What If We Had A First Date Rule?

The three date ruleYou know the three date rule?

I know you know the three date rule. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

The Three Date Rule is a dating rule of thumb which states that the third date is a milestone in determining whether a woman will consent to physical relations. This is not to be confused with the Three Day Rule cited in the movie Swingers, which states that the “industry standard” waiting period for a guy to call a girl after obtaining her phone number is 3 days, the purpose of which is to not appear desperate.

Sidenote: if you wait three days to call me, this is what will happen by the time you do call:

a) I assume you’re not interested in me and therefore, alas, possess below-average decision-making skills.
b) I am already sleeping with someone else. That guy called right away.

I digress.

The three date rule is a cliché, and it is not even true. That same Wikipedia page says that msn.match.com conducted a survey (so gawd, like, it must be true) asking: how long does it take you to be intimate?

(I wish we didn’t use the word “intimate” as code for having sex. Intimate and getting nekkid can be two different things. Ideally they are entertwined but *heavy sigh* not always.)

(I also don’t like the phrase “make love.” If you are a man who wants to sleep with me and you call it “making love”, please trust and believe it will never happen. Instead, I prefer the economical and multipurpose – it can be a noun, verb, adjective and even punctuation – “fuck”. BEST WORD EVAH.)

Circling back to my point. Survey says y’all are knocking boots

  • On the first date: 12.74%
  • On the second date: 24.94%
  • On the third date: 21.48%
  • On the fourth date or beyond: 34.18%
  • Only after marriage: 6.66%

So the third date rule is obeyed by only 21% of us.

Like you, if I got 21% on a test, I’d be pretty upset. That’s not a great score, especially when we’re talking about scoring.

But in this case, I think that is awesome. Because I think the third date rule is ridiculous.

We should all be having sex on the first date.

Think about it. What if sex on the first date was the rule?

  • You’d get really picky about who you decide to go out with. No more wasting time on pity dates or I’m bored dates or don’t really wanna be here but hey, you’re buying dinner dates. The bar would be set high.
  • Sex is a great icebreaker. It is hard to posture and bluff and pretend when you’re naked. (Unless you’re in porn, and let’s be honest: no one in porn is pretending all that well, either.)
  • All the torturous does he/doesn’t he/or does he just want the booty that goes on for three or four weeks? Eliminated.
  • You screen the sexist guys out. Guys with fucked up attitudes to women and sexuality – you know, the ones who lose respect for you if you put out but unfortunately you get attached to them before you figure that out? You get rid of them right away. No muss, no fuss.
  • If he doesn’t call? Perfect. Better now than a month from now when you actually care.
  • You get to try before you buy. This is important. Haven’t you ever dated someone for a couple of months, started liking them, and then discovered – horrors! – that the two of you are completely sexually incompatible?

I haven’t. Wanna know why?

Maybe I have a first date rule. But don’t tell anyone.


  1. CortGirl

    My husband and I fucked a few hours after we’d met for the first time. We’d known each other for a while (about 2 months) having met online, so there had been plenty of phone calls, emails and chats in between. He offered to help me move into my new place and halfway through the day *WHAM* it was unbelievable! Five years later, things are still pretty awesome :-)

  2. Julie Roads

    Brilliant. Brilliant. And brilliant. I’m recently divorced and agree wholeheartedly. I don’t have time to screw around – and good sex is a must before I would consider a relationship.

    Also – You are an amazing writer. Just so we’re clear.

  3. Dee

    I think sex on the first date is a natural reaction, that is drowned out by social norms that have really screwed up with Darwin’s natural selection. Instead, women are conditioned to evaluate men on the basis of what they have/earn, play mind games, and many settle for the better provider ‘on paper’, to end up with an alpha male that keels over and dies from stress or depression, but what about the rest? I’m interested to know how many women divorced their husbands after the global financial crisis.

  4. i’m so with you on fuck! the phrase make love makes me gag. could you imagine “make love to me hard, baby” “make love to me silly” “make love my brains out” wtml!

    and we pretty much know if we wanna fuck someone’s brains out on the first date, so why wait. maybe till the second if you get off on a little anticipation.

  5. I had sex with my husband within hours of meeting him in person. Regardless of the fact that we had been chatting online for awhile before that, it was still much quicker than a younger me would have thought possible. (Waited until I was 23 to have sex, whatever that might tell you.) Best choice I have made, jumping in. Happily married, fully sated sexually. 😉

  6. I have to say I’m a little disappointed at the absolute absence of offers. Not one person has asked me out. I just publicly proclaimed my easiness…and nothing. Alas.

    @Shannon – I think that says “passion”. We dismiss it as lust or butterflies but sometimes new connection runs deeper than we think.

    @TC – I know a whole lot of married couples who started out as a one night stand. Good sex is the heartbeat of a relationship, and when you’ve got that, AND you like the person and want to hear what they have to say and look forward to breakfast…well now you’ve got something. The everydayness of love is hot.

    @thedevilyousay – honey, I dismissed “intimate”, too. Feminists are fierce. mwah.

    @WickedShawn – WELL SAID.

    @Sam – I like it. Of course.

  7. TC

    Hehe deep dick by the fire…beats “Hey baby wanna go balls deep.”

    In H.S. I had sex with a guy who was not my boyfriend at the time. I was actually dating someone else. So I went negative on the first date rule. Ended up marrying him & we’ve been married for 10 years. The sex rocks more now then ever.

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