Problems with Steve Harvey’s 90 Day (Sex) Rule

“Ask any guy if sex is important in a relationship and the one who says no is lying. I just haven’t met that guy yet. When you meet him, let’s get him into the Smithsonian – he’s that special and rare.” – Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment (Harper Collins, 2009)

Actually, there’s probably something wrong with that man—and sex is important to women, too.

Much has been said about the sexism of Harvey’s book  and derivative film (which isn’t merely sexist, apparently, but homophobic). As his talk show continues to gain success, having recently kicked off a new season, I felt compelled to weigh in.

Before I do, I should say that Harvey seems like a likable guy. He’s witty, contagiously upbeat and seems to genuinely care about the issues he addresses in his book and now syndicated talk show. He runs a mentoring camp in Detroit that strives to “share, teach and demonstrate the principles of manhood to young men, enabling them to achieve their dreams and become men who are strong, responsible and productive,” according to the organization’s website. He encourages men and women to respect themselves and each other and uses his talents, time, energy and celebrity to make a difference regarding issues he deems vital.

If only his philosophies regarding men, women and romantic relationships weren’t so problematic…

I have no desire to bash the comedian turned “love guru” personally; I believe he has wonderful intentions. But if I hear him suggest that women wait 90 days before “giving” sex to a man again, I might have to lure him to Girl Boner Central for a chat. Here he is on the Ellen Degeneres Show, discussing the rule:

Problems with the 90 Day Rule:

1. It presents sex as something women give to men. Sweaters. Game tickets. Cologne. These are gifts we might give another—an object or experience that namely benefits him or her. Sex shouldn’t be given, but shared and enjoyed when both parties are feel it’s the right time, whether that’s early on or down the road.

2. It encourages game-playing. If we start a relationship out with a bizarre form of sex-related checks and balances, or avoid sex before the 3-month mark purely to follow a rule, we set ourselves up for game-playing indefinitely. Throughout the relationship, sex could well become the man’s reward for particular behavior, and abstaining a sort of punishment. Game-playing leaves little room for authenticity and connectedness ad we’re likely to get hung up on keeping score and figuring out who deserves what when.

3. It treats sex as a currency or service. Viewing sex as a “benefit” a partner earns (much like working your way to health insurance at a new job, according to Harvey) sets a damaging standard, conveying that sex is a man’s reward for acting as we wish. What if we’re not Ms. Perfect? Should he withhold sex? Sexual intimacy enhances relationships. Withholding it because one party isn’t “perfect” could keep such bumps from smoothening out. (Harvey also calls women’s hugs, kisses and dressing up “payment.”)

4. It assumes that men desire sex more and sooner than women. Why do I suddenly feel pressured to wear an apron and cook a pot roast? Women and men are equally sexual creatures, equally deserving of sexual gratification and exploration. Yes, genders as a whole vary in particulars—but many of these variances have more to do with cultural factors than science. We also vary individually in terms of sexuality, regardless of our gender. Women who embrace this have healthier sex lives, body image, self-esteem and libido.

Steve Harvey sexist_#GirlBoner

**Harvey does say that once we’ve passed the 90 day “probation” period with our partners, we can give it (sex) out “like sandwiches at a picnic.” I imagine some women might find empowerment in that. Maybe.

5. It encourages the myth that women who “give it up” early are slutty. Harvey doesn’t state this outright, but he’s only steps away. In his book he writes: “…if you’re giving [sex] to a guy who’s only been on the job for a week or two, you’re making a grave mistake.” He then depicts women who demand that men wait to receive sex as sharp, responsible and lady-like. These notions are outdated, damaging and false. Associating sex with sluttiness to any degree can tinker with sexual confidence and invite negativity to the bedroom.

6. It depicts many men as sex-hungry losers. While “real men” will wait for sex, according to Harvey, he asserts that all guys want and will pursue sex as soon as women are willing to give it. He also deems men unlikely to take a woman seriously if she “gives it up” early on. Research and personal experience have proven to me otherwise. Can it be true? Sure. The reverse can also happen. (I explored this a bit in my Sex and the Single Girl post.) I know countless awesome men who respect women regardless of their sexual ideals, and many who desire committed relationships as much or equally as many gals. Men can’t love as deeply or well as women, Harvey states, which is false, in my opinion.

(Women, on the other hand, says Harvey, will love a man “no matter what,” even if her “friends say he’s no good” and he “continually slams the door” on the relationship—ugh.)

Harvey certainly has a right to his opinion. I just wish his insights weren’t presented as “the truth” about how men think or so encouraging of a sexist mindset. Their popularity reminds me of dangerous diets touted by celebrities with little credibility or sound knowledge regarding wellness. Just as risky diets can wreak havoc on our health, buying into many of Harvey’s beliefs could damage followers’ emotional lives, sense of self-worth and relationships.

