The ‘rules’ of dating are a minefield. You only have to go online, flick through a magazine or turn on the TV to receive a barrage of advice on how to play the dating game. Strict rules and regulations to adhere to in order to find true love. Not least of all when it comes to sex.

If there is one golden nugget of dating advice that people like to dish out time and time again, it’s about keeping knickers on and lustful thoughts at bay at the beginning of a relationship. Indeed 90% of ’dating gurus’ will consider sex, too early on in a relationship, to be a non-negotiable rule. That is to say that, the earlier you do it the less chance you have of that relationship developing into anything more meaningful. Sex on a first date? *The* cardinal sin of the dating world. Apparently.

Now, maybe being in my late thirties means I’m of an age where I see rules, especially those that apply to something like dating, as a total waste of time and energy. God knows, it’s hard enough to meet someone you like these days without cancelling them out for wearing the wrong shoes or wanting to shag you on the first night.

Ok, perhaps those examples are a little extreme, but seriously, you’re on a date and there is amazing chemistry? Hell, go for your lives!

That’s not to suggest that we should all be stripping off 10 minutes after meeting someone and getting down and dirty in the nearest public toilet, but if you both feel it’s the right time then there is no reason why you shouldn’t act upon it.

What I find far more offensive than acting on impulse at an early stage of a relationship is people who’ll judge others for doing so. ‘She shagged me on a first date so she must do that with everyone!’… What are you, twelve? Just because I have a burger one night doesn’t mean I’ve got shares in McDonalds. A woman having sex with you means absolutely nothing except that she wanted to have sex with you – it’s a compliment not a token example of her sexual activity since the age of sixteen.

There are other reasons to have sex on a first date.

It’s the only way to know if you are sexually compatible. Sorry to say, but sometimes you luck out with a fella in bed – on paper you have nothing in common but in the bedroom there are fireworks. Happy days. Unfortunately, however, it can work the other way around too – you’re hot for each other fully clothed but sexually you just don’t ‘fit’. Wait 6 months to find out, or get the sex out of the way early on and establish you are compatible both in and out of the bedroom. I know which I’d rather.

Sexual compatibility aside, there is another danger of leaving it too long to have sex – the dreaded friendship zone. The longer sex goes unexplored the more platonic a relationship can become. You’ve met all his friends, know his favourite food, where he went to Uni, you’ve snuggled up on the sofa together and … now he’s going to see your orgasm face. #awkward

Remember you are not committing 40% of your social life to dating in order to add to your Facebook friends, you are dating to have a fulfilling adult relationship – look lively and move it on.

As the saying goes, sometimes patience is a virtue, and sometimes – fortune favours the bold. You want to know one thing more disappointing than the Fifty Shades of Grey film after, quite possibly, the most obscenely over-marketed release in history? Dating a guy for 4 months only to find out that the sex is terrible and you have no chemistry in bedroom.

There are some things you want to know before you’ve met the parents. This is one of them.