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I'm in a terrible fix
August 21, 2012 3:32 PM   Subscribe

How do you NOT have sex on the first or second date?

I am 100% serious here. Female, 20s, big city, on OKCupid. Looking for something serious, and though I LOVE sex I am tired of having it with... everyone.

There comes a point on every first or second date where the guy asks if you'd like to go to his place. Maybe you've been making out on a park bench for an hour; maybe you've just been barhopping and it's late and, well, where should we go next, wink wink?

Well... I guess I'm just a girl who can't say no. Honestly, for me it's about 60% "I'm horny, so are you, I could be having sex RIGHT NOW let's do this!" and 40%... well, what the fuck am I supposed to say? I want them to stick around. I want them to want to go out with me again. And I don't know how to shut them down without shutting it ALL down and making them ditch me. Yes I know this is unhealthy behavior, I know I'm devaluing my worth as a person by thinking all guys want is to bone me, you don't need to tell ME that...

But yeah, so say I'm out with a guy, vibes are vibing, sparks are flying, and he asks me back to his. What do I say? I mean SPECIFICALLY, what do I say that implies "I would love to bone you but I'm tired of fucking every guy I meet, so I'm gonna turn you down every time you ask until the magical point where I don't."

Frankly I also don't know when I WOULD want to start having sex. Because I have literally always operated this way. I think I'd want to wait until I wanted to sleep with the guy because he's who he is, not because he's a generic guy who's there and willing. But I don't know how long that takes, I really don't. I lost my virginity on the second date way back when, and we dated for years afterwards, so I think that messed my calibration up a little. I really, honestly don't KNOW what I want. I only know I've lost count of my 'number' and it makes me feel bad about myself.

I can't ask my friends about this, because one half would think I was a total skank and the other half would go "umm, why do you NOT want to have sex on the first date??"
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (58 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
"I'd like to take things a little slower."
posted by elizardbits at 3:34 PM on August 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


Have somewhere to be immediately after the date. Cut it a little short.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:35 PM on August 21, 2012 [12 favorites]


Don't be making out on a park bench for an hour on the first date?
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 3:38 PM on August 21, 2012 [67 favorites]


"Not tonight"
posted by missmagenta at 3:38 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, who gives a fuck about your 'number'? That terminology isn't really a thing in my country, but it always struck me as a device for making women feel bad about themselves for having sex. Oh noes.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:39 PM on August 21, 2012 [27 favorites]


Schedule more afternoon dates, with less alcohol.
posted by curtains at 3:39 PM on August 21, 2012 [46 favorites]


go on dates that don't lend themselves to immediate sex. instead of barhopping late at night, go for coffee in the morning or afternoon. it's much easier to say yes when you're drunk and it's late and inhibitions are lower all around.

(on preview, what curtains said.)
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 3:41 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


A girl suggesting we wait until we get to know each other a little better has never deterred me from wanting to see her again. Conversely, I have slept with women in the first date who I was attracted to but who I have not wanted to see again.

If the guy likes seeing you, whether you have sex now or on date three won't change that. If he doesn't, he won't call you anyways. Sex is not a requirement to get a good guy to call you again.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 3:42 PM on August 21, 2012 [29 favorites]


As applicable, something like, "I think I've had too much to drink to go to your place/make that call/decide to have sex/whatever tonight, but I'd really like to see you again and pick up where we left off," with a smile and some more kissing.

And if they don't want to stick around if you decide not to have sex right away, then frankly, why would you want them to?
posted by juliplease at 3:43 PM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


"This has been great, but I need to call it a night. You have my number? Then I will see you soon."

And then catch a cab, drive away, etc.
posted by tooloudinhere at 3:46 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


What do I say? I mean SPECIFICALLY, what do I say that implies "I would love to bone you but I'm tired of fucking every guy I meet, so I'm gonna turn you down every time you ask until the magical point where I don't."
Say this: "Holy shit I'm turned on, but it's too soon." Or you even just say "Not tonight." Seriously, you don't have to give reasons, and you don't have to justify yourself, and you don't have to worry about chasing a guy off. Hell, you can even sleep with a guy on the first date if you want, and then tell him no on the second! Because it takes two, and you get to say no if you're not 100% in favor of having sex. Yay personal agency and empowerment!