Should men and women respect themselves and one another? Absolutely. But abiding by a rule that turns sex into a prize men earn from women isn’t a healthy or empowering pathway. Staying true to ourselves, cultivating self embracement (which includes accepting our bodies and sexuality) and communicating honestly with anyone we decide to have a serious relationship and/or sex with cultivates respect all around, making way for harmonious living.

What do you think of Steve Harvey’s 90 Day Rule? Are you a fan or foe of his philosophies? When do you feel couples should begin having sex? As always, I love hearing your thoughts! ♥

Leave a comment


  1. I’ve never listened to this guy nor seen his show. I’m glad, because he sounds like an idiot. The sort of “advice” he’s spewing is also what feeds the whole rape culture. To present sex as a gift or prize to be won also presents it as a trophy to be taken or stolen. Withholding sex does not give women any sort of power nor does it sort the “good” men from the “bad” ones. It denies both parties the right to be equal in the relationship.

    • Excellent, well-articulated points, Melinda. One aspect that concerns/scares me is the way he presents his views, in a very approachable, seemingly authoritative and (his fans believe) pro-female way. He even opens his book out with a dedication to all women, stating that his goal is to empower them(!!!). I’m a bit horrified that his show is so popular…

      • writtenbyafloridian

         /  September 30, 2013

        There is nothing so dangerous and uncritical as a belief that is held unconsciously.


  2. YES! YES! YES! I agree fully. This is why women are not as open when it comes to sex. We are told that these rules are law. NOT. I like sex and when I feel a man and I are in sync with each other, then we will have sex. If there is nothing there, then we won’t. Sometimes I, yes me, the woman; likes sex so much that I might just have a one-night stand. So what. Who is he to judge…Let’s not talk about the fact that HE IS DIVORCED. So why are we taking relationship/sex advice from him. Obviously there was something wrong in his first marriage. Let him stick to comedy and let the women worry about when they want to have sex

    • Huge kudos for your sex positivity and openness! All of us should have the right and comfort to make our sex-related decisions as we so choose, and Harvey’s message hurts all of us.

    • “Let’s not talk about the fact that HE IS DIVORCED. So why are we taking relationship/sex advice from him.”

      Isn’t it amazing how actual qualifications don’t matter at all for these mass-market gurus? You have to be able to give the camera an empathetic sort of look and string words together that (or read them off a teleprompter in such a way that they) tend to make people feel better about themselves. That’s literally all there is to it. A lot of political talk show hosts (from one side in particular…) are the very same way, guys who barely graduated high school but are held up as philosophers and geniuses because people like the way words sound coming out of their mouths.

  3. Harvey is truly awful, for all the reasons you cite (as an advice-giver, I mean — might be a perfectly wonderful human being, as you noted). But more generally: I have a big problem with anyone who claims to have The Answer, as though people worked that way. It’s one thing, I suppose, if you’re a PhD and can say backed up by a 10,000-subject study that almost every single person in the world needs/wants/does X; bit different when you’re a bad sitcom actor. I’m sure it makes perfect sense for some women (and men) to wait 90 days, or more, and that for some jumping into it on day one works just great, and that for others it just doesn’t matter all that much. Any time you try to fit a whole group of people in one box, you’re going to give awful advice. (And you’ll usually come out sounding sexist or racist or homophobic or whatever, too.)

    Unfortunately, that’s the only way to get “famous” as an advisor-type person — nobody wants to tune into a TV program and hear “well, it depends.” It’s a business of making empty promises rather than telling anything resembling truth.

    • I don’t think it’s the only way people become famous as gurus, but it’s certainly a popular, profitable and often risky/depressing one. That’s one reason it’s so important to be our own advocates when taking advice of any kind. Agreed on the generalities! The one (perhaps only) thing we can be certain of here is that the way Harvey believes all men think is the way HE thinks.

      • Are there examples of people becoming famous by giving honest and properly limited/disclaimer’ed advice that they’re qualified to give? I don’t know anything about Dr. Oz, so I guess that’s one possibility. And I suppose it depends on one’s definition of “famous” and “guru.”

        Yep, exactly, about Harvey. It’s the most self-obsessed thing a person can do, just about, to assume that one’s own few (or few dozen or whatever) experiences of his own point of view in relationships puts him in a position to tell all men and women everywhere how they really feel.

      • Dr. Oz is great regarding medicine, but not nutrition, IMO. There are many strong examples, though — doctors and psychologists, such as Laura Berman, Dr. Lisa (Masterson) and Dr. Phil, and journalists/researchers, such as Gloria Steinem and Michael Pollen.

