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90 Day Rule: How Sex Controls Men, Women & the Way They Should Date

Sex is always fun with someone new. But how long should you wait to sleep with a new guy? Should you follow the 90 day rule or ignore it?

90 day rule dating sex

Imagine being on the best date of your life with someone with whom you have amazing chemistry. There’s a connection, all right. And that sexual chemistry—neither of you can deny it. But should you invite your date to your place and jump in bed together right away? Or should you follow the 90 day rule presented by Steve Harvey *you know, the guy who made a boo-boo mixing up the Miss Universe winner* in his best-selling book?

What is the 90 day rule?

Simply, the 90 rule says that you shouldn’t have sex for the first 90 days after you start dating someone or seeing them. You can do everything else, just not sex.

That’s it, that literally sums up the 90 day dating or sex rule that was created by Steve Harvey in his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

Ever since, there have been many variations of the same rule – like the 30-day dating rule and the 60-day dating rule as well. And then again, there are many more new rules as well. Some say it’s totally fine to indulge in everything but penetration. Some advise new couples to refrain from everything beyond seeing each other in person *yes, no kissing too!*

But instead of digressing into all the variations of the 30/60/90 day rules, let’s stick with the original one, the 90 day dating and sex rule by Steve Harvey in this feature. [Read: Sleeping with someone new for the first time? The must-follow rules to help you stay calm]

Will this 90 day dating rule work for you?

Let’s talk about the pros, cons, and all the factors that play a part in deciding whether the 90 day dating rule would work for you.

But first, let’s spend a minute understanding the male and female minds when it comes to sex, intimacy, and love. After all, it’s easy to remember a rule. What works wonders is if you can actually understand it, and analyze it yourself to know if the 90 day sex rule can or cannot work for you.

The 90 day rule and what sex means to men and women

You have probably heard of the book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, right? If not, it was a huge bestseller a while back. The premise of the book is that men and women are so different that they might as well be from other planets.

Sounds a little depressing, doesn’t it?

Well, yes and no. Sure, no one is going to argue that men and women are fundamentally different. Men are more logical, and women are more emotional. But that is just the beginning of the differences. [Read: What do guys think after you sleep with them the first time?]

What we really want to dig into is how men and women think about sex differently. The reason we need to talk about this first is because it’s a fundamental barrier that can cause problems between men and women, especially in the first 90 days.

What men think about during the first 90 days

Let’s start with the men. Sorry to say this, ladies, but for most men, sex is all physical in the first 90 days. They are horny, and their hormones are raging when they meet someone new. So, all of this excitement just drives them to want to sleep with you.

There are tons of chemicals that are going off in their brains when they first meet someone they find attractive. It’s almost as if they’re high on being horny and become somewhat obsessed with getting laid in the beginning. [Read: Perfect tease – How to keep a guy interested after sleeping with him]

In addition, from a biological perspective, men are wired to “spread their seed.” Think about it from a DNA perspective. The more women a man gets pregnant, the more descendants he will have. And the more descendants he has, the more his DNA will survive through the next centuries and millennia. It sounds egotistical, but it’s just how nature has set life up.

What women think about during the first 90 days

As for women, they don’t want to get pregnant 25 times in their lifetime. If they did, they would never not be pregnant. And who wants that? Yes, we have birth control now, but they didn’t have that in caveman days.

So, women are very picky about who they have sex with. They are biologically wired to choose the right mate. They need a man who will help support and raise the baby *or babies* when she has it. She doesn’t want a man who will spread his seed inside her and then run off to get the next woman pregnant. [Read: Are you being ignored after sex? The truth behind why guys ghost after sex]

Even though these ideas sound archaic, they’re not. True, we don’t live in the caveman days anymore. But our biological programming in our brains has not really evolved very much since then. Because of this, men are still very much behaving like cavemen, and women like cavewomen.

How does this all relate to the 90 day rule? Well, it relates very directly if you think about it.

If women are programmed to be very picky about who they sleep with, then it makes sense that a woman would want to make a man wait to have sex with her. Yes, sex can be fun just for the sake of having sex. But still, a woman always risks getting pregnant.

And so there you have it – a little history lesson on how women and men are wired for sex much differently. Neither is good nor bad. It’s just human nature. [Read: Having sex on the first date – should you give in to the urge?]

The real question is what are you going to do now? Are you going to follow the 90 day dating or sex rule, or are you going to ignore it? There are pros and cons to both. So, let’s start with the pros.

How the 90 day rule can actually help you

Many women swear by the 90 day rule, and here’s why they think it rocks.

1. It weeds out the wrong ones

Let’s admit it—there are players out there who are on the prowl for an easy hookup. They’re easy to spot. However, there are those we’d like to call “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” who simply seem insincere about their intentions.

This type is hard to read, and you won’t know just what their true intentions are until you sleep with them.

By following the 90 day rule in dating and waiting to sleep with them for at least three months, you can feel out the person and reveal if they are truly after having a relationship with you or just getting into your pants. [Read: 25 signs he just wants sex and is only using you for fun]

2. It allows you to get to know each other better

The 90 day rule allows you to really get to know each other and see if you have an emotional connection, which is important if you want to get into a serious relationship.