As to the second part of your question, well, that's kind of self-defeating, isn't it? Of course you say no until you say yes (if you ever say yes, which is not a foregone conclusion, mind you). If you never say yes, well, there's nothing wrong with that, either. If that's coming from some sort of trying-not-to-play-coy, or feeling like you're putting him in the position of having to badger you, or worrying about pigeonholing him in some sort of stereotypically-male "begging for sex" way, don't. He's asking because he's interested. You get to say no. You can ask, too, if you decide you want to and he hasn't brought it up. There's nothing demeaning about proposing sex, on either side.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:50 PM on August 21, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think you got to start asking yourself at every step of the way. And then respect your feelings. You meet up at a bar, you have a drink and meet the guy. Time comes to order food or go to a restaurant. Do you want to? Do you like the guy enough to go eat a meal?

You go eat a meal, he starts flirting... do you want to flirt with him? Is he flirtable?

Meal is over, you decide to walk a bit with the guy because you like him. He leans in for the kiss. Do you want to? How much do you want to kiss?

I'm guessing that you've been on dates where you go down this whole path without asking yourself what you want. What's your 100%? At each twist in the road to a strong relationship, you should be assessing your own needs and desires. You're not taking the time to even ask yourself what you want. And when in doubt? I think you should be conservative. Leave them wanting more. And when you know what you want, you have to ask for it and be willing to walk away if you don't get it.

So, practice that. Practice with a friend! Ever go out with friends and you end up at some loud bar full of assholes that you'd rather not be at but you followed your friend there who always chooses stupid bars? Yeah. Ditch them. Go do what you want. Maybe you want an ice-cream cone right then and there. Go get it.

So...you're making out with a guy who you like a lot and want to see again. He does the *wink*wink* thing and you say, looking into his eyes, "I really like you and I'd like to see you again. If you're up for it, I'd like to call you and set something up this weekend." He says yes, you kiss him on the cheek and you leave.
posted by amanda at 3:50 PM on August 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


How do you NOT have sex on the first or second date?

Believe it or not, this was the default in Western civilization until recently. (although the date itself is also a recent innovation) Feeling bad about your "number" is an indication that you do not wish to continue your past behavior; you recognize that it is a problem.

I join in the comments of others to choose dates that are in the morning or afternoon and do not lend themselves to impairment by alcohol or a need to cap off the evening. And, as TheNewWazoo said, you can simply decline invitations to his place without any need for explanation because none is called for. (and of course, do not extend invitations of your own to your place)

And, you may wish to evaluate why you got to the point where you lost track of your "number". It may speak to deeper issues that you need to address. I know it is trite to recommend therapy on AskMetaFilter, but you may look at treating the underlying cause rather than a mere symptom.
posted by Tanizaki at 3:57 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tell them you want to take it slow. My last two relationships were like this, the girl said she wanted to take it slowly, and I completely understood. We just hung out and talked the rest of the night and then when we were ready a few dates later, it happened.

It's not weird, especially if it's something you don't want. Even if you think it's "normal", be honest with yourself and your date and tell them what you want (sex or not). If they're weirded out about it, tough loss for them. You avoid someone who doesn't match. Win-win!
posted by neveroddoreven at 4:08 PM on August 21, 2012


Nthing "not tonight".

But yeah, you've got some weird internalised stuff going on about numbers and being seen as a skank - don't do that to yourself. You're allowed to like sex and have it on the first/second date - you're also allowed to say 'next time' or 'I'd like to wait' or 'I'd like to get to know you better first'. It's your body, you have permission to do what feels right for you.
posted by heyjude at 4:13 PM on August 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also, you don't have to be perfect. It's always nice to know what you want exactly but in an imperfect world, we don't always operate that way. So, maybe sometimes you send mixed signals. Who cares? Who are they, the signal police?! Give yourself a break and the freedom to fumble. You grant that freedom to your dates, I bet.
posted by amanda at 4:13 PM on August 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


Gay guy here. My trick is the $200 test: I wait until I know someone well enough to loan him two hundred bucks. That's not an incredibly high bar but it means that I do get to know a guy fairly well before jumping into bed with him.
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:13 PM on August 21, 2012 [65 favorites]


"Ooh, that's a really good idea, but bad timing...let's wait until we know each other just a little better?"
posted by Juliet Banana at 4:20 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Go for dates in public places and drive there in your own car. Leave after the date
posted by pakora1 at 4:22 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Agreeing that sex is natural and fun and nothing to ever be ashamed of.

