Relationships

The Secret to a Good Date

Beyonce

After being together for four years, my fiancé and I have settled into a happy routine…

Every week we like to see friends, spend a few lazy evenings on the couch with our cat and go out to dinner once or twice. Our date nights are also pretty predictable: dinner at our local spot or a new place we’ve been wanting to check out, followed by a night cap and then, well, sex.

But sometimes, after too much wine and trying one too many dishes off the menu (why do we always order so many apps?), when we get home passing out is all we feel like doing. The other night, though, something came over us and we ended up in the bedroom before we even left the house for dinner. The next several hours were spent at our usual spot eating our usual things, but it felt different — a little lighter, a little more smiley.

I didn’t think too much of it, but a few days later I came across a New York Magazine article that championed the pre-date romp. It says: “If you have sex at the top of the evening… you get to spend the rest of the evening — dinner, drinks, whatever — in the pleasant afterglow… You, too, can be part of one of those glowing couples at brunch who clearly just had sex, except you can also be them at dinner.”

Maybe we were on to something? (Dan Savage definitely agrees.) Having sex before dinner takes the pressure off the end of the night when you’re full, tired and maybe a little tipsy, makes the act itself better and the date that much more giggly and fun.

What about you? Do (or would) you have sex before a date?

P.S. Who makes the first move in your relationship, and do you talk to your friends about your sex life?

  1. Oh my gosh. I adore your blog. Thanks for the inspiration. xoxo

  2. Great post, I love how you kept it clean!

    I would love to try it; however, my toddler is generally running around our tiny apartment before we leave for dinner.

  3. I can’t believe I just found your blog. Your articles like, speak to my soul. I’m 21 and living in NYC and can’t wait to learn more from you! Also, definitely recommend sex before dinner. Although bigger appetite = even more appetizers.

  4. I’m with you girl!! I love having sex before a date with my husband! After a dinner I’m full and our breathe usually smells because we just ate and that ain’t sexy. And then there is this really hot sexual electricity during the date because we are replaying what we did and when we get home I end being thrown on the bed for round two ;)

  5. This sounds like a fantastic idea (says the woman who’s been holding her husband at arm’s length since she gave birth 14 weeks ago). I’m just trying to figure out how the heck we’d make it work with our toddler and baby, and my parents as our usual babysitters…
    Nap time usually works the best for us, except that I always have such a long list of things I want to get done in that precious couple of hours!

    • Nataly says...

      Same here, yet with a 7 week old and a 2 year old. With one child, it was manageable and felt perfect, yet with two, poor hubby has been turned down way too many times… Sigh of exhaustion! Hoping this is temporary!

  6. Ruth says...

    Great idea. Though would be tough to do in my house with a one-year-old who is getting babysat by my MIL… LOL. Maybe on a kid-free vacation, though!

  7. Kiley says...

    We have a 5 & 2 yo and my husband came to check on me with a glass of wine while I was in the shower – 1 hr-ish before the sitter was scheduled. Kids were watching TV, playing downstairs. We had a quickie and continued getting ready. It was nice to take the pressure off and not have to worry about too much food or too much drink or being tired when we got home. I agree that I could not have gotten in the mood with babysitter down stairs and I’ll have to think about some public spots that this may work for.

  8. *Love* this idea! Will be trying it out – shame we’re meeting in a coffee shop before our dinner this evening ;-)

  9. Busted! Legitimately my plan for tonight’s date night….

  10. mollcoll says...

    Chiming in to say how much I love that photo of Jay/Bey.

  11. Erin says...

    Damn! How do yo do this with 3 kids and a sitter on their way?? Sounds dreamy.

    • Jessie says...

      My thought exactly!

    • Lnb says...

      This!!!

  12. Julia says...

    Also for me, the need of having sex at a given night with my husband feels like a pressure that takes away the lightness. It is like: This evening will only be satisfying to him/us if sex is integrated. And yes, having had sex right at the beginning, a kind of pressure has been taken away, since there already had been proof that our relationship is romantic. It is really weird, that I enjoy having sex with him, but before it actually happens it is like a burden to “must have sex” or something could be wrong…

    • Molly says...

      I go through the exact same thing!

    • Hana Kim says...

      Exactly how I feel!

    • Preach!

  13. Rosie says...

    This is has been our usual m.o. ever since our 8yr old was born. It is way better to get busy before going out than afterwards although another round is never ruled out if we are up for it. This always seems to put us in a better mood and provide some well needed levity to our hectic and busy lives. It also takes the pressure off of it being a “date night”.

