I know I’m not supposed to say this, but I wish gay women had more rules. Say what you will about heteros—Lord knows I do—but at least those beezies have a dating blueprint. All gay women have is The L Word. I’ve never seen a lesbian movie or TV show analyze how long to wait before sleeping with a new woman. Lesbians of my generation take a lackadaisical approach to sex and dating that probably stems from growing up in the hookup culture combined with, “Fuck it, we’re gay — it’s not like anyone expects us to wait until marriage.” The upside of no rules is doing whatever you want. The downside of no rules having no fucking clue what you’re doing or what you want or if what you want is what you’re supposed to want and what you will want in the long run (i.e. tomorrow morning).
Personally, I’m torn. Both casual hookups and chastity have their relative merits. For the first few years of my twenties, shortly after coming to terms with my own gayness, my attitude towards sex was similar to a child’s attitude towards ice cream cake: more is more. Actually that’s still my attitude towards ice cream cake. Apologies to any girls out there who resent being compared to ice cream cake. The hookups took their toll, as false intimacy always will. I was careless with myself and others. I hardened.
After a while I got sick of hurting the girls who cared for me, and being hurt by those who couldn’t care less. So came another extreme: chastity. For six months, maybe more, I didn’t sleep with anyone. It was super boring. Now I straddle the line between decadent girl gluttony and puritanical abstinence with uneasy balance, always trying to find that perfect yet elusive spot between too little and too much. To balance out this piece, I conducted an informal poll of my peers for tips to find that sexy sweet spot when its OK to slut it up. (Lawd I love alliteration.)
Here are seven tips for knowing the right time for sexy time.
1. You aren’t going to run into her constantly.
Call me closed off, but I don’t want to sleep with anyone I’ll have to constantly see. There’s few moments more awkward than the moment you see that girl who slept with you, then never texted again. Or maybe you’ll never want to text her again! Either way, it’s best to sleep with someone not entangled in your social circle. Then no matter how poorly or wonderfully the relationship goes, it can progress naturally with both women’s consent.
2. You could send her a nude selfie without fear.
Hella beta, I know, but also hella true: being comfortable around someone naked is a great barometer for how really you are to have sex with that person. Don’t get confused: I’m not suggesting you send girls nudes. You shouldn’t, especially to strange girls you don’t trust, especially if you are underage. I’m just saying that if you’re 100% sure that a girl wouldn’t share the image of your bod with the world no matter how hot that bod is, she’d probably treat your body right. By the way if you must send nudes, make sure your face isn’t visible. You’ll thank me later.
3. You know her full name by heart.
Does this conversation sound familiar?
“How are things going with that girl?”
“Oh yeah her. Ok I guess.”
“What’s her name again.”
“Do you not know her name?”
“Give me a minute… MANDY. Her name is Mandy!
“No idea, I’d have to check Facebook.”
If that conversation sounds familiar, STOP, do not pass go, do not sleep with Mandy until you know her last and middle name. You should not have to Facebook search your paramour’s last name.
4. She bought you dinner.
Or lunch. Or planned a romantic date. Or made you an adorable surprise. Basically she put in a noticeable amount of effort into pleasing you. Raise your expectations and keep them high: You deserve someone who tries.
5. You’re comfortable with them hearing you snore.
I really, really hate to admit this, but I’m a delicate-ish snorer. Blame it on a slightly deviated septum inside my otherwise excellent upturned nose. If someone’s sexing, then spending the night, I need to know they can hear my ladylike wheezing and still be attracted to me. This requires trust. How do you know you trust someone? When you let them hear you snore. BOOM.
6. You aren’t blacked out or even browned out.
Two quick definition for you dreary, emotionally stable souls who never over-indulge in satan’s brew.
Blacked out: When you wake up and don’t remember anything from a certain point in the night onward.
Browned out: When you wake up and can remember snippets from the night, but not the entire night, past a certain point.
Don’t have sex with someone for the first time when you’re drunk. They can tell, even if you can’t. Three drinks max pre-sex, no shots.
7. She’s said, “I really like you.”
Hearing a girl say “I really like you” melts my frozen heart. Hold out for the “really“—I like you isn’t enough. Girls should like smoothies and really like the girls they sleep with.