      • Whoa. Dr. Phil, really? I almost used him as an obvious counterexample. I have to admit I’ve seen almost nothing firsthand, but from what I have seen and what I’ve read (mostly on feminist blogs and the like) he’s struck me as a worse version of Harvey: myopic, slut- shaming, generally anti-sex (for women), occasionally giving good/helpful advice but mostly just forcing his own extremely narrow viewpoint on all his guests and his audience. He does have the qualifications, I know (or did, I think his licenses lapsed), but I’ve thought of it as just giving his mostly-conservative audience what they want. Again, I could be wrong, that’s just the impression I’ve gotten from others (and the only impression, until now, from people I’d trust on such things).

        The others…I have to admit I’ve only heard of Steinem. Was thinking of the truly mass-market “famous” gurus, like Harvey or Dr. Phil, who have TV shows or sell millions of books. I’m sure you can be both good and successful, but I really do think the only way to reach THAT kind of audience is to dumb it down and pretend one size fits all and that you know more than anyone realistically can.

      • I don’t watch Dr. Phil, but when he started out on Oprah, I thought he demonstrated sharp expertise. All of the names I mentioned are mass-market, famous folks – and I don’t feel that everything needs to be dumbed down or 1-size-fits all. But what can I say? I’m an optimist. 😉

      • Ok so this got me thinking, as you have a tendency to do (last comment, sorry), and I looked into it a bit more. And I think I was probably only seeing the very worst of Dr. Phil and making some bad assumptions, based on those things I saw and my opinion of those types generally. He seems to know what he’s doing and generally be pretty good on women’s issues and stuff, and I was wrong to lump him in.

        It’s just stuff like this:
        Like, no one who is as enlightened as Dr. Phil otherwise appears to be should ever ask that question. So much of his show has to be dedicated to grandstanding and pleasing a general audience that I think it has to be hard to get anything real out of it, and occasionally it leads to horrible things like that tweet.

        But anyway, I know something now I didn’t know an hour ago!

    • He’s a pretty successful stand up comic and not that it makes this part better. Everybody has an opinion. Opinions are like a–holes, everybody has one. Now for him and his beliefs it works well. For you or I who see this as game playing and manipulative, it doesn’t work. Take every opinion with a few shakes of salt, shot of tequila and lime.

      • Yeah, I know all about Steve Harvey. I’d never suggest anyone is not entitled to his or her opinion, but the problem is that his (a) gets the artificial sheen of correctness and respectability that comes with expert credentials and an audience of millions, and (b) is — unquestionably, objectively in a lot of ways — terrible and potentially disastrous. As Ms. M eloquently illustrated.

        Everyone’s entitled to their opinions — the ones that tend to get put on TV and such make me sad.

  4. Finally, an articulate exploration. I read maybe, the first five or six pages and had to put the book down. I couldn’t put my finger on why it rubbed me the wrong way, but this post certainly helped.

  5. I can not embrace any opinions about consensual sex that come with “rules” attached to them. That simply takes us back to the “good girls don’t” culture in which I was raised.

    It was limiting, damaging, and hindered my ability to communicate on a verbal/physical level with a man. Because “good girls” don’t masturbate, don’t use sexy “hot” language during sex, don’t investigate or communicate what turns them on.

    “Good Girls” don’t embrace healthy, stress-relieving, exploratory Maintenance Dates with themselves or men they know.

    GB Power!

    And, thank you for finally giving me the title for a book that doesn’t send my M/C for a ride on The Amazon.

    • LOL You’re welcome! Thanks so much for weighing in, Gloria. You’re absolutely right about Harvey perpetuating the “good girls don’t” mentality, which is incredibly damaging – to women and men.

  6. I can’t stand idiotic, moronic statements like the one S.H. made. What consenting adults do behind closed doors is no one else’s business…..and, the WHEN of what they do is also no one else’s business.

    I’ve heard multiple people over the years say things like “he’s following all the rules” to “you can’t call her for two days until after the date because you’ll look desperate”…..ugh! Newsflash: the only “rule” in dating also applies to life in general: be kind and treat people decently. IMHO, men and women who think there are a set of rules and certain codes that apply to dating are usually the ones who can’t understand why they are still single.

    • Amen, Steve! Kindness and respect simply can’t be overrated, and I agree fully regarding couples’ privacy. It’s really no one else’s place to judge.

  7. I’m more than a bit appalled at Harvey’s ‘Rules’ for ‘giving’ sex to men, but this line had me cringing ~ ‘Men can’t love as deeply or well as women’. Um, does that sound like he’s giving permission to men to cheat? It does to me. Veiled as an excuse that men can’t love as deeply, then when they wander, well that’s okay because women will stay with men no matter what.

    I think I just vomited in my mouth a little. What this guy is spewing isn’t pro-feminine at all. He’s making women into controlling bitches who ‘give’ sex as a reward.

    I’m pretty sure my husband would love it if I dressed myself up as a present and gave him ME as a gift, but you know what? I don’t have to go through the hassle of finding bows for all the right places. I’m also pretty sure my husband loves just as deeply as I do. We might not show it the same ways, but it’s there.

