Should You Sleep With A Guy On The First Date? If Not, When’s Appropriate?

Morgan Mandriota
Sleeping with a guy on the first date
Ah, the age-old question that most of us sexual beings ask ourselves (and maybe even our friends) whenever we’re about to go on a first date: “Should I sleep with them?”

Perhaps the most important question when going on a first date is actually: “Is there really an *appropriate* time limit on how soon we *should* have sex with someone new? And if so, what is it?" 

Allow us to explore below.

In short, there’s absolutely no right answer. Whether or not you “should” have sex with someone the first time you meet them depends on several factors, but ultimately, it boils down to how YOU feel and what YOUR values are.

Purity culture has influenced many people into thinking that we need to preserve ourselves for X amount of time before having sex with somebody we recently met or are attracted to. Frankly, that’s a load of bullshit! You can do whatever the hell you want to. You make your own rules. You decide what’s best for you. So remember that whatever decision you make is perfectly fine.

Maybe you were blown away by a pickup line from someone on a dating site and your immediate decision is a big, fat “NO.” If this is the case, ask yourself why. Is that the way you’ve always rolled? That’s all good. You don’t need to sleep with anyone on the first date, or the second, or the third. You’re in control and can set your own timeline. If you feel a sense of shame or guilt, ask yourself where it’s stemming from. Is it a deep-rooted shame-based phobia? Are you internalizing someone else’s views that were projected onto you at some point in your life? Perhaps your friends will call you a “slut” or a “whore” after you tell them how your date went (aka you slept with them). Their reaction to your actions is a reflection of them, rather than a reflection of you. Most importantly, how do YOU feel? Remember to stay true to yourself, because you’re the only one who can make the right judgment and the decision that’s best for you.

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Are you on the fence? Consider asking yourself the following questions to dig deeper and help you decide whether or not you might want to sleep with them on the first date:

  • What are the pros and cons of sleeping with this person on the first date?
  • Is anything holding you back? If so, what is it? 
  • How’s the chemistry between you and your potential partner? Do they respect you and care about you?
  • Are you and your potential partner both expressing and granting enthusiastic, undeniable consent?
  • Have you had a conversation about your intentions and what the two of you want after the first date or sexual experience? 
  • Are there any reasons why you’d feel against sleeping with them on the first date?
  • What decision would make you feel best/happiest/comfortable in the morning?
  • When was the last time you had an STI test, and what were the results? And when was their last time?
  • Do you have protection readily available? 

If you have undeniable chemistry with someone, everyone on board is giving consent, you have a form of protection on hand, and you feel confident about your decision, then go ahead and sleep with them! 

On that note, if you do plan to have sex with a guy on the first date, then try to keep these guidelines in mind: 

1. Ask When They Had Their Last STI/STD Test

When was the last time you had an STI/STD test? And what were your results? Also, keep in mind that not every test is going to cover all the bases. For example, not all doctors regularly test for HSV or HPV – you have to explicitly ask for it. Your potential partner should also be able to tell you when their last test was and what their results were. If they can’t give you a clear answer, then you might want to hold off until they get re-tested and provide you with the results. If you both tested negative for any sexually transmitted infections or diseases, then use a condom or another form of protection and be on your merry way to Pleasureville. 

2. Use Contraceptives

Although you might first think of condoms when it comes to contraceptives, there are tons of other options for sexual protection, like birth control pills, dental dams, diaphragms, finger gloves, caps, etc. However, remember that birth control pills don’t protect against contracting STIs, so condoms are always recommended. It may sound cheesy, but safe sex is smart sex. 

3. Make Sure Both Parties Give Enthusiastic Consent

Consent is king! This means that ALL parties involved in the sexual experience must give an undeniable, total, overwhelming “YES.” “Eh, OK” doesn’t count. Neither does “sure.” Consent involves a verbal “yes” and clear, receptive body language. If you don’t receive a “HELL YES” then it’s a “HELL NO.” Also, remember that if you originally said yes, you can (and are encouraged to) stop at any time if/whenever things change.

4. Have a Conversation

We’re all adults. Don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want and where you stand on your decision. Express your intentions, needs, and wants before, during, and after the sexual experience. Are you/they sleeping with anyone else? Check in with yourself and your partner to ensure you’re both on the same page prior to heading to the bedroom (or the backseat of the car after dinner) so the experience is enjoyable and fulfilling for everyone involved.

5. Be True to Yourself 

Again, the decision to sleep with them or not is entirely in your hands. If you want to, then go for it! If you don’t want to, then don’t. Whatever you do, stay true to yourself and how you feel. Pay attention to your intuition, and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you have a feeling you’ll regret it after, then it’s totally okay to say no. If they argue or plead to try to get you to change your mind, they can go F themselves after you leave. If they’re cool about it, consider having another date and checking in to see how you feel then. You have nothing but time. Don’t feel rushed into making any decisions if you’re not ready.

The Choice Is Yours

At the end of the day, nobody can tell you “yes” or “no” to having sex with anyone on the first date. If they do, then that’s just them projecting their own values onto you. You’re free to act however you want to at whatever time with whoever you want. Just remember to stay aligned with how you feel and always practice safe, healthy, and consensual sex if you choose to have it. Whether you choose to sleep with them or not, the choice is 100% yours, and you’re free and encouraged to do whatever the hell you feel is best. And don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. 

In search of a special someone? Or maybe just a hookup? Check out our list of the best dating sites so you can find what you’re looking for, and do it your way.    

Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota is a freelance sex and wellness writer with bylines at Betches, Health.com, and BuzzFeed. Her insight has been quoted in Cosmopolitan, Tinder, The New York Times, and more. When Morgan isn't writing about orgasms, dating struggles, or CBD, she loves traveling, eating tacos, and training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.