I want them to stick around. I want them to want to go out with me again
Also agreeing as a guy that I would never not see a girl again because she didn't "put out," as long as I liked her. We're grown ups; it isn't high school.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:26 PM on August 21, 2012


what do I say that implies "I would love to bone you but I'm tired of fucking every guy I meet, so I'm gonna turn you down every time you ask until the magical point where I don't."

I guess I disagree with the general idea that it's 100% necessary to be clear about your own sexual interest. I really think you could just say 'maybe another time; I'm pretty tired' or 'I'd love to, but not tonight'.

I really don't think you have to clarify this much for the person. If he's like, 'well, screw her, she wouldn't go home with me'--seriously, he's probably a horse's ass.

I don't think you owe anyone any frankness about your sexual arousal state prior to getting to know them, more than the second or third date. If you simply want them to know that they have your continued interest, 'want to meet at X on Thursday?' would be fine.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:29 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


On the flip side stuff like this-

Go for dates in public places and drive there in your own car. Leave after the date

-if someone goes to these kind of forced extremes I just end up thinking she must really dislike me. It can also feel a bit accusatory. Just because I invite someone back to my place, it doesn't mean I would ever in a million years try to pressure them to do something they're uncomfortable with. And hopefully the guys you date are the same way.

So maybe just talk about it like grown-ups, rather than acting like they're adversaries you have to trick with separate cars and coffee dates at 11am?
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:29 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


But yeah, so say I'm out with a guy, vibes are vibing, sparks are flying, and he asks me back to his. What do I say? I mean SPECIFICALLY, what do I say that implies "I would love to bone you but I'm tired of fucking every guy I meet, so I'm gonna turn you down every time you ask until the magical point where I don't."

"I'd like to get to know you better before we go there. I'm not ready yet."
posted by Ironmouth at 4:31 PM on August 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


On our first date, I invited my girlfriend back to my place and she turned me down because it was almost 2am and she had to work. I believe she said something like "trust me, I'd love to come over but I really have to get some sleep before work."

For what it's worth, I'm not the type of guy to think "woah, she doesn't want to come over after the first date?!?! FORGET THIS CHICK!!" and you'd probably be better off avoiding people who do think like that anyway so it's a win-win.
posted by Diskeater at 4:31 PM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think you got to start asking yourself at every step of the way. And then respect your feelings. You meet up at a bar, you have a drink and meet the guy. Time comes to order food or go to a restaurant. Do you want to? Do you like the guy enough to go eat a meal?

This is an excellent idea. If you wouldn't go for a meal with the guy, why would you even take the next step. I too have slept with men thinking it would keep them around, but it didn't -- it really doesn't. And, any guy who sticks around for sex isn't someone you want to keep around. If all you're looking for is sex... by all means, have sex. But if a relationship is what you're looking then IMO, sex is something that one works up to in a relationship. Keep that in mind, and it'll go a long way in refraining.

Also, don't worry about the number of men you've slept with -- it's no one's concern but yours. I can't even count the number of men I've slept with, but the only one who's important now is the one I'm with right now. The rest are in the past and they don't really matter because guess what? They're not around anymore.
posted by patheral at 4:32 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want to have sex with someone, then just do it! Don't worry about your number! Don't feel like you have to "take it slow" or something like that. The MeFi's who have kept their pants on and taken it slow have done what works for them, but it's not necessarily right or better or whatever. If you're sexual mores are loose and free, that's fine. Don't internalize social bullshit.

And, you may wish to evaluate why you got to the point where you lost track of your "number". It may speak to deeper issues that you need to address. I know it is trite to recommend therapy on AskMetaFilter, but you may look at treating the underlying cause rather than a mere symptom.


