Jenny Block: Sidestep lust at first sight and you might end up with love that lasts


Photo by Steph Grant/

You both swipe right. You have a handful of mutual friends Facebook reveals. You agree to meet up. You don’t believe in love at first sight. But, on the other hand, lust at first sight … .

You have a drink. You go to a happy hour with mutual friends. It’s starting to get late. You kiss in the parking garage and your brain is moving a million miles a minute.

You are wondering if this could actually be something. And, if it could, how to not ruin that possibility. The kiss was intense and for a moment you think about asking your date back to your place.


Sure, there are stories out there of people who sleep together on the very night they meet and live happily ever after. But there are more stories that go precisely the opposite direction.

I have a confession: I fall fast. I fall in and out, fast. So I have to be super careful. It’s really easy for me to get so far ahead of myself that I can live out an entire relationship between texts.

And the only thing that sex does is complicate that. A lot.

I met my girlfriend, Lacey, on Tinder. Our first date was basically what I described above. Our second was the next night at Black Tie Dinner.
Yes, in a hotel. Where I had a room. And where the alcohol and warm fuzzy feelings were both flowing freely.

Lacey may be 17 years my junior. but she’s the smart one. She declined staying the night after that second date. I’ll never forget what she said to me: “I don’t swap DNA with people I don’t know.”

I love that. I love the literal of that, and the figurative.

It’s probably not the best idea to get physical with someone you don’t know just in terms of health and safety, although I have certainly done it and sometimes it’s been really fun.

But it’s also not the best idea to put the intimacy cart before the connection horse, if you will, not to mention how much fun it is to wait. Sure, it was only 10 dates or so later that we did have sex. But those dates were so much fun, filled with excitement and expectation and the kind of flirting that makes me giddy.

They were also filled with all of the “getting to know you” stuff that needs to happen, about who you are and what you want — in life and in a relationship. Without that, sex and desire become your base. And, as we all know, sex and desire can wax and wane. But love and trust and respect, all of the really juicy relationship stuff, can and should be the solid ground on which a relationship can stand and grow.

So, how long do you wait before you have sex with someone you like? Until you know if you really like them.

I know, I know: That’s about as ambiguous as it gets. But I mean it.

Are you excited to see them, or just to see them naked? Are you excited to go on new adventures, or just see how adventurous they are in bed?
Are you excited to share stories and ideas and futures, or just bodily fluids?

There is nothing — NOTHING — wrong with the latter in each case. Have sex. Have fun. Move on.

But if it’s the former, if you’ve gotten to the place where you want to get into their mind and not just into their pants, you just might be ready for something real. And taking your time before you play will give you a better chance in the long run.

In the meantime, enjoy the tease. That’s half the fun. Make out. Keep your clothes on. Tease about what’s to come.

It’s not about waiting a long time. It’s not about how long you wait. It’s about waiting at all: Waiting until you can clear your head at least a little and sort out just what it is that you want to explore with this person.

Lust is at its headiest in the first moments you meet. See how hand-holding and making out and snuggling, as well as having dinner and going dancing, and seeing an art show feels. Then decide if you’re ready to get to it.

Trust me, if you do that, when you do decide to get down to business, it just might be the best first-time sex you’ve ever had. It certainly was for me!

Jenny Block is the author of the new book O Wow! Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 23, 2015.