When is the right time to sleep with a guy?
This topic often creates a lot of confusion, so I wanted to clarify some of my thoughts on it…
Does sex build connection,
or does a connection make sex even better?
Leave your comment below
Last week we did a video on how important genuine, authentic warmth is in the early stages of meeting someone and dating and I talked about it as being that mid point between being overtly sexual in a way that can hurt your chances and being so cold that someone doesn’t feel like they have a chance. Now we got a comment in response to this from a woman named Paula. I’m going to read her comment right now.
“Matthew, it may not be your intention but you perpetuate the myth that sex should be earned and if a woman is looking for a relationship, she should wait. Men are rather “easy” and (from my experience) they create all the sexual tension very early but somehow you wouldn’t give the same advice to them.” We’ll come back to that in a minute. “Why not aim to change the sex-negative culture that we live in and tell people that it doesn’t matter when they decide to have sex? People have sex for many different reasons. Power dynamics should not be one of them.” Agreed. “If someone wants to stay in your life after the first night, they will. If a guy thinks that having sex with him quickly means that I’m not girlfriend material, great, I don’t want to be with a person who holds this belief and is happy with a double standard. It also makes me sad that someone may think that a sexual interaction WITH THEM makes another person less desirable in the long run. I enjoy your videos. Keep doing great work. It would be great to unpack modern sexual dynamics even more.”
Firstly, thank you Paula for your well-lettered comment. I really enjoyed reading it and I thought this would be an interesting opportunity to shed some light on my views on sex to clarify that position because I feel like it does create some confusion for people.
Now, Paula, I believe you’re referring to this part of the video:
Very often if we have sex before there is a connection that doesn’t feel earned as a level of intimacy. It feels cheap and if it feels cheap it feels disposable.
Now before I go any further, I did also say this in the video, which I think is important.
So now what happens for a lot of people is they get sexual very quickly and then find that it doesn’t go anywhere–which, by the way, is absolutely fine if you’re just having fun being sexual with people.
The reason I play you that is because I first want to stress I don’t care when any gender has sex with somebody else. That doesn’t matter to me. I also want to say before I go any further that, Paula, your instinct that I wouldn’t give the same advice to guys is actually not true. I’ve given guys the exact same advice. If you really like someone don’t be thirsty. Give it a minute. You lose nothing by taking a beat before trying to rush home with this person. But, by trying to rush home with this person, you might actually cheapen this thing that you want to mean something.
Most of us here, I assume, are old enough to know or to have realized that sex doesn’t intrinsically have meaning. Sex can mean something or it can mean nothing. And of course when we do have sex with someone very quickly, if we treat it like it’s the fourth drink of the night, then it will be as important as the fourth drink of the night.
Now it does raise the question, “Does having sex with someone build a connection quicker?” and, in a sense, it can, but it’s a specific kind of connection. We can build a physical connection with that person. We can quickly build chemistry with that person on an intimate level. And especially if the sex is good then you feel like you have something with that person. But that doesn’t mean you have an intellectual connection, it doesn’t mean you have a worldview connection, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have an emotional connection, it doesn’t mean you have a values connection, it just means you have a physical connection.
Now, plenty of relationships can survive for quite some time on just a physical connection but I know many of you will have tried that game and realized ultimately it doesn’t satisfy you. It’s not the person you want to grow old with just because you have a physical connection with them, tempting as it may be.
Paula, I think where we diverge is that you’re making a point about judgment which I absolutely agree with. Should we not do something with someone because we fear their judgment? Should we not have sex cause we’re worried what they’ll think of us the next day? Of course not. Should a guy judge a woman for how quickly she has sex with him? Of course not. But my mind doesn’t go to judgment. It goes to outcome.
The outcome that I believe people who come to me want with someone is to build a real connection, create meaning behind the moments they have with a person, and frankly for the sex they have, or the love making they have, to mean something when it happens. By having sex with someone before there’s an emotional connection we run the risk of this act meaning very little–which, by the way, for those of you who have had sex with someone quickly and you still want to be with them, doesn’t change your being able to be with them. You haven’t ruined it because you’ve had sex with them. It just means that in a sense you’re still at square one.
You can’t assume that you have something more with someone simply because you guys have had sex. It doesn’t work like that. You can still be at level one in terms of having to build a connection with that person.
Now, by the way I don’t want to give you the impression that simply waiting creates connection either. Simply because you allow more time to lapse between meeting someone and having sex with them doesn’t mean that by the time you do it you’ll have all this investment and connection. If someone’s been bread crumbing you and sending you a text a week for the last three months I don’t want you to take all those breadcrumbs and build a giant loaf out of it and be like, “Oh no, we do have something because we’ve been talking for three months so we can have sex now.” You can have sex now, but you won’t necessarily have any more than if you’d done it on night two because you haven’t had real connection in the meantime. There is no substitute for actual connection.
So, time doesn’t guarantee connection either. What time does is it just creates space for connection to occur between two people who are actually investing. That’s it.
So look, have sex when you want. You absolutely shouldn’t fear the judgment of somebody else and people shouldn’t be judging you for how quickly you have sex. But be self aware. Do you want it to mean something? If you do want it to mean something give it a minute because the experience will be greater for the moments you’ve shared together prior to that happening. And if you’ve already done it or if you want to have sex with someone tonight and you want a relationship with them tomorrow, great. But don’t think you’re any further ahead because you had sex with them tonight. You still have to wake up tomorrow morning and do all of the same things to build an actual connection.
Let me know your thoughts.