  14. I’m so glad this secret’s out! When I discovered this it was like being knocked over the head with the best Aha! moment ever. Sex before date night dinner, and then horizontal food comas together after dinner :)

  15. Lisa says...

    This is a great secret. I was listening to The Longest Shortest Time Podcast, one of the episodes on “The Parents’ Guide to Doing It,” and the person being interviewed suggested this! My husband and I agree, it works when you can do it this way. Sex first, eat later :)

    • I loved that episode.

  16. Ximena says...

    It’s so funny to read this! My husband and I got to that conclusion a couple of months ago! It’s just hard to feel sexy after a huge meal and we love eating :)

  17. Kate says...

    The predate romp is the best! It’s been so long, I’d forgotten! Good for you ;)

  18. Love this, very great advice and I totally agree

  19. Cindy says...

    OMG YES! My boyfriend and I also get too tired and tipsy and full after a date (or a night spent in watching our fave shows) so we try to get it on shortly after I walk in the door from work. It is so much better and spicier than the inevitable regret that you didn’t have sex the next morning and the next morning and the next….I’ve actually been thinking of other ways to spice it up – maybe pull off a Clive and Julianna ;)

    • Shirmila says...

      YES to Clive and Julianna. Haha!

  20. Leah says...

    My husband and i often do it before we have dinner after our little babe has gone to bed. It’s fun and then you don’t have that late night awkward moment where youre both too tired but feel compelled by the earlier promises or ‘routine’. Also day time is great when you can sneak it in! I miss nap times (sigh)

  21. Kendra says...

    BRILLIANT use of that Bey pic. It’s one of my favorites of them, and it just makes me relaxed and happy

  22. mandy says...

    love this :) perfect post going into the weekend

  23. Astrid says...

    A few years ago when my kids were at my parents, my then boyfriend (soon to be husband) and I had a dinner reservations. We had a quickie before leaving and later that night after dinner, he proposed. So yeah, doing it before a night out is the best

  24. Giovanna Lima says...

    Joanna posted about this a while a go. I think she referred to it as a golden rule a friend had: sex first. Since she posted, it really worked out for me, especially while traveling.

  25. Or… If you don’t really have time for night dates (because you have kids, for example), you can do it on your lunch time! Its so fun and makes you happy for the rest of the day!! ;)

  26. I’m not sure how this would work with kids and an au pair in the house. 😂 But I love the idea for once they’re out of the house! 😘

  27. CG says...

    Doesn’t have to be a date night. It’s even more fun when you’re getting ready to go to say, a wedding or some thing. You’re getting dolled up, putting on your sexy undies, perfume and cologne lightly sprayed, gorgeous dress being zipped up… Or not… Then you only get about 3/4 of the way dressed before it all comes off again. Afterwards you put on your dress clothes knowing a delightful secret. The wedding you attend is that much more wonderful.

    It’s harder when your kids are in that in between age: not young and toddling but not old enough to be out w their buddies. That tween age makes it much harder to spontaneously canoodle.

  28. Such a good idea! I think by the end of the night too you’re just so tired! So you get sex over with and then go to bed. No cuddling afterwards, no talking, etc. which is I think the normal thing to want after sex. I think leaves you unsatisfied in a way if you have sex with no cuddling and talking afterwards.

  29. Emma says...

    Two words: morning sex. My partner and I end up doing that around 3 days a week and it just makes everything after so much better! And why limit being glow-y to brunch or dinner when you can have the whole day?

  30. Hilary says...

    I want to thank you for keeping your article clean. I imagine most of your reader’s are grown women and most likely well-versed in the ways of bed-sport. I made the mistake of reading the aforementioned New York Magazine article. As women have WE stooped so low as embracing locker room talk?!? WE must demand respect from the men in our lives and maybe, also from each other. Thank you for keeping it sexy by allowing us to read between the lines.

    • Well put. Also appreciated.

    • Leah says...

      Amen to this comment.

    • Rachel says...

      Agree! That article was too raunchy for my taste, even if I am totally on board with the concepts!

  31. Heidi says...

    Gosh I miss life without children sometimes!!

    • Kelly says...

      Try this after they go to bed! Go in for a quickie and then relax for the rest of the night?

    • I totally understand! Could you drop your kids off at a sitter’s before the date so you could have time to have sex? It’s hard with kids! Even make it an at home date with some wine and a nice, homemade dinner…? Just some ideas! Good luck!

    • mandy says...

      YES KELLY! Then you still get to go to bed on time ;)

  32. Angela says...

    Ha! I love this because I am 100% the one at the end of the night who is like, “Nope, I’m exhausted!”

  33. Annie says...

    Yes! I remember one New Year’s Eve when me and my now hubs had a romp before heading to a party. Halfway through the party I saw some glitter on his face that had transferred during our romp. It gave me a secret thrill all night! I would like to incorporate this into our date routine. It sets such a nice tone.