Um, okay.

But if you don't actually want to have sex with someone, don't. I find that not getting into bed - no making out in bed, no watching movies in bed - really helps. Now that I have a dog, I can't just sleep over at someone's house without warning ("I'd love to, but I have to go walk my dog." Not that you should get a dog, but if you are genuinely feeling pressured, it's all right to exaggerate some commitment you have the next morning or something like that). But if I want to fuck someone, I'm going to fuck them. (Assuming that the feeling is mutual, of course). It's my right, and it doesn't devalue me as a woman.

But there's a line, and I chose to cross it. Or I don't. In sum: There's nothing wrong with having sex on the first date, as long as you're doing it because you want to, and not because you want someone to like you, or you feel pressured, etc.

Sliding vs. deciding. Something like that.

I would say that if you feel like you're going on the same dates and doing the same things with slightly different dudes, it may be time for an OkCupid break. Internet dating can be great, but it can also be extremely weird. It can feel like a smorgasbord of people that all start to blur together.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 4:33 PM on August 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


I used to be you! And now i'm not! And not is better.

Really, the main thing is: don't get too hot n heavy on a first date. Hard core making out on the dancefloor/alley/park bench is hard to slow down. So: don't do it. Then, when they ask you to come home with them (and less of them will do this, because you aren't already giving them the signal that you want to), say "hmm, next time?". (The 'hmm' is you keeping it coy and flirty, not you being all ponderous and regretful.)

And THAT, i've learned, is the ACTUAL secret to getting dudes to want to go out with you again! Cause they think they're going to get laid "next time"! That's super motivating!

And then by the time you get to that next date, you'll have each had a cooling off period. And if he's someone you genuinely like and want to have sex with, you'll still want to! And if you're like "i've calmed down and now i realize you're boring/dumb/etc", it'll be really easy for you to walk away without having slept with him without meaning to!

I was shocked when i figured out that not sleeping with someone right away is better than sleeping with them right away. It's not about morality or numbers or anything, it's about having better sex with fewer dudes lots of times, and instead of less-good sex with lots of dudes less times. (Because your bound to have more sex in a relaitonship than out of one, even if you're truly slutting it up.) (I use 'slutting it up' in the most positive way, fyi. it's not a put down!)
posted by Kololo at 4:34 PM on August 21, 2012 [23 favorites]


After having read a bunch of responses, i've got to disagree with the advice to say "not tonight" or "i'm not ready yet" or "i don't know you well enough". Those things are negative statements, which isn't going to help you move things forward, and it's... a lie. You ARE READY, and you do know him well enough, and there isn't some secret formula for either of those that the dude needs to crack. (I mean, what's 'enough'? How does he know when that comes? how does he get you to know him faster?)
You're just... going to have sex with him another time!
posted by Kololo at 4:39 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean SPECIFICALLY, what do I say that implies "I would love to bone you but I'm tired of fucking every guy I meet, so I'm gonna turn you down every time you ask until the magical point where I don't."

"Let's get together again soon." That should be more than enough for anyone who is not a creep. Only a creep will be put off by not getting to have sex on the first or second date.
posted by The World Famous at 4:41 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have sex with whoever you want, whenever you want. Never have sex with people you don't want to have sex with, or when you don't want to have sex.

If you are going to experiment with waiting until you know someone better until having sex, then saying " You are so attractive, but I'd like to get to know you better before we go further" is respectful of both you and the other party. See how it works for you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:45 PM on August 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


Also,no "number" is a reason to feel bad about yourself! Sex is a good thing.

I mean, yeah, someone like Wilt Chamberlain might want to look at why he had sex with so many strangers and why he didn't treat all of them respectfully, but it's about ethics and behaviors, not some absolute metric.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:50 PM on August 21, 2012


Nthing the advice to arrange first dates earlier in the day, with less use of alcohol and otherwise arrange it so the opportunity (to be asked for sex on a first date) is less likely to come up. Then maybe transition into sober dinner dates with some opportunuity but not as blatant as your current dating habits. During these more sober dates, practice saying "no" until you find something that works for you.

