Sex Advice

Dear Dr. Locker: I'm 26, looking for a boyfriend. I have had sex with about 6 guys in my life, some boyfriends, but I never figured out: Should I have sex after a few dates to see if the sex will be good enough for a relationship, or wait for months until we have a committed relationship and love?

Answer from Dr. Locker

Deciding whether you need love and exclusivity is a very personal choice, and it is all about your values and expectations. Many people wait to give a green light to sex until they know they are in an exclusive relationship. The key word is "know" — not assume, or guess, or hope. Research has found that guys who want relationships are more likely to commit to a relationship if the woman requires that they wait to have sex. Really. I know it sounds cliche but, if you have sex too early, the guy will not think that YOU are relationship material. So if you're looking for a serious boyfriend, then waiting for exclusivity may be the best way to go.

Why does exclusivity make such a difference? Many people feel that sex is more special and meaningful when they know that they are only sharing it with one person -- thus enhancing the strength of their relationship. It may reflect the values and moral of the people. Also, commitment helps people feel more comfortable with having sex, because they're secure in the relationship. It can make you feel more trust, and therefore, you may feel more ease experimenting and not embarrassed when sex feels awkward. (Sometimes if people have sex too early without a commitment, they feel embarrassed after and then run away from the relationship). So...If you want exclusivity, then when you start dating someone new, ask, 'Are you dating anyone else right now?' That will get the conversation flowing about commitment and expectations.

If you want to have sex after a couple of dates, (since you are all grown up and not a virgin or teenager) that is your personal choice. You need to think about your own values! Some people enjoy having sex early as the very way they figure out if they want to hang around for the long haul. They feel that it takes time to cultivate a relationship, and sex is just an early step in that process. But you would need to think this through carefully and decide for yourself which is right for you: sex early or sex after a full commitment. Also, if you've always had sex early and not had luck finding a commitment, then may want to try waiting next time. And: USE CONDOMS and birth control every time you have sex, especially with a new partner.

Copyright © Dr. Sari Locker