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If both people are playing by the same dating rules, sex can serve as the gateway to a consensual, committed relationship.
"I thought there were differences between men and women and how they felt about relationships.
"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.
But overall, I have found that very often they want the same thing," Allen says.
"Think about your sexual boundaries before you've had that first drink," Mc Clary advises.To that end, Mc Clary often tells women, "If you value a committed relationship, ask yourself, 'What do I need to do to stay emotionally whole?'" When directing her advice on dating rules to a male audience, Mc Clary puts things a little differently."It becomes much more difficult to objectively see each other's character traits" says Susanne Alexander, a relationship coach and author of Can We Dance? "Some couples then slide into engagement and marriage only to discover they have missed seeing major aspects of each other." While not every dating scenario that involves sex leads to marriage or even a serious relationship, couples do owe it to themselves to talk about where they see their relationship going and how sex might change the relationship -- before they get in bed together. The woman may assume sex implies a commitment; the man may not see it that way," Allen tells Web MD.Having an honest conversation with yourself about sex is just as important as discussing it with your partner, experts say.
"Every woman and man should know their boundaries before they start dating, and most of us don't," says Cheryl Mc Clary, Ph D, JD, professor of women's health at University of North Carolina-Asheville.