Concern about STDs and unwanted pregnancies can help create sexual boundaries, believes Mc Clary.If, for instance, you're on the fence about whether or not to take sexual activity to the next level, a healthy dose of fear may cause you to pause, particularly if you're not prepared to take the necessary precautions.If both people are playing by the same dating rules, sex can serve as the gateway to a consensual, committed relationship.
"The risks of STDS have got to be discussed and prevented from spreading," Allen tells Web MD.
"I say definitely use condoms, even if you're in a committed relationship," she adds.
"You might find that you don't even like the person," Allen tells Web MD.
Other experts agree that sex too-soon can lead to undesirable consequences.
She also says the conversation, like the primping, should happen at the same time -- before that big date.
"Think about your sexual boundaries before you've had that first drink," Mc Clary advises.
"It becomes much more difficult to objectively see each other's character traits" says Susanne Alexander, a relationship coach and author of Can We Dance? "Some couples then slide into engagement and marriage only to discover they have missed seeing major aspects of each other." While not every dating scenario that involves sex leads to marriage or even a serious relationship, couples do owe it to themselves to talk about where they see their relationship going and how sex might change the relationship -- before they get in bed together. The woman may assume sex implies a commitment; the man may not see it that way," Allen tells Web MD.
Having an honest conversation with yourself about sex is just as important as discussing it with your partner, experts say.
While you can't apply a one-size-fits-all response to sexual dating rules regardless of age or experience, professionals who have studied the topic say it is a good idea to develop a set of prudent dating rules - before the big date.