Forgive yourself if you don't get it right immediately and wind up, oops, in bed when you hadn't intended it. Do not view it as a big deal. View it as a bad habit you need to unlearn. Iterate until you work it out, or until you find someone worth seeing more long term, whichever comes first.
posted by Michele in California at 4:55 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of the advice above is a bit prim and proper and ambiguous to me, a 31yo guy who went on a lot of okc dates.

"I would love to bone you but I'm tired of fucking every guy I meet, so I'm gonna turn you down every time you ask until the magical point where I don't."

So if you really did say exactly the above (or variations) with the right smile and the right tone, because it's pretty much exactly what you want to convey without artifice, and it's in your authentic unfiltered voice, that would be my advice to you.

It says you're sexual, uninhibited, assertive, funny, and it doesn't shut the guy down.
posted by zeek321 at 5:15 PM on August 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


Assuming you'd like to see the guy again:
"I'm ready to call it a night/go home, but let's get together again soon."

That's it. No explanation needed. At least some of the guys who would have disappeared after early sex will disappear anyway, because they didn't get early sex.

Someone who is genuinely interested in you as a person will not be upset by waiting a little while for sex. Also, anyone who interrogates you for saying you want to go home isn't interested in a relationship.

Also, playing games by withholding sex or using it as bait for a second, third, fourth date is eventually going to cause you and the other person problems.
posted by cnc at 5:16 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have to date someone for a WHILE before any kind of sexual involvement. (But that's me and I fully admit that I'm a weirdo.) When my boyfriend and I were first dating, all our dates were in public places*. We didn't go back to each other's homes (partly because we met online and I am paranoid) so fooling around or sex weren't anything that was remotely possible until we'd been dating for about a month or so. It was basically like the whole world was our chaperone. So, one way to keep things from getting hot and heavy faster than you want to would be to keep your dates in restaurants, bars, book stores, movie theaters, whatever. I don't know if my guy is, like, preternaturally patient, but this was not a big deal at all for the first 10 or so dates.

*Of course this did lead to us walking around a shopping center parking lot for an hour (after the Borders bookstore closed and kicked us out) so we could keep talking on our second date. But that's a fond, silly memory.
posted by Aquifer at 5:29 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Thanks for the great night, I've gotta get home now, got to do X tomorrow so need to be up bright and early. This was really fun, call me okay?"
posted by smoke at 5:35 PM on August 21, 2012


Nthing "non-sexytime" limited-alcohol first dates. Brunch, coffee, museum, etc. Save the late night dates for when you consciously want to sleep with the guy.

Alternatively, make plans for the next morning, so you really have a reason to head home. Perhaps breakfast with a friend, yoga class, something that you have an incentive not to blow off.
posted by Fig at 7:03 PM on August 21, 2012


willing to go out on a date at night =/= sex later. Making out on a park bench =/= sex later. Night date = date at night. Making out on a bench = sitting on a bench making out.

what the fuck am I supposed to say? I want them to stick around. ....I don't know how to shut them down without shutting it ALL down and making them ditch me.

If a guy ditches you because you won't have sex on a first date, he's not worth it. It's cliche'd advice, but it's true. If a guy can't understand that A might lead to B, but doesn't guarantee it he's a moron. If he whines, "but we've been making out all night! What else was I supposed to think!?" he's not really emotionally mature, and there's no one thing you can say that will make it okay.

When he says, "my place?" say, "not tonight." Saying that lets him know that there's the potential of another night with a yes. If he says, "when, then?" then you've just discovered that he's mainly interested in getting you into bed, not necessarily having another date with you.

I really don't understand the new rule of "don't make out until you're ready to go all the way!" thing. Making out is a test run for the real deal. How can you know you want to drive the car if you've never even sat in it? If you sit in a car and you find the seat is actually really uncomfortable - the steering wheel is all jammed against your knees and the head support is just really awkward - should you feel obligated to take it for a 30 minute drive anyway so you don't hurt the car?

Ridiculous.


The only guys that will have an issue with you simply saying, "nah" are incredibly immature and there is nothing you could possibly say in one night to change how they feel about the subject.

