I’m seeing a wonderful woman and we have a huge physical attraction.
But we agreed to take things slowly and waited nearly three months to sleep together.
You’d have thought this patience would have been rewarded with fireworks for both of us — but somehow the chemistry didn’t translate into great sex.
I know the grown-up thing to do is talk about it, but I feel that doing so may make things even more awkward.
A:What on earth were you hoping to achieve by waiting that long? I know young people are more cautious these days — I’m assuming you’re under 40 — and the three-date rule is now normally five, but when you are in a new relationship the drive to have sex is so primal that most people try to cram five dates into a week.
This is not just my opinion. In 2014 Brian Willoughby and his colleagues at Brigham Young University in the US asked 10,932 people (mostly students) in a relationship how long they had waited before they first had sex with their partner.
The responses were divided into four groups and the results showed that 6.6% of them had never had sexual intercourse.
Nearly 10% of the group had had sex with each other before they began to date. Some 35.5% had sex on their first date, or within the first few weeks of dating, but the majority (47.9%) had sex after a few weeks of dating.
What these results show is that, bar the 6.6% who were in celibate relationships, 93.3% of the participants in the study had had sex within the first few weeks of starting a new relationship.
It is worth pointing out that these results are probably a conservative reflection of what goes on in society because Brigham Young University is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Before you have a conversation about why it isn’t working in the bedroom, you need to seriously ask yourselves why, despite your supposed chemistry, you made the decision to postpone having sex for so long.
Although it is true that some people can like each other, fancy each other even, yet fail to connect sexually, I don’t think that is what is going on here.
One or both of you might have had very good reasons to feel tentative about engaging in sex, whether that’s having been hurt before, a medical problem, or any other matter.
Whatever the issue was, it would have been a much better idea to spend the past three months talking about that, rather than waiting for the “unsaid” to ruin your first sexual experience with each other.
It is also worth reminding you that on a technical level the first time a couple has sex is often a disappointment, simply because you don’t know your way around each other. In the early stages of a relationship that doesn’t matter because the lust propels you with such momentum that you just keep doing it until you get it right.
Part of the fun is learning about each other’s bodies. The problem with waiting three months is that an experience that is always a bit awkward anyway is burdened by a huge weight of expectation, and when it all goes wrong, instead of laughing it off and trying again, you begin to question whether you are sexually compatible.
If, as you say, you are genuinely attracted to each other, and more importantly you like and respect each other, this is a communication problem, not a sexual one.
Everyone tries to present their best ‘self’ in a new relationship, but good sex requires you to make yourself vulnerable to each other, to be open and receptive and authentic.
If you can be honest with each other about everything - the dreadful sex, the waiting, the awkwardness — and if your partner is able to reciprocate your candour with good humour, you have something worth holding on to.
Get the emotional connection right and the sexual connection will follow.