When is sex OK in a relationship?

Inspired by the “Sex before marriage” thread in GD. Not sure if this is a debate or just opinions, so I stuck it here, if for no other reason that to balance the other thread. OK, so…

Let’s say there’s a sliding scale for a relationship. One end is “just met” and the other is “married”. In between are benchmarks that you all can assign as you see fit, such as “Met the parents” or “knows middle name” or whatever you want. The question is what mark does the relationship have to cross before sex is no longer “too soon”? Undoubtedly, some will say you’ve gotta be married. Some will say it’s always ok. Those are valid stances, but I want to know what the middle positions (heh) are.

To me, it’s OK once you both agree on the future of the relationship. Just this week before you head back to Argentina? Shooting for marriage? Once that’s been established, I think both parties know what sex will mean for them and therefore all the bad juju accompanied with sex-got-complicated can be avoided. I think the problems come from something the girl thinking it’s only for tonight and the guy thinking it’s going to last forever. Once that’s settled, there’s nothing stopping the pair.

The people involved are comfortable with it.

Before the appetizer on the first date is generally “too soon.” Other than that, fuck it (pun intended).

Three dates or six drinks, whichever comes first.

For me, sex involves a serious emotional bond and I’m not comfortable fucking before that is established. Wait… that’s not true. I am comfortable fucking before that but I think optimally it should wait for that time. I’m horny what can I say?

As for others, I think as long as there is mutuality, then all systems are go. I think the world would be a better place if some people didn’t treat sex like ‘picking mushrooms from the forest’ (to quote Anscombe), but whatever I’m perfectly content to live and let live.

I would give her at least 20 minutes. After that, it is time to seriously consider just dumping her and moving on. Don’t bother with the speeches. Life is too short for that… You can’t score the high numbers if you dick around.

Let me try to start a list here. People should add or re-sort as they see fit.

See movie
Have dinner
Have sex
Get pregnant

I’d say generally, sex should wait until it’s been established what both parties want (one night or 20 years or anything in between) and can have an intelligent conversation about the risk of pregnancy and/or STIs. I imagine that the first happens more than the second.

Personally, I’d like to wait until I’m confident that I’ve found ‘Mr. Right’, although I’m not sure I’m actually that patient.

I’ve had sex very early in most of my long term relationships. Several on the first day we met, although obviously they were not “one night stands” as we kept seeing each other. I agree with most of those who have posted so far, have sex when you both want to. No arbitrary timeline.

I’ve got no problem having sex with someone right when I meet them. I don’t mind if a girl wants to hold out just because she’s not sure about me. I can respect that level of emotional maturity. But it does piss me off when a woman thinks her sex is some great prize to offer or withhold, and I’d better straighten up and fly right if I expect to get it.

Whenever everyone involved wants to, with or without a continuing relationship.

I have a few questions I ask myself before I have sex with someone.

1.) Would I trust this man alone in my apartment?
2.) Would I introduce this man to my family and friends?
3.) If I got a disease/got pregnant would I know how to track down this man to tell him so and does he seem like he would be a responsible adult in that situation?
4.) Do I feel like this is someone with whom I can be completely naked with all the lights on and not feel the need to hide under a blanket?

If I can answer yes to all of those questions I know I can have sex with that person. I was able to answer yes to all of these questions on my second date with my current boyfriend and that is when we had sex. I have dated other men for up to 6 weeks without being able to answer yes to all of these questions so I never slept with those men. I had a one night stand with a friend of mine a couple of years ago because it felt right and I could answer yes to all of these questions. It isn’t about a specific amount of time for me but more about comfort and trust.

When I trust him.

Well, I definitely think that “Have sex” should occur before “get pregnant.”

I think about 6 months after the first kiss (about 4 months), with significant cushion room either way (for sex and the kiss) depending on the situation. However this is more personal preference rather than any moral standard.

I like the way you think.

Ditto that. It’s different for every one. I haven’t ever gotten this right personally, so I’m guessing, but my current theory is that for me, it will be ok when both people agree that they have enough invested in each other as friends that they would still be an important part of each others lives even if dating didn’t work out.

Ms. Modern Manners says, “Anytime after the lady approves your financial statements.”

Yeah, basically when everybody in the relationship is cool with it. If one is pressuring the other, no go. Me personally, I don’t do one-night stands so I’d like to have known the person I’m doing for a decent amount of time, whether it be through formal dating or just knowing each other.

Sex is never Ok in a relationship! Outrageous! Where would we be with that sort of thing going on all the time?