Girl math has nothing on dating math
Jayde Atchison (she/her) // Opinions Editor
Natasha Jones (she/her) // Illustrator
I stare at myself in the mirror, unhappy with the one hair that won’t sit the right way, mad that my outfit doesn’t look like it did in my mind and wondering if the person I’m meeting will look anything like their pictures. Even after dating consistently since I was 17, my first-date jitters still take over my day. I know this is a common feeling among daters—wondering if this will go well, if this will just be a funny anecdote at future parties, or whether it could be my last first date. This is not even including the stress that comes with trying to decide when it’s okay to have sex.
As a cisgender woman who dates men, there is an added layer to the navigation of sexuality online. Movies, magazines and television showcase the importance of not having sex on a first date. The narrative seems to be that men will sleep with you, but they will not take you seriously or think you worthy of pursuing any further. However, if you don’t sleep with them, they’ll think you’re a prude and will find someone else who is more open to sex right away. This is not the case for every woman or man, but it has been a drastically large part of my social upbringing.
The most common advice I remember receiving through real life and the media I was consuming was to wait until the third date to sleep with someone. You’d get to know if they were interested in you more than your looks, you’d see if you actually liked them, and it would feel like you were more in control of the situation. There are dating coaches on TikTok that are currently advising for a three-month no touching rule. No kissing, no petting, no sex.
Unless the abstinence is due to religious reasons, sticking to a strict timeline for sex is bullshit. It feels like you’re testing your potential partner for the wrong reasons. This isn’t Lent—if you want to have sex with someone, and it’s consensual, then just go for it. If the person wants to pursue you past a first, third or seventh date, they will—the act of sex will not be the sole factor.
It shouldn’t be up to a random math equation on when is the perfect time to dip your toe into intimacy (if that’s your thing, no judgment). It should happen when you and your date are both feeling it and want to equally explore things farther. Whether it’s your first time meeting someone or your sixtieth, you should be the one dictating your sex life—not society.
I can preach sexual freedom until my face turns blue, but unfortunately, society still has the little problem of double standards and slut-shaming. If a woman chooses to have sex (arguably before marriage), she is a slut. For a few men still out there, any “body count” is too high of a number. If a man does however, he is practicing his god-given right as a warm-blooded man.
Thankfully there are still many insightful people that don’t hold this archaic belief. Have sex, don’t have sex—it’s not up to anyone else but you. You will find a partner who will fit your chemistry, your needs and your thoughts on intimacy. Keep searching, go on dates and if it’s something that aligns with you—be a slut (or do whatever you want).