49% of people have had sex on the first date – but is it a good idea?

First date sex stigma is changing. (Getty Images)
First date sex stigma is changing. (Getty Images)

Whether you choose to have sex on the first date has always been something of a divisive subject.

While some think nothing of diving straight under the covers on first meeting, others choose to adopt the 'three date rule' while a further group wait until they feel totally ready, whenever that may be.

Whatever your personal feelings about getting immediately intimate, there has always been a stigma attached to doing it on the very first meeting.

But, in a step forward for sex positivity, new research has revealed that almost half of us are pushing that aside to embrace first date sex.

The poll, of over 2,000 adults by sexual wellness brand, Lovehoney, set out to investigate how many of us have got down to it on the first date and the reasons we are, or aren't, open to it.

The findings revealed that 49% have had sex on date number one, with men admitting to being particularly prone to a first-date hookup.

While just under 60% of male respondents are keen to slide under the sheets straight away, a fewer 43% of women admit to doing the same, while 46% say they never have.

When asked whether we were open to having sex on the first date (even if we previously haven’t), over 70% of men said yes but the majority of women (61%) said no.

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Nearly half admit to having had sex on the first date. (Getty Images)
Nearly half admit to having had sex on the first date. (Getty Images)

As for our motivations for having sex on the first date, the main driving force for women (49%) was to test how sexually compatible we are with a potential partner.

For men, the most common reason was simply because they enjoy it.

Other reasons included connecting on a sexual level, seeing if your potential partner accepts your kinks, and doing it to calm your nerves.

Read more: Which UK city has gone the longest without sex? New survey reveals all

On the flip side, among those who said they’ve never had sex on a first date, the most common reason (47%) was that they don’t feel comfortable having sex with someone they don't know very well.

This was followed by ‘I don't believe in having sex on the first date’ (38%), and ‘I only enjoy sex with people I have an emotional connection with’ (32%).

Watch: Prince Harry had an awkward end to his first date with Cressida Bonas

How to tell if you should have sex on the first date

According to Rachel Wright, a relationship, sex and mental health therapist, there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to deciding whether or not to have sex on the first date.

"Here's the thing – there is no 'right time' to have sex," she explains. "The concepts of 'don't give away the milk for free' and 'they won't like me anymore if I give it up too quickly' are old and antiquated and can create so much shame for people of all genders."

Wright also believes there can be some benefits to first date sex, if that is what you want and choose to do.

“For some people, having sex right away is incredibly helpful in determining if they want to go on a second date," she explains.

"But for others it feels entirely out of reach because they need to have an established emotional connection with the person before they can have sex."

Read more: How long should sex last for? Survey reveals the magic number

Couple in bed together. (Getty Images)
How can you tell whether having sex on the first date is right for you. (Getty Images)

For this reason, whether you choose to have sex on the very first meet-up should be a personal decision based on your own wants and needs.

And ultimately if you’re thinking about having sex with someone, it’s not about when you do it, but more about how you feel.

“Wherever you fall on this spectrum is perfectly okay," she says. "And I encourage you to talk to the person you're going out with about it.

"If you've been texting for two days before the date, perhaps it may not come up – but if you have been texting for two months and trying to schedule a date and it's finally happening, you may have already discussed sex.

"Be honest with yourself and the person you're going out with about your expectations of yourself and them.”