"Make sure your brain, heart, and penis are in conjunction -- they should all be in a straight line before you have sex," she says.Mc Clary believes all daters should invest the same amount of time conducting these 'self' conversations about personal dating rules as they do primping before a big date.Plus, not having adequately prepared for these practical aspects of sex may signal an overall non-readiness to engage in it.At some point during their courtship, many dating couples decide its time to break down initial boundaries -- be they emotional, physical, or both -- and engage in a sexual relationship.While a dating partner may not welcome this news, it at least can minimize later disappointments.So, too, does an up-front conversation about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).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.
By and large, Allen and other relationship experts endorse a cautious approach to the dating rules of sex.
Whether you're new to the dating scene, a regular player, or jumping back into the game after a long hiatus, the same questions about dating rules apply: How soon do you lean over for that first kiss? And last -- but by no means least -- how do you know when the time is right for sex?
"There's really no formula that I've encountered," says 28-year-old Andrew Reymer, a single resident of Baltimore, Maryland.
"My advice is this: wait as long as you can," Allen says.
Her rationale for these dating rules may seem obvious, but many people tend to forget in the heat of the moment.