Do we have to wait for the third date?

02 January 2011 - 00:40 By Paige Nick

I like to think I'm a seasoned dater. I've certainly been on enough of them. But for the purposes of full disclosure, I should probably point out that while I may have a fair amount of experience, this does not mean I know what I'm talking about in any way, shape or form.

So please take all advice from whence it comes. (Most of the time, I'm just guessing.)

All right, legal disclaimer sorted, now we can get to the part about sex.

Today's question to ponder is this: at what point in the dating process is it considered appropriate to sleep with a guy?

I've been doing a fair bit of research on the subject (ie, sleeping with lots of guys), and I can conclude that there are a number of commonly held beliefs on the subject. Just about everyone, from your granny to your best friend, will theorise that you should never have sex on a first date (even though we've all done it, haven't we? No? Oh.) Word on the street is that guys don't marry girls who do that.

Really? Well, why not? You would think it would be the opposite and here's why - just say a girl sleeps with you on the first date and the sex is phenomenal. Well, future groom, then you already know a couple of important things about this girl. 1: You know she likes you. 2: If the sex was great, well then you know that. And 3: Perhaps she was a little adventurous or kinky, or maybe she did something usually only reserved for special occasions and well, if that's the case then you know she's willing to do that regularly, too. And who wouldn't marry that kind of girl? If I was a guy, she'd be a keeper for sure.

I'm not entirely sure why, but sex on a second date doesn't come up all that much. I suppose if you don't put out on the first date and there is a second date, then I'm guessing most girls are just holding out for the ever popular, saucy third date.

Because probably the most widely held belief is that the third date is go time. In my experience this can lead to some pretty awkward third dates.

Nobody wants to seem presumptuous or over-eager or, dare I say it, promiscuous, but I do think everybody washes just that much more carefully and shaves just that much closer before a third date, just in case.

I wonder who came up with the third date as a benchmark? It does make sense. If you wait till the third date, that's long enough not to come across as easy, but also doesn't leave a guy hanging so long that he spontaneously combusts.

But there are always loopholes and exceptions. For example, in desperate situations, could dinner and a movie be considered two dates?

Or maybe if you change clothes once during the date, can that then be considered two dates? Here's a simple test you can do next time you're in a restaurant on a date.

If you pop off to the loo between courses and change clothes and then come back to the table and your date doesn't notice that anything is different, chances are he's just not that into you in the long-term, call-you-tomorrow kind of sense.

Unless he didn't notice that you'd changed clothes because he's hellishly short-sighted and didn't wear his glasses because he was trying to make a good impression. You should check up on that little detail before you storm out of the restaurant in a huff. Or at least get dessert first, before you desert.

What about the fourth date? Ah, who are we kidding, nobody holds out that long, do they?

The bottom line: sleep with someone when you're ready and when it feels right. Whether it's on the first date or the 99th.

Either that or wait till you're drunk enough, or he's drunk enough. Depending on who's better looking.