Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Here’s How Men And Women Think Differently About Dating And Sex

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A new study, which included over 1600 American singles, found that men and women don’t differ too much when it comes to their behaviors and attitude on sex and dating. From what kinds of people they’re dating, to how they ask people out, to whether they kiss on the first date, men and women are pretty much thinking and doing the same thing. When it comes to matters of sex, we differ a little more. Men are much more likely to be open to sex on the first date, while a majority of women think waiting at least six dates is more appropriate. And as for what age they think is most appropriate to have sex for the first time, nearly 40% of male respondents think 15-18 is good, while less than 20% of female respondents agree. Women overwhelmingly chose 19-22 as the magic age to lose the big V.

And majority of respondents, regardless of sex, are pro-gay marriage. Now, wouldn’t it be nice if our laws were as progressive…

[via Business Insider]

65 comments… add one
  • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 2:46 pm

    Its crazy to me that anyone out there is still anti gay marriage.

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    • katie September 10, 2013, 2:54 pm

      at this point, i think its just the fight for “religious freedom”. i dont really think it actually has to do with gay marriage anymore, and it might not have from the start anyway

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      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 2:57 pm

        Idk. I wonder if its just old people sticking to what they know/knew. For example, I think of my long deceased grandpa and he was totally racist and I don’t think he ever thought about it or why, it was just what he grew up with, accepted it as how it was and never thought to consider how wrong it was. Stubborn is I guess what I’m trying to say. Although obviously, yea, there’s still the extremists out there. Sucks.

      • Classic September 10, 2013, 10:12 pm

        Do you guys love love love this so much like I do?
        She keeps me warm

      • AKchic_ September 11, 2013, 9:23 am

        Religious freedom is superseded when it is used to blatantly discriminate against another group/culture in order to purposely infringe upon their own human rights.

        The right to love someone should not be second to someone’s religion.

        Of course, we all believe that here.

        I’ve seen some very stubborn young people in this state. They use the “I don’t believe in that” to justify their discrimination, their racism, even their stupidity. Idjits, it exists, you HAVE to believe it’s there! You mean to say you don’t APPROVE of it, but that’s a personal choice.

        People with blinders on as a personal choice irritate me.

    • GatorGirl September 10, 2013, 3:29 pm

      I know a few people who are against it. Mostly older individuals down here in the South, who are also SUPER religious.

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      • GatorGirl September 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

        Come to think of it I still know some people who have no issue with using homophobic slurs. Or racial slurs. The Conservative South is a weird place.

      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 3:33 pm

        Yea, maybe its just a combo of both – super religious and old. Because when I think of “super” religious people I know that aren’t old, they don’t care. And when I think of old people I know that aren’t super religious, they don’t care either. Then again, I’m not in the South.

      • GatorGirl September 10, 2013, 3:50 pm

        I know a fair number of 20 to 30’s age range people who are against same sex marriage too, all from the deep south. I bet there is a graphic showing that more opposition is down here than in the north east.

      • Fabelle September 10, 2013, 3:58 pm

        Yeah, definitely agree. I’m friends with this one kid from Kentucky (or something?) on Facebook, & I would have deleted him because of his politics—plus I don’t actually even know him IRL, not sure how/when we became friends— if he weren’t so BLAZINGLY fucking hot, but anyway, his thing about gay marriage seems to be “call it something else, don’t call it marriage, because marriage is something something eyes of God something something”

        (yes, I realize I’m using one personal example to agree, & that’s shaky, but whatever. I’m home from work & may have started happy hour a little early)

      • bittergaymark September 10, 2013, 8:11 pm

        Blazing Hot… Backhandedly homophobic? 10 to 1 he’s a closet case… Just you wait.

      • Fabelle September 11, 2013, 9:33 am

        haha HMMM, good point— guess I’ll have to endure his statuses to see if he eventually comes out 😉

      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 3:58 pm

        That’s so mindblowing to me. Especially with these 20somethings having internet access. They ARE exposed to the rest of the world even if their home is a tiny world, as opposed to some old man who isn’t or is stuck in his ways.

      • GatorGirl September 10, 2013, 4:05 pm

        You would be amazed the people that can be encountered in the rural south. I don’t understand how they have tv and a- think the way they do and b- dress the way they do. Seriously, it’s mind boggling sometimes.

        (Obviously it’s not EVERY one from the rural south, and there are definitely pockets of conservatism in just about every area, it’s just more wide spread, in my experience down here.)

