Why Some Men Need Sex Before Commitment

Women's Dating

Why Some Men Need Sex Before Commitment

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Clearly we are in a high-supply sexual economy where men can attempt to obtain sex without a promise to share anything past their germs and where women are exposing their bloodstreams and eggs to men whom they don’t trust enough to water their plants while they are out of town.

But why do some men (and women) believe sex is necessary before a commitment? They believe a few myths of sexuality.

1. Sexual chemistry helps relationships.

Many people believe that jumping into bed in the early stages of a relationship is a way to test sexual compatibility, a way to audition a man, if you will.

If this theory were true, then people who do not test out sexual chemistry before commitment should have shorter, more unhappy relationships.

But psychology professor Dean Busby and his colleagues at Brigham Young University were unable to make this connection in a study of more than 2,000 couples. People with good sexual chemistry early on did not stay together longer. In fact, they broke up earlier.


“Player men tend to go on an

endless search for Miss Right.”

2. It’s old fashioned to make a verbal commitment first.

In fact, there’s good news about having higher levels of commitment before beginning a sexual relationship. Sandra Metts Ph.D., a professor of communication at Illinois State University, headed a study called the “Passion Turning Point” in which she looked at which came first, the words “I love you” or sex with 286 college students.

Her results are fascinating. If couples made a commitment to be exclusive before they had sex, then their sexual experience became a positive turning point in their relationship. It increased mutual understanding, trust and sense of security.

But when a commitment was not obtained before the onset of sex, the sex was more often considered a negative turning point that evoked regret, uncertainty, discomfort, and prompted apologies.

3. The more partners, the more likely to find “The One.”

But it’s actually the opposite. Loving fewer makes you love harder.

Renowned evolutionary psychology professor David Buss at the University of Texas at Austin and Martie G. Haselton at the University of California, Los Angeles found that the more previous sexual partners a man has, the more likely he is to quickly perceive diminished attractiveness in a woman after first intercourse. Player men tend to go on an endless search for Miss Right.

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