You’ve played your cards well enough that the new girl you’re dating has finally agreed to come back to your apartment after a night out. Until now, you’ve held back on making a move because you didn’t want to scare her off, but you can’t wait any longer. You want her in your bed—badly. The pressure is on to make a smooth transition from first base to home plate, but what does that entail? Music? Candles? Definitely not.
Skip any elaborate scheming and keep it simple. We asked experts for their best tips on how to take a new relationship to the next level—with tact and respect. If you get it right on the first try, we promise she’ll be coming back for more.
1. Pay attention to nonverbal clues
“Sometimes a guy is so anxious to sleep with a new partner that he gets caught up in the excitement. But if he wants it to be a great sexual experience for her, then he needs to read her signs,” says Dr. Jenn Berman of VH1’s Couples Therapy and host of The Love and Sex Show with Dr. Jenn on SiriusXM. “Look at how she’s responding to your moves—what makes her excited and what is she less excited about?”
2. Don't skip the warmup
As much as you want to fast-forward to the main event, don’t underestimate the value of foreplay. “A lot of men don’t realize that biologically, women need it to get their bodies warmed up,” Berman says. “If you want her to have an orgasm, the best chance of that happening is a good 20 minutes of foreplay.”
3. Dress to impress
Girls make sure their undergarments are impressive, and men should do the same. “Wear boxer-briefs. Seriously,” says Amber Madison, a New York City-based therapist who specializes in dating and relationships. “They’re sexy and more sophisticated than boxers.”
Like the status of your apartment (read: laundry not overflowing from the hamper), your appearance should be equally as pulled together. If you’re hoping she will be visiting your lower region, it’s important that the area is well kempt so as not to disgust her. “A little manscaping goes a long way,” notes Berman.
“Make sure you shower and smell good, but too much cologne is a turnoff,” White adds. “We all rely on pheromones to be turned on. You want her to be able to smell you—albeit a freshly showered, you.”
5. Make her feel special
Thoughtfulness goes a long way, and we’re not necessarily talking flowers or chocolate. “Women like to see a man make an effort, like planning a terrific date,” Berman says. “Most men underestimate how far that goes,” meaning it might go as far as the bedroom.
6. Make sure you talk about your sexual history
It’s your first time together, so you probably haven’t talked birth control or previous partners. So, take the lead on this one: “Don’t make her bring up the subject; making her uncomfortable is a surefire way out of the bedroom,” White says. “It’s a welcome surprise when a man comes prepared in this department.”
7. It's a work in progress
Taking the plunge with someone new means figuring out how the two of you work together—not just physically but in terms of chemistry, too. “Your first time with a new partner may not go perfectly, and that’s OK,” says Dr. Logan Levkoff, of Trojan’s Sexual Health Advisory Council. “It takes a while to get to know somebody’s body and what he or she likes.”