Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

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should i have sex or not with a guy on a second encounter? we already fooled around naked. i am hesitant because i'd like to have the deed with someone i love. at the same time, i just like to do it since the feeling seems to be strong on both sides, and i do not feel like waiting. besides this is somewhat a long-distance thing..

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    Ah - the eternal question: when to start having sex in a new relationship. No one can answer this but you. However, I can give you a framework to help you make your decision. And to help you with future decisions.

    Think about a time when you were blissfully happy. I'll bet you can remember the event and that you were happy at the time, but those same feelings aren't recreated with the memory. Now think of an unhappy memory - in particular, one where you did something you weren't proud of or where someone did something heinous to you. I'll bet you not only remember the time well, but at least a large measure of the shame, regret or anger feelings have been recreated as well.

    Evolutionarily speaking, this is supposedly because one learns more from failures than success. Happy events don't really contribute to survival; avoiding bad events, however, does. Regardless of the reason, the brain is wired to give bad memories a much higher "stickiness" factor than good ones.

    How this applies to your situation is this: think about how you are going to think about this in the future. Would you regret having sex with him sooner than you want to? How much of a regret would that be? Because your brain will store that regret for a very long time. So think about which decision will cause the least regrets for you and go from there. Good luck!

    reply to Jill
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    Do not think about this as a relationship. It's not one.

    Not because it's long-distance, but because you have only had one encounter. You barely know each other.

    If you want to have sex and are happy to have that be the end of it, then go ahead. Be safe, enjoy it and be prepared for the idea that this might be the last time you ever see or hear from him. If you can live with that, then go for it and don't beat yourself up afterward. Just have fun.

    Because, generally speaking, women bond through sex.

    If men are not already bonded before sex, they see no real reason to bond afterward.

    This is not universal, of course. But it's a good rule of thumb to follow.

    But, if you like him enough to want an actual relationship, you have to bond with your clothes on before sex comes into it. You need to get to know each other apart from your attraction and decide if you're actually a good fit for each other as partners.

    If you're not, that's okay.

    Just go into this with your eyes open, on your terms, and without the mistaken romantic belief that having sex with him will make him fall in love with you. It doesn't work that way outside of TV, movies and books.

    reply to Robynne
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