USA TODAY US Edition
Sex before dating OK, but phone cracked? Forget it
Rules have changed, singles survey shows
If you thought sleeping with someone before a first date was a no-go, but texting during a date was OK, think again.
While the rule of thumb may have been wait to have sex until a third date, 34% of singles have had sex before a first date, and Millennials are 48% more likely to have sex before a first date than all other generations of singles, according to the annual Singles in America survey, funded by Dallas-based dating service Match and conducted by Research Now.
Millennials especially are unencumbered by fears that may have held people back from sex in the past, says Helen Fisher a biological anthropologist and chief scientific adviser to Match, who helped develop the representative survey of more than 5,000 singles.
“We have a real misunderstanding of Millennials,” she says. “I think they are very career-oriented, so sex before the first date could be a ‘sex interview,’ where they want to know if they want to spend time with this person.”
In many ways sex has become a less intimate part of dating, says Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a li- censed clinical social worker and certified sex therapist. With dating apps making it easier than ever to hop in bed, now the intimate part can oftentimes be introducing a partner to friends and family.
“We used to think of sex as you crossed the line now you are in an intimate zone, but now sex is almost a given and it’s not the intimate part,” Anderson says. “The intimate part is getting to know someone and going on a date.”
And while 40% of singles have dated someone they met online, they don’t want technology to spill over to the actual dates.
Before an actual date, 42% of singles said they judge a date by their social media posts. But one in four singles is turned off if a date answers his phone without any explanation, and more than half are turned off by texting during the date.
“On one hand people judge potential sexual partners based on social media posts, but then they also want them to put (their phones) down,” Anderson says.
Oh, and that cracked phone you’re waiting to upgrade? Time to lose it, Fisher says.
“Singles don’t like people who have a cracked phone, or an old phone or those who use a clicking sound when typing,” she says.