It was your first date, but you kinda knew what it was hittin’ for before the plates and glasses from dinner even had a chance to be cleared off the table. The chemistry between you and him had been crazy the entire evening. Every time you looked up, he was smiling with his eyes and grinning harder than a new Powerball winner. Because you’re a natural flirt, it was hard not to give him your best vampy, vixen smolder, so eventually you gave up on holding it back and let your body language say the things you’re too ladylike to express out loud. You laughed and joked and played around all the way from the restaurant to the lounge to the car to the plush, queen-sized bed in your room.

Yep, you broke the cardinal rule of all good girl behavior: you got busy on the first date. Legs in the air, hair all over the place, gotta get up to get a glass of water afterwards kind of sex that makes your body smile from the inside out.

But the morning after. Ah, the morning after. The morning after has a way of recoloring the fun you had the night before with an objective, responsible perspective that you didn’t have when the crown of your head was dangling off the edge of the mattress onto the floor. You cut your eye at the almost-stranger with his greasy head all over your favorite accent pillow, mentally scolding yourself for becoming one of those women you and your girls chastise for giving it up too soon. The crazy part is you actually really like this guy. And now you’re worried that he’ll treat you like a one-hit wonder because after all, he did already dig all up in your cookie jar. The possibility of him wanting more in the form of a real relationship is a toss up.

And so begins the morning-after mania of first-date, too-soon, no-commitment, what-the-heck-is-his-last-name-again? sex.

Most guys I’ve heard speak on the subject will say that whether it’s the first date or the fourteenth, bustin’ it up doesn’t have any bearing on whether or not they’ll deal with the girl on a more exclusive level in the future. If he likes her, he likes her regardless and will want to continue seeing her. Apparently, guys don’t sweat the inaugural sexual timeline as much as we do—which really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since they don’t sweat too much of anything as hard as us ladies do.

So the question actually isn’t whether he’ll respect you the morning after. The question is will you respect yourself?

Sex for most women—not all, but most—is all tangled up with intimacy, emotion and positive affirmation. TV shows and articles in Cosmo may make casual sex look contemporary chic, the hip thing to do now that we make power moves in the work world and money moves in our finances. According to the unofficial Sistagirls’ Guide to Modern-Day Mating, success in those areas means we should be able to cleave physical ecstasy from psychological effect. But only a small percentage of women are actually wired to bedhop and bump nasties and do the horizontal Humpty Dance without developing some kind of attachment or racking up a whole heap of baggage from adventures in promiscuity. A man can ho around and live a life that looks like something out of the MTV reality lineup even as a 30 or 40-something bachelor (which is, nonetheless, pretty pathetic), but women are more likely to end up dissatisfied with our whole lives in general if that one part of it—our sexual relationship—is jacked up.

When we’re giving of ourselves in body, we need to be able to do the same emotionally and maintain that connection with our partner. I’m not saying there aren’t women out there who can’t have purely no-strings-attached, you’re-just-a-jumpoff situations. I know some personally who can and have pulled it off. But more often than not, I’ve seen the attempt at casual sex fall flat on its noncommittal face. Before homegirl knows what’s really good, she’s wondering what he’s doing during the day and calling him for reasons other than inviting him to travel down to her happy place. Every time they have sex, she grows a little bit more and a little bit more and then just a little bit more attached to him until, woe is her, she’s smitten. Meanwhile, he can’t zip up his Levis’ fast enough to abort mission via the closest escape route.

Because most women just aren’t built for hit-and-quit sexual rendezvous, it’s no wonder that a chick who gives it up on Day One would be a little worried about her prospects with a guy who pulled a first round TKO. In fact, research shows that gals in monogamous relationships who’ve had just one partner in the context of a relationship over the course of a year are happier, shinier people than the other segment of the population who are dipping into the community pool of naughtiness on a regular basis. It doesn’t take a long tussle with statistics or compiling facts and figures for me. It’s called common sense.

That doesn’t mean a lady who gives up fighting sexual temptation should beat herself up for giving in on the first date. It just means that if she likes him—and likes what she saw the night before—the conversation about the reality of the relationship needs to happen as fast as they operated in the heat of the moment.

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  • Starla

    I have come to the conclusion that none of this matters in the long run. I have known my fair share of females who were virgins on their wedding night, and some were beaten, others cheated on in their marriages. I also have known my fair share of “loose” girls who are now soccer moms and have stable, successful marriages.

    I actually wish I had had more sex, and more lovers now looking back at my life. I wish I had tuned in more to my physical side than paying so much attention to the other aspects of myself. Being sexually explorative is nothing for a woman to be ashamed.

    • The Comment

      OK!!!!!!!!! I was labeled a slut in Jr. High. I went on FB and saw photos of all the so called good girls that the school administrators just loved to death. They are all fat, bloated w/many kids and no man.

      Made the f*ck out of my day.

    • Love Sosa

      bitter black woman.

    • jcross

      O_o I can understand your pain sis, but when you are truly confident and secure in who you are, you would still feel great about yourself even if those girls were fit, happily married millionaires in Beverly Hills…

  • Dave

    Another one of these stupid rules that upon closer examination tells you absolutely nothing about the person your dating. I have a number of female friends who pull the “wait till the second or third date” nonsense who also just so happen to have had quite an impressive number of second or third dates. Now I am not one to judge a women by her sexual body count (nor am I one who finds it necessary to ask one for a rough estimate). To each his/her own, use a condom. But enough already with the superficial “decency” attached to liking sex, wanting sex, and refusing to have it on the first date if you and your potential partner are exchanging some seriously positive vibes. You’re either teasing him or yourself. And believe me girls, if the sex was good (most promiscuous/random sex isn’t) and the date was enjoyable (good conversation/lots of fun) he will call u again.

    • Real Talk

      If it was tight and wet, he will call again even if the date WASN’T enjoyable (good conversation/lots of fun). You’ll get ample opportunities to connect with him on a intellectual, spiritual and emotional level while he’s having his fun. If you connect on those others levels, you’ve both hit the jackpot. If not, he’ll eventually move on but he’ll call every now on then for a quickie.

    • Dave

      That’s actually kind of true.

  • Shar

    I totally agree with the author. There are lots of women I’ve met that think they can have sex on the first date, and have one night sessions with lots of dudes and keep on keepin on like that sh** is no big deal. Yet these same women come asking for advice about what they should do when they find out these same men have other chicks on the side, or don’t call or text them back, or don’t seem as interested as they thought. The emotions begin to take over whether they intend for them to or not.

    Like the author said, there a few women who can manage to mimic the promiscuous behavior of some men without blinking an eyelash. A FEW. But MOST women can’t and are lying to themselves AND everyone else when they go around spouting terms of the minute like “slut shaming”, and using the fact that “men do it too” as an excuse.

    We are not wild animals without the ability for higher level thought processes, and deductive reasoning. Chances are if a man can hit too early, in the back of his mind he’s gonna think you’re easy. He’s gonna wonder how many other men you f***ed on the first night, if he is really interested in you. And if he doesn’t like you that much, he’s going to think about how easy it’s going to be for him to get more. Don’t let men fool/manipulate you into thinking that having sex on the first night doesn’t tell them something about you, other than the fact that you “just like sex”….yeah whateva. Very rarely do things pan out so cut and dry where both parties mutually agree to just have sex and nothing more. RARELY does this happen (not saying it never happens, just rarely).

  • http://twitter.com/AprilImpact April D. Byrd (@AprilImpact)

    This is the kind of whorish behavior thats messing up the economy!

    • Pseudonym

      I would love to be all liberal and “Woman Power!” but…

      Girl, you are SO CORRECT.

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