At 12am I stood, holding my train ticket, 30 minutes too late to board. My train had gone. I had just enjoyed a lovely evening. My hair hadn’t yet dried from the downpour of rain, my shoes were damp, my legs on show and shivering from lashings of windy December. I didn’t know train strikes affected my journey; I was away from home and didn’t fancy splurging £100 on an Uber. Boldly I asked a man I’d met four hours ago whether I could go back with him. Leading to the inevitable sex on the first date.
Breaking my rules
When I blogged about first date sex in March 19, I presented two sides to the debate: It’s bad if you’re traditional and believe sex deserves emotional intimacy; it’s good if you want to know where you stand early on. I sided towards avoidance: “not wanting to share myself with just anybody.” I called myself traditional, not such a popular word. (A guy last week told me I can’t pick and choose traditions – I either re-create the 50’s or live modern). Screw him!
My evening went well. I managed to debate and talk about topics I love: psychology, history, travel… Time mimicked Usain Bolt; minutes competed with seconds. “How?” I asked, “Did we get to 23:45pm?” At our third and final bar, a piano singer sung, the cosy bar glitz in plain Christmas lights. I checked my train, expecting usual services which end at 1am.
I thought my train app had made a mistake. We ran together to the station and I asked three workers WTF they were playing at. Well, I casually asked for my correct platform. Nothing until the morning. Once my date agreed to me heading home with him, I pondered the strangeness of trust we place in unknown faces. Had we spent two hours or one hour together, would I still have agreed? Was there a moment when my brain decided my date dependable? The psychology book I’m reading suggests we use past experience and environment, to help us grasp memories and map where we are and what we’re doing.
If you’re running for instance, your brain goes to its body-budgeting regions, it notices what memories are stored and what’s similar. It then looks around; it takes in where you are to make sense of your actions. How do you know you’re in a church? Your brain has mapped what a church looks like from past memory. It recognises elements such as a stained-glass window of Jesus to confirm location. (That’s a broad, novice reader description).
Sex on the first date: The Experience
We reached his clean (thank goodness) flat and began another hour conversation. Nothing felt different, other than my body now warm next to his fireplace. As we got in bed, it occurred I hadn’t worn sexy lingerie. My underwear screamed: I’m not going out tonight. My bag contained no spare clothes, makeup wipes, no flat shoes. Naïve me really had prepared for a goodbye kiss at half 10.
Cuddling in bed, I knew I could choose to fall asleep or initiate intimacy. Considering how bad the sex was prior to this date, and who am I kidding – I was horny, I made the first move. The first time you get naked and try to concoct passion, rarely does passion spring. My nerves were whizzing and I was trying to relax while strongly analysing if I was good. To get myself to climax, I took my own blog advice and controlled my position.
I didn’t feel awkward the next morning – by then, he’d already witnessed me naked at different angles. With a busy day ahead, I left early and trotted along the quiet streets. The awkward moment came sitting at a tube station in last night’s clothes as families and coffee drinkers stood nearby. I felt 19 again, unprepared and living for the moment. I tried to imagine myself as Carrie, picturing her 30-something walks of shame.
The impact of this encounter
According to a Mirror article, sex on the first date is beneficial to serious relationships. The newspaper published results from a study where a third of participants had “found love” after first date sex. A piece in The Sun shares a 28-year-old female’s reason for always hooking up with a potential partner, resulting in one-night stands. The lingerie designer says it helps to weed out non-serious guys.
When I left in the morning, although I’d pictured myself as Carrie I felt like Samantha. Powerful, confident, a go-getter. My feelings had unattached from lovemaking. Sure, I had a great night and had fun, but I wasn’t debating our chemistry or what he thought. I didn’t think of him much, I thought of myself. This contentment washed over me, I finally smiled at my age and acknowledged my growth. My physical and sexual needs were met, no guilty analytical side-effects.
We probably won’t meet again (particularly if he reads this post). Was the sex to blame? Maybe. He hasn’t responded to my last message and I think we’re neither overly fussed on rearranging. Things had changed upon waking, we weren’t the hopeful, new singletons anymore. We were tired people with our mystery solved and our glamour melted by the sun.
I would have sex on the first date again. I’d take that chance if my instincts approved. I think if you’re meant to be, you’ll be regardless of how long or not long you wait. It’s a two people act, so if one party involved questions your respectability, you should be questioning theirs. And running far from a hypocrite. It’s either fireworks or dodgy sparklers: find out early and you avoid disappointment and wasted weekend nights.