      • bittergaymark September 10, 2013, 8:13 pm

        Ah, so again my stereotypes of the South sadly continue to be very true, it seems…

      • Miss MJ September 10, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Having grown up in the conservative South, I think a lot of it is tied to religion, not lack of access to information, though. Some of the churches where I grew up are the most judgmental, intolerant and hateful places I have ever been, even if they put a smiley face on it.

      • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Yes, but that’s how I feel about old people too. I don’t think they should automatically get a free pass on racism/homophobia when they have just as much access to the “outside world” as anyone else.

      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 4:29 pm

        For sure. I didn’t mean to imply it was ok for old people.

      • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 4:33 pm

        Oh. A lot of people do give old folks a free pass, though, and I’ve never quite understood it. I mean, as long as you’re not cognitively impaired, you can still grow and change and have new experiences and use critical thinking skills, right? I was sort of “taught” racist things by family members but eventually I learned to think for myself, so people who say “Well I was raised that way” don’t make sense to me.

        I was sort of hoping my statement was more controversial. I’m bored and I want a debate, haha. 😉

      • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 4:36 pm

        Seriouslyyyy, I’m bored out of my mind! Someone entertain meeeeee…

      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 4:38 pm

        haha, sorry for not engaging in a debate.

        I guess people just find it more acceptable for old people to get a free pass because they were one way for, say, 70 years and are likely gonna die soon, so why bother trying to change their minds? Plus, I will say it IS easier for a young person to learn how to deal with the internetz than it is for an old person. Younger people are just more open to learning new stuff, adapt better, aren’t set in their ways, etc. It was much easier to teach Lil how to use a computer than it was my grandma, haha. What’s that saying about teaching an old dog new tricks?

      • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 4:41 pm

        Yeah, that’s the excuse everyone makes for my grandma when she says racist shit – she’s “set in her ways,” “she’s old,” “she’s not going to change NOW.” Do you think that’s true of all people with age – being more resistant to change? Or do you think it’s more true of our current elderly population, like a generational thing?

        (Also, yeah, my grandma won’t use a computer or cell phone, but it’s willful ignorance – she says she doesn’t see the point).

      • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 4:44 pm

        Also, I wonder what “ways” I’ll be “set in” when I’m old. I guess I can’t predict it because I don’t know what the world will look like. I can already say I prefer physical books to Kindles and such, and I’ve never really understood the appeal of tablets.

      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 4:50 pm

        I think its resistance to change. Like you said, willful ignorance.
        Cool question though! I wonder what ways I’ll be set in.

      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 4:48 pm

        Ok, I’ll try again for you…

        Prior to coming on this website, I never had been exposed to poly relationships and to be completely honest, didn’t think anything nice of them and didn’t take them seriously. I figured .000001% of the population was into that. It wasn’t in MY little world, so it just never occurred to me to think about it, or take it seriously. But, once exposed to them and given a chance to realize they are out there and learn about it (not that I didn’t have the chance before), I feel very differently.

        Same for my mom with LGBTQ (I know I’m getting that wrong). In her entire life, she’d never known a gay person. Figured they just existed on the fringe or something. Never thought of them, never considered them, etc. She automatically was anti-gay marriage simply because she never thought anything about it and it wasn’t the norm for her little world. Once questioned on it, she actually thought about it, realized she had no reason to be against it and changed her stance. My mom’s younger though. And was given the chance to have her ideas questioned, and was open to having them questioned. I think that’s the key. If people stopped are really thought about why they are anti-anything, rather than just saying they are because they don’t understand whatever it is they are “against,” I think a lot of people would change their tune.

      • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 6:37 pm

        Haha. I got you talking and then I left.

        But here are my last thoughts… I do think it’s normal to have a knee-jerk reaction to certain things if you haven’t been exposed to them much and if it’s different from your “norm” or you aren’t personally affected by it. I think that’s where the critical thinking thing comes in, because everyone can ask themselves, “Hey, why do I think this way?” It’s not always easy to confront your own biases. I try to catch myself as often as possible. And…..I forgot what else I was going to say. It’s fucking hot out. I think my brain is fried.

      • BreezyAM September 10, 2013, 10:44 pm

        Here’s what I don’t get tho; I totally get being AGAINST something. I’m against a LOT of stuff… that is currently all legal. So what I have issues with is where the fuck do they get off thinking their opinion should be law? So bizarre to me.