By waiting 90 days before you get in the sack, you get to focus more on finding out things about the other person, and vice versa. You get to explore what you have in common, and even spend time doing the *non-sexual* things you like doing together. [Read: 34 big relationship red flags most new couples completely ignore early on]

3. It allows you to separate truth from trick

Your mind, body, and heart can play tricks on you, on top of the tricks and mind games that the other person may be playing. So what you may think is attraction or even love may end up being infatuation.

By not waiting, you can end up making all kinds of decisions that you may regret in the end.

4. It keeps you healthier

The number of sexually transmitted infections is on the rise, and many of these even go undiagnosed. By following the 90 day rule, you give yourself plenty of time to know *and investigate* the sexual history of your date.

While you can’t ask about their sex life at the get-go, going out for a couple of months helps you be comfortable enough to eventually be open and honest with your date about their sexual history. [Read: How to have safe sex in every single way possible]

5. You don’t get too attached

Sex creates a bond that you won’t often have if you’ve been going out and not having sex yet. This is because having sex makes two people more attached *thank you, oxytocin*.

Therefore, if you have sex earlier than 90 days, there’s a bigger chance that you’ll get too attached before even knowing the real deal about the person. Talk about the libido taking the lead.

6. The wait makes it more exciting

There’s also a sense of excitement that comes with waiting 90 days. There’s the thrill of the forbidden, as you have made your decision clear with him.

There’s also that electrifying feeling of reaching the finish line that, when the moment indeed comes, is like fireworks. [Read: Does absence make the heart grow fonder or wander?]

7. It allows you to prepare

Waiting for 90 days before having sex with your date allows you to be emotionally, mentally, and physically prepared.

Sex is good, sex is great, but it also has its share of strings and complications. You don’t want to go at it too soon, only to realize that you now regret it, do you?

By waiting, you can prepare yourself for the next step so that when you do reach the goal, you and your partner are both ready and committed. [Read: How long should you wait before having sex? The QnA to help you decide]

Why the 90 day rule won’t work

There are people, however, who don’t believe in the 90 day rule. Their argument is that no one actually waits for 90 days, anyway. Here are their reasons:

1. It trivializes sex

The 90 day rule uses sex as some form of service that you owe to your date after they wait a certain amount of time for it.

It also makes sex seem like some kind of currency that you exchange for spending on you on dates, giving you attention, and again, waiting. Sex and intimacy should be something that enhances the relationship, not used as a way to negotiate or have control over the other person. [Read: Using sex as a bargaining tool and why it’s a terrible idea]

2. It assumes that men are just into sex

Since this 90 day rule came from Steven Harvey’s book, Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man, the rule assumes that the thought process of men revolves solely around sex, and that men want sex more and much earlier than women.

However, more and more women are now also embracing and taking charge of their sexuality, making this rule pretty outdated.

3. It encourages double standards in dating and relationships

The rule assumes that men are only after having sex with women, and that women are less likely to want to have sex right away. But what if it’s the guy who doesn’t want to have sex with the girl before getting to know each other?

Men and women are sexual creatures and are both equally capable when it comes to expressing their sexuality honestly. [Read: 18 double standards in relationships and why they’re toxic AF]

4. It treats sex as a reward

You can’t really dangle having sex with you as a reward for “putting up with you” for 90 days. Sex really isn’t something that women bestow on men.

Instead, it’s something that should be freely shared and enjoyed by both parties who are sure about their feelings, regardless of how many days they’ve been seeing each other. [Read: Using sex as a weapon? 10 harsh truths you need to know]

5. It sets up game-playing

Starting a relationship with such a rule does leave much room for authenticity and connection. It’s like you’re keeping score, and this creates an air of game-playing that undermines your reasons for seeing each other in the first place. [Read: Why do girls play games and test guys in the early stages of dating?]

It makes followers of the 90 day rule seem better than those who put out “early.” Associating having sex with being slutty affects women’s sense of sexuality and expression, as well as invites negativity about what could be an amazing, intimate connection.

7. Even if a guy waits it out, that doesn’t necessarily make him “The One”

The 90 day rule doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be in a long-term, or even lifetime, relationship, nor does it guarantee that the guy will not cheat or hurt you in the end.

The guys who have waited it out may well be as kind or as awful as those who didn’t. Who knows? [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend you need to leave ASAP]

The verdict

Rules are made to be broken, remember that. There is no “right” time for being ready to have sex. What you have to consider is your preparedness *emotionally, most importantly*, comfort level, and connection with the person.

What it comes down to is how much effort you put into the relationship, even after you’ve had sex. Don’t put too much weight on sex. Instead value love, romance, happiness, and emotional connection above all. [Read: New relationship advice to have a perfect start]

While we’re not saying that you should go out there and jump in bed with the first guy you see, weighing the pros and cons of following the 90 day rule will allow you to see the bigger picture and make up your own mind.

[Read: Sleeping together but not dating – A really good idea or a bad one?]

At the end of the day, it’s all up to you whether you follow the 90 day rule or ignore it. When you feel that the time is right, you’ll know it, regardless of how many days it’s been.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...