When I say the date went perfectly, I mean I felt like I was in a rom com. At least at the beginning.
After a few drinks and a candlelit dinner, we were walking towards my place when he stopped me on the street and kissed me.
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I can’t remember who suggested that we go back to mine. I can’t remember who called the Uber. And I can’t remember who made the first move.
But what I won’t ever forget is the sheer sting of rejection when he looked down at me, lying naked and vulnerable on my double bed, and walked out the door.
I still can’t shake the embarrassment. Or the shame I felt when he ghosted me a few agonising days later. It left me wondering what I had done wrong. And whether my desire to sleep with him on the first night was to blame.
But then a Reddit post written by a man who claimed he didn’t want sex on the first date went viral, and it changed the way I think about sex on the first date entirely.
The anti-f**k boy.
“I’m a guy who doesn’t feel comfortable having sex on the first date," the 24-year-old Reddit user wrote. "This may be a little different than the normal first date experiences between men and women. But I’m a straight guy who does not feel comfortable having sex on the first date.
“I don’t have a moral reason for it, or think that casual sex is bad, but I rarely feel comfortable enough with a woman to have sex the first time I meet her.”
He went on to explain that he’d been in situations where women “just assumed I was down [for sex]” and started touching him, when he hadn’t made a move on them, and then they “acted insulted” when he said he wanted to wait.
“It seems that a lot of women in my age range take the rejection of sex on the first date as a sign I’m not interested, even when I explain that I want to see them again,” the man said.
And with that, the notion that all men want on the first date is sex went up in flames.
So, I went straight to the experts to find out more. And it turns out men not wanting to have sex on the first date is more common than you might think.
“Sex isn’t the end goal for everyone.”
Leslie Scholl, a Sydney-based sex therapist, said while “it’s totally fine to want casual sex”, she’s had a number of male clients who feel hurt when women don’t want anything more than that on a first date.
“In the same way that women casually throw out, ‘all men are f**k boys”, I’ve heard some of these men say, ‘all women are not looking for a real relationship, ‘they’re only looking for the bad guys’, and ‘I’m too nice’,” Scholl tells Mamamia.
Scholl explains that some of those who don’t want things to heat up on the first date, are often shy or more introverted.
Or they’re just big old romantics.
“There are people who were raised with some old school beliefs that sex is supposed to be for serious relationships, and they don’t know how to fully connect in a casual way,” Scholl says.
“And I think there’s something romantic in the thought that someone actually wants to get to know you first.
“Or there are people who are more experienced with casual sex, and now feel that that’s not enough anymore.”
Sexologist Selina Nguyen says it's becoming increasingly common for both men and women to swerve sex on the first date.
“There’s definitely been a trend across all genders, normalising and accepting that it’s ok to not always want sex, and that sex isn’t the end goal for everyone,” Nguyen says.
“We’re making baby steps in men being able to talk about their emotions and turning up to therapy, and with that they’re learning that sex isn’t a defining part of their masculinity and that it’s an experience that is best when it’s co-created instead of being performed or out of expectations.”
There's no one size fits all approach.
As for how we should feel about this shift? Well, there is no one size fits all approach.
“Women are often simultaneously worried and glad. Worried that their date might not find them attractive enough if they’re not constantly pushing for sex, but also glad that there isn’t any pressure to rush like there historically has been," Nguyen says,
So it seems the key things is for all parties to be on the same page when it comes to communications.
“The rule of thumb is to be really open about your intentions and then this way we are not hurting other people,” Scholl says.
“It’s totally fine to want casual sex, but it’s letting someone know that upfront.”
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