Sex be­fore dat­ing OK, but phone cracked? For­get it

Rules have changed, sin­gles sur­vey shows

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Mary Bow­er­man USA TO­DAY Net­work

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.

ARTHURHIDD­EN, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOT­O

For most sin­gles, tex­ting dur­ing a date is a ma­jor turn off.

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