Originally published on The Huffington Post
If you feel the heat, it’s hot. And I’m not talking temperature, people. I’m talking summer sex. We all want it. But getting it… that’s a different story. Whether you’re looking for a summer fling or something more, this Q&A provides dating and sex tips from both a married male dating coach (who refers to himself as “Hitch”) and a single gal sex columnist who dances til dawn and has her social calendar booked for weeks (that’s me, so I’ll stop talking about myself in the third person now). We take on everything from how to turn a summer fling into a relationship to summer weddings to debating sex on the first date.
Q: If a woman sleeps with a man on the first date, will the relationship be nothing more than sex?
Hunt: This is setting the pattern. If you have sex on the first date, the man is going to think that this is your pattern and you have done it (many times) before. So, he won’t necessarily look at you as anything worth chasing or bringing home to mom. You can’t move backwards. My friend Ted had a woman booty call him before they had even met (this was in the days of Myspace). Months later, she was complaining that he never had taken her out on a date. She had set the pattern and skipped right over the “getting to know you” part. So, of course, he only looked at her as a booty call. If you want it to be more than just sex, you have to show him that you are not about “just sex.”
Jill: While Hunt makes some good points, I’m going to disagree here. I know several relationships that started with sex on the first date. I’m not advocating it completely, but a new book by Andrea Syrtash and Jeff Wilser called It’s Okay to Sleep with Him on the First Date debunks some of these “rules.” According to the authors’ research, 67% of men polled said they would NOT think less of a woman who has sex on the first date while only 32% of men polled said they would. The authors go on to say that most women wait not because they WANT to wait, but because they think a guy will lose respect and interest. And, according to Syrtash and Wilser’s research, that’s just not the case any more. Now, I’m not advocating first date sex; but I’m not ruling it out completely, either. It depends on what kind of first date sex you have. If first date sex happens because one or both of you have had too many “spirits,” chances are a relationship will not blossom from “drunk sex.” Here’s why. One, no one likes a hot mess. Two, if you find yourself blaming your behavior on the alcohol, you’re not giving your date a fair chance. Do you even like him? Would you have slept with him sober? Is there real chemistry or were you just feeling the “spirits” and had a lapse in judgment? Also, you won’t know if he was really into you, or just saw a golden opportunity for sex and took it. It’s not pretty, but it’s true. But if you get excited and caught up in a moment of passion, well, that’s hot, right?
Q: Now that it’s summer, people seem to be even more open to relationships or hook-ups. Why?
Hunt: There is a friskiness that happens when the weather is nicer. I would say people are more prone to hook-ups, less so to relationships. In the winter, that flips. In the summer, you look at life like it’s a vacation. Things are lighter (both in daylight and subject matter) and people are looking to enjoy themselves. Also, we are much more active socially. There are summer share houses, trips to the lake, all-night happy hours, rooftop/patio action, and so on. You tend to meet a lot of people and because YOU are having fun, people are more drawn to you because they want to have fun too. Plus, I’m not gonna lie. A bikini and a tan go a lot further than a parka and chapped lips. Just sayin’…
Jill: Agreed. Women tend to be on top of their beauty game as well — whether it’s having freshly done nails, a smooth bikini line or killer abs they’ve been working on all spring. These superficial things will not snag a man, but they will make a woman feel more attractive and when you’re feeling sexy and desirable, you exude it. Of course, I try to keep the summer outlook year-round and always bring my A-game, whether that’s physically or going out on the town. It’s easy to hibernate in the winter, but you’re not going to find a man watching Law and Order SVU on your couch.
Q: How can you turn a summer fling into something more?
Hunt: Hmm, tough question… First off, let them see the “you” under your summer persona. Don’t let him just think you’re a party girl. By all means, have fun, just make sure that the guy sees you as a person and not an object or distraction. If men look at you as more than a one-dimensional thing, it will be much harder to discard you. Talk about you your favorite summer memories growing up, what career you would love to find yourself in, things that scare you. Be human.