  34. its hard to make love or even have a quickie before you leave the house with small kids, too many logistics with babysitter + trying to claw small children off of you. kind of impossible but something to look forward to when they’re older…

  35. Jo says...

    I love Dan’s “F@#ck First!” strategy, while I don’t think our babysitter will! Hubster and I canoodle when the baby naps. It is hard to be creative about getting some action when you are tired and have kids!

  36. Morgan says...

    Love this advice! My husband recently got a new job and now gets up much earlier than I do for work, so at night he is normally dozing off when I’m just starting to wind down with a book. We have mentioned that sex just isn’t happening as frequently. We don’t have kids, but because we are on the go so much before bed just always worked best. Now maybe I’ll change it up to before dinner sex!

    • Loribeth says...

      Morgan, this is my life. Like exactly, WOAH! So yeah, great advice for people in our situation too!

  37. Caz says...

    YES to this! I remember trying so hard to get an ex on board with this, sadly to no avail. We didn’t live together and we both worked hard during the week. Every Friday night we would order way too much takeaway and watch a film. Afterwards, I would be full and exhausted. I much preferred when we jumped on each other after walking in the door and then I could just pass out on the couch!

  38. Tyler says...

    yep. all the way. figured this out a few years ago. i’m always too tired at the end of the night.

  39. 100% agree

  40. Melliebay says...

    We do this often. Even on non date nights we will often hit the sheets before we make dinner. It definitely sets a more relaxed and intimate tone for the rest of the evening!

  41. Sarah says...

    My husband and I used to do this and it’s honestly the BEST. But now we have a 1 year old (look where all that pre-dinner activity got us :) it’s really not doable. I can’t imagine sneaking away after we set up the babysitter, who is usually a grandparent, to do this, haha. But I’m going to remember this the next time we are indulging in a kiddo free vaca!

    • Sarah says...

      Fellow Sarah: we have the babysitter come over after our 2 year old is already asleep. Plenty of time for a pre-date romp and to take a shower and get dolled up!

    • Emilia says...

      Who’s to say it has to happen in bed? Bid adieu to the babysitter and fool around in the car, in the restaurant parking lot, on a beach, in a park, etc… on the way to dinner or a movie! We have three little ones under 7 and fun (well chosen) public hookups keep us feeling like teenagers and fooling around more than many of our friends without kiddos!

  42. Mallory says...

    Revolutionary. Absolutely revolutionary.

  43. Oh totally our trick, too! Bonus – voluminous, messy bedhead!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha that is awesome, liz!

  44. Clara says...

    I’m not saying we do it, but when we do it totally sets the tone for the evening and you don’t feel too bad about having a few two many drinks and passing out when you get home!

  45. Kathleen says...

    I am also becoming a big fan of the daytime date. We have three small kids and are almost always tired in the evening. We’ve discovered carving out an afternoon (or just a few hours) on the weekend is much more enjoyable than going out at night. We go for a hike, run errands together, and often have a romp in bed before picking up our kids (we’re lucky to have grandparents nearby). We have more energy for each other and for sex during the day (although night-time and morning sex happen too, just not in the context of a date).

    • Megan Cahn says...

      I love a day date. Good call!

  46. Mara says...

    This has been our strategy for years. I’m always so full after dinner, totally not sexy!

  47. kind of unrelated – my husband and i went on date last night (getting rare these days, with a toddler around) and decided to meet a bar. he was coming from home, i was coming from work. we ended up running into each other on the subway, when he texted me a photo of myself! the car was too crowded for us to get near each other so we spent the ride looking over at each other and smiling/grinning like maniacs. we definitely got some weird looks. anyway, when the car cleared up a bit i got up, walked up to him and gave him a big, passionate kiss. i could not stop giggling for the next couple of hours.

    • Elspeth says...

      Haha, love this, Nora! You guys sound so cute =)

    • Megan Cahn says...

      I love this! I always get excited when I run into my BF on the subway!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so, so cute!!

    • Nora Romanoff says...

      So cute. Joanna, this reminds me of your advice to get ready separately and meet your SO out for a date – instead of getting ready at home together + then struggling to get into date mode.

    • Angeleno says...

      Love this story, Nora! Makes me miss living in NYC. Also yes! Reminds me Jo’s meet-up post. It changes things!

    • Alice says...

      Hahaha my chap and I did this on the tube the other week on our way to work. I accidentally hopped on a tube as the doors were closing, leaving him on the platform behind me. I got off at the next stop, jumped on the next train, and ended up in the same carriage with him- but he didn’t see me! So I crept up to him and gave him a massive kiss, much to the surprise of him and all the rest of the passengers. I like to think it made their morning :)

  48. NHA says...

    I feel like this is an exact replica of something you’ve posted before. Come on ladies!

    • Claire says...