    I feel sorry for the women and men (especially if they’re teens just figuring all this love/sex/body stuff out), who listen to Harvey and believe his misbegotten words.

    • Maybe he can’t love as deeply. I like to think that I love very deeply.

    • I hate that line, too, Tameri! It lowers the bar for men and expectations for women. Harvey frequently talks about putting women on a pedestal, but what he’s really doing is putting all of us down. So sad! Also sad? The fact that his show (on which he often touts these messages) is so popular – gaining more viewers than Katie Couric’s show, which deserves significantly more esteem.

  8. colinfalconer

     /  September 30, 2013

    Never heard of this guy in Europe. Hopefully he’ll have his 5 minutes of fame and pass into history. I agree with everything you say here, August. This guy isn’t even thinking originally he’s just recycling the 1950’s.

    • One would hope, Colin. Sadly, he’s quite popular. His book was re-released in 2011 and his show was recently contracted to extent into 2016. (Aye!) Thanks so much for the support.

  9. I will give Steve Harvey the benefit of the doubt that he means well. But I agree with most of what has been said here. Sex isn’t a prize or even a gift. It is a shared experience, hopefully a good one.

    The ONLY reason I can think of, as a psychologist, for delaying sex at the beginning of the relationship is that sex tends to create an emotional bond. This is more true for women in general than for men, but that varies considerably from one individual to another.

    So if having sex with the guy makes you want to start planning your wedding, you might want to hold off until you’re sure his good long-term relationship material.

    Now having said all that, let me point out that I just celebrated my 37th wedding anniversary with a man I slept with on our first date. We were both trying to ‘be good’ and wait a bit, but it had been a long time since either of us had been in a relationship. Bottom line, we were both horny.

    We had an honest and open conversation about it and agreed that it didn’t mean we were committed to each other…yet. It was the first of many, many honest and open conversations. 😀

    • Excellent points, Kassandra, and I sincerely trust and respect your insight.

      LOL I love your candor. Congrats on 37 happy years! Sure you’re grateful for the first night, and countless others. It was wonderfully mature of you to discuss the decision to have sex beforehand – and it obviously paid off. 🙂

  10. Stacy Allen

     /  September 30, 2013

    August, this is brilliantly written. I agree with every word.

  11. As a younger man, my approaches to women and sex were predictably insensitive, likely spurred on by shortsighted buddy conversations and the movies, but more by inexperience. I routinely prowled for women who would ‘give it up’, and 90 days was out of the question.

    Thankfully, time and the sometimes embarrassing trial-and-error method schooled me. I paid attention. I encountered women who weren’t intimidated by the 90-day rule. And, to my surprise, I didn’t have any less respect for them. In fact, I wound up enjoying their company as human beings rather than simply a target for my ‘other’ brain.

    I understand Harvey’s point, not to treat sex as a gratuitous commodity, no more valued than a diet coke, but I think he overcompensates, oversimplifies, and understates the value of mutual response between man and woman. Your points are valid, and refreshing.

    • Many guys experience that peer pressure—and it’s tough when they have few role models other than Hollywood (yipes). Guiding with our intellect rather than pure lust definitely has value—particularly if our aim is a serious relationship. So glad that worked out well for you.

      I love what you said about Harvey’s point, ill constructed as his suggested means may be. Thanks so much for weighing in!

  12. I’m sure he means well with it but truth be told, this is manipulative behavior. If she gets a man to commit to sitting and waiting 90 days, he’s now set himself up for three months of games and her for three months of guilt and games. She wants it but unless she is worried that she’ll be too much of a slut. He wants it but she said no and he’s going to respect that if he’s in love.

    Now what happens on day 91? Is she contractually obligated to blow his doors off after he fulfills the 90 days? I’m a sexual person and if you asked me to wait for three months for sex, then I’m expecting a fireworks show when it finally happens. This might be a bit too much pressure for a woman to live up to in one night.

    In hindsight, I am not sure I’d be willing to commit to this. Not because I am out of control, sex addicted man (which I am) but I believe there is a right and wrong time in a relationship to add sex and an arbitrary three month moratorium is not acceptable. If I have been in a relationship, sex happened well before this 90 threshhold. I treated each woman as well as I could and respect many of them to this day.

    • Fine point about the end of that 90 days, Russ, and particularly the pressure those three months and their end could instill. I had a boyfriend who wanted to wait years ago, and when we finally (IMO) got around to having sex, we learned we weren’t very compatible.

      It’s certainly a case-by-case decision, and something none of us should approach lightly. But I’m with you on arbitrary rules; they pave the way for game-playing. Respect and sex should coexist, always.