    • landygirl September 10, 2013, 5:33 pm

      You might find this interesting, it’s the PM of Australia regarding his stance on gay marriage.


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      • katie September 10, 2013, 5:36 pm

        i loooove that video so much!

      • Nadine September 10, 2013, 7:01 pm

        No longer the PM, they have a Catholic guy now, Tony Abbott….. He’s dreadful.

      • Nadine September 10, 2013, 7:02 pm

        ETA – not because he’s Catholic, but just added that because of the religious discussion in that video, whihc was great and one I hadn’t seen !

  • Fabelle September 10, 2013, 2:51 pm

    19-22 seems… old? I mean, I know plenty of people lose their virginity around that age, but it seems strange that people chose that bracket at the “magic age”.

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    • GatorGirl September 10, 2013, 3:27 pm

      I agree. Most people I know where 16-20 (male or female).

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    • TaraMonster September 10, 2013, 5:19 pm

      I think it’s interesting that most of the participants think 19-22 is best to lose their virginity, even though most of the participants actually lost their virginity in the 15-18 bracket.

      When I thought about it, I realized I’d probably select 19-22 as the best age to lose it, even though I fall into the 15-18 category too. And it’s not because I regret it. I’m confident I made the right choice for me at the time (it was kind of awesome actually). I think of myself as a sex-positive person and think it’s eye-roll worthy to hope teenagers won’t have sex, but I guess now that I’m a bit older, 15-18 year olds just seem so so young to me. But it also seems crazy to me that we let them drive cars. Someone gave me car keys at 16!!! Why did they do that? Had all the adults lost their minds?!

      I kid. I kid. (Kind of) Moral of the story: My birthday is in 12 days and I am an Old.

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    • Lindsay September 10, 2013, 10:16 pm

      I think there’s a big difference between what age you lose your virginity and what age you want to have lost your virginity. I feel like it probably reflects some people not particularly enjoying their first time, and I think you also look back at it differently. I had a friend who lost hers at 15, and at the time, I assumed that was just the norm, but now that would seem too early too me.

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  • TECH September 10, 2013, 2:51 pm

    The only problem with a survey like this is it’s completely circumstantial. Please are responding about what they “would” do or “think” they would do. If men are engaging in “promiscuous” behavior by having sex on the first date, they obviosuly are doing with women who are willing to do it on the first date also, they just might not admit it on a survey. There are plenty of people who would say they would never have sex on the first date, but bam, they meet someone they really like, and it happens.

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  • mylaray September 10, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Even though I started having sex at 15 (and I don’t regret it, nor did I have any overwhelmingly bad experiences) I think it’s best for women to lose their virginity a little bit later, like 19-22, in which the majority of women chose in that study. I was thinking about this topic recently and when my fiancé and I were discussing it, he said he thinks it’s best for both men and women to wait until they’re around 19 to early 20s. I was a little surprised he thought that, though he didn’t lose his virginity until his mid 20s and I personally think he ended up better off because of that, even though he wasn’t waiting by choice. I didn’t consider myself a child at 15, but I most definitely was. And as much as I thought otherwise, I wasn’t emotionally ready to be making those decisions. I made a lot of mistakes and it took several years before I really had good and healthy sex, something my fiancé never really experienced because he was quite ready emotionally. On the other hand, if we have kids, as much as I may want them to wait, I do understand if they don’t. I hope I would do the most I could to prepare my kids, as no one ever sat me down and had a talk about anything related to sex.

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    • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 3:00 pm

      Why do you think your bf was better off for not losing it til his mid-20s?

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      • mylaray September 10, 2013, 7:05 pm

        I think because he lost his virginity later, he’s more respectful of me and my body (yes, it’s definitely part of his personality, but I also think it has to do with him only having had sex as an adult, rather than a horny, young teenager. And even though he wanted to lose his virginity a little younger, he never wanted to have sex with that many women, as a personal preference (he doesn’t judge me for my number). He never dated much before so I think he really knew himself well and what he wants out of life (and he never got caught up in a lot of the teen drama that often happens when you date and have sex), and was able to be a better partner emotionally and sexually. He can be a pretty sensitive and emotional guy, and so I think overall, it ended up being better off for him to wait so he could be more emotionally developed. I do think it varies so much person to person though.

