Having Sex on the First Date and Slut-Shaming

Can We Stop Slut-Shaming Ourselves Now, Please?

We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, HowAboutWe. Today, Marla Pachter looks into sleeping with a guy on the first date.

Last week, The Cut’s Alyssa Shelasky responded to the new book It's Okay to Sleep With Him on the First Date by Andrea Syrtash and Jeff Wilser, debating whether or not its message is true.

I was excited to learn their theory, which basically says that if the chemistry is there, the to-bang-or-not-to-bang dilemma "doesn't really matter." They argue that as long as you're cool, smart, and lovely, a man doesn't care/notice if you give it up after two margaritas or two months. I wasn't sure if I bought that, though, so I sought out eight couples who went head first to find out how it worked out for them. Are the chances of relationship survival really the same, legs open or closed?

When Shelasky says she asked eight couples, what she actually means is she asked eight women who had slept with a man on the first date. And some of them became couples (and have been together for years), and some of them did not. This is also OK, right? Sometimes things just don't work out.

Now, I don't feel strongly about sleeping with someone on a first date. I do, however, feel strongly that everyone (women, men, whatever) should be able to choose for themselves what they are comfortable doing. It's OK to like sex and feel it's not a big deal. It's also OK to feel it is a big deal and want to wait.

Keep reading for more on slut-shaming and sex on a first date.

But here's the thing — every one* of the women in the article who engaged in fun sexy times on the first date, but did not end up with a boyfriend afterward, concluded that if she had waited a few dates to sleep with the guy she would have earned his respect and they would probably still be going strong. (*Aside from one woman with an anecdote about a tampon incident, who admitted that her guy was a dick.)

Wait. WHAT? Am I crazy? Is this a common thing women feel? Because I find it completely delusional, and it's upsetting for me that many women apparently feel this way:

"Looking back, I’m convinced I made it too easy for him. No challenge. I wish I played it differently — at least then we could have actually dated and not just fucked meaninglessly a few times.”

"I think the inappropriate fooling around ruined it — I mean, I practically blew him in my building's hallway. I guess, for him, the mystery was gone. I was no longer a sophisticated New York woman, but a slutty drunk lush.”

"Then he completely vanished. After all that chasing, he just disappeared! If I waited, he would have given me more respect. I could have roped him in for good."

First of all, what these women are doing is called "slut-shaming." They are slut-shaming themselves, and bringing down all women with them. But also — they're just incorrect. Don't get me wrong, the men in these stories are probably complete and total pigs. But that's actually my point. Why are these women upset that they never saw these pigs again?

For the rest, head to HowAboutWe: Can We Stop Slut-Shaming Ourselves Now, Please?

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