In this modern age of instant gratification that we inhabit, it is easy for one to lose oneself in all the pleasure seeking and desire fulfilling. It is as if our actions are no longer products of a combination of thought and instinct but a mere pursuit of one ephemeral satisfaction after another, jumping from desire to fulfillment and then once again novel desire just as bees jump from plant to plant, searching for a new field to pollinate once they’ve exhausted the previous one. Taking one’s time with something, or anything for that matter, has become such an archaism that we’ve completely forgotten that for any such meaningful thing to develop the time given to nurture it is of absolute importance.
The age of here and now
This state of affairs is no different when it comes to love and love making, as the world’s views about love are a mirror reflecting its present condition. This is the age of Tinder, internet porn, casual sex and instantaneous fun, the industries of which just keep growing exponentially. The UK leading the way with sites like UK Sex Contacts, SwingingHeaven.co.uk and RandyRabbits. In the USA you have mega dating sites like Adult Friend Finder, FuckBook and Lust. You’re always just a few clicks away from satisfying an insatiable hunger, a few swipes away from keeping the beast withing tamed for the moment. But what happened with intimacy, that elusive feeling of warmth which always requires a continual rekindling of the flame and much patience? Has she been lost entirely? Is it possible to find her again if the right amount of time and patience be given before consummation? Is there a proper amount of time to date before getting into the sack?
What does science say?
The question of when to consummate a relationship, especially one still veiled in the mist of a few good dates, is one of paramount importance to both sexes, whether or not we consciously deem it so. The cliche of the famed “third date” has become no more than a (not so) wishful platitude, as sex itself has become a commodity to be traded at will like money or interest. And yet there are still many people out there continually contemplating the question of whether “the time is right”. Of course, in our technologically advanced age, the natural “wiseman” to ask such questions would be science, our great mother and father.
So what does science say when tasked with this innocuous question? Well, the answers range from a few dates to a few months, depending on who you ask. Part of the reason why the answers are all over the place is because, in spite of our “open minded” nature regarding having sex, talking about it is still fairly taboo. In the early 2000s, Illinois State University professor Sandra Metts conducted a study with the aim of ascertaining whether having an emotional connection prior to having sex would be universally beneficial.
Her study ended up providing a list of steps partners should ascend together before being physically intimate, including getting to know the person, sharing a first kiss, building up trust to an expression of commitment. Most psychologists and psychiatrists agree that the key is communication and understanding, not being pushy but acknowledging your partners wishes as well as expressing your own. That being said, here are a few options based on the opinions of certain researchers:
A few weeks
According to Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist from California, a total of 36 hours is all that is required. They need not be consecutive hours, it should be a few well-spent meetings between you to. He thinks that if couples wait too long, the drive to have sex might wither away.
A few months
Based on several studies, psychotherapist Toni Coleman suggests that the best possible time to do it would be after the honeymoon phase of the relationship passes, that is, after a few months. She thinks that couples who wait for the time of pure physical attraction to pass have a much higher probability of lasting compared to those that consummate after a few dates.
Wait until marriage
Of course, this one seems absolutely absurd to the modern man, and rightfully so, as even the research behind it should be taken with a grain of salt since most of it is backed by religious institutions. Still, it’s an option.
What do the people say?
On the ground side of things, in several surveys, between 30-40% of married couples report having sex within the first month of meeting each other, and the numbers are even higher for currently cohabitating couples. It seems that the consensus is that the longer the couple waits to have sex, the better the relationship is, especially after marriage
It seems that there is no universal answer to the question of “when to do it”, so the most astute thing to do is to go out there into the world, and try whatever seems natural while maintaining an effective communication.