    • Fabelle September 10, 2013, 3:29 pm

      Hmm, my experience was different, I guess (not disagreeing with your points, I think they’re valid, but just sharing my own experience) I lost my virginity at 15 to my long-term boyfriend (we dated over a year, which is long term for high school, haha) & I’m glad that I got to learn about sex that way? I had so many “firsts” with him, & it helped me become comfortable with sex, comfortable with my body, etc.

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      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 3:50 pm


      • GatorGirl September 10, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Me too. I was 17 but he was my first everything, and we where together 3 years. I had a great experience.

      • mylaray September 10, 2013, 7:35 pm

        I think my experiences more had to do with me being in bad “relationships” at such a young age and I wasn’t emotionally prepared how to deal with them, didn’t know I deserved better, and so went through a lot of bad sex before I had good sex where I felt safe. I don’t completely regret it because at least I learned what NOT to do, albeit the hard way, but I do wish that I had waited until I was truly ready. I wasn’t capable of even making the decision for myself at 15, but I thought I was (though I realize others can be), and I think it more has to do with how I was raised, lack of sex talks and information that I wish I waited until I was an adult. Also having been raped before I truly lost my virginity definitely contributed to my emotional readiness (and just another reason why I think there is such a misplaced value on virginity to begin with).

        I just wish there was a lot more on actual sex education in schools.

  • TECH September 10, 2013, 3:14 pm

    I’ve never had sex on a first date but I’m thinking maybe I should start. I need some excitement in my life. Does anyone else ever feel like their life is so f-ing boring they can’t take it anymore? That’s how I’ve felt lately. But I guess I should just be grateful that I don’t have some big horrible thing going on right now that’s making my life incredibly stressful.

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    • Astronomer September 10, 2013, 3:51 pm

      I can totally relate. Life is pretty tedious sometimes. Nothing wrong with stirring things up, so to speak.

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  • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

    I have a theory (based on nothing other than my own musings and experiences) that women are more likely to have sex on a first date as they get older, and men are less likely to have sex on a first date as they get older. I might be way off, but in any case, I think attitudes about when to have sex do seem to vary a bit with age.

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    • TECH September 10, 2013, 3:43 pm

      I think that’s a really interesting point. Most women I know (myself included) have not had sex on a first date because they are afraid the guy will not see them seriously or as girlfriend material. But as a woman gets older, she probably just says — fuck it. I have control over my life. I have control over my body. I do what I want. If he doesn’t want to be with me long term it will probably be due a bunch of factors that have nothing to do sex on the first date. So much freedom comes with age.

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      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 3:51 pm

        Well those men are smart because everyone knows some hoe whose gonna bang on the first date ain’t girlfriend material! Amiright?

      • TECH September 10, 2013, 3:56 pm

        Haha I actually think that having sex on the first should have no bearing on whether or not a relationship will work out. If a man is going to judge you as not being girlfriend material because you had sex with him too soon, he’s a total douche, and I wouldn’t want to be with him anyway.

      • BreezyAM September 10, 2013, 10:58 pm

        What I don’t get is why the fuck do women want to date men who would judge a woman (aka them) for banging them on the first date? (insert “say wut wut?” face)

      • CatsMeow September 10, 2013, 3:54 pm

        Yeah, I just know for myself that my attitudes about sex have changed a lot from the age of 18 to 31.

      • lets_be_honest September 10, 2013, 4:00 pm

        Oh god that’s so true. Even moreso from 28 to 31, thanks to DW.

  • oldie September 10, 2013, 3:38 pm

    Single people have always been far more socially liberal than married people, especially marrieds with children. First of all, the single grouping is younger on average and social attitudes have liberalized over time. Second, there seems to be a switch that turns on for a lot of parents that says “gotta protect my kids from all this dangerous and disruptive social change”. Also, parents, as their kids get older, want to be grandparents and the odds of that go down if your kid marries someone of the same sex. I’ve seen many parents, who as young parents were strongly of the view that they wanted their children to follow their passions and own choices, come to really dwell on grandchildren. I became friends with a 25-year older neighbor who was the father of a girl who was a not-all-that-close friend in HS, really the second best friend of the girl who was my second best female friend. Anyhow, he preached to both his daughters to pursue any career they wished. Follow their career desires. As my friend got a psychology PhD and her sister became a lawyer and federal prosecutor, my older friend was having second thoughts about his advice to his girls and wondering if he would ever become a grandfather. That is another way in which age makes us more conservative. We also are just far less likely to knowingly associate with very different persons than ourselves than we are as HS and college students and then as young adults entering the workforce, when we aren’t constrained by marriage, kids, owning a house, and ties to a pension plan and vacation accrual. The biggest factor to increased acceptance of gays and gay marriage has been personal daily interaction with people whom you know to be gay. The second biggest driver has been the dying of my parents’ generation. There is a huge difference in views on gays and gay marriage between the over-sixties and the under-sixties. Things are actually changing remarkably fast. Acceptance of inter-racial, mixed-religion, even mixed-nationality among same race marriages was slower than the recent acceptance of gay marriage by over half the population.