And if you've been making out with a guy all night, but say "nah" to sex, the reasonably smart ones should know that a woman won't make out with him all night if she's not interested.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 7:32 PM on August 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


You don't need to think of it as suddenly slamming on the brakes giving the guy whiplash making him want to ditch you. Like a stop light, you don't need to go straight from green to red you can put in a yellow light in between and let him know that he has to stop now. A good guy won't even blink at this, bad guys will try to run that light or moan and wail about how stupid traffic laws are.

Point being, there's nothing wrong with telling a guy ahead of time that you want to take things slow. You don't even need to tell the guy this, just signal your wishes at the appropriate time. Any decent guy will respect them.
posted by Green With You at 7:55 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"You're really attractive, but I think it's better to get to know someone more before having sex with them or going back to their place. That said, I have had a great night."

No guy I've ever known has ever taken offense to this. If he pressures you after that, congratulations, you have identified a douchebag and saved yourself the time of getting to know him anymore.

If want a second incentive to stop yourself, wear granny panties and don't shave your legs. (Unless you're a woman who is into granny panties and hairy legs, then it won't work.)

Finally, I motivate myself to hold off on immediate sex, because usually if I wait, a guy is more willing and likely to have sex multiple times. At least statistically speaking. And, I prefer to have sex with the same person multiple times if it's enjoyable and I like him, rather than a series of one night stands. Thus I am motivated to wait and get to know someone, and to try to build up some friendship and anticipation. It doesn't always work but I think the odds are just better.

Plus it's fun. Those days and weeks of anticipation, when holding hands feels sort of amazing because you are at the very early stages of getting to know each other, and there are still surprises to be had (physical and otherwise)... those early days and weeks don't last forever. I think it's nice to enjoy them and maybe even drag them out a bit.
posted by kellybird at 9:36 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've related it before here, but the best way I've been told this was "pants stay on tonight".
posted by ead at 12:40 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nocturnal drunkenness, dancing, incidental physical contact, and any clear signs that you are interested in the guy are all going to result in "Right! I think she likes me!" thoughts by most guys, and making out on a park bench for an hour pretty much says "fucking time!" to anyone, especially to anyone who has been drinking and dancing and is now thinking about bed alone or accompanied.

You need to be sober and doing something in the daytime (outdoors activities? hiking?) that could be interpreted as simply being friendly. Arrange to do things together on a Saturday morning (bird watching!), followed by a nice lunch (but not getting drunk), followed by relaxed promises to get together again soon. ("I had a good time. Can we do this again next Saturday?") You need to not be making out on a park bench for an hour, because then he's going to expect that you slip off somewhere for an afternoon romp and he's going to be very disappointed at your mixed signals. If push comes to shove, explain that you're not not looking for sex, but you're not looking for an immediate jump into bed with a guy you hardly know. If he doesn't go for that, he's not what you're after. Date successful. Job done.
posted by pracowity at 4:17 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like "Let's stop here for now," said with as much affection as you feel and, if you like, a naughty smile and heavy exhale or shiver indicating how much restraint it's taking to keep you from ripping his clothes off, and how much fun you're sure it would/will be if you end up going further later on.

It also works perfectly well said matter-of-factly and politely, no additional subtext required.
posted by argonauta at 5:38 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't have P in V sex with someone until you've both gotten an STD test. This works in two ways, it takes a week or two to get test results back, and you aren't going to ask someone you just met a few hours ago because it's not an easy thing to bust out with.

I've gathered that most people don't do this, both from reactions I get and all the above replies where no one mentions stds. I've never had a guy say no, and a few have said how relieved they are that I'm careful. The times someone has stammered out that they don't sleep around aaaannd I just look at them silently with this face :| and they start telling me when they can make the appointment.

(Also being really prone to bladder infections cuts down on quick sex as I have to think to myself "Is this going to be worth excruciating pain later?", but I don't recommend that route AT ALL)
posted by Dynex at 7:05 AM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


"willing to go out on a date at night =/= sex later. Making out on a park bench =/= sex later. Night date = date at night. Making out on a bench = sitting on a bench making out."

