Having sex on the first date doesn't ruin a potential relationship, experts say.

Here's The Truth About Whether Hooking Up On The First Date Ruins A Potential Relationship

Two words: Do you.

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It’s unfortunate that we are still worried about whether it’s OK for two consenting adults to have sex on the first date, but here we are. Or that being sexual when and how you want to means you can't find lasting love. Folks, if the old adage “why buy the milk if you can get the cow for free” were true, humans would have ceased to exist on this planet a long time ago. I mean, do you really think every couple you see are together because they waited at least three dates before sleeping together? No, of course not.

So if you ever find yourself thinking, “I slept with him on the first date — now what?” don’t worry. Sex on the first date is not a relationship killer. In fact, in some cases it can actually help you figure out whether or not you and the person you’re with are a good fit. What guys think about sex on the first date or what society tells you is best doesn’t matter — it’s about how you feel and what you’re most comfortable doing.

Are there creeps out there who will hold your sex positivity against you? Of course. But you wouldn’t want to go long-term with someone like that anyway. If they are freaked out or judgmental about your sexuality, it’s likely that those insecurities will show up in a long-term relationship with them.

Here's what having sex on the first date really means for a potential relationship, according to experts.

Is It A Bad Idea To Have Sex On The First Date?

The old belief that if you sleep with someone they will lose all respect for you is dying. Sure, some people cling to those antiquated (and sexist) ideas, but those people are jerks. Not every date has to lead to a full-on relationship — sometimes it’s fun to just hook up. “I think that people don’t say that enough to women, that it’s OK if you just want sex,” Damona Hoffman, certified dating coach and host of the Dates & Mates Podcast, tells Elite Daily. “It doesn’t make you bad.”

Luke Thao, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA) and a member of the PNW Sex Therapy Collective, previously told Elite Daily that there’s nothing wrong with choosing to have sex as long as you are comfortable with it. “We’re all impacted by negative narratives around sex on first dates,” Thao said. “But going into your hookup feeling really led or charged or shamed by those narratives won’t yield much for you. And if you choose not to [have sex on the first date], that’s also OK. Having lots of information and awareness, grace, and self-compassion are what you need when making that decision for yourself.”

OK, so are we done with this stigma? Yes? Good.

Does Sex On The First Date Mean It Won't Become A Relationship?


Here’s the thing: Sleeping with someone on the first date may actually tell you that there is no connection there, so I guess technically it could ruin the relationship, but no more than discovering any other incompatibility. And honestly, wouldn’t you rather know sooner than later?

However, while the taboo about sex on the first date is fading, some experts still warn against it for various reasons. One thing to consider is how leading with sexual chemistry can sometimes cloud your judgment. Relationship and etiquette expert and author April Masini says: “Once you start sleeping with someone, you may tend to let things slide, like deal breakers. Chemistry is not always your friend if you’re looking for a compatible, long-term relationship partner.” Never sacrifice your needs and emotional well-being, no matter how good that first date sex was. And never, ever feel like you owe someone sex.

Another good reason why you might want to hold off, at least at first? Hoffman says the build-up before sex can be fun. “There’s a magical period before you have sex with someone and you’re getting to know them,” Hoffman says. “If you’re interested in a serious relationship and you’re going to be with that person for many years, why rob yourself of that period?”

Does having sex on the first date completely doom any and all potential for a relationship down the road? Of course not. Again, the most important thing is to do what feels right and comfortable for you.

How Should I Proceed After Having Sex On The First Date?

If you choose to hook up on day one, it needs to be because that is what you want, not because of outside pressure or a sense of obligation. "It's totally fine to have sex purely for pleasure without feeling romantic attraction for them or being in a relationship with them," sexuality educator Jamie J. LeClaire previously told Elite Daily. "You might be physically and sexually attracted to a person, but simply don't see a future with them. You might not be looking for or have time for a serious and committed relationship. It's okay because it's your body and your prerogative."

That being said, it helps to have a conversation with your prospective partner about what it is you’re both looking to get out of this encounter. "You can ask, 'What kind of relationship are you looking for?' or tell them what it is you are looking for,” LeClaire said. “The more times you have these conversations, the more natural and normalized they become, the more confident you become, and the easier they are to have."

Whether you sleep with someone within 15 minutes of meeting them or wait forever, there is no way to guarantee that any date will evolve into a long-term relationship, so at the end of the day just do whatever the heck you want — so long as you do it safely (i.e. condoms always!). If it’s to have sex right away, Mazel Tov! Or if your decision is to wait, that’s A-OK, too. The right person will love you whatever you decide.


Damona Hoffman, certified dating expert and host of the Dates & Mates Podcast

Luke Thao, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA) and a member of the PNW Sex Therapy Collective

April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert and author April Masini

Jamie J. LeClaire, sexuality educator

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