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    • oldie September 10, 2013, 3:39 pm

      The third driver is the reduced religiousity of American society, particularly among younger Catholics and Evangelicals as broad groups — even among younger Mormons.

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    • Milla September 10, 2013, 4:57 pm

      Not really disagreeing with you, but in my family, my folks’ best shot at grandkids (on both sides) is me and my partner. I have three siblings and she has one, and we are the ones who most want kids and are in a long-term, stable relationship. Queer folks can and do reproduce, and I wish that would enter popular discourse. Just because a couple is queer does not mean that grandkids isn’t an option (I’m also thinking of trans* folks here as well).

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      • oldie September 10, 2013, 5:33 pm

        True, and my lesbian cousin does have a daughter, but believe, that is not what pops into a parent’s mind. They equate gay to no grandkids.

      • Milla September 10, 2013, 8:41 pm

        Well, hopefully that will change with more queer marriages and queer families!

    • BreezyAM September 10, 2013, 11:01 pm

      I totally get what you’re saying from a sociological perspective, but it’s always so hard for me to wrap my head around because the older I get, the more “liberal” (I just have to quote that since I did poli sci and in reality liberal means about the opposite of how it’s used, especially by Fox News and Friends types) I get. Especially for my kids. I feel so weird this way.

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  • Astronomer September 10, 2013, 3:54 pm

    Haha, surveys like this remind me of how much of a slut I used to be. (I say that without an ounce of shame or regret, too.) Those were the days!

    Even though I’m one of those boring marrieds now, I still haven’t changed my stance about how sex is supposed to be a fun bodily experience and “rules” about when it is “supposed” to happen are lame.

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  • kerrycontrary September 10, 2013, 3:57 pm

    I feel like such an old fogie, or something similar, because I used to totally have sex on the first date. Go home with a rando from the bar? Sure! and now after 4 yrs with the same person I can’t imagine just up and having sex with someone after only spending a few hours with them. But I’m sure I most likely would if I was single again. It’s just a totally weird hypothetical to me.

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  • Sara September 10, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I think I’d pick 19-22 as a magic age, too. But I think it’s a perfect age because it’s generally easier for people to get condoms or other forms of birth control when they aren’t living under their parents’ roof (at least, that’s they way it was in my house! My ultra-conservative parents had us kids on lock-down). And I just get anxious when teens have sex without birth control. Side story: My sister had such a poor understand of the effectiveness of different types of b.c. (maybe because my mom didn’t share that info– I used the internet) that even though she “never wanted kids” all she and her husband used were condoms. Well, a condom broke within 6 months of her marriage, and now she has twins!

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  • Lyra September 10, 2013, 6:23 pm

    I’m one of those old fogies holding out until marriage…but I’ve made out with guys on 3 first dates. Not intense handsy make out sessions but super hot “can’t get enough of you” make out sessions.

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  • Nadine September 10, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Maybe where I come from we are slutty-slut-sluts – but all of the lasting relationships among my oldest friends were all consummated on the first date, myself included.
    All the people (ok, women, but only because I am a woman, and therefore more likely to have this conversation with women) who agonize over holding out and waiting for the magic number of dates, never end up having satisfying relationships with the person. It gets too heavy and over-thought.

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  • Lindsay September 10, 2013, 10:19 pm

    This kind of annoys me because I’ve heard of a lot of guys be all into the idea of having sex on a first date, but then judging the woman if she sleeps with him then.

    I would be interested to see it broken down into who is open to that first date being the first of several or many date, or is intending on it being the only date, and how that factors into which men are OK with sex on the first date.

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    • BreezyAM September 10, 2013, 11:03 pm

      You’d think if he fucked on the first date he’d be fine with it eh? :-/

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