For gay men, dating can be a tricky thing. Generally speaking, the guy you want to stick around never does, and the ones you don’t want to see again spend the next four months trying to shoehorn their way back into your life. First dates are even trickier still: drawn-out silences, waiting for his first genuine smile… and of course we’re often faced with the question: Should we f*ck, or should we wait?
The curse of the first date f*ck – it’s a conundrum: Do we give it up easy and thus risk putting him off, or do we restrain from getting down and dirty but maybe miss out on hot sex? Top, bottom, vers…it’s possible we aren’t compatible anyway! Do we trust our instinct and assume there’s real chemistry between us? Does he like our personality as much as we like his? Let’s hold off for something more meaningful, we don’t want him thinking we’re a ho. But what if there’s no connection? He’s hot, so let’s fuck anyway? I mean, we’re both here now.
If this strikes you as a trivial subject to write about, you’re wrong. Really. Bollocks to the rest of you, because many of us have fallen victim to the curse of the first date f*ck.
Let me tell you a story.
We’d been chatting for a while and the conversation was easy, it just flowed effortlessly. There’s nothing worse than stale or forced banter, it’s like having your teeth yanked at by Katie Hopkins as she slowly reads her tweets aloud. A good connection in these days of dick pics and poor spelling is rare, so I pounced on it. I really liked this guy. Well, perhaps that’s a gross exaggeration, our first date was the only time we’d spent together because, like all other feisty millennials, we met on Twitter.
A week or so later we met up for drinks. As the evening ticked by, I found myself lured into a false sense of security. We switched bars, we drank more. We looked each other dead in the eye. His gaze didn’t even waver when I felt his hand brush up my inner thigh. We had one more drink then took a taxi back to his. We slept together.
After that night whenever I tried to make plans with him he’d always be ‘busy.’ Even if he’d posted a Snapchat saying he was bored, or Tweeted that he wanted plans, he was always busy. This excuse made approximately 0.1% sense. One thing was definite: I slept with him and it ruined the chance of something real happening. I felt like an idiot.
There’s a lot of antiquated ideas about dating floating around, and first-date sex is often a topic of controversy, with many people still attaching a shameful stigma to it. Just for clarity, I don’t have an issue with it. If someone wants to have sex on the first date go for it. The ‘curse’ I am referring to is the one that is cast after you’ve slept together; the one that sees the spark fizzle into an unending nothingness, when you wake up the next day and the chemistry just vanishes.
We’ve all been there, few too many drinks. You wind up going back to the guy’s place. You stumble into his room, and he follows behind, gently closing the door so he doesn’t wake his flatmate, both of you giggling annoyingly. You peel off your t-shirt, an attempt to match him sliding off his jeans. Next thing he’s on top of you, panting like a parched dog, grinding, drooling into your ear. He’s saying all the things he wants to do to you, and you’re thinking ‘I wish I’d kept my trainers on so I could make my getaway.’ Despite him having a good job, a great body and seemingly being a nice guy, the sex is awkward. It’s sweaty, kind of uncomfortable. It feels like he’s just stabbing in the dark and hoping it’ll go in. You don’t know him, he doesn’t know you. Eventually he finishes, and so does your first date. You lie there, trying to resurrect the chemistry, but it’s gone. You arrange to hangout again next week. You order an Uber and leave.
You chalk the mediocre sex up to being quite drunk; surely any awkwardness between the sheets will be excused? Besides you got on so well! A couple of days pass, you hear nothing. You text him, both drunk and sober, nada. Zilch. You start suffering some kind of OCD compulsion to repetitively check my phone. Still nothing. This goes on and on until somewhere around day nine when you are contemplating the sexual equivalent of an annulment, he replies saying ‘sorry’, and that he’s been ‘busy’. It feels like your balls had been dragged along a gravel path and slammed in a car door. Being too busy to text someone back is as redundant an excuse as my dog ate my homework.
The truth is, one awkward experience between the sheets can stop one, if not both, of the parties from wanting to meet up again. Someone can seem perfect on Twitter, but in reality things may take longer to blossom. Forming a connection with someone whilst hidden behind a phone screen is simpler for some of us. Being confident in your naked body is easier over Snapchat, you control what he sees. When we’re presented with the face-to-face reality though it is very different. A lot of us fear that the guy won’t find us interesting enough for a second date, so we put out in the hope that’ll be enough to give us a chance to see him again. But if he doesn’t find you interesting then surely he’s not worth sleeping with anyway?
Every time it’s happened to me, I’d spend the next night thrashing round in bed, like a confused and angry animal, slapping my headboard in frustration. Passing out after six hours of slowly analysing how I poisoned this relationship, only to lurch awake 45 minutes later. I can’t quite work out what’s worse: the fact he stopped talking to me after we slept together or the fact I slept with him after only meeting for a few hours?
It’s so easy to blame yourself when this happens, I know I do: ‘I am too awkward and terrible in bed’, ‘sleeping with me must have felt like fighting a deck chair’, ‘I am the sexual equivalent of a white person rapping.’ The sorrow and humiliation is overpowering, but sometimes it’s just a case of it didn’t work out. Sometimes lust gets the better of you and sometimes the other person doesn’t feel a spark. I mean, sure, sometimes the guy is a charlatan that wanted nothing but sex, then after the deed is done he disappears like the mangy sewer rat he is. In that case the sex itself isn’t to blame, neither are you: He is.
Without a doubt some guys handle the situation poorly. They ghost you, make lame excuses, even go out on dates with other people – thanks a lot, you absolute joy thieves. When things go wrong it’s easy to see situations through the rose-tinted glasses of ‘what if’. Someone can seem like ‘the one that got away’ because it ended quicker than it started, but is that because you rushed things sexually? Or because there simply wasn’t that connection? Feelings, love, sex, all can be genuinely awful. Like the norovirus on a coach trip. That’s why you need to protect yourself.
Sex on the first date isn’t guaranteed to destroy a bidding romance. I know couples that met, fucked, and are still together, so there’s definitely not a science behind it. The curse of the first date fuck is more of a cautionary tale, one we tell friends and twinks so they don’t misbehave. To me I see it more as guidelines, and these days I try to stick to those guidelines. If that person is really into you, he will want to see you again. If it’s meant to be, then you’ll have plenty time for sex.
Sadly, until hindsight kicks in, sometimes you’re damned to whip yourself over a mistake that doesn’t actually exist. Despite my views, and possibly isolated story, the curse of the first date f*ck will continue to be perpetuated. As long as there are people who are anxious in the bedroom, and those blame themselves for each mishap, and those who really only wanted sex and cannot be honest, it’ll continue. We will employ it as a reason for it not working out, which is why we always need to be careful.