shutterstock_151491074__1394223488_142.196.167.223If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “you should never have sex on the first date,” I would probably only have about ten dollars because my friends aren’t archaic, sexist jerks who actually believe the notion that sex is a prize to be won by a man and the longer the woman holds out – the better.

Philip N. Cohen, sociology professor at the University of Maryland is shedding some light on why we may feel the way we do about the timing of sexual relationships. I’m sure plenty of people would say that a relationship is doomed if you have sex on the first date. Cohen says, a relationship is doomed if you don’t like each other – and liking each other has nothing to do with whether or not you had sex on the first date:

Like all theories, this one assumes a lot. It assumes you (women) decide when couples will have sex, because it assumes men always want to, and it assumes men’s opinion of you is based on your sexual behavior. With these assumptions in place, the data appear to confirm the theory.

But what if that those assumptions aren’t true? What if couples just have more dates when they enjoy each other’s company, and men actually just call back when they like you? If this is the case, then what really determines whether the guy calls back is how well-matched the couple is, and how the relationship is going, which also determines how many dates you have.

What a novel idea. I know personally I have never dated an ape who thinks that all women should don a chastity belt until they have some indication that their mate may considering them for marriage. By my own very scientific research, I also know that if you really like someone, then share a night of mind-blowing sex – you still like them. Weird.

By this interpretation, the decision about when to have sex is arbitrary and doesn’t affect anything. All that matters is how much the couple like and are attracted to each other, which determines how many dates they have, and whether the guy calls back. Every couple has a first date, but only a few make it to the seventh date. It appears that the first-date-sex couples usually don’t last because people don’t know each other very well on first dates and they have a high rate of failure regardless of sex.

See? He or she isn’t not calling because you gave it up on the first date, they just don’t really like you. It’s time to give up the notion that sex is a prize and your mate needs to earn it. If you are an adult – sex is not a prize. It’s a totally normal way of communicating with someone that you are into. If you are dating someone who you think would judge you for sleeping with them on the first date, you’re probably not a good fit anyway. Unless you are a glutton for punishment and you hate yourself.

Early sex doesn’t destroy the prospect of longer term relationships; bad breath and stupidity, and a lack of a sense of humor do. Okay, that last part is my opinion.

(photo: Patricia Chumilla/ Shutterstock)