How to navigate getting intimate on early dates – tips from a sexpert

The most important thing is to trust your gut (Picture: Getty Images)

The third date rule is dead – we’ve established that.

But just in case you needed further proof, a survey by dating app Happn found that more modern singles (34%) prefer to get physical on the first or second date rather than waiting until their third (30%).

Ipek Kucuk, dating expert at Happn, says: ‘It is so encouraging to see singles doing things their own way,’ adding: ‘When it comes to dating, the most important thing is to follow your gut, and if it’s telling you it’s time to get intimate and your date is up for it too, then why not?’

Whether you’re comfortable getting sexy on first dates or you’d rather wait, those initial intimate encounters can be equal parts exciting and awkward.

If you’re on the dating scene and looking for advice, sexual health specialist and presenter of Channel 4’s The Sex Clinic Sarah Mulindwa has shared her advice on how to navigate those early days…

The first time

On TV, they always make the first time a couple has sex look like the most romantic, seamless, orgasmic interaction.

However, it often takes time to learn what makes each other tick, and there needs to be at least a little chat about things like protection.

‘Let’s be honest, the first time is rarely the best with a new partner,’ says Sarah. ‘Understandably, you are both just getting to know each other intimately and there is so much to learn.

‘What’s for certain is that there is a lot of sexual chemistry, so my advice is to absolutely ride the wave. You’ve got every reason to be feeling confident so be as adventurous as you like.

‘But if you’re finding it difficult to read your crush then there is no shame in sticking to the basics – missionary is a great place to start. 

‘Of course, you also need to make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to protection and that both partners are feeling comfortable in the situation. It’s OK to ask questions and clarify what you are both cool with, or not cool with, before taking that step.’

couple embracing each other on sunny dayLet go of rigid ‘rules’ (Picture: Getty Images/Westend61)

Take two

Sarah says the second time you both get down and dirty is a great opportunity to talk about what you both like.

‘This is your chance to be more vocal about what you want,’ she explains, ‘and ask your partner what they want in the bedroom too.

‘Take your time with foreplay and bring some fun into the bedroom. It’s likely you’ll both be thinking back to your first time together also, and will remember aspects that you both enjoyed (and didn’t).

‘Take these memories forward but, this time, tease that next enjoyment of yours. You both know you like each other, so this is the best way to explore your sexual chemistry.

‘Remember, how someone acts in the bedroom often reflects their broader qualities and morals, so this is your chance to find out just how selfless and giving they are.’

Third time’s the charm?

By now, you should both be much more confident around each other.

‘So’, Sarah adds, ‘it’s time to go that one step further, explore new positions and to also test each other a little.

‘Try pushing the boundaries you have so far set in the bedroom: which position does your partner want to try? Is the speed too fast or too slow, and have you voiced this? Is there a scenario you’ve always wanted to try?

‘These are the kinds of questions I want you to ask yourself and each other. Sex on the third occasion could be seen as a decision point, and it’s likely that you’re asking yourself if your partner is someone you can see a future with.

‘I encourage you to be bold with your wants and to absolutely voice them. However, if you or your partner isn’t comfortable then it’s essential to remember that, as a relationship naturally progresses, patience is also important. Either way, no one is a mind-reader (you included) so be bold and honest here.’

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Fourth time lucky

By the time you hit your fourth sex session together, Sarah says it’s time to ‘relax’ into things, but that doesn’t mean you should stop experimenting with new things.

‘Sex with your new partner, now, will be familiar but still surprising,’ she explains, ‘and I want you to carry on with that adventure.

‘In terms of foreplay, we know that women enjoy these activities more (sorry guys) but it’s such an integral part of the whole act. You’ve made a physical and emotional connection and when you’re both in the same place, your time in bed will be insane – in the best way.

‘I truly believe you should never stop exploring your partner’s body, not to mention your own so continue to go further.

‘Dress up, create rules (with consequences!) and keep playing. As long as you’re feeling good, the sex should be great.’

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