I’ve never been one for first-date rules, and my least favorite of all is being told not to have sex on the first date. Studies consistently show that women regret their sexual actions more than men, and many of these claim the attitude difference is driven by men’s biological need to reproduce, but I’m calling bullshit. The reason for the disparity between genders is largely to do with the fact that women suffer more consequences after having sex, particularly on the first date.

I’m a huge fan of sex on the first date, and before you mentally slut-shame me, hear me out: It’s because I’m having sex! Sorry if you thought it was going to be deeper than that. When there’s an emotional connection, I want to find out about our physical chemistry sooner rather than later. Curiosity will not kill this cat (meow).

My love languages are quality time and physical touch, and it’s important for me to have strong physical communication with my partner. Unfortunately, there is still plenty of negative hype associated with sex on the first date, particularly for women in the hetero community. I’m lucky to speak from a rare place of privilege on this topic: Any backlash or gossip for having sex too soon either hasn’t happened to me, or I haven’t noticed.

But there are still plenty of haters out there quick to make a snap judgement on what I do with my body. I know who I am, and here’s what I’m not.

I’m not insecure.

I’m not immune to insecurities, but my decision to have sex isn’t to boost my confidence. In fact, this is where I find out about your insecurities. Are you going to be dead silent the entire time, leaving me to wonder if this is my actual nightmare where someone dies while inside of me? Do you have issues with sex where you have to shower immediately after? These are all things I want to know immediately. I won’t know if it’s a deal breaker until I experience the awkwardness IRL.

I do respect my body.

Women are frequently told how to respect their bodies and what to do with them. But those who say women who have sex on the first date don’t respect their bodies or themselves have it backward. I already respect myself and my body. The impetus is on you to do the same. You should respect me because I am a person that you chose to spend time with, whether or not we have sex.

I’m not just looking for hookups.

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. I have never been one-hundred-percent certain of what I’m looking for until I’ve spent some substantial time with someone. Often, what I’m looking for depends on our sexual compatibility. And sometimes, I’ll tell you within five minutes what I’m looking for — what can I say? I’m a wild card. Either way, it’s easier for me to find out if I want something casual or if I want to marry you after we have sex.

When there’s an emotional connection, I want to find out about our physical chemistry sooner rather than later. Curiosity will not kill this cat (meow).

I’m not “easy.”

Sex on the first date is not my rule, it is my preference. If the spark isn’t there, or maybe I’m just not feelin’ it, I will decline your invite to come home with you. And the quickest way to get this Sagittarius to do the opposite of what you want is by applying pressure: When I say no, and am met with “Wahhh, c’mon just for one drink,” I physically recoil. I’m annoyed and officially turned off forever. I’m a grown-ass woman, I know what I want and when I want it. I don’t need someone I’ve known for a few hours trying to make decisions for me. Does that sound easy?

I have standards.

Let’s be clear: If and when I decide to have sex, you should feel extremely lucky, just as I do when you tell me you’re on board. That means there’s something about you, a je ne sais quoi, that I’ve got to explore. If you think I don’t have standards, then I feel bad for you. You obviously don’t think you’re worth it. But me? I’m trying to kick it with someone who is as confident as I am.

I’m not a traitor to feminism.

For a brief moment, I was drinking the Kool-Aid, chemically flavored with all sorts of sexism that told me when I should have sex. Now I know the truth: If a dude is going to be weird after having sex with me on the first date, that is a very good thing for me to know. Because now I know he’s garbage. Last I checked, it takes two consenting adults to have sex, and shaming me is sooooo 2002.

There are plenty of people I regret seeing, but there are none who I regret sleeping with. Though, there are a few that got away… and frankly I blame the glossy magazines peppered with judgy articles telling me what to do with my body, tempting me with their delightful perfume samples.

To Nate. To Brandon. To Nick. To Hugo. To Rome: Know that I still regret not having sex with you when I had the chance. I’m not a better person for it, and even though we didn’t end up dating, I’m still so fuckin’ curious about how you are in the sack.

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