  13. I hope you don’t get the idea that I’m a staunch supporter of Harvey (or have even seen his show), but considering his efforts to help young men, I would hope that some of his motivation is to address problems associated with casual and unprotected sex among teen and young adult populations, especially in low-income situations. You probably know that the percentage of all births to unmarried women is a whopping 40.7% (according to the CDC–73% of black babies as of 2012). It’s worse here in Detroit. Issues connected to these stats include poverty, poor education, crime, child abandonment, and on and on. I haven’t heard Harvey speak, but it might be that he doesn’t want these kids to feel too targeted, so he’s promoting that standard across the board. For now, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    • This had occurred to me as well, jpon. but I couldn’t quite figure out how to diplomatically state it. I do think he is trying to teach young people to be less impulsive and more thoughtful about sexual activity, and is trying to get them to respect themselves and each other more in relationships. But as Ray Peden said, he’s oversimplifying things, so it comes off more like manipulation and game-playing than mutual respect.

      • To us it does sound manipulative. But I doubt Harvey is talking to any of us. His viewers (and I’m just guessing here but daytime talk shows do draw a certain demographic that probably doesn’t include many of the commenters on August’s blog) might be more familiar with and susceptible to this kind of paternal advice.

    • Thanks for sharing! I respect your opinion and appreciate your candor.

      I absolutely believe that Harvey has good intentions, and seems to be trying to present a role model for people who desperately need one—those young men his organization mentors. His book and TV show, however, are targeted toward and reach primarily women in the general public. Even if he is targeting a particular demographic, guidelines like this one are hurtful. And his platform keeps growing larger… While that does show that many readers/viewers are receptive to his ideals, it doesn’t make them healthy or beneficial. I believe he’s reaching many vulnerable ears.

  14. laurie27wsmith

     /  September 30, 2013

    He doesn’t sound much different to any other priest, rabbi, ayatollah, moralist that gets around the place telling us mere mortals what we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to our lives. Especially our sex lives. You wouldn’t think that people enjoying sex would get so many in a tizzy. Oh that’s right, it’s pleasurable. Can’t have people enjoying themselves, can we? Oh, it’s all wet and squishy and you get all down and basic. Please Mr Harvey, change hands your right one is getting way overworked.

  15. The way he words thing makes me cringe- but like you said August I think he is trying to do the right thing.
    A couple need to decide for themselves when they are ready to have sex, and if you are looking to build a long lasting relationship then it’s okay to wait and build on that emotional side of things before becoming physical.
    I do have to wonder if teen girls adopted this “90 day rule” how many boys would value them enough to stick around? Probably not most of the ones I dated LOL
    Also for me as a teen once I wasn’t a virgin anymore in my mind I didn’t have a ‘good excuse’ to not have sex with a boy I was dating (this was my own weirdness) Anyway this ‘rule’ does offer teens and women who might have similar thoughts a ‘good reason’ to not have sex when the guy they are dating asks. I do wish you would re-write the book however and re-word things so they sound less icky.

  16. Wow. I truly believe sex is a fundamental building block of any happy relationship. My husband’s grandmother, back before we got married, actually cornered him and said, “Is it hot in the bedroom? Because if it isn’t, it won’t last.” She was in her late 70s at the time. A truly wise woman. (And we’re coming up on our 34th wedding anniversary, lol.)

    • Aw. How much do I love her??? Such wisdom and spunk are crazy admirable, particularly considering her generation. We can all stand to take her lead. 🙂

  17. Raani York

     /  September 30, 2013

    I read your post – and found it perfect! I agree with what you say.
    I listened to him – and the only thing I suddenly asked myself was: “Jeeeeez, boy – how many days of the 90 do you still have to wait? 86??
    It’s pretty poor how a so called “modern man” falls back into his dinosaur-times when being sexually frustrated. *grin*

  18. Sadly, I truly believe Steve Harvey means well. Contextually speaking, it’s not surprising that his views are so limited with regards to women and sexuality. These days, if you look at folks like “The Kings Of Comedy” or even a lot of rappers out there…they gain their fame and notoriety at the expense of stereotyping and weaponizing things like race, gender and sex. (I won’t even go into the violence bit…) Part of what makes people think they’re funny is that there is an element of “truth”, mostly through perception (hey, perception is reality whether we like it or not).

    Having said all that… here’s my thing… He talked about how long it should take before sex happens? I saw pictures in my head of a Countdown Clock. Seriously. There is no correct length of time for intimacy to begin. Waiting 90 days doesn’t guarantee the other person is going to respect you more or treat you right. Those things require instincts and self respect. And everyone’s timeline is different.

    My husband was my best friend for a year. Wasn’t sure we’d have any kind of sizzle because he wasn’t my “usual” type and I was still fairly young and had decided I didn’t want to rush my first time, then regret it later as so many of my gal pals did. One night we were hanging out, watching a movie when he placed a soft kiss on my back shoulder. I turned around and he kissed me. There was chemistry. I lost my virginity that night. Had we “dated”? No. But I knew him well and knew he respected me.