While this is true and the men you date should be respectful of your choice to not sleep with them I think the advice to avoid these things is more about not putting yourself in a position where you feel horny and are in a position to do something you might regret. Sometimes the best way to break a pattern of behavior is to change the behaviors and situations surrounding it.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:05 AM on August 22, 2012


I feel like you're caught between a mythical Scylla and an illusory Charybdis. Namely that on the one hand you want sex and want to be sex-positive, and on the other hand you don't want to jump into new sexual relationships with new people or feel or be viewed as sex-negative.

None of those things is actually at war with any of the others. You are allowed to want sex and yet not want to jump into a sexual relationship with new people. Setting appropriate sexual boundaries is not being sex-negative. Actually, it's an integral part of being sex-positive.

While I love the suggestions for how to avoid the situation coming up at all (daytime dates, less alcohol, etc.), I don't think that will really address your problem, which is internal. It is really hard to "feel" that you're joyously expressing your sexuality by NOT having sex. But you really need to find a way to rejoice in NOT having sex. I don't know what works for you or what makes you happy, but think of a way to really celebrate your decision not to have sex rather than wallowing in your doubt and self-denial.
posted by jph at 8:24 AM on August 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Don't have P in V sex with someone until you've both gotten an STD test.

I dont want to bash this sentiment, as I totally see the value in it, but at the same time, as a guy, this would strike me as odd. I have no interest or care in a girl's "number", but if I was hit with this on date 1 or 2 I'd think either

A: this girl has had some bad STD experiences that warrant this kind of paranoia
B: this girl has unreasonable paranoia

and I'm just being honest, those are my first 2 gut reactions because as Dynex agreed, its not all that commonplace, at least not in my experience.

HOWEVER, my advice is very similar to Dynex's, in that I would suggest dating someone until you TRUST them enough to believe when they say they're clean. That may not sway a true manipulator but you said you're in your mid 20's, you can start dating adults who don't pull crap like that (I'm 25, it seems me and my friends are settling down with longterm girlfriends who we dont pull this crap on). It would at least guarantee you a couple weeks and enough dates to build up that trust. And as for what to say: "I dont sleep with people I don't trust, and I just met you." This states 2 things: one, reminding him that despite his cunning charm, he hasn't charmed his way into your pants and two, by stating that you're essential strangers now, you won't always be if you keep dating.

Had girls just straight up say "I date 3 months before sex" and that doesnt fly, because its picking an arbitrary date out of a hat with no bearing on the situation and comes off as immature to me. If I like a girl and she's showing signs of liking me back, I'll date her as long as it takes, but just to say "thats the rule" means you're gonna find alot more hard-fast "rules" in the relationship down the line.
posted by el_yucateco at 8:56 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


dating someone until you TRUST them enough to believe when they say they're clean

I fully agree with this, but I would add that you should not trust anyone who says they're clean unless they've been recently tested and show you the results. Trusting someone enough to believe when they say their clean is roughly analogous to trusting someone enough to believe when they say their religion is true - it's less a matter of trust than a matter of evidence.
posted by The World Famous at 9:35 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


'they're' crap
posted by The World Famous at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2012


Yah, if someone labels you as paranoid because you don't want to deal with an STD and are taking the necessary steps to prevent it, especially considering how much more harmful some of them can be to women (infertility and cancer) and that many people are symptom free, don't sleep with that person.

It's not just about STDs, it's a good way to judge a persons character. You'll learn something about the men when you have this conversation, often it will be positive. If its negative, maybe you do to want to sleep with them at all.

And I agree that this could be how you are framing "sex positive" in your mind. I'm very sex positive, I'm also cautious and risk adverse. The latter does not cancel out the former.
posted by Dynex at 10:08 AM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not just about STDs, it's a good way to judge a persons character. You'll learn something about the men when you have this conversation, often it will be positive. If its negative, maybe you do to want to sleep with them at all.

This is really judgmental. The actual risks from protected sex are quite small, and it's not crazy to take a calculated risk and have protected P in V sex with a stranger. It's also not crazy to want to avoid those risks. YOU have made decisions that work for YOU, but implying that the OP's moral fiber is lacking because she has a different philosophy re: STD testing is pretty uncool.

