Notes from poly-world: Why you SHOULD have sex on a first date

Being polyamorous is a great way to start a family argument over Christmas dinner. But I also feel that my “alternative”* lifestyle gives me some wisdom that monogamous people could really benefit from.

In particular this is true when it comes to dating. If you’re monogamous and you’re any good at dating – you’ll quickly end up not dating. Not me. I’ve dated continuously for at least the last decade. Not a month has gone by that I haven’t been out on at least a couple of “first dates”.

Not that all poly people are like this. Some build a cosy “polycule” and are happy to winch up the drawbridge. For me one of the joys of my way of life is that the door is always open, or at least ajar. If someone sparks my interest there is always the possibility of exploring it further.

Conventional advice on dating – especially for women – seems to distil down to the same thing: slow down! Take time to figure out what you want. Gather all the information about someone before progressing the relationship. Test your partner by making them wait as long as possible.

So let me be radical and suggest the exact opposite! I call it reverse dating. If you fancy someone – have sex with them on the first date. If that goes well, meet up for a drink and see if you’ve got enough in common to manage a conversation.

Of course keep yourself safe. Meeting in a coffee shop within a block or two of home gives you a chance to verify their Tinder photo was taken in the last decade and check their rucksack for Nazi insignia.

But this approach to dating offers three clear advantages:

Firstly you’ll find out early on if the sex is good. Nothing is more disappointing than finally going home with someone after six weeks of picking out restaurants and nightspots that make you seem cultured but also funky and down to earth only to discover the object of your accumulating fantasies has the sexual skill level of a herring gasping for it’s last taste of oxygen before being packed into a freezer box.

Secondly it takes the pressure off. No more wondering if they’re into you. They are. No more wondering if they only want you for sex. They’ve had that. If they’re back they must think there’s more worth exploring. And what’s the point of worrying if your eye make-up has smudged when they’ve already seen your contorted o-face while their sweat drips onto your stomach?

Thirdly, and arguably most importantly of all, dating this way means you’ll have loads more sex. Yay, sex! And when you’re having plenty of sex, you’re a little less desperate, and that might actually help you make good choices!

Reverse dating works too. The evidence is everywhere. Recently my primary partner and I attended an engagement party for a colleague of his.

“How did you meet?” I inquired of the two beautiful grinning men before me.

“Oh…erm…awkward…we met…” They glanced at each other ‘…on a sleazy hook-up app”.

My partner and I laughed “Don’t worry, so did we”.

*Alternative to a lot of things I’ve tried that definitely don’t make me happy.

Kate Smurthwaite

Kate Smurthwaite is a feminist, atheist, polyamorous comedian who will be performing at the 2019 Perth Fringe 1st-17th Feb (not Mondays) at Tiki as FK. For full info and tickets visit Fringe World

Image: Jon Cartwright

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