How Long Women Wait Before Sleeping with Men

When it comes to sex-related topics, a woman’s worth is commonly judged through a narrow lens. Especially in Asian society, it’s hard to do what is “socially acceptable” when anyone who waits till marriage is cast as a prude, while anyone who doesn’t wait can be labelled a slut.

With these mixed messages, it’s no wonder many girls don’t feel in control over their own sexual autonomy. I’m personally an advocate for “your body your choice”—if you feel it’s right and you take the proper precautions, go for it! However, this is a personal decision and to each their own.

So is a relationship doomed if you hop into bed on a first or second date? 15 Singaporean girls weigh in and speak up about their opinions on sex.

*Some names were changed to protect identities.

1. At least a week

I’d wait at least a week, depending on the person. Whatever choice is made, it’s good to know who you’re sleeping with beforehand. It’ll save you lots of nasty repercussions such as toxic rumours and emotional blackmail.
Sam, 19

2. 3 weeks to two months

I used to jump into things way too fast as I was young and gullible. It’s not easy for me to remain emotionally detached, so I’d get hurt if they leave after I sleep with them. Now I wait to see how I feel about a guy, which takes about a month to two months.
Katherine, 23

I think the first date is too soon if I see potential in him as a friend/boyfriend, so I’d wait around three weeks to a month. But if it’s just a fling, I don’t see the difference between sleeping with him on the first or tenth date. We’re going to do it anyways, so might as well cut to the chase.
Alice, 26

I met my boyfriend when we were both 19—virgins and thirsty. We slept together a month into our relationship. While some may criticise that as too soon, he made me feel comfortable about my body and we felt each other’s commitment to the relationship.
Nina, 22

3. Three to six months

I used to be a staunch believer in sex after marriage, but I slowly realised that it isn’t as taboo as I thought. I think the current me would wait about three to six months before sleeping with a guy. I’m not going to let any guy slide his way in easily but when I’m comfortable and I want it, I’ll throw all I’ve learnt in MOE’s abstinence-based sex ed out the window.
Hazel, 19

I’d only sleep with someone after we’ve seriously dated for at least 6 months. I’ve had both male and female friends whose partners ghosted on them after having sex, so if we weren’t official, I wouldn’t have sex with them.
Yvonne, 24

4. Only when we’re serious

Only after I know he isn’t going to stop seeing me after we do the deed. We girls aren’t stupid—if you sleep with him before you get to know him well enough and he ‘ghosts’ you after that, I think a part of you saw it coming so don’t complain or whine about it.
Valerie, 24

I only aim for long-term relationships as my ‘engine’ won’t be able to start for someone I don’t have feelings for. So if I get into a serious relationship with a good man I love, LET THE GAMES BEGIN. It’s going to be labelled ‘High Importance’ on Google Calendar as part of our training to help Singapore’s birth rate.
Crystal, 24

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5. No specific time

I don’t have a specific time period, as it’s more about how comfortable I feel around them. If we have an instant connection, it’s a lot easier to breed familiarity and physical comfort. Sometimes it takes months while other times a week or two. I’d listen to my body. If my body says yes, we’re good to go.
Emily, 19

I think it’s just whenever you feel like it. There was a time in my life where I jumped in way too quickly and slept with a guy too early—I blame vodka and the heat of the moment—but I also don’t regret that.
Angie, 22

I’ve slept with most of the guys I’ve dated early in the relationship/on first dates. Looking back now, none of those relationships worked out because things escalated too quickly. I never got to build a foundation of friendship first before jumping into something intimate. So the new me is trying not to sleep with every guy on the first date from now on.
Ashley, 21

6. Two years

Coming from a conservative family, I was always told to abstain. However, my first time was with my boyfriend who stayed with me for close to 3 years. It took us two years to do the deed. For me, it’s more of how well I know the other party and vice versa.
Teresa, 20

I’d wait about two years—by then we would’ve gone through a lot of things and know each other inside out. When we’re fully comfortable and sure of each other, I believe that sleeping with him will be an intimate and enjoyable experience. Even if it doesn’t end up working out in the end, at least I know we shared something genuine and special.
Steph, 21

7. Only when we’re married

For me, anything before marriage is too soon. Apart from religion, it’s also because I believe that the best present I can give to my future husband is my desire to save myself fully for him. It’s also proof of my determination to say no to anyone who came before him.
Juliet, 19

I’m rather old-school with strong Christian beliefs, so I won’t sleep with a guy unless he’s my husband. For me, holding onto my virginity is also a gauge to see how much a guy respects my values. I want to be able to enjoy it fully once I’m married without any regrets, even if it means waiting a little longer.
Peps, 21

Safe Sex in Singapore

With a range of upbringings and personal beliefs, it’s not surprising to see the different replies. At the end of the day, what matters is that it’s your body, and it’s your choice on what you want to do with it. Just be safe and know what you’re getting into!

This article was first published on 15 May 2017 and last updated on 15 October 2023.
Cover: Source

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