Jill: I love Hunt’s advice. I would also add that you should never delude yourself into thinking you want a fling when what you want is a relationship. So, having a fling with the hopes of it turning into a relationship would not be my primary modus operandi. But, say mid-fling, you develop deeper feelings. I would test the waters and come clean to your fling. If he doesn’t feel the same way, well, it was just a fling. If he does, then the both of you need to book tickets to Grease immediately.
Q: Aside from barbecues and beaches, summer is notorious for weddings. If you’re a single gal, what’s your advice for getting through wedding season without wanting to hurl yourself off a sailboat?
Hunt: Man, people really take weddings as a place to lose all decorum. “Oh, this is my niece, Sally. She lives in New York City and is still single.” Ugh. No other social event is this even remotely OK. First off, know that people are going to be rude and ask you stupid questions. So, have something innocuous prepared. When a tipsy Aunt Betty asks you why you’re still single, have a polite, firm reply: “When someone worthy comes along that can add to my life, that will be great. In the meantime, I love meeting new and interesting people.” Don’t get flustered or embarrassed. THEY are the ones being rude, not you. And most likely, they would trade their lives for yours any day of the week.
Jill: I’ve actually given a version of Hunt’s suggested innocuous response several times (throw in a couple of your recent non-romantic accomplishments if you feel like you need to). This totally works. I’ve also got to add that the idea of bringing a “plus one” to a wedding is a bit antiquated, and a single gal showing up stag to a wedding is no big deal. Enjoy the festivities, friends and food. Do not under any circumstances start pitying yourself for your single status. One couple’s union has nothing to do with your life at all, no matter how loudly that irrational voice in your head screams, “This will never be me!” So, silence that voice stat and enjoy the wedding cake and champagne.
Q: Summer seems to breeze by, but if you’re waiting on a guy to call, your August nights checking your phone seem to last an eternity. Should a gal reach out and contact a man who isn’t calling when he said he would?
Hunt: The Trojan War was fought over a woman. If a man wants you, NOTHING will keep him from you. He’ll move a mountain for you. That’s not to say never reach out. But don’t become the chaser, it’s not sexy and most of the time can actually backfire as we feel you come across as needy. If he is not present or in touch, it’s a very easy-to-read signal. There is someone else out there that will treat you like a queen. Move on.
Jill: In my younger years, I totally would have made the call. And maybe a second or even third date would have come from it. But now, I agree with Hunt. Unless said guy has suffered a horrible tragedy or upset in his life, if he can’t be bothered to follow through on easy promises in the nascent stages of a courtship, my reasoning is, he is either “just not that into me,” or I will be chasing him the entire relationship, and well, that’s just not fun. Summer is about spontaneity, so rather than being hung up on someone giving me a luke warm response, I will keep it moving and take advantage of the long days and steamy nights.
About Hunt Ethridge: I’m the senior coach at New York Dating Coach and a founding partner of the International Dating Coach Association. What does that mean? There’s a lot of misinformation on what I do. When people hear “dating coach” they think of pick up artists like Mystery (and his horrible TV show) or the more recent kerfuffle over Ken Hoinsky’s ill-fated Kickstarter campaign. I am the farthest thing from that. I abhor the negative tactics and misogyny that those guys promote. My goal is to turn you into the best version of yourself so that you can go out into the world more confident, with eyes open, happier and hopefully meet the love of your life. I love women; I married one! This should be a fun and exciting time, not a test to cram and find shortcuts for.
About Jill DiDonato: You’ve read my advice on everything from how to have a breast orgasm to the dilemmas of revenge sex on HuffPost Women. I’ve appeared on TV and radio speaking candidly and unapologetically about my own experiences with men and how my adventures with them have informed my life. The author of a sexy new novel Beautiful Garbage, I’m currently working on a tell-all about dating, sex, and everything in between called 52 Weeks of Sex.