It’s the eternal dilemma – do you sleep with a new man on the first night or is it always best to wait?

A new survey has revealed nearly a third of women wait three weeks, or until their fifth date, to have sex with a new bloke, while just 15% get intimate with a chap the first time they meet.

Alison Palmer asked three readers how long it took for them to get between the sheets with their partner…

She waited… Six weeks until their tenth date

Emma and Henry Hunt live in Alsager, Cheshire. Emma, 35, is a stay-at-home mum to George four. Henry, 33, is a contracts manager.

Waiting game: Emma and Henry had completely fallen for each other

By the time I slept with Henry I had fallen for him hook, line and sinker, and I think he felt the same way about me.

We got on so well from the word go. I wouldn’t have sex with him immediately, that’s not me.

But waiting six weeks made me appreciate all the little things about him I still love today.

Besides which, we enjoyed the anticipation of sex – putting it off because the thought of it was so exciting.

I’ll be honest though, it wasn’t easy! I really fancied him. But just plain and simple ‘dating’ was so lovely. And I wouldn’t change how we handled it.

We met through an online dating agency. Our first date was at Alton Towers. As we screamed our way around every roller coaster in the theme park I knew I had met a man I wanted to see again.

On the second date, we went into Chester for lunch, had dinner… did all the usual things two people getting to know one another do.

I couldn’t have invited him to mine because I was a mature student at the time, living with my parents, but he had a house so there was nothing stopping us. We could have gone to bed whenever – I loved the ‘will it be tonight?’ feeling.

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I could tell we were getting closer. We’d done a LOT of kissing! Then after dinner one night we went back to his house and, well, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to take our relationship to the next step.

I remember laying there afterwards thinking ‘I really love this man’. Sex was the icing on the cake – the cherry on top. We married in 2012 and are still blissfully happy.

I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong length of time to wait to have sex. In the past, I’ve made love to someone after two weeks – and waited longer than 10.

But I’m not with those people, I’m with Henry. And I think that says something.

She waited… Two weeks after going on 4 dates

Delayed pleasure: The Hunts waited until it felt right

Former store manager Emma Southward, 37, and husband-to-be, David Booth, 38, a stock controller, live in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

I’ve had one night stands (drunk and sober), waited for ages before sleeping with a partner and everything in-between, but with David I felt – we both did – we were SO right for one another we needed to wait, at least a little while.

It’s simple. I knew I wanted a relationship with him and, strange as it sounds, sex might have spoiled that.

It all started when I saw David’s picture on a friend’s Facebook page back in 2010, thought ‘he looks nice’ and asked her to introduce us via the site.

She did and soon we were sending messages to one another. He was living in Pontefract and I was in Ireland but just about to return to Yorkshire.

A few weeks later, I invited him over to celebrate my birthday. Despite being smitten (I thought he was pretty special online and he lived up to it in person), we didn’t kiss until the day he left to go home – he even stayed with a friend of mine not me.

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We both felt so strongly about one another so quickly we wanted to firm the foundations before we jumped into bed.

We didn’t want to ruin something with the potential to be amazing. Plus, we’d both been hurt in the past so I think there was a bit of self-preservation.

A week later, he was there at the station to pick me up when I moved back to Yorkshire and, although I checked into a hotel (my new house wasn’t quite ready), and everything seemed to be on a plate for us to have sex – a posh pad, big bed, room service and so on – we still hung on!

In fact, we hung on for two more dates – even though both times he came up to the room for a nightcap and a bit of a kiss and cuddle – but on the fourth date that was it, nature took its course.

And I can reveal it was worth the wait! It really did seal the deal.

And next month, on May 31, my birthday and almost five years to the day of our first date, I finally become Mrs Booth. Deal totally done!

She waited… About six hours into their first date!

Olga Frankow, 30, and her husband of two years Rafael, 27, live in East London. Olga works in an investment bank and Rafael at an accessories distribution company.

Couldn’t wait: Olga and Rafael made love on the first night

It was March 2009 and two friends and I had gone out to visit a friend who was living in Krakow, Poland. We decided to hit a nightclub and we hadn’t been there long when a handsome man came over and started dancing with me.

At first I tried to brush him off, but my friends nudged me and told me to go for it so we danced. He told me his name was Rafael and then we went over to the bar to have a drink. We started chatting and it turned out he wasn’t local either. He is Austrian and was there on holiday with friends, male and female.

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He was so lovely – charming, sweet, kind – and I could feel my heart racing. I really liked him. We had so much in common and he was intelligent and witty. At 3am, he asked if I’d like to go back to the apartment he and his friends had rented and I said yes. I didn’t want the evening to end.

We called in at the off-licence and picked up some champagne but we’d barely got in the house when we began kissing. We had the most romantic bubble bath together and then made love.

I recall him saying I was the kind of girl he could ‘be’ with.

I had NEVER done anything like that but it felt right. He had to go home the next day so we swapped details and I do remember thinking ‘what if I never hear from him again?’.

I decided if nothing more happened I should accept it for what it was – a wonderful experience.

However, when I got home a couple of days later, there was an email waiting. It was from Rafael. We Skyped continuously and a month later he came to visit me for 10 days. By the time he left, we’d said ‘I love you’. I was blown away.

It was hard being apart but we tried to see one another once a month until, just over a year after meeting, Rafael got a job near me and we moved in together. A year after that my work brought us to London and we married on December 1, 2012.

Once upon a time I might have turned my nose up at a woman who slept with a man on the first date, but sometimes the heart takes over. And when I look at my fantastic husband, I don’t think that’s always a bad thing.

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