The Waiting Game 

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Dear Audrey,
Settle this argument once and for all. How long should I wait before having sex with a guy I've been dating? I'm a single gal, close to 30, who has had a plethora of relationships with men. I have been dating in NYC for six years now and am finally ready to have a serious relationship. I have resorted to reading books on dating, such as The Rules and He's Just Not That Into You, as well as seeking advice from my friends and their boyfriends/husbands. I've been getting conflicting information regarding how long a woman should wait before having sex with a guy she's seeing. The books say to wait (up to 90 days) until you get to know the guy and trust has been established, and a few of my friends have agreed. However, I don't really know anyone who has followed these rules. I feel like making a guy wait a couple of months is insane. What guy is going to wait that long, especially in NYC? I'm not even sure I could wait. My average is about two weeks. Ok, I understand that having sex with a guy I met just a few hours ago at a bar isn't the way to find "the one," but making him wait a month or two sounds crazy. Where's the middle ground between slut and prude?

Ok, barf. Seriously? The Rules? You're better than that. The difference between being a slut and a prude is fuck the patriarchy and its virgin/whore slut-shaming tactics. I mean, look. I know it's rough out there for a single lady. The world is full of creeps and assholes. Finding a partner can be a frustrating process. I know. I get it.

And I know when I say that the right time to fuck a dude is whenever you feel like fucking that particular dude and he feels like fucking you back, whether it be minutes or days or months or never, that people will shake their heads and think "easy for you to say, up on your high horse, but the reality is blah blah blah stereotypes about men and commitment blah."

But seriously? Do you want to be in a long-term relationship with someone who devalues women who do it on the first date? Or who expects that the sexual dynamic between you two will forever be him desiring and you withholding? No, of course you don't.

And I know couples who started out as one night stands, who started out as friends and didn't make out for years, who waited weeks, who waited three dates, who met giving each other HJs in a bathroom. I'm sure you do, too. It's not like there is some magical fuck schedule that will turn someone you're not compatible with into someone you'll love forever and ever. And those books that tell you otherwise are just trying to sell books, and to make you feel like it's somehow your "fault" that you're single, rather than just happenstance.

Which isn't to say that it's wrong to wait until you know and trust someone before you sleep with them. It's just up to you, you know? You're an adult. The rules are that you decide what the rules are, and any guy who divides women into sluts and keepers isn't good enough for you anyway.

for questions and comments, the natural redhead can be reached at sex@thelmagazine.com

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