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Dr. Venus Nicolino Talks First Dates, Sex, and Red Flags


Dr. Venus Nicolino Talks First Dates, Sex, and Red Flags

Times change, societies evolve, and last year’s hot garbage is this year’s haute couture. But one aspect of life remains persistently unchanged: First dates are tricky territory, a minefield of misread conversational cues, painfully awkward pauses, and sudden “not if you were the last person on Earth” insights. Dr. Venus Nicolino believes, however, that you can increase the chances of first-date success with the right attitude and a good plan.

She’s got plenty of advice for how to approach an event that most people, for better or worse, experience at least once in their lives. She also has a long history of reaching people in a variety of ways. She’s written bestsellers Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bulls–t), hosted podcasts (“The Tea With Dr. V”), and posted a fascinating collection of videos on her TikTok and Instagram channels. She’s also got the educational receipts: a master’s in counseling psychology and a master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology. 

In short, Nicolino knows what she’s talking about. And when she talks about first dates, she talks about being direct and stating your needs, both physical and emotional. Why waste time?

“There is never a wrong time to bring up what you want and what you need. So, if on the first date, if you want a family and you want to have children, that’s something that you should bring up,” Dr. Venus Nicolino said in a video for the New York Post’s “Page Six

“If this is something that the other person doesn’t want, or they think it’s inappropriate to bring up on a first date, then guess what? You’re not meant to be. Because if that person is looking to have kids and that person wants a family as well, then they are not going to be afraid of that conversation.”

Dr. Venus Nicolino Talks About Sex on the First Date

Nicolino — affectionately known as Dr. V — also addresses one of the biggest topics around first dates: Is it OK to have sex during that initial outing? Or should you wait? Many still follow the “third date rule” when it comes to having sex, a decades-old idea popularized by Sex and the Cityaccording to eHarmony, which should know.

Waiting until the third date can “heighten the tension” and “make sex better when it does happen,” according to eHarmony, as well as allow you the time to “form a more complete picture of the person you’re with.” 

Dr. Venus Nicolino begs to differ. She says, in her typically irreverent way, that these days, “The idea that anyone is waiting three dates to have sex is bulls–t. We all just need to stop perpetuating these dumb dumb rules that don’t make any sense. If you feel a connection with someone on the first date and it feels right, and you’re both in the moment — allow yourself to have that moment. With protection, of course”. 

She added that women who wait until the third date to have sex and ignore what they want may find themselves running contrary to human nature. “I think for so many women, we believe that our sexuality can be bargained with,” Dr. V said. “You own your sexuality. It is yours. You can do with it what you want to do with it.”

Women Should Ditch “Societal Shame”

Nicolino expanded on the topic of female sexuality in a “The Tea With Dr. V” podcast interview with Brooke Burke, a previous winner and host of Dancing With the Stars. The pair spoke about how, in heterosexual relationships, a woman’s pleasure is often subservient to a man’s.

Dr. V said this has led to a “pleasure gap” between young men and young women. She cited studies that show a majority of women never achieve orgasm during intercourse. She added that many men think women are only supposed to orgasm during foreplay, something of an appetizer to the main course. Moreover, men (and women) are conditioned to believe that women orgasm the way men do; through penetration. In reality only 4% of women orgasm through penetration alone”. 

“There are studies that show that there are more women faking orgasms than actually having them … We’ve grown up with the idea for centuries that it’s really about his pleasure, so intercourse then becomes about his pleasure. As a matter of fact, on a first date the likelihood of a female orgasm is about 13% versus 77% for males.” Nicolino said. 

The good news? Dr. Venus Nicolino says that tends to change with age. “I don’t know about you but I am experiencing an amazing amount of pleasure,” she told Burke. She said with age, “We’re comfortable in our bodies. We know where everything is. We’re not bogged down by societal shame which is put on our genitals, which is put on our bodies.”

Bad Signs and Good Signs on a First Date

While Nicolino advocates an open mind when it comes to sharing your needs and wants on a first date, she also recommends taking note and responding appropriately to red flags when people fly them. She warned that some types of women tend to “collect red flags” rather than get away from them.

In the “Page Six” video, she got directly to the point. “The signs to spot a sociopath, or I will even say a narcissist, is that they lack compassion and empathy. And you will feel that right away. Do not ignore that red flag.”

She said women should take the time to ensure they have a better chance of attracting good dating candidates, especially when using online profiles. Here, Dr. Venus Nicolino also advocates a direct approach, as well as avoiding certain common mistakes.

In a video on her popular TikTok channel, Dr. V offers three things to avoid on a dating profile. “No. 1, using only group photos. Don’t make them guess which face belongs to you. Two, don’t write a list of demands,” she said. “And three, cliches. Avoid them. And if you’re not sure what that is, here are examples: ‘I like having fun’ and ‘Please be able to hold a conversation.’ Don’t write that.”

How can you tell things are going well after the first date and you should continue seeing someone? Nicolino said that you might find clues in the bedroom. For example, she advised taking notice if your partner reveals a “kink” they like to do in bed that is news to you.

“I just want to let you know that that is an area of opportunity. This person just gave you a piece of information. I think to explore these valuable pieces of information, particularly in the bedroom, is so incredibly important,” said Dr. Venus Nicolino.

“Because your sexual relationship is your relationship, nonverbal. So, the idea that your partner would feel even comfortable to bring up a kink of theirs — that is incredible trust. So, while it might be surprising, while it might be shocking, it’s actually a sign that your relationship might be on the right track.”

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