Study: 66% of Americans Disapprove of First Date Sex

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

For as long as there have been first dates, there has been debate over whether or not first date sex is the way to go.

Some say to break traditional rules and do it if you want to. Others remind us, “Why would you buy the cow if the milk is free?”

What do Americans think about first dates that end up in the sack?

In our most recent study, we surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to find out how they feel about first date sex.

Interestingly two out of three Americans – 66 percent – disapprove of sex on the first date.

In a culture that is often portrayed as being “sex crazed” and increasingly liberal, this seems counterintuitive, so we asked our dating experts for their insight.

Gary Lewandowski Jr., the chair of psychology at Monmouth University and co-creator of ScienceofRelationships.com, explained that while most Americans say they don’t approve of first date sex, “it may not indicate how much first date sex [they] are having themselves.”

He continued, sharing that “the views respondents express may reflect their conformity to societal expectations.” Folks feel like they’re supposed to disapprove of it, so that’s what they say they do.

Breaking down the numbers further, we found a whopping 82 percent of women said they disapprove of sex on the first date. They are 71 percent more likely to feel this way than men, who look down on these early sexual escapades 48 percent of the time.

Robin Milhausen, an associate professor of human sexuality at the University of Guelph and a sexuality educator, said this is congruous with her research on sexual double-standards.

“Women are the harshest judges of other women’s behavior,” she said. “Many women wouldn’t think it was OK for a woman to have sex on the first date, thinking this would be ‘slutty behavior’. Women also are aware of the double-standard, recognizing they could be judged negatively if they had sex on the first date, making first date sex an unwise behavior for them.”

Men, on the other hand, have more supportive attitudes about casual sex than women, so they are less likely to disapprove of a roll in the hay on the first date.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: 


Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.