Timing Is Everything: 4 Reasons to Hold Off on Sex

In the early days of a relationship, we're all on our toes, anxious to avoid anything that might threaten our fragile new love.

One of the biggest - read: most anxiety-inducing - decisions is when to first get naked together. If you get intimate too early, will she think you're a player who's just out for a quick score? If you wait too long, will he get bored and move on?

Call us prudes, but some experts say getting physical too quickly is the biggest mistake new couples make. Why should you wait it out (a little)?

Patience Plus #1: The sex will be better.

For women at least, sexual satisfaction is usually tied very closely with emotional connection. Which means you'll have an even better time if you wait until you have both closeness and chemistry. An added bonus: If you're comfortable with each other, you'll be more relaxed and able to enjoy yourself.

Patience Plus #2: You won't be fooled by good chemistry.

If it's a lasting relationship you're looking for, you'll need more than just incredible sexual compatibility. But when you act on that attraction, all those feel-good chemicals flooding your brain might trick you into mistaking hot sex for actual intimacy. Wait it out long enough to determine if you'll have anything to talk about during those post-coital brunches.

Patience Plus #3: You'll know better what you really want.

Our culture loves to make light of it, but sex is a big thing, sometimes with life-changing consequences (babies, STDs, restraining orders). And, no matter how loath we are to admit it, sex changes your relationship. You may hit the sheets before you realize that you want your partner much more, or much less, than he or she wants you. By waiting it out - even just a few more dates - you stand a better chance of ensuring you're both on the same page.

Patience Plus #4: You'll do it for the right reasons.

There are plenty of reasons to get naked with someone. Not all of them are good. Putting it off keeps you from repeating past mistakes - sleeping with someone to prop up your self-esteem, because you're hoping to keep a date interested or even just out of habit. A little delayed gratification will help you make a decision that's right for you.

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