      Can’t remember ever reading this before (and I’ve been around for 8+ years). But maybe something similar? Sometimes I like when COJ revisits old topics to see how perspectives have changed, as new readers come and go, etc. Just my two cents! :)

    • Laura says...

      I think you may be thinking of this article:
      http://cupofjo.com/2016/02/marriage-tip-dinner-dates/

      They are related, but not the same :)

      I think it is cool to hear Megan’s voice/thoughts on this topic, which could be potentially very different from Joanna’s ;)

    • Emy says...

      The title is somewhat recycled but the advice isn’t. Joanna wrote the “meet at the restaurant” tip. We still do that for date nights especially now that we have a toddler!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, we’ve never written about this before. but i’m glad to see people are reading closely! :)

  49. Yep a winner every time… especially when you also get to do it again at the end of the night….

  50. Eliza says...

    Alas, I fear this is not the secret to a good *first* date. ;)

    • Brianna says...

      Ha! Nope.

  51. Melissa says...

    I completely agree! Plus, you work up an appetite this way ;)

  52. Madie says...

    Sooo…. for people with kids… when, exactly? In between making pasta for your toddler and smearing on some lipstick, hustling to be ready before the sitter walks in the door? Can’t really tell the sitter, “Oh, we’re not leaving for 30 minutes, but pretend we’re not here. HA! Gross.”

    • Joanna says...

      This.

    • Jessica says...

      Yep.

    • Charli says...

      I read this as an article for those without kids, like the author and many of us CoJ readers.

      Also, if your kids are older maybe they are at camp/grandparents/sleepover/work.

    • AmyB says...

      Or in the car! Nothing makes you feel 17 again like fooling around in a deserted parking lot ;)

    • When our sitter arrives, my husband usually pops upstairs to “check on” me, and we don’t have time for sex, but there’s definitely a make out session. It’s not quite the same, but it’s still fun! Also, not every blog post is or can be for every reader!

    • Amelia says...

      I have a kid but I know not all the readers of this site do, so I don’t think every post needs to be oriented toward parents.

    • Sarah says...

      I posted this elsewhere, but we have the babysitter arrive about 30 minutes after our toddler is asleep, or at least in his crib :). It’s nice to have some time to ourselves to do whatever we feel like, even if it’s just to take quick showers!

    • EH says...

      Maybe I’m the only voyeur here, but especially in the winter when it’s dark early I imagine that AFTER the babysitter arrives and AFTER we leave the house, my husband and I could find a nice quiet park somewhere to have fun in the car before we head to dinner – we sometimes do that at the end of the night anyways!

    • Mo says...

      Then…don’t…do it?

    • Laura C. says...

      Nooooo girls, not in the CAR anymore!!! I married the guy also to avoid that!
      I would be happy just having the single date… our couple life is disappearing… some advice would be great. Thank you girls.

    • Martha says...

      Can you imagine if for every motherhood post on Cup of Jo, all the childless readers wrote “Sooo… for people without kids… what?”

  53. Yes, SO much better to go for it before! It’s especially fun if you’re getting dressed up – then get undressed – then re-dressed up again.

    Is anyone else reminded of this song? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWP7ZtVLPd4

  54. Shelby says...

    This is something Dan Savage has championed for quite a while – especially when it comes to “high pressure” celebrations (such as Valentine’s Day) when a big, fancy dinner is expected. Romp first, miss the crowds, enjoy a late dinner, no disappointment when you pass out after the great meal! I agree, the pleasant afterglow makes the date so much better.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Yes, I learned about Dan Savage’s take in the NY mag article. He knows his stuff! That is a great idea with the high pressure situations. I’ve even heard of couples who’ve snuck off after the ceremony pre-dinner on their wedding night!

  55. This is sex columnist Dan Savage’s advice every Valentine’s Day – every year he implores his readers to “F@$k first!” on their date nights.

    • This has become a delightful mantra in our relationship! Doesn’t just have to be Valentine’s Day, either! ;)

  56. M. says...

    Dan Savage has been championing this for years.

  57. Court says...

    I can’t be a fan of this more

  58. Suzanne says...

    Yes, absolutely. It definitely gives you that post-sex “glow”. :)

    This is sage Dan Savage (of the Savage Lovecast podcast – PS amazing podcast recomendation) to always ‘f*ck first’. He usually talks about this in regards to Valentine’s Day plans, but I think it’s great date night advice.

  59. Amy says...

    Before is always better! You’re happy for the rest of the evening and you don’t feel like a jerk when you just fall asleep when you get home

  60. Jenn says...

    I’ve been married for over 20 years and I love having sex before a date nite. Honestly I have good intentions of late nite fun, but after dinner and a movie or hitting a party, I’m usually exhausted . We have 3 busy kids and never enough us time. I love getting it in early and no complains from my other half