    And no. Sex should never be used as currency, nor are head games ok…it promotes dishonesty which is one of the quickest ways to fracture a relationship.

  19. Kourtney Heintz

     /  October 3, 2013

    I think it’s similar to writing rules. Rules are good for novices to prevent them from bumbling into big mistakes, but can be bent and broken by more experienced people. 🙂

  20. What about a guy like me? Due to severe, irreversible health problems, I have no libido. Been eight years. (I’m 63) When I first learned that “it’s over,” I was nearly suicidal. I was married. There was nothing to be done. But there was love. We hung in there. We have a better relationship now than ever. (Being older makes a difference.) I still live a joyful, purposeful life. I’ve written six novels, two have been published, and that’s just the beginning. There are many more men than people would think who have the same problem as I. Has Steve Harvey and the real men all stepped over us? I believe that in his mind, he has. But our bodies are breakable. What do you do when THAT happens? I don’t think Harvey thinks much about that. I mean, he’d have to heard a huge crowd of men into that place he has reserved for the people out there who are here to tell him he’s wrong.

  21. I think Steve Harvey’s advice is perfect…if the only goal a woman has is to meet the guy she wants to spend the rest of her life with. That woman will be a throwback to the 50s, and if that’s what she needs, then his advice is on target. I don’t think his advice is all bad. He does talk about having very open conversations early on. If a couple will do that, I think they can establish right out of the gate whether their needs are mutual, or if they need to look elsewhere.

    My stance on sex? If a guy doesn’t take the time to get to know me, and actually care about me, I’m okay with no sex. I don’t feel it’s using it as a weapon. I’m just at a place where if sex is more important than forming a friendship, there are other options. Things weren’t always this way, and I’m glad I don’t need to have sex just for the sake of having sex anymore. Not that I don’t think it’s great…and I’d like to enjoy it frequently, but now the emotional and intellectual aspects need to be addressed, too. And that’s not really going to happen with a guy you go out with once or twice. It could, but it’s not likely. But that’s just me. My life and experiences are what dictate my needs today.

    • celine

       /  February 11, 2014

      I agree with you it depends on where you are in life if sex is all you want from a man then waiting is nonsense but I believe Steve is addressing women who are looking to get married the bottom line is if you haven’t fully developed your relationship before having sex it becomes very difficult to adjust due to the powerful emotions and insecurities that arise afterwards.

  22. Anyone who takes relationship advice from this fool who’s been married 3 times, abused and cheated on his prior wives, is just as big of an idiot as him. I’m all for learning from others but you have to at least have as much intelligence and preferably more than me in order for you to teach me anything.

  23. cdogg195660

     /  April 7, 2014

    Your are right about sex being shared when the time is right, but all your comments seem to be based on a woman’s perspective. If your looking for something short term then yes your right on all counts. Its all really about finding the one person that you can live out life with. Men always want sex from day one. So usually If he gets it right away unfortunately he will see you as easy and though he may LOVE you he may never be IN LOVE with you.. We (men) have to have that balance. During those 90 days we’ll learn how you feel about sport, does she like your cooking/ do you like hers, is she particular, how bad was she treated in the past, does she want/or not want kids as much as you, do you get along with family or friends, do we have anything in common… There are more but in long term relationships these things are what’s important, and with sex right away your judgment changes and you may settle which is not good for both parties.. The above is not every man but it is how most feel…..

    • Actually, many of the comments I’ve had, including above (and in response to my radio show on this topic) have been from men who feel the same way I and many women do. Many successful long-term relationships start when the couple decides to have sex early on, my marriage included. 🙂 I welcome other opinions, however. Thanks for weighing in!

  24. What a bunch of haters! If you don’t like the advice – don’t follow it. But there are plenty of women whom it has helped. Author, your over-the-top assumptions make for great entertaining reading. However, they are not what I took from the ideas.

  25. Yvonne Garry

     /  April 20, 2014

    Maybe, it’s just black men but I have seen what happens when you have sex to early in a relationship. It suck men feel as if they can treat you like crap. I don’t believe you are playing games because you want to get to know a man’s likes and dislikes. Don’t get me wrong life is to short to spend your days having bad sex. We all can agree that sex is important but I have witnessed how men are when they get sex too early.