OP: Do what makes you happy, keeps you as safe as you want to be, and works for you.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:47 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is very good to know you're attracted to someone, and that they're attracted to you, so the intense sexual attraction is good. If you tell a person you're attracted to them, but also that you're not comfortable having sex with them so quickly, their response will tell you a lot about them. I can say from firsthand experience in all possible combinations that there is no correlation between length of time before sex and success of the relationship in general...but telling someone that you'd like to wait and get to know them better often reveals very interesting (sometimes good, sometimes bad) things about that person.

Mind you, I say this as a guy who has -- on many occasions -- been unwilling to move as quickly as past girlfriends have wanted to move, and with one exception they've said later that my desire to wait really made them look at me differently (in a positive way.) I would imagine you'd like to be with a guy who viewed you in a similarly positive light after you'd said you wanted to wait, yes?

As to how you resist from a physical perspective...that's a matter of being disciplined enough to avoid being in physical spaces where sex is possible.
posted by davejay at 11:15 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Had girls just straight up say "I date 3 months before sex" and that doesnt fly, because its picking an arbitrary date out of a hat with no bearing on the situation and comes off as immature to me. If I like a girl and she's showing signs of liking me back, I'll date her as long as it takes, but just to say "thats the rule" means you're gonna find alot more hard-fast "rules" in the relationship down the line.

I just wanted to give a slightly different point of view on this; in my experience, I interpret these as boundaries, not rules, with appreciation that they're being clear on their boundaries (as I tend to be clear on my own.) Also, I understand that these boundaries often get established during clear-headed consideration moments where a person has decided to avoid repeating past mistakes, and I respect that. So your mileage may vary (positively or negatively) on rules/boundaries as noted.
posted by davejay at 11:20 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I admit to not having read all the responses here... but last time I went on a first date (from OKC!), I intentionally wore not-very-cute underwear and didn't shave my legs (I was wearing pants, so it's not like my date was going to see or accidentally feel that i had stubbly legs). I thought it would be a good deterrent, but I ended up sleeping with him anyway. I thought, "Well, I like him enough that I'm not actually just cool with sleeping with him, but doing it not having exactly prepared for it."

We're still together (and living together) over a year later, we laugh about it sometimes.

I also like to $200 rule.
posted by jorlyfish at 11:34 AM on August 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I never made a comment about anyone's moral fibre. The OP is asking for potential boundaries, I offered one she may consider. The thing about boundaries is that when you let others know about it, some people react very badly. It's best to avoid those people. That is pretty standard Meta advice.
posted by Dynex at 3:17 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


making out on a park bench for an hour pretty much says "fucking time!" to anyone

No. It says "[guaranteed] fucking time" to some people. I am saying the OP needs to wonder if she wants to deal with those people, when there are quite a number of people that are not like that out there.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 4:53 PM on August 22, 2012


Say it BEFORE the end of the night. While you are having a conversation earlier in the night mention it. It will keep it from being awkward at the end. I started telling people that I don't want to have sex until I am in a monogamous relationship. I was terrified to say that. But what I found was that it made no difference at all on people wanting to see me again. Totally rad!

As to what to say exactly, use some of the suggestions above, just incorporate it to work earlier in the night.
posted by Vaike at 10:16 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're at the point where this happens on every date, you are not in the worst place to be. Sleeping with / not sleeping with people on the early dates, in my experience, has zero bearing on whether there are future dates. You literally cannot predict it. (And obviously it's not a moral thing either way.)

But since you want to change this - honestly, faking it until you make it might be the best solution here. By that, I mean practical hacks:

* Have something to do early the next morning that you cannot flake on. Doctor's appointment. Work deadline. Early meeting. The farther from your and his apartment, the better.

* Schedule dates during your period. Not that this necessarily means "no sex," but it does tend to be the sort of thing you may not want to get into with strangers, you know?

* Don't clean your apartment, like, potentially embarrassing levels of clutter; then schedule dates where it is easiest to get to your place, not his. (I am assuming you take public transportation.)

* Along those lines some people I know swear by the don't shave / wear granny panties route. I have never tried this but it seems to work OK for some people. (But see jorlyfish's comment.)
posted by dekathelon at 8:06 PM on August 23, 2012


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