It’s a common notion that sleeping with a guy too soon may result in little more than a morning goodbye and pleasantry small talk. The fear of being a mere sexual encounter has led women to frequently debate the ideal number of dates before intimacy. There’s the classic ‘three date rule’ and the average eight dates (according to a survey). Do guys lose interest if you sleep with them too soon, or are we basing our sexual interactions on false assumptions that perpetuate the idea ‘men just want sex?’
A reader wrote to me last month to vent about her disappearing date. After two evenings together and many WhatsApp exchanges, she decided to sleep with him. All seemed well, until his communication slowly cut and eventually ended before they had a chance to schedule their next meeting. Wondering what went wrong, she automatically assumed the guy lost interest because sex was now off the table.
He’d got what he wanted and had no other reason to stick around.
The problem with thinking: Did I sleep with him too soon?
The question itself is rather self-shaming and blameful. It implies you were too ‘easy’; you didn’t offer enough intrigue prior; you should have opted for more self-control.
At a minimum, sex is a two-people act that involves two people deciding when and where. If you’re going to ask that question, it should at least be ‘Did we sleep together too soon?’
Why it’s not about how long a woman should wait
Imagine if sexual longevity was as a simple as a three-date rule or a two week wait. That somehow, by not giving in to lustful urges, we could control whether a man decided to perceive us as a potential girlfriend or a future wife.
It sounds like a plan – if only it made sense! Within the space of the first and third or eighth date, what do we believe will happen? The guy will magically fall in love? He’ll realise we’re worth more than a one-night stand? He’ll see beyond our looks and connect to our personalities? The guy will realise we have good morals – the kind that make for an ideal suitor?
If sleeping together too soon is a problem, it’s surly more to do with the complicated nature of sex. The messiness of it all; how can we possibly know how we’ll feel after? Rather than placing so much emphasis on when, why not consider expectations in comparison to intentions.
Are his feelings strong enough prior to sex?
I’ve had two first-time encounters – one ended almost instantly and the other led to an amazing relationship. The first guy didn’t show much interest. I suppose we had some alcohol and let one thing lead to another. The other time, I knew we had something tangible.
It’s not nice to admit, but sometimes a guy will have sex and then move on because he:
- Really did just want sex.
- Felt mixed feelings about pursing things further.
- Didn’t enjoy the experience – not enough chemistry.
- Wanted an intimacy boost – the benefits of sex minus the other stuff.
- Thought it was obvious you were a one-night stand.
- Changed his mind.
With each of these scenarios, what would change if sex was prolonged?
Focus on your expectations more than his intentions
We’re living in a time where we can arrange sex in under an hour. We have multiple names to describe somewhat relationships. Finding someone has become easier but finding someone genuine feels more difficult.
While I’m not a trained therapist or a relationship coach, from my experience, even if we look for all the signs and try our hardest to find someone wanting more than sex, we can’t truly be certain. It makes more sense to worry about own our expectations and feelings.
What does sex mean to you? How would you feel if sex was just sex? When does intimacy feel comfortable?
There is nothing wrong with wanting a hook-up or choosing first date sex, providing we stay aware that intimacy means different things to different people and doesn’t offer a guarantee besides a sexual experience. The more you pay attention to your own needs and wants and work on your own confidence and self-awareness, the easier you’ll be able to recognise people who also share the same desires.
So, do guys lose interest if you sleep with them too soon?
No. Okay, there might be some hypocrites out there who judge you for having early sex. Realistically however, a guy sticks around if he’s interested enough in you. Sex or no sex.
Without worrying whether a guy will lose interest, decide for yourself when intimacy feels good. Either side of the coin offers benefits. By waiting too long, a man could get fed up, you may end up really liking them and then face rejection, or a guy could use you for the chase. There isn’t a clear-cut answer except to follow your instincts.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe guys lose interest from early intercourse? Has this happened to you?
Read next: Dealing with Regret After Sex
Catch up on my dating thoughts via Instagram.