  26. esC

     /  April 30, 2014

    As a guy I definitely know where he is coming from and I have to agree with him and support the fact that he actually is uplifting women. The value of a women depreciates after we have sex with them and more so if it happens earlier on. I don’t know whether you know this but a guy remembers the girls he hasn’t slept with, the girls that made him work, were charmed and impressed by him and he knew but still wouldn’t give it to him because they wanted something more than chemistry based on fun rather than a real outlook on life, they wanted something founded on more than the eventual 15-25 minutes of sex or less.
    Guys do and will treat you like crap if u give it to them earlier on, think about it, all we wanted was the physical stimulation, you are not your body and if we didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about something other than that don’t think we are magically going to start doing that. if there a guys who do that its probably because they don’t get around and they know your the best that they can do which kinda sucks if your you. And yes ladies in the real world u we ask u give it, other way around ur a slut.
    Yes the rule probably made a lot of women feel slutty, and if you did its probably because you have acted like one and here is another saying, the truth hurts. If its any consolation I’d say I don’t actually agree with women who give it early being called sluts, or to women who have one night stands with strangers mainly because as a guy I can never get that tag and I don’t think that’s fair, and i think you should have fun as long as its for the right reasons but that’s all you.
    So the most important thing to cite here is who this rule is for and I think that this is why the person who posted this can’t help but feel that Harvey is probably a good guy. This rule is for you girls that want a serious relationship and are desperately trying to figure out how to get a guy to commit and if that’s what you want then this rule must be used as a guideline. Problem you can’t change people or in my case mess with their plans/schedule or time table, I personally have a set time for when I want to be seriously involved but maybe just maybe, if you made him see you for who you are maybe he would have no other choice but to give in.
    I didn’t c how he protrayed this message on Ellen’s show maybe he gave of the impression that you are a slut if you do give it early but that might be due to his beliefs, christrian or cultural but I wouldn’t let that steer me away from why he really set-up this rule.

    • Feaurry

       /  August 7, 2015

      I totally agree with you and thank u for opening up,you just made me realise something.

  27. drad

     /  May 14, 2014

    Harvey resonates because he knows how to stretch a kernel of truth. But the way he over generalizes, reduces and simplifies is mighty irksome. We as a society have to look at these things, because what two people do 5 states over in the privacy of their bedroom can have an impact on me, in more ways than one. A lot of people really just need to slow their damn roll. But putting down hard guidelines and regulations is still a no-no.

    I myself believe that relationship minded women, likely the majority of women, just have to look out for the guys that just want to pump and dump (or cheat repeatedly) , a minority of men. Only these guys tend to be much more proactive, and so women come across them a lot more. Hardly any behavior the woman exhibits is going to change the course of these men, and I don’t think it takes anywhere near 90 days to figure out what type of guy she is dealing with. And even then it is up to her to decide if she can tolerate it, accept it or even change it. On the flipside a woman going too fast for relationship minded men will probably run the risk of making her seem too easy for other men, preventing the man from wanting to become fully invested, but a lot of this can be resolved through communication(women being generally more passive in seeking mates, it is easier for them to allay fears for seeking sex). Then there are the men that have a sliding scale, in that they will have a relationship with a woman they click with and find suitable, and a one night stand with those they don’t, regardless of the length of time it took to get intimate. Again, communication and intuition should inform the woman as to her goal in any case. Only thing women need to be made aware of is that there are very different types of men.
    All in all, relationships mostly occur on a case by case by basis and not the one size fits all approach Harvey likes to advocate.

  28. I disagree, with the young lady before me. If you have not read, or even completed your own research on what is being discussed right now; then you’re the idiot. You should find out on your own, before making assumptions about something you don’t have a clue about. You may very well find out that you agree with some of Mr. Harvey’s statements. He did not write the book, to make friends or enemies, he wrote the book from his prospective. He is not speaking for all men; he is just giving it to women, from a man’s point of view. Mr. Harvey is not bashing men either, he simply wants women to look at the big picture, and before placing themselves in a situation where most if not all women will or have experience before. And that’s the world of heart break, bitterness and loneliness. Everything in the book, will not relate to you, but may very well relate to someone you know. This may be a way for you to share your experience or wisdom with your sister, friend and or co-worker. In life I have been taught, that people are entitled to their own opinions, and that is very true. So with that being said, the 90 day rule, may be a little be over the top. But if that’s what you decide to do, when approaching a new situation, then the guy will respect your wishes. You should both communicate your desires, and you should set your boundaries. That way no one walks away hurt. From there, if you think you should apply the 90 day rule, than go for it! God is in control, and you should have self-control, no matter what.

    • What I’m concerned with are the deeper issues that cause many people to relate to Harvey’s views, which I and many others consider well-intended, but sexist and potentially damaging. As a journalist who spends a great deal of her time researching these issues (and yes, his book and work) and speaks to countless experts, men and women about them on a daily basis, I felt it necessary to speak up.

      As I said in the post, I respect Harvey and others’ opinions, and you certainly have a right to your own. I expected some folks to call me an idiot–sorry you feel that way. I hear from countless women and men in support of my view, which affirms that my message is valid and useful. I hope you respect them as well. Wishing you the best.

  29. Jeselle

     /  July 27, 2014

    Hmmm I have been so depressed for the last month because I had sex with a man after six weeks. He just stopped talking to me two weeks later. Not a word from him since. Then watching shows and article everyone started talking about the 90 days rule before so I thought it was true. But this article really helped me to change the feeling that I had that I was slut. Although I knew I wasn’t because I am 38 years now but at 34 I had sex for the first time with a man that I loved for 13 years.

