"It depends on how rapidly or slowly things progress." Joan Allen, a relationship expert, finds that baby boomers are far more likely to wait to have sex than younger daters.
"Especially among older people who went through the sexual revolution, with maturity they realize there are emotional consequences for getting involved in a sexual relationship," says Allen, author of Celebrating Single and Getting Love Right: From Stalemate to Soulmate.
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).
She also says the conversation, like the primping, should happen at the same time -- before that big date.
"Think about your sexual boundaries before you've had that first drink," Mc Clary advises.
"I say definitely use condoms, even if you're in a committed relationship," she adds.
While you can't apply a one-size-fits-all response to sexual dating rules regardless of age or experience, professionals who have studied the topic say it is a good idea to develop a set of prudent dating rules - before the big date.
By and large, Allen and other relationship experts endorse a cautious approach to the dating rules of sex.
"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.
When Mc Clary refers to boundaries, she's not talking just about the physical boundaries that come with sexual territory. "Emotional wholeness is crucial to the decision process of whether or not to have sex," Mc Clary tells Web MD.
Concern about STDs and unwanted pregnancies can help create sexual boundaries, believes Mc Clary.