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My sexy book club was just wondering ...

Which is greater: sex on the first-date or anal?

(Spencer Platt / Getty Images )
May 28, 2014|Anna Pulley, @annapulley | RedEye's sex columnist

Dear Anna,

My BFFs at my book club have been reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.” In between gulps of Yellowtail chardonnay, and prompted by your recent column about butt play for everyone, one of us blurted out: “I wonder which number is greater: the guys whom we've gone to bed with on our first date, or the guys who have done us up the butt?” The non-scientific study of my BFFs showed the numbers to be near equivalent, but that may not be a representative sample. When we tried to Google the information, we received an error message. So we're turning to you, Anna, on this important topic. First date bangs or anal?

Dear reader,

I’m so glad I unintentionally infiltrated your adult book club. As to which is more common, first-date sex or anal sex, let’s get to the bottom of it, shall we?

There isn’t much hard data (pun intended) on first-date sex, but according to a 2012 match.com survey of about 5,000 people, 55 percent of singles reported having had sex on the first date (66 percent of men; 44 percent of women). This seems like a strange gap, however. Who are men boning on first dates if not women? Granted, they aren’t all dating each other, and people often lie when self-reporting, especially about sex, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.*

One possible reason for the lower number on the female side may be because there’s still a stigma, unfortunately, about women who throw down on a first date. According to a Cosmo survey of 1,000 women ages 18 to 35, 82.6 percent believe men think less of a woman who has sex on the first date. Do they? Well, some, but the majority of guys polled (67 percent) said they “absolutely don't” think less of a woman if she beds a guy on the first date.

As to anal prevalence, a study published a few years ago in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that more than 45 percent of women in their late 20s had tried anal sex. That number is way up from a few decades ago, when only about one-quarter to one-third of young American women and men had tried anal sex at least once. At that rate, anal sex might emerge the “victor” in this pointless comparison. But then again, maybe not. As society progresses and slut-shaming continues to diminish, perhaps first-date sex too will become more destigmatized and we can all de-pants each other to our heart’s content.

But for now, it appears the experiences even out, and that your BFF sample was on par with both scientific research AND a magazine that tells women to perform fellatio with pastries. I’m glad y’all felt comfortable enough to discuss taboo subjects during your book club. Everyone should give that a whirl—no lube required!

*Note: Elsewhere on Match’s blog, it also noted that 50 percent of singles want to have sex on a boat, so maybe the whole “it’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion in the ocean” adage isn’t a metaphor after all.


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