    • I’m touched, Jeselle. Thanks for sharing! And for recognizing that desiring sex at any time doesn’t make you slutty or ignorable. It simply shows you’re a healthy woman who’s in touch with her sensuality——an awesome thing! Any guy who believes otherwise, IMO, isn’t worth it.

  30. nana

     /  August 7, 2014

    steve harvey is 100 percent right !!!! the issue is that if we women have sex we give away not only our body but also our heart! we get attached MUCH MORE to the man after (!) sex. Men on the other hand don’t. Fter sex they don’t walk around with red coloured glasses. And all of a sudden the woman seems desperate coz she keeps on calling EVERY SECOND… Don’t you get it!!!

    • That’s one of the problems, the idea that we “give” ourselves and bodies to men. Sex is something we\ should celebrate and share when and how we and our partners see fit. Men are just as prone to attachment, and many women have sex without drawing such connections. The problems derive more from societal beliefs and gender myths than physiology. I do appreciate your weighing in!

  31. Perhaps a better 90 day challenge would be…..
    have sex with your new partner everyday for 90 days, and if you still get those butterflies when you think of making love to them then that is the person you should be with.
    Many marriages and relationships end because after time we become uninterested in our partner , the thrill dies away.

  32. theVirginMisha

     /  September 28, 2014

    Reblogged this on TheVirginMisha's Blog and commented:
    I concur! Although I do agree with Harvey that waiting for sex does reduce your chances of wasting your time with a user and/or loser.

  33. Vikki Torres

     /  October 5, 2014

    Steve Harvey is supposed to be a Christian man and it is strictly forbidden in the bible to fornicate or have sex before marriage. 90 days dating or not…the 90 day rule is not for people of God.

  34. Camil

     /  January 13, 2015

    I agree with Bill, I think actually conducting studies on couples who waited 90 days vs those who did not would help enhance the credibility of this theory, however it would be quite difficult to control for other external variables in this case. Overall I think the point he is trying to make is that a couple should not engage in sexual intimacy until they have taken sufficient time to learn the other person and made a full commitment to the purpose of the relationship (ie marriage. If the purpose of the relationship is just sex then there is no need for this rule). Because hormones like oxytocin are released when sex occurs, it can make it quite difficult to appropriately judge if the new relationship is right for your needs or if you just feel bonded to that person physically/psychologically. Mr Harvey’s theory is debatable but the point he’s trying to make is valid. If you’re up for a real challenge, try waiting for marriage!

  35. honestyisthebestpolicy

     /  May 13, 2015

    how about you don’t tell the guy that you have a 90 day rule? it’s that simple ffs.

  36. honestyisthebestpolicy

     /  May 13, 2015

    SMFH, the whole book is about a guy’s perspective so it isn’t going to be PC. Nitpicking just shows that you have no life… This book has helped thousands of women and the reality is if you give it up too soon you are a slut in their eyes (most men) that doesn’t necessarily mean you are a slut because it might just be this one time that you felt the chemistry was very strong that you had to do something out of character and if you don’t accept this comment I will know that this website is biased.

    • Revecka

       /  June 28, 2015

      Haha Steve Harvey … I had a one night stand with my now boyfriend of one year and we are still doing pretty good so I disagree 500% ….. If your compatible then duh it will work if not then those one night stands hold true …one night stand .

  37. luvursef

     /  July 13, 2015

    from my personal perspective… he is speaking in general and the 90 day rule is like a guideline to go by just like the time frame they give you to change your car oil… or when the doctor tells you to wait 6 weeks to have sex after childbirth …so forth and so on…the point is that some women didn’t grow up with good moral decision making when it comes to men and I think steve is talking to them so that they can weed out the no good men wasting their time. If you don’t need help deciding when a mans character is good and its ok to sleep with him cuz he not going to just disappear … doesn’t mean the next woman does.

  38. Feaurry

     /  August 7, 2015

    I totally agree with Steve Harvey because his methods do work.Most men of today just want sex and when you give it up too early they take you as an easy target and won’t respect you.We want respect,if you love someone sex shouldn’t be a need buy ya’ll busy acting like it is.I totally disagree with you on your article ,love is not sex so it shouldn’t be a problem to wait.I’m a big fan of Steve Harvey.Lay low haters.

  39. Chase

     /  November 30, 2015

    His rule has been said by a lot of people, for serious intimacy too, not just sex. The rule I’d often mentioned for courting, like dating, but with the end in marriage. It doesn’t really make things sexist or deny sex, it just is for two people who are trying to be in a really serious relationship. The 90 day rule doesn’t mean you can’t have sex with other people, nor does it mean the 90 days is a hