I have a confession. When it comes to sex I am a prude — maybe I should capitalize that P. Most people find it hard to imagine that a single, sassy-mouthed, city slicker such as myself isn’t throwing it back on every handsome lad who’s a bona fide BBD (a code name my girlfriends and I coined for a dude who has a big biceps, back and… well you can fill in the rest), but I can’t. The reasons abound.

First, I’m easily put off by a lot of men. Some call it being mean, but I call it my BS barometer. I loathe braggarts (you know the guys who lead with their credentials) and poor hygiene (everything from bad breathe to inept grooming). Still, I save my greatest disdain for cornballs who think they’re the bomb (not to be confused with cornballs who embrace themselves — gotta love’em). False bravado screeches like nails on a wall. To me it reads as weak and insecure. Next, please.

Second, I think kissing is one of the most intimate things you can do. For a brief moment you and that person are one. I can’t stomach opening up to just anyone.

Third, I think women lose when it comes to sex. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had some great partners, but if we’re keeping tabs on who gets the big win, it’s usually the dude. They have biology and society on their side.

With all that on my mind, it’s easy to see why determining when to have a meeting in my bedroom is such a quagmire. Advice from my friends ultimately fades into a chorus of banshees, all seemingly predicting the demise of my relationships if I make the wrong move. Some demand that I live a little, test the waters out with new beaus before they get a promoted to “boo” status. Others suggested holding out for as along as possible. Ironically, the conversations rarely dwell on what I need.

The older I’ve gotten the more I crave intimacy (i.e., spooning), but I also feel like I need sex. They two serve different purposes. The former helps me unwind and be. It gives me an opportunity to learn everything about my partner from the number of freckles on his face to the curve of his biceps. Plus it’s an ideal time to share. I adore it. Still, there are times when I feel like I need sex. It has a taming quality. It calms me down. It makes my body sing (think Patti) and my innards dance (think Laurie Gibson).

In my 15 years of dating I’ve given it up after three dates and after 30; the results have been mixed. I’ve found no formula that ensures that I will have a physical connection with a man based on the longer I wait. Additionally, delaying sex hasn’t translated into a successful relationship. Conversely, neither has engaging too soon.

Today I’m balancing dating and sex. I’m working on separating my desires and needs — it sounds easy, but it’s pretty challenging. In accepting that there’s no formula for finding ‘the one’ I know few things can sabotage a true connection. Despite that, I respect what men say and believe that giving it up too soon often ends the chase prematurely. Hopefully, I can wait for the big — and mutual — win.

Do women lose when they have sex too soon? Tell us your thoughts.