The one key difference between the sexes (sex!) fuels many, many other differences, including how men and women tend to view sex on the first date.
Stereotypically speaking, women habitually overthink it, scrutinizing and analyzing every decision they make -- or don’t make -- on a date. And that action -- or inaction -- will be crucial in determining the future course of the relationship.
For guys, well, let's just say the typical mode of operation is much simpler, constantly set to "I would very much like to have sex tonight."
But is it really as simple as all that? We decided to break down the “to bang or not to bang” on the first date question in several different scenarios, from a guy's and gal's perspective.
Scenario 1: The date is actually going well
Liz: For me it’s an automatic don’t. Because it means I could actually, maybe like this guy; while I think it’s acceptable, if not preferable, to go where the moment takes you, sleeping with him could set the wrong tone before I even find out if there’s potential.
Matt: What tone? The tone that you enjoy sex? That is the most backwards logic I’ve ever heard. Look, whether or not I call you again has nothing to do with whether or not we slept together. It has everything to do with whether or not I liked you. I’ll sleep with you either way.
Liz: You’re saying it makes zero difference whether or not a girl sleeps with you on a first date? She won’t be giving you the “just sex” vibe, whatsoever?
Matt: No, she’s giving me the “I’m confident enough to go for what I want” vibe. Her chances for a second date are actually better.
Liz: I refuse to believe this.
Scenario 2: You've met and almost hooked up before
Matt: This date is about as much of a formality as the NBA regular season.
Liz: Yeah, I think that basically counts as the fifth date... in which case it’s totally acceptable.
Scenario 3: You've made out in public, multiple times, during the date
Liz: Both times this happened to me, I tore myself away, slammed a slice of pizza, and went home (because, dammit, I’m a lady!). And I sorta regret it. There just comes a point where you basically have sex on the first date even when you didn’t, so your "classy" pizza bounce will yield the same results than if you just went through with it -- and it probably would’ve been good.
Matt: Yeah, the “he might lose respect for me” ship sailed the minute you thought it was a good idea to aggressively make out in front of six transients. So at that point, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Scenario 4: You talked about sexual history
Matt: Oh, it’s SO ON. A girl telling you about her sex life is almost as much of a green light as her showing you a butterfly tattoo on her hip.
Liz: This just made feel terrible because it’s so accurate. Getting really into it, emotionally, on a first date is one of the most dangerous things you can do because it’s a heady, heady aphrodisiac for us gals. We feel like we know you when we don’t because we’re so touched you’re letting us in. So we let you in. And, well, just goddammit.
Matt: Sorry, Liz. But thank you, I’m 100% remembering this on my next first date.
Scenario 5: You’re both drinking. A lot.
Liz: Yes and No. Yes, because you’re likely going to want to, and then a huge hangover-induced “NOOOO” when you wake up in, like, Staten Island.
Matt: Yeah, you’re absolutely going to want to. But after 14 shots of whiskey you know who might NOT want to? Your penis. Who is sometimes kind of a lightweight. And an inoperative penis isn’t necessarily the best first impression. I'm not saying DON'T do it, I'm just saying know your (and your penis') limits.
Liz: Gross. Definitely no.
Scenario 6: Nobody's drinking at all
Liz: I have this theory that guys who don’t drink are often better in bed, especially when I drink and they don’t. Still, without the liquid courage, I probably won’t have the balls to ignore my better judgement and have sex with you on the first date.
Matt: Again, who says first date sex should necessarily connote bad judgment? But yeah if nobody is drinking neither of you are going to be relaxed, and at best you're going to end up having sex that's somewhere on the awkward scale between "first kiss" and "middle school dance," in which case date number two probably isn't happening.
Scenario 7: It’s a work night and you live far away
Matt: Who cares? Of COURSE you do it! That long drive home at 5am to beat traffic and subsequent unproductive work day won’t seem so bad with a solid “I just got laid” happy buzz.
Liz: How far is far? Like several subway transfers far? Sounds like a pain the ass. It can wait for a time that’s more convenient for you -- trust me, he’ll still want to.
Matt: Yes, yes he will.
Scenario 8: You need to take out your dog
Liz: Joe (my dog) will always come first. May as well get that out and the open upfront. Also, a pet is a great excuse to dip. But should you not want to, and your pet has an alternative caretaker option for it that evening, go for it.
Matt: Aaaand this is why I don’t date girls with dogs. If spending the night together isn’t worth possibly having to clean a little dog piss out of your carpet, it's probably not going to work out anyway
Liz: God you’re a dick.
Scenario 9: You down a massive dinner
Matt: This is not a good idea. Unless you’ve found a woman who’s turned on by mid-sex garlic burps to the face, you’re going to end up being a bad sex story. A bad sex story with a nasty sideache.
Liz: I’ve never been a big fan of dinner on a first date. That's a boyfriend date. But should this massive dinner happen, odds are certainly slim. I’ll just want to go to sleep.
Matt: Good, well I’m never taking a girl to dinner on a first date again. Just saved me, like, $500 a month. THANKS LIZ!
Scenario 10: You end up at a strip club
Liz: That's really just a Florida thing.
Matt: Swingers club?
Liz: Still a Florida thing. [Editor's note: both correspondents have lived in Florida]
Scenario 11: You will never, ever date this person, but are extremely attracted to him/her.
Matt: Why is this even on here?
Liz: You know why, Matt? Because it’s almost impossible for two people to ever be on the same page in that regard. Because for most of us, with sex comes emotions. So if you actually stumble across this sexual unicorn, ride it for at least a little while. A true fuck buddy is just as hard (maybe harder) to find as true love.
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Thrillist staff writer Matt Meltzer used to be in charge of our Miami edition, and actually dated the person who had the job before him. Check out all the big meals he doesn't eat on dates on Instagram @meltrez1.