When Is It Too Early to Have Sex With a New Partner?

Constantly as a woman, I hear “he won’t want to buy the cow if he can get the milk for free.” First of all, what the hell does that even mean? Second, I think this whole stigma of women needing to make men wait to have sex because it makes them seem more desirable in a man's eye is a heavily misogynistic rooted idea that tells women they shouldn’t embrace their sexuality. I’ve never heard a man be told that he shouldn’t have sex with a woman too early because she will lose interest. The older I get in the dating scene, the harder this has become for me to hear. We're adults and we're going to do what adults do, whether we end up picking the lame partners that do leave or not.

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Especially with Tinder and hookup culture, it’s become hard to find meaningful connections. When you do and everything feels right, you may want to have sex with that person—which is totally normal. When I talk to adults about my relationships and dating life or happen to mention that a guy is being weird with me, I feel I get the same response with every adult I talk to. They repeatedly tell me that I shouldn’t have sex until the relationship is more developed. I understand for some people this is how they want to go about their dating life, but it always comes across in a way that as a woman I shouldn’t be sexually liberated and enjoy sex while dating because he will automatically lose interest in me. Yes, I have had this happen, and it does suck, but does that mean I shouldn’t have sex with someone I’m seeing if I want to? No! I just need to be smarter about the men I’m choosing to date.

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Some people have come to believe fully that they have to make their partners wait because the man (in particular) will lose interest or think of them as a “slut” if they have sex too early. Those are not the people we want to be with! Once this has happened to someone it's easy to think “oh everyone was right” but to be honest if a guy is doing this it just means he’s immature and not ready to date. It does not mean that we are being too liberated sexually or need to make ourselves more desirable for a man by playing hard to get. I once heard a man say he would never date a woman he had sex with on the first date. I later came to find out this man had many misogynistic qualities. So, what I’m saying is that men who think like this are not the men who respect women and the ones we should be pursuing. Instead of warning women that they should hold off on having sex with a person who 'claims' they want something more and then leaves after they have sex, we should be telling men that if they only want sex from a partner they should communicate that and not gaslight them into thinking they actually want something more. For that matter, everyone needs to get better at communicating with their partner about what their intentions are when dating and having sex so there's no miscommunication and you can prevent hurt feelings.

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To answer the question, no, I don’t believe there is a universal rule of when you should or should not sleep with someone. All of this is entirely up to the people involved: if you want to have sex with this new person and everything feels right, go for it! If you aren’t comfortable yet and want to explore things more, that’s totally fine (and don't let anyone pressure you into it). I just want society to stop telling women in particular that the second they have sex with a man he’s going to think of her differently and will become less interested because those are not the people we want to date anyway. When someone is right for you and respects you, that’s when it won’t matter if you guys happen to have sex on the first, second, or tenth date. All that will matter is that your connection is strong enough that they will want to stick around for what comes after sex. And that’s the tea.