As an (almost) twenty-something living and dating in a big city, I spend a lot of time considering the “rules” surrounding romantic and sexual relationships. For something that’s so incredibly unique to each person, there sure are a lot of generalizations thrust upon us by general society. As a woman who dates men, I often feel like the rules I’m supposed to follow are not simply male-centric, but genuinely focused on making dating, love, and sex endeavors that benefit primarily the party with the penis (the penis party? Hmm). Here’s three of the most popular rules and why I don’t pay attention to them.
1. No sex until the third date (and not a moment sooner or later).
This is probably the most well-known rule of all, and also one of the most antiquated. The (incredibly misogynistic) saying goes “why would he buy a cow if he knows he can get the milk for free?” In other words, women, you are a sexual commodity, and the only reason a man would ever want to commit to a relationship with you is for his own sexual benefit. If you have sex before the third date, said man will see you as “easy” (again, you are being described a sexual commodity/conquest! Great!!) and definitely not want to continue seeing you unless for sex/booty calls. BTW, you’re not supposed to want that. You should be dating exclusively for the purpose of LTRs or marriage. “Men are the gas pedal and you are the brakes.” YIKES! Also if you try to wait longer than the third date to have sex, you’re a prude and the man will lose interest. So you really can’t win (lock down a guy) unless you’re consistently ready to bone after meeting someone three times – no more and no less.
Conclusion: This rule is bullshit. You are allowed to want sex before the third date. You are allowed to want to wait to have sex until the 109th date. You’re allowed to be a sexual being. If you want a romantic relationship, for god’s sake choose to be with a person who is more interested in YOU than whether they’ll be getting laid. If you want a sexual relationship, don’t let the double standards set for you and the penis party get in your way.
2. Don’t bring up politics, religion, or any other generally divisive topic for at least the first three dates.
Here’s the thing with these topics – for a lot of people, certain viewpoints and lifestyles can be a dealbreaker. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t keep an open mind (you should), but if you are an atheist, it’s likely that a relationship with someone who is a Mormon might not be the most harmonious. These are the viewpoints that shape people’s everyday lives, and certainly their romantic relationships.
Conclusion: Sort of bullshit. You don’t need to whip out a copy of the communist manifesto on the first date, but it’s not a bad idea to get a general idea of where you and the other person stand. Do you both believe in global warming? Are they a member of the KKK? Things like that are topics to get out of the way sooner than later. The smaller stuff will follow.
3. Wait at least until the day after a first date to text again. Also, if they text sparingly, match their wait time to reply.
What is with this “hard to get” stuff? To me, there’s really nothing appealing about someone who tries to play dating games. Just be straightforward. If you want to talk to someone, do it. If you don’t, don’t! Groundbreaking. I don’t know about you, but I’m not on my phone every second of the day. If I don’t reply to someone’s text for a few hours, it doesn’t mean I dislike them or am not interested. It just means I’m not replying immediately. And in the case that someone I dislike or am not interested in reaches out to me, I let them know how I’m feeling. It saves everyone a ton of time and energy.
Conclusion: Definitely bullshit. Communicate in a manner and way that makes you happy, takes everyone’s feelings into account, and doesn’t make for middle school-esque games. Easy peasy!
Whether you are a member of said penis party or not, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on these rules, and the myriad of others that come with the territory. Are they bullshit? Are they law to you? What’s the vagina equivalent to a penis party? Let me know. XO, E