Love And Hope And Sex And Dreams: Reflections On First Date Fucking

First Date Sex

Fucking on the first date feels like something I’ve been talking about forever and will be talking about forever. Though, maybe there will be a brief respite in my late thirties in between when the last wave of marriages ends and the first wave of divorces begins. It’s been a high stakes proposition since high school, even though it’s taken me more or less since then to admit to myself it’s something I have neuroses about.

Or maybe I had fewer then, and they’ve developed over years of dating, as neuroses are tend to do. I have vague memories of being extremely blasé about whether or not I should sleep with someone immediately, and I can’t remember friends in my early or mid-twenties saying anything more judgmental than, “Ehh. Do what you want.” We’d been reading Cosmopolitan and watching Sex in the City since we were tweens, so the idea of fucking on a first date had long ago lost the sheen of risk, moral or otherwise.

At times, I still feel that way about it, but more so in a nothing-matters-we’re-all-gonna-die type of way, which is not exactly the exhilaration of carefree youth. Even at worst, though, my occasional newfound squeamishness about first date sex isn’t about moral judgment on the act itself, for which I have none. Instead, it’s about calculating exactly how many hoops I want to make a particular man jump through before I feel like he’s worth my sexual attention. I enjoy sucking dick, but I’m not out here doing it for no reason.

My concerns are practical, not emotional. If I’m going to have sex, I want to feel reasonably sure it’s going to be good sex with someone I like as a human being; otherwise, it’s a waste of the time I could spend with my carefully selected $200 vibrator. On the other hand, I can only think of one instance in my (somewhat vast) sexual history where fucking a man on a first date felt like it changed something between us in a negative way. To balance him out, there’s the man I met at a party who asked me on our first date while his dick was still inside me; we went on to have a very nice relationship during which he met my parents and once helped me move.

I started thinking about all of this because of a conversation among a few friends drinking and chatting at my apartment on a particularly snowy day at the beginning of the year. Chloe had just had first date sex the night before, and the rest of us realized it had been quite a while since we’d done the same. But not because we never wanted to–most of my friends echoed my sentiment of being usually skeptical but sometimes game to fuck immediately. Instead, the larger and more emotional trepidation seemed to be coming from the men we’ve been dating in the past few years.

With the man I’d most recently dated, I found our traditionally assigned roles nearly reversed. I slept at his apartment twice before we finally had sex, including the night we met, and although he couldn’t keep his hands off me either time, he kept his dick in his pants, assuring me he wanted to take things slowly. I was worried that he might be keeping performance or size issues a secret until I was more emotionally attached to him and less likely to bail, but when we finally did fuck, everything was fine. Great, even. He just wanted to wait.

And, on reflection, so have a lot of the men I’ve dated recently, who are generally in their thirties and fairly stable. I can’t remember the last time a man tried to come home with me on a first date, let alone tried to pressure me into letting him. Even the man I used to fuck constantly and briefly re-dated over the summer told me he wanted to wait a bit; that was almost immediately after he told me he had used the first time we had sex as masturbation fodder for the better part of two years.

With the sexual buffet that is Brooklyn in front of us, seemingly every single person I know is pulling back a little bit, at least anecdotally. Most of my friends are all in their late twenties and thirties, which makes me think this is a feature instead of a bug when it comes to “hookup culture” and those who still think of it as the emotional endtimes. We came, we saw, we checked out each other’s’ genitalia, and now, based on the information gained, the things we want have evolved.

Sexual freedom doesn’t have to be one night stands and sex parties until you’re elderly and your doctor worries that the boner pills will affect your heart medication. (Although it can be if you want it to be; I wouldn’t judge.) For most people, or at least most people I know, it seems to be manifesting itself as a learning process that results in the happy pursuit of stability and affection. Unlike people fifty years ago, though, we get to ensure our partners can fuck us properly before we commit to anything too serious with them. Thankfully, that’s true even if we don’t always want to find out on the first date.

Illustration, as always, by Emily Griffin.

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