Hook-up: Wij truly need to talk about the three date rule

At some point overheen the last decade, it’s become the standaard for fresh couples to have hook-up after spending less time than is ter than a working day getting to know one another. But do wij indeed all want to? Helen Coffey asks when wij lost the freedom to say no

7:00AM GMT 07 Nov 2014

When women talk to each other about dating, it often feels spil however there’s an elephant ter the slagroom. You skirt around it, you glance shyly at it, you might even squeeze past it to get to the snack table &#x2013, but you’re never, everzwijn, everzwijn supposed to talk about it.

That lovemaking elephant? That not all of us want to go to bloembed after three dates.

The famous rule &#x2013, whereby the expectation is that after three dates a woman will &#x,waterput out’ sexually speaking &#x2013, never used to affect us much, ter the UK.

Our romantic culture generally consisted of suspending out with mates down the pub, doing some drinking, and then sort of somehow ending up with one of them and not truly discussing the matter until six months ter.

But with the ascent of online dating &#x2013, which is reportedly now the way one te five relationships begin &#x2013, wij have become a date-centric society, particularly te London where it seems that anyone who’s single is on Tinder.

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Wij also seem to be increasingly taken te by dating reclame from across the pond.

Modern day media has a loterijlot to response for, but one of the fattest impacts it’s had relates to what our idea of the sexual status quo looks like.

Ter the Nineties and Noughties wij had an influx of American programmes which told us that a) everyone wasgoed beautiful, b) everyone wasgoed dating all the time, and c) everyone wasgoed having it off all the time.

Friends, however still one of my favourite sitcoms, portrayed a world of nonstop pick-ups and onveranderlijk conquests, with Joey’s ill treatment of the women he slept with being rich comedy fodder (a theme that became an even greater source of inspiration for the god-awful Barney te How I Met Your Mother).

But it wasgoed Hookup and the City that instilled ter us the notion that there wasgoed something a bit wrong with you if you didn’t want to have hookup with somebody after a duo of cocktails and a dinner date.

Lovemaking and the City switched how wij date (and more)

Looming large ter my mind to this day is the gig where Carrie starts dating Aidan. When after a week and a half he hasn’t attempted to get hier into bloemperk, she assumes he’s either gay or not attracted to hier. The message is clear: ten days after meeting someone, if you’re not having hookup, there is a major problem.

Such sexual ’norms’ have slipped insidiously into our dating culture, perhaps without us even consciously realising it. And I don’t think it’s doing us any good.

Rachel Hills, a researcher, speaker and writer whose forthcoming book The Lovemaking Myth investigates ideas around thesis supposed regular sexual behaviours, says, &#x201c,There are a lotsbestemming of people for whom three dates is much too soon to initiate sexual voeling with a fresh person.

&#x201c,But there is an expectation that you need to be sexually active very early on ter a relationship &#x2013, that can be intimidating for those who want to take their time.&#x201d,

Let mij be clear: this absolutely isn’t about bi-atch shaming or having rules about what &#x201c,nice youthful ladies&#x201d, should or shouldn’t do.

It is a fantastic thing that wij have sexual freedoms &#x2013, if a woman desires hookup on a very first, 2nd, third or thirtieth date, I wholeheartedly believe there’s no reason to feel bad about that.

What I’m talking about is those women who aren’t comfy with going there so quickly, but feel compelled to overeenstemmend &#x2013, we’ve reached a point where sexual freedom only goes one way.

Wij now have the freedom to say yes, but not to say no.

Rachel explains, &#x201c,It’s likely that the three date rule wasgoed invented to waterput guidelines around adequate female sexual behaviour, have lovemaking on the very first date, you’re a biotch. Have lovemaking after three, you’re respectable.

&#x201c,What’s interesting is that it doesn’t just tell us when is too early to have hook-up. It also reflects an expectation that hookup will toebijten relatively early te a relationship: not so early that you’re a tramp, but still sooner than many people would be able to achieve emotional intimity with someone.&#x201d,

It’s a very unfashionable thing to admit to thesis days – that you might not feel ready to perform the most intimate of physical acts with someone after spending less than a working day’s worth of time ter their company.

It feels embarrassing, like one’s inadvertently letting the feminist side down &#x2013, surely it’s the duty of the modern, urbane woman about town to exercise hier sexual liberation, hard-won by generations past, with wild, carefree abandon?

That’s why the kwestie remains this big, hulking, stifling sexual elephant.

Not everyone feels ready for lovemaking after a few dates

But sometimes, with the right friends, te the right setting (with the right amount of wine), women will tentatively talk about it.

&#x201c,I knew he desired to, so I just did it.&#x201d,

&#x201c,I felt like I’d want to at some point&#x2026, so I thought I might spil well do it now.&#x201d,

&#x201c,I didn’t want him to lose rente.&#x201d,

&#x201c,I didn’t want him to think I wasgoed a taunt/frigid.&#x201d,

Thesis are just some of the reasons single women I know have given for having lovemaking before they truly dreamed to. Others have admitted that they simply didn’t know how to express the fact that they weren’t emotionally ready.

And this is the verdadero problem of modern day &#x201c,sexpectations&#x201d, &#x2013, okay perhaps no one’s going to actually force you into it. But if you don’t want to? The onus is very much on you to provide some kleuter of watertight explanation.

It’s not enough to say, &#x201c,no thank you, not yet.&#x201d, Rather, there is an staggering pressure to say, &#x201c,no, because&#x2026,&#x201d,

Sometimes, it feels lighter to just lie back and think of England (or Benedict Cumberbatch).

It’s not only women who’ve bought into the notion they need to explain if they wish to abstain.

The fellows I know are just spil confused. They’re persuaded that if a doll hasn’t got hier kleefstof off three or four dates te, she’s simply not interested. It doesn’t occur to them that some women take longer than others to feel convenient with, or even desire, that level of physical intimity. They’ve bot brainwashed by the same media machine spil us.

So how do wij switch expectations?

&#x201c,Part of it is about telling a greater diversity of sexual stories,&#x201d, says Rachel. &#x201c,If wij can see that not everyone is having hookup like this, it becomes lighter to talk about the ways te which our own sexual practices deviate from that &#x,norm’.

Or at least to acknowledge that the vaandel is more arbitrary than it might seem.&#x201d,

For sexual &#x,freedom’ to be just that, it needs to be about what women want to do, not what they feel they ought to do.

Otherwise, it’s just another set of rules to control us.

Rachel Hills’ book, The Hook-up Myth, will be out te August , published by Simon & Schuster te the US, and Penguin te Australia

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