Remember the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie starts dating Aiden and she’s desperate to know why he doesn’t want to sleep with her? “Does he see me as a friend or as a girlfriend?” she asks after a string of dates which ended with the long kisses at the doorway and evenings of watching films.
“I’ve slept with women quickly and I’m still single. My new thing is, I want to try and sleep with somebody I care about. I really think that I can care about you” he tells her.
Romance, it didn’t even occur to Carrie.
Living in a generation where men more often that not are requesting pictures of your boobs before you’ve even so much as been on a first date with them, the R word is becoming pretty scarce and jumping into bed post date is as expected as going dutch.
After succumbing to a drunken one night stand (he was hot, smelt like Paco Rabanne, had a hairy chest and we’d consumed three bottles of wine, don’t judge) I found myself on a string of dates with a guy that I actually liked, really liked. Taking a leaf out of Aiden’s book, I wanted to just date. No pressure, no hopping into bed, no sexting or nights fuelled by beverages of the alcoholic persuasion.
Drunken fuelled one night stands mean that your inhebriation leads you to possess a Beyonce style “Sasha Fierce” attitude towards the bedroom. The dark night and the light switch become your friend, whilst the light of the moon and the soothing lull of alcohol in yours suitors veins gives a soft kind of focus to your body. In the sober light, the prospect of getting naked infront of somebody you find attractive can be pretty daunting. And it’s not just the nakedness that throws up that sickening feeling in your stomach. It may well have been a few years since you were a virgin, but when it comes to “the first time” with that person, it can be just as daunting. A build up of dates complete with kisses that seem to last for days equates to 2 weeks of what is essentially foreplay and the risk of “stage fright” looms over the encounter.
Theres the little things that “the first time” throws up, those small moments of awkwardness which are eradicated by alcohol and you realise that Beyonce was lying with her “Drunk In Love” lyrics. You don’t wake up in the kitchen wondering how did this sh*t happen. You do infact remember every minute detail of exactly how it happened…including the moment when you slipped and fell off the kitchen table mid flow (may or may not have actually happened).
There’s two trains of thought when it comes to “makeup during sex”: do you a) adopt a post coital spoon complete with a full face of makeup and *gasp* not remove your makeup to avoid the “I don’t wakeup like this” conversation. This comes with the morning after the night before patchy foundation which gathers clings around your nose, the eyemakeup which smears down your face and across your pillow and the smear of lipstick which leaves you looking like The Joker from Batman got lucky or b) excuse yourself post finish to embark on your nightime skin routine. Cleanse, tone, moisturise and reveal your skin in all its glory: pimples, freckles, redness and all. Oh, decisions decisions.
“Do you, er, have anything?” is the least sexiest sentence to be muttered during the throws of passion. Fumbling for a condom or trying to explain the inner workings of your menstrual cycle/steps you take against being penetrated by pesky sperms can seriously kill a moment. It’s a necessary step, sure “I’m a safety gal” says Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman but its one of those conversations in which you wish the ground could swallow you up.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that dropping my clothes to reveal what lies beneath is one of my biggest fears when it comes to “first time” “second time” and “three hundred and ninety seventh time” sex. I’m not the most body confident of people (except, as discussed, when I’ve had copious amounts of alcohol) so that big reveal plays through my mind the entire evening leading up to it. What if the body which I find squishy but loveable and pale and interesting he finds flabby and insepid? The risk you’re willing to take is that he’s going to take one look at you in all your glory and jump out of the bedroom window a la Edward Cullen. There’s no easy way to get around this one, do a Bridget and undress under the bed covers so that gravity isn’t so unfair on you or turn off the lights for an “every cat feels the same in the dark”. Important thing to remember: if your lumps and bumps and insecurities in his eyes over ride the past few dates, endless conversations and hours of laughter than there’s a good chance that he’s a massive douche anyway and definitely isn’t ready or deserving of your jelly (I wrote a whole post on this called “I Have a High Regard For Your Wobbly Bits”)
Sexy lingerie to men is what a beard is to (most) women : an aphrodisiac. There’s a fine line between dressing to impress with lingerie in the bedroom and the sort you wear on a day to day basis. Cracking out your best bit of Ann Summers for a first time dalliance can seem a little bit too try hard, add layers of lace and silk into a push up bra, those knickers which leave little to the imagination and a pair of suspenders to an already tense “first time” and you could have a bit of an anti climax on your hands quicker than you expected. But then again you don’t want to be wearing your everyday underwear which has gone through the wash one two many times or that nude moulded bra and nude panties that when stripped to your undies you look like a flesh toned, nippleless crash test dummy.
Waking up impossibly fresh looking is one of those morning after situations which I imagine women have been worried about from the dawn of time. Morning breath and birds nest hair may have JUST skipped the cave woman agenda of things to worry about but every gal from Kim K to Queen E must have done that “breath test” in the morning as they bury beneath the covers to remove eyeball gook and to tame “birds nested and fought in my hair” into what Cosmopolitan magazine would describe as “bed hair”.
You’ve made it to the bedroom, you’re naked, you’ve discussed your weapon armoury against the attack of the pregnancy and you’re about to *gulp* do it. What if you’re rubbish? What if he’s rubbish? What if his penis bends to the right or is the size of a walnut? What if it takes him longer to find your clit than it takes to find the sphinx? What if instead of moans of pleasure and enjoyment there’s an awkward air of disappointment? What if, what if, what if, what if.
When you jump into your bed with someone you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of what ifs and a whole host of nerves – lets just hope the final result is toe curlingly good (yes! yes! yes!) rather than toe curlingly bad (no, no, no).