How Long Should People Wait To Have Sex? 90 Day Rule?

January 26, 2016 Torey Wright


Imagine you’re on the best date of your life with the person you suspect is The One. The sexual chemistry is palpable, but you’re looking for a long-term thing — not a hookup. Should you jump into bed with him or her as soon as you’re alone? Or should you wait until you’ve gone out on a few more dates before sleeping together?

The short answer: Do whatever the hell you want. There’s no set time to have sex.

Steve Harvey, the best-selling author, has inspired women around the world to hold off on sex for 90 days to get the respect they deserve, and land a dedicated man.

Often referring to sex as the “cookie,” Harvey suggests that women keep the cookie in the cookie jar for a probationary period of 90 days.

This causes men to prove themselves, work for and earn the benefits.

Part of what makes the 90 day rule seem senseless are most women do not consider that he wrote the book for his daughters.

From a father’s view-point. Which is the best view-point for any human being but to consider his advice to relationship law is debatable.

I don’t like using the word “cookie” for vagina. (He had to be referring to his daughters using the word “cookie”)

First off, no one actually waits the 90 days anyway. But that’s a whole different subject. Here’s 5 more reasons I don’t like this social conditioning dating practice.

1. It treats sex as a currency or service. Crazy thought I know, But what if you’re not Ms. Perfect? Should men withhold sex from you? Sexual intimacy should be viewed as something that enhances relationships.

2. It assumes that men desire sex more and sooner than women. Women and men are equally sexual creatures, equally deserving of sexual gratification and exploration. Women also vary individually in terms of sexuality, regardless of our gender. Women who embrace this have healthier sex lives, body image, self-esteem and libido.

3. It presents sex as something women give to men. Sweaters. Gametickets. Cologne. These are gifts we might give another— Sex shouldn’t be given, but shared and enjoyed when both parties are sure it’s the right time, whether that’s early on or down the road.

4. It encourages game-playing. If we start a relationship out with a bizarre form of sex-related checks and balances, we set ourselves up for game-playing indefinitely. Game-playing leaves little room for authenticity and connectedness and we’re likely to get hung up on keeping score and figuring out who deserves what when.


5. It encourages the myth that women who “give it up” early are slutty. Harvey doesn’t state this outright, but he’s only steps away. In his book he writes: “…if you’re giving [sex] to a guy who’s only been on the job for a week or two, you’re making a grave mistake.” He then depicts women who demand that men wait to receive sex as sharp, responsible and lady-like. These notions are outdated, damaging and false. Associating sex with sluttiness to any degree can tinker with sexual confidence and invite negativity to the bedroom.

But for the women who apply this rule, you should be aware. Waiting for sex is no big deal for today’s man. It depends on the man you are dating. Trouble is men today - are knowledgeable all about the 90 day rule. What self-respecting man will wait 90 days only because you think it will make your relationship last until the end of time?

Like the book based movie, “Think Like A Man”, once the beta male characters realized the women had applied the rules for a relationship book, they played along.

This is a trip wire for some alpha male type men because they agree with it. It’s like a contest or some imaginary line drawn in the sand.

I heard men say it seems like they are put inside of a box for a RANDOM challenge. Men love women who do what the heck they want. Some men have very strong, masculine energy. If he’s attracted to a woman, he will tell her. Oh, don’t pretend to be confused. He’s the bad boy with that raw edge and grim you like.

Men today are keen that they have options and some will not wait around for 90 days.

Since Americans are staying single longer than ever and singles outnumbering their married counterparts, there is no norm nowadays for sleeping with new partners. According to Pew Research Center, as of 2007, only 38% of adult Americans believed premarital sex was wrong, a number that’s likely only gotten smaller in recent years. (FWIW, studies suggest that there’s good reason to get it on as soon as possible if you want to cash in on awesome honeymoon-phase sex.)

There is no “right” time for deciding when you are ready to have sex with someone. It is a different-strokes-for-different-folks kind of thing.


Do women who sleep with men right away end up married? Of course! Millions. There are also millions of women and men who get acquainted with their partner in other ways before getting physical.

What it comes down to is how much effort you put into your relationship. One-night stands happen, but so does love at first sight. There are players out there who are looking for an easy hook up and there are Prince Charming's.

Waiting 90 days will not change who a person is or how they treat you after having sex. It is prolonging the physical act of having sex and that is all. Significance is placed on love, passion, romance and happiness in the relationship.

