Lovely Mess asks:
After a two year hiatus from dating I have recently met someone I'm interested in. Problem is I have not been with anyone since my last relationship. I am ready to commit to someone, but don't know how soon I should give myself up. I don't want him to think I'm a total prude, but I also don't want it to lead to a friends with benefits situation. What should I do?!
Dear Lovely Mess-
Ah, the dating game. Unfortunately we live in a culture full of double standards, undefined rules and are constantly wanting what we cannot have (well, that one is probably more of a universal human trait). Women (and some men, I’m sure) are criticized for giving it up too early or too often, making the dating game more complicated than it really should be. Sometimes it seems we are still living in an era where the old saying, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” still applies to modern day dating.
Before I go any further on the dating game, please be aware that many people do not approach sex and relationships with a double standard. In other words, plenty of folks could care less whether or not you have sex with them on the first date. Secondly, you may want to put your own comfort level above your need to satisfy your partner. Instead of worrying about whether or not your partner will think of you in a certain way depending on how soon you have sex with them, focus on how YOU feel about it. Are you comfortable sleeping with this person sooner than later? Or would you feel more comfortable waiting until the time is right for both you and your partner?
Just as I say in most of my posts, communication with your partner is generally the best way to resolve sex-related issues. If this is someone you are actually considering settling down with for a while, you may want to voice your feelings about when you will feel comfortable enough to have sex with them. Tell your partner you are excited to have hot, steamy sex with them when the time is right, and that you hope they can wait for you in the meantime. Also, discuss any worries you may have (i.e. you do not want him to think you are a total prude). You will be amazed at what a little conversation can do for a (potential) relationship!
If you are hesitant to have this conversation, or if you are still worried that your partner is one of the many people brainwashed by the “we want what we cannot have” mind trap, then perhaps you will be more comfortable waiting a couple of dates before you “go all the way”. With that said, here’s a silly yet effective rule of thumb for sexy non-genital playtime: Always keep your pants on. If your pants don’t come off, you have one more barrier preventing you from having sex. And there are plenty of fun, pleasurable things you can do while keeping your pants on!