Waiting For Sex

Dear Karen,

I just read something about the “100 Hour Rule” in an article, which basically said that you should wait until you’ve spent 100 hours with someone before you have sex.  What do you think about that? – Stacey, RI

Hi, Stacey,

Although I haven’t heard of this “100 Hour Rule”, I will share with you what I recommend to my clients, as they navigate through the dating phase.


The single most important aspect of being ready to be sexually intimate with a man is to know that you trust him.  Period.  And that takes time.  I’d bet that was what the person behind the “100 Hour Rule” had in mind, because after that much time together, you probably know – and trust – that man.

Many women allow their hormones to make the decision about when it’s time.  Others allow their fear of being rejected to be in charge of when it’s time.  I can’t tell you what a mistake it is to let either of those be the reason to become physically involved with a man.


When you have a strong physical attraction to a man (and it sure is fun, so I’m not recommending you never feel that way), you can easily lose some (or all) of your reasoning faculties.  In the heat of the moment it’s way too easy to say to yourself, for instance, that being with a man who’s ambitious wasn’t really as important as you thought it was when you first identified the qualities you require in a man (and I hope you know what those qualities are, before you’re out there dating!).

You cannot afford to have your hormones driving this situation, because all they know how to do is get you doing the “horizontal Mambo” as fast as possible.  And your date will be very happy, most likely, which just encourages more of this.   This leads me to the next danger zone.


You do not want the idea that you want to be chosen by a man to run the show.  It’s critically important that you keep in mind this simple truth: you are the chooser.

If a man is pressuring you to go beyond where you’re ready to go, it’s possible he’s revealing to you that he’s not the right man (now, it’s also possible he’s just doing what he’s been “trained” to do by previous women, which is to push beyond the “no” because she really means “yes”, if he does the right thing).

Under no circumstances should you ever go farther than you’re ready, or comfortable, going.  If you’re afraid that he might not call again if you don’t let him have his fun, then you’re operating from low self-esteem, and that is a disaster.  You need to get yourself together, and remember you’re fabulous and worthy, before you’re out there dating.


Here’s what I suggest you go by, to know when/if it’s time to be sexual with your man:

1)    you trust him with your life
2)    you are already emotionally intimate
3)    you’ve had the conversation about pregnancy, STDs, etc.
4)    you know he fits your requirements and your vision
5)    the relationship is ready for sex (you are exclusively dating)

Follow these (and notice that there’s no set timeframe here, but there are stages you have to get to, which do take time), and you’ll be developing the relationship very nicely; being able to be trusting, open, and vulnerable…which is what you (both) want.