Now I’m not trying to say that if a guy buys you a drink at the bar and you feel happy to go jump into bed with him. I’m saying that life is short, and when you know, you know. So whether you want to wait 90 days or 9 days make sure you’re doing it for you and for the right reasons.

What do you think of Steve Harvey’s 90 Day Rule? When do you feel couples should begin having sex? As always, I love hearing your thoughts!

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7 Comments on “How Long Should People Wait To Have Sex? 90 Day Rule?

  1. YES! YES! YES! I agree fully. This is why women are not as open when it comes to sex. We are told that these rules are law. NOT. I like sex and when I feel a man and I are in sync with each other, then we will have sex. If there is nothing there, then we won’t. Sometimes I, yes me, the woman; likes sex so much that I might just have a one-night stand. So what. Who is he to judge…Let’s not talk about the fact that HE IS DIVORCED. So why are we taking relationship/sex advice from him. Obviously there was something wrong in his first marriage. Let him stick to comedy and let the women worry about when they want to have sex

  2. Huge kudos for your sex positivity and openness! All of us should have the right and comfort to make our sex-related decisions as we so choose, and Harvey’s message hurts all of us. But like you said, he wrote the book for his female children.

  3. I will give Steve Harvey the benefit of the doubt that he means well. But I agree with most of what has been said here. Sex isn’t a prize or even a gift. It is a shared experience, hopefully a good one.

    The ONLY reason I can think of, as a psychologist, for delaying sex at the beginning of the relationship is that sex tends to create an emotional bond. This is more true for women in general than for men, but that varies considerably from one individual to another.

    So if having sex with the guy makes you want to start planning your wedding, you might want to hold off until you’re sure his good long-term relationship material.

    Now having said all that, let me point out that I just celebrated my 37th wedding anniversary with a man I slept with on our first date. We were both trying to ‘be good’ and wait a bit, but it had been a long time since either of us had been in a relationship. Bottom line, we were both horny.

    We had an honest and open conversation about it and agreed that it didn’t mean we were committed to each other…yet. It was the first of many, many honest and open conversations.

  4. As a younger man, my approaches to women and sex were predictably insensitive, likely spurred on by shortsighted buddy conversations and the movies, but more by inexperience. I routinely prowled for women who would ‘give it up’, and 90 days was out of the question.

    Thankfully, time and the sometimes embarrassing trial-and-error method schooled me. I paid attention. I encountered women who weren’t intimidated by the 90-day rule. And, to my surprise, I didn’t have any less respect for them. In fact, I wound up enjoying their company as human beings rather than simply a target for my ‘other’ brain.

    I understand Harvey’s point, not to treat sex as a gratuitous commodity, no more valued than a diet coke, but I think he overcompensates, oversimplifies, and understates the value of mutual response between man and woman. Your points are valid, and refreshing.

  5. I married the man I had sex with on the second date (we are now divorced, butnot because of this). The first date was pretty darn close, but we were in public, so limited to the boundaries. We had talked for a good while beforehand. In fact, in this world, we tend to talk a lot, text a lot, ask many questions and start bonding, to certain extent on the phone. By the time we actually meet, we know a lot about each other, if we are doing it the way I believe it happens. The meeting test in the chemistry test. Some people feel that chemistry on that first meeting. And if they feel like it, after they have a traditional date, they may end up in bed. If they wait until they truly are ”in love” it could be awhile before sex happens. I do think that some of us desire to be in love so much that we get love and lust mixed up. If you ever have truly fallen in love, you know what it is. I have to accept that what I feel is lust and not love and accept that is okay. If I want to act on lust, so be it. I am a grown up who takes grown responsibilities. If I expect that getting sexual is going to seal the deal and end up at the altar, that is misleading to myself and anybody else involved. So, if I have that idea, I had better let it go or risk getting my heart broken. So, it’s kind of catchy, but, for me, and speaking only for me, I say that recognize, trust your gutt, and carry on.

  6. I think Steve Harvey is giving good advice in fact because of his mistakes that makes him wiser. I believe he is definately helping a lot of young girls who don’t have a father to talk to them about relationships. I believe there are two things that we can feel they include love and lust. I think its good to make a guy wait and I feel a female should be clear about what she is looking before she jumps in the bed with someone. Let him know if you want a commitment this will give a good idea of where this guy is coming from if he is willing to wait then he may be a keeper. A good man knows that when he findeth a women he findeth a good thing. Women often get fearful that a guy will leave them if they don’t give it up quick. Think of it like this if you just met him and he or she is quick to jump in the bed something isn’t right. I don’t want anything microwaveable. Its also smart to get tested especially if you just met him or her.

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