How Long Should You Wait to have Sex?

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By Carisa Carlton

Ask before Sex

Fundamentalists say you shouldn’t have sex until after marriage. The promiscuous see no reason to wait. Somewhere between two extreme thoughts lies an entire nation of singles trying to figure out the best time to enter into a sexual relationship with a new partner. How long do you wait?

The problem with the biblical no-sex-before-marriage is that all too often the newly married couple discovers they are not sexually compatible. A deacon at a local church explained, “The couple is in love so of course they are sexually compatible. It just works.” I disagree. Not only that, but we accept sex as an act of pleasure not reserved only for  those willing to get married.

Having sex too soon destroys the possibility of trust developing and it can make both parties uncomfortable: When’s she leaving or do I need to gnaw off my arm? Add to this the risk of sexually transmitted disease and/or pregnancy, and you have yourself a bonafide disaster that wasn’t worth the orgasm, if you even achieved one.

Richard Craig wrote about the third-date rule, where some men expect sex by date number three, or they dump the woman. In this case, being dumped is a blessing. Who wants a man with these requirements, especially when he’s probably on date number two with another woman?

More and more singles are complaining of loneliness. We are geographically spread across a huge nation. Our families are somewhere in the south, the mid-west, or on another coast. We left for college; we left for jobs; and, we just left. For whatever reason, we are alone. And, even when we aren’t alone, we are buried in an app – alone.

One fit, handsome man recently told me he cried last week because he is lonely. I wonder how much loneliness is responsible for casual sex, drug use, and poor decisions. Some people stay with lovers far past the time of common sense to avoid loneliness. But, for the sake of some emotional and physical protection, we need guidelines.

I have been dating for 34 years (yes, I started dating when I was a baby). I’ve done things every way in the book. I still ask myself how long I should wait – 3 weeks, 3 months? I don’t have the magic number but I’ve noticed a few things that I will share with you. Hopefully, you will share what you have learned and together we can get through the single life less jaded.

Drugs & Alcohol

Sex on drugs is a sporting event. If you think of it as making “love,” you are going to get hurt.

Mutual Friends

In a world, starting a relationship with mutual friends is not likely, but if you have mutual friends, a higher level of respect for one another is normally achieved (assuming your mutual friends are respectable people).


If they are talking about someone else to you, they will talk about you to them. You are safer with people who are discerning. Don’t sleep with someone who is likely to tell others about it unless you don’t care about your reputation.

Watch How They Treat Others

Is the human condition your mate’s top priority? In other words, is she/he aware of and attentive to those around them? Does he go out of his way to help others? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you aren’t ready for a sleep over.

Before sleeping with someone, find out what their expectations of monogamy are, and be realistic about whether they match your own expectations. If your date wants to sleep with you on the first date because you are so special, realize everyone is so special to that person and don’t expect monogamy.


This subject is so broad and so varied, it would be impossible to cover all the things we should consider, but I’d like to hear your ideas.

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Author: Carisa Carlton

Carisa Carlton is the Editor in Chief of Laguna Beach Gazette. Learn more about Carlton at .

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1 Comment

  1. As an older woman, I can say that casual sex just is not worth it. When the love of my life and I started dating, he told me that he didn’t want to have sex until we were sure as to whether we were in love. That made me realize he was a man of morals and truly one that I could count on as a respectful mate.

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