How to talk about sex on a first date

How to talk about sex on a first date

It’s your first date with someone you’re into and you’re talking about all the things that make you, you. They want to get to know you and you want to get to know them in order to determine if you want to date, have sex or pursue any kind of romantic relationship.

When you really think about it, dating is kinda weird.  You’re trying to get to know someone, working out if you find them attractive and if they’re into you all at the same time. It’s a lot of pressure. Especially these days, with dating apps and seemingly endless options. 

I’ve had quite a few first dates, and when I get to know someone how they talk about sex is important. For people who are looking to have sex, talking about sex on a first date can not only be a great way to break the ice but it can also be an amazing insight to the kind of person they are.

One of my best ever friends-with-benefits connections, was built off talking about sex. I think that’s where the foundation of our stability came from, because we established a comfortability and openness around sex early on. 

I met him out one night in Sydney, when I was on a weekend holiday with my girlfriend. He served us at a restaurant and then we ran into him at a bar afterwards. Pretty soon, it became clear to me that we were going to go home together. But I asked him, to make sure. I was feeling quite bold that night.

“Do you want to take me home?” 

“Yeah, I do.”

“Okay. Let’s have one more drink and then go.”

“I’m not sure I can wait for one more drink. But okay, sounds good.”

By the time we’d had half of our last drink, he called an Uber. 

We got to his house, he poured us wine and put on a record. We sat on the couch, facing each other. It was pretty clear that we were going to have sex, it was just a matter of when. I sensed we had some things to cover first. 

He told me that he’d recently broken up with his fiancee and that the relationship had made him feel sexually trapped towards the end. 

“We didn’t have an open dialogue around sex, even at the start,” he said. 

By the end of the relationship they weren’t intimate at all, and he left feeling as though he’d never had the sex he wanted.

“What kind of sex do you want?” I asked.

Nothing specific, he said, just sex that feels open and explorative. He wanted to feel free to communicate his spontaneous desires.

“I don’t go into sex thinking I want it to be rough, or soft, or passionate or whatever. I just want to let it unfold naturally and I want the freedom to do that. I guess I want to learn how to establish communication in sex from the very start.”

He was doing a good job of it, seeing as we hadn’t had sex yet and I knew we would. It was the first time that a man older than me had opened up such a vulnerable and open dialogue around sex before it had happened. I really liked it. 

I told him some of the things I liked. 

“I don’t have specific things I need in sex,” I said, because I was still in my very early explorative days and I loved — excuse the pun — riding the wave of other peoples’ desires and seeing what they sparked in me.

He asked me if I would be okay with things like light choking and spanking. I said yes, but that I would let him know if I wasn’t enjoying it. He asked me if I liked to give and receive head. I said yes, I’d never not enjoyed receiving head, but that giving head to people with penises sometimes can feel a little aggressive if they take over. He said he wouldn’t do that.

We went on like this for a while, before actually having sex. When we did, the sex was exceptionally good for two bodies that had never been intimate before. We communicated throughout, saying when we liked or didn’t like something, to do something more or less, asking each other how we were feeling.

In previous sexual experiences, I hadn’t enjoyed sex talk because it had felt forced. This felt different, it felt like we were engaging in an experimental journey together. It felt playful. 

We continued to have sex on-and-off for the next year. The sex was always good and I always learnt something, either about myself or a new skill in the bedroom. When we weren’t having sex, we talked a lot about it. Why we liked having sex with each other, how it made us feel, things we’d like to try.

And sure, not every relationship is this sex-talk heavy. But this relationship was a turning point for me, where I learnt the value of talking about sex with people that you’re attracted to and would like to have sex with. It creates an openness from the very beginning that allows for development and growth and stops you from feeling stuck. It also awoke something inside of me, where I realised that having sex with someone consistently is just getting to know them on another level. So, it needs to be discussed.

Imagine you’re dating someone new and you find out they love basketball. You’d ask them about it, right? Maybe go to a game with them, or even shoot some hoops at your local park. You’d put effort into talking about it and getting to know why they love it so much. 

So why doesn’t the same apply with sex?

Personally, I love talking about sex in general. I guess that’s why I write about it. I feel that conversations around sex when we really needed them in high school weren’t accessible, so I’m making up for it now. 

I never enter into a new relationship, situationship or FWB without talking about sex. You know that dating myth that says you need to keep your cards close to your chest in order to remain sexy? That’s BS. It’s hot to talk about how you feel and what you like and what better time to crack open Pandora's box than on a first date?

Below are four ways I’ve talked about sex on a first date, and how you can too. If you like.

Give them a compliment and let the conversation unfold naturally

If you’re feeling super attracted to your date, and you’re finding yourself getting distracted or a little hot under the collar just let them know.

“I really like your hands,” I told a date once. He was gesturing a lot with them and they were big and rugged looking and truly, I felt flushed. So I told him. He liked it. 

“That’s nice of you to say,” he said, looking down at them. “I like your lips.”

We went on complimenting each other for a bit which then turned into talking about sex and what we liked. 

Honest compliments are really nice and refreshing, especially on a first date. They can make you and the person you’re on a date with feel comfortable, knowing what you’re thinking.

Of course it’s important to read the scenario and be respectful of others, but for the most part, being upfront about things is always a good option.

If you feel comfortable, lead the conversation by opening up about your own feelings

“I actually haven’t been feeling that sexy recently,” I told someone I was on a date with the other night. 

“Like, I’m feeling good about myself but I’m not feeling overly sexual. I don’t feel the urge to have sex.”

This led us into a super interesting conversation around the journey of sexual desire and how it ebbs and flows within us as individuals, as well as in relationships. We discussed the patterns of sexual desire we’d experienced in long-term relationships, vs how we have sex when we’re single.

Although there were definite vibes, the conversation felt comfortable. The more we talked about our own experiences within sex, the more attracted to him I became. I enjoyed his calmness. It made me feel a lot better about the thought of having sex with him in the future.

Straight out ask if you can talk about it

Sometimes, it’s worth being blunt.

A simple “hey, how do you feel talking about sex? I find it’s really interesting/useful on a date” can get the ball rolling especially if you’re sensing potentially sexy vibes between you. 

The more we tiptoe around the topic of sex and intimacy, the more promiscuous it feels. I often find that opening the door even just a little bit can make room for conversation and connection that you didn’t expect. Especially on a first date. 

Play a game of truth

It might sound cliche, but playing games that involve asking questions is one of the best ways to get to know someone. 

Whether it be a simple game of ten questions, taking turns to ask intimate and/or deep questions, or using NORMAL’s sync set they’re always more fun (and enlightening) than you’d expect.

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