The question of how soon you should sleep with someone in a relationship comes up regularly. Some are happy with the first date, some the third, some the twentieth. There are reasons for and against going for it the moment you feel like it, and making yourself and your partner wait.
I’ve done tried it all. I’ve gone straight in on the first date because it felt right at that moment, I’ve waited until a few dates in, and there are some people still waiting in the vein hope I’ll cave one day… I won’t.
Why wait? Respect. Your body is your temple, it is the sole possession in this whole world that you have total control over. Allowing someone else inside, literally, is a big deal. It leaves you immensely vulnerable and implies an implicit level of trust that can’t be had with a person you barely know. Sex bonds you with a person, however loosely, it’s a bond. To forge such bonds with a stranger leaves you open to pain and heartache. Waiting also ensures the person you’re with is interested in you as a person as well as just for a casual fling. If someone isn’t willing to wait, they’re not worth having.
Why go for it? Because it’s fun. Because denying yourself something that feels right in the moment is unnatural. And, in my experience, whether you get straight to it or not, if someone doesn’t respect you then they don’t respect you. My most damaging relationships were with men who I waited to have sex with. They were men who saw me as a conquest, and, once I had finally given them what they wanted, became possessive and cruel. Abusive on the deepest level.
Ultimately I think that respect for your body, and respect for sex, means you should respect your own choices. If you do not feel comfortable having sex with a person then do not have sex with them. If you feel comfortable and happy, and safe, then have sex with them. Nobody can say what is right and what is wrong within another person’s relationship.
I’ve had relationships last years, months, and until breakfast. Some were good, some were bad, and some were fundamentally wrong. I made a lot of mistakes, and slept with people I quickly regretted. But I learned from it. I learned that sex can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and whilst I don’t think jumping straight into bed with strangers is something to ever be encouraged, I also think there are occasions when it doesn’t actually bring any negatives. Because there are times when things happen and they happen naturally. It doesn’t make it wrong.
If someone is going to hurt you, they will hurt you. If someone is going to respect you, they’re going to respect you. All you have, all you can do, is respect yourself and your decisions, accept the vulnerability of giving someone your body and heart, and hope. Because without hope we have nothing to look forward to. Hope for happiness, hope for fun, hope for love. Accept that the person you’re hoping will give them to you might not, and if they don’t move on. Because someone will.