There is only one hard and fast rule when it comes to finally having sex with your crush: do it when you're comfortable. We expect nothing more, nothing less. Despite what your favorite sitcom told you growing up, there is no such thing as the "three date rule" in today's world. Women that sleep with a man on the first date are not sluts. Women that wait three months to have sex are not prudes. Any gentleman worth a damn will agree.
If you are friendly with a guy and you are at a party and end up in his bed that night that's a hook up, right? I don't think any of us are necessarily assuming he's going to all of a sudden get down on one knee and put a ring on it (if you're expecting that, perhaps you're expecting too much). It could happen, sure, but definitely not the norm. For now, let's talk about going out on dates—you know, those things where you hang out one-on-one and eat meals or drink drinks or see movies—and what we men think about when we finally do end up having sex.
In talking with my personal panel of gentlemen, I have heard of a wide variety of situations. One friend said that a woman waited until the tenth time they hung out to finally go to bed together. He said it was frustrating—a lot of heavy making out with blue balls until then—but since he is, in fact, a good guy, he was willing to stick it out. And the not-so-shocking reveal? It was worth it. Another man said that he started dating someone and was shocked when they ended up having sex on the second date. "I thought we were going to roll around a bit. I was surprised when she asked for a condom. But it was delightful. And we're still going strong."
Despite what you might expect about us guys, our level of locker room talk is quite benign. Granted, our choice of words are not always profound: "I hit that," "Yeah we banged," and "Got laid last night" are all still in the vernacular. We're not very specific with what we reveal and are a bit caveman-esque in our description. The act of sex is often the thing talked about, not the various details of how your eyes looked when you reached orgasm. Regardless of the level of detail, we don't sit there and judge the woman we're dating because they slept with us early on. I've never been at a bar with a friend and have him say, "This real slut I'm dating...we made love for two hours last night...and it was the third date. What a whore." Simply. Not. Happening.
If anything, a man takes a woman sleeping with him early on as a sign that she is comfortable with him and that they are going to continue to date. He might reveal it to a few close guy friends but isn't going to brag about it to the whole town. If he cares for you, it's likely something he wants to play a bit close to his chest. He's more likely to withhold information on you (and your sex life) from his friends because he doesn't want too many people involved in case he messes it up. So sleep with your guy when you're ready, because age-old maxims on when and how are only going to get in your way of what will likely be a very enjoyable experience. You go for it when you're comfortable, and guys – be a gentleman and leave slut-shaming at the door.
Lodro Rinzler is the author of "Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing You, and You're Hungover Again" and the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership.