How long before you jump into the sack?
FEW moments in any relationship are as exciting, scary and sweet as the first time you do the deed.
A question in many women' heads is: "How long should I wait before stuffing the monkey with someone new?"
Asiphe Ndlela, a Johannesburg psychologist, says while for guys it's more a question of, "How soon can I "get it?", for women it is, "How soon can I give it to him?"
She says the only two people in the world who know when the time is right are the two who are dating, and even then the decision it is still a tricky one.
"Most couples go through a stage called infatuation. This is marked by very strong emotions, always thinking of the other person and lots of passion. Your brain chemistry is actually different during this stage of love.
"It lasts six months for some but for others it can last up to a year. The culprit is the 'love drug' oxytocin, which is released during orgasm in men and women and bonds a couple each time they make love.
"It's easier to assess the relationship when you're not doped up to the eyeballs on oxytocin."
Ndlela says waiting until the emotions have cooled off to have sex can give you a much clearer view of the other person.
She says: "Having sex on a whim, or because of the heat of passion, is never a good idea. Make sure you make a rational decision to have sex, not just an emotional one that you'll regret later.
"You might think you know a person, only to find out later that you didn't. Waiting longer gives you more time to learn about the other person and develop your relationship, before mixing in the problems that sex brings."
She says if a woman has sex so soon it basically says she's desperate, stupid or has very low standards.
She says apart from the dangers of unwanted pregnancy and STDs, another surprising reason for waiting, is that your brain chemistry is out to get you.
Ndlela says the way a relationship starts can often pave the way for its future viability.
"It is wise to delay sex in the beginning if a person can sense there is more to it than just sex.
"Delaying sex also adds anticipation. Many people enter into casual dating relationships with sex forming the basis of the arrangement - but of course this arrangement can never last.
"The girl will start becoming emotionally attached or jealousy will start playing a part because this kind of relationship does not usually lend itself to exclusivity," Ndlela says
But Vivian Ronald, a sexuality expert, says it's a myth that waiting to have sex is a definite way to weed out the bad guys.
"Unfortunately, while having casual sex is often not a good idea, waiting isn't a guarantee either. Some men will be excited by the idea of a woman who seems like a challenge. But once they get a girl into bed they can quickly lose interest."
She says waiting can protect a girl from getting hurt after a one-night stand.
On the other hand, waiting can increase her feelings of attachment, making it more hurtful if things don't work out after she's finally slept with a guy.
"There are no absolute guarantees either way. The most important thing is to make your own decision. The really important consideration is to decide what is right for you with each particular guy.
"Think about sex in terms of what you want, not in terms of what he will think," Ronald says.
She says if you want sex as part of a fling there is nothing wrong with it.
"If you are committed to something more serious, the right time to have sex would be after waiting until you know he feels the same way."
Bad reasons to have sex: www.studiesoflove.com
For Your Ego: This is one of the most stupid reasons to have sex. Sure, it may make you feel sexy or desirable after all, that hot person wouldn't have slept with you if you weren't right? Wrong.
There are plenty of desperate people out there, or people who just want sexual gratification. It really says nothing good about you.
Because Everyone's Doing It: It's true that most people (around 90% according to some polls) have premarital sex. But that doesn't mean you have to do something stupid.
And many of those people that have premarital sex only have sex with one person (their future spouse). So don't sleep around thinking that "everyone is doing it".
You're pressured into it: You think he-she expects it by now? You think they'll leave you for someone else if you don't put out? Well, good riddance to them if they do!
You should never have sex because the other person expects it! And if he-she does expect it, maybe you should start shopping for a new partner that will value you more than sex.
Pity: You should never sleep with someone out of pity. Feeling sorry for someone is a terrible reason to have sex with them!
Wanting Intimacy: Having sex will not build true intimacy in a relationship. In fact, using sex instead of emotional bonding will hurt a relationship. If you can't create intimacy without sex, then you aren't ready for sex.
Revenge: Never a good idea. Sleeping with someone to get back at someone else is just stupid. It won't bring you love or respect, and it may even hurt your reputation with your friends.
Someone who would sleep with you knowing you're in a relationship, or just out of one, isn't someone you want to start a sexual relationship with in the first place.