing as waiting too long. Couples who waited until marriage still report high levels of happiness and hot sexual chemistry.

But you can move too fast. Of couples that had sex within 30 days of meeting, nearly 90 percent were broken up within a year.


“If a man sacrifices his time, then he’s

probably trying to send you a message.”

To help you make the decision about when to have sex, here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Have we been seeing each other regularly for longer than one month?

(One weekly date is not enough face time.)

2. Have I met his close friends and/or family.

If he’s hiding you in a compartment, it could be because he only wants you for a sex toy.

3. Have we had at least one disagreement and made a fair resolution?

4. Has he really sacrificed for you?

If a man sacrifices his time, his money and his talents to make your life better, then he’s probably trying to send you a message that he’s in it for the long haul.

5. You know him well enough to talk openly.

You have talked openly about birth control and STDs and you’ve made a plan for any accidents.

If you answered “No” to most of these questions, you are not ready to enter a sexual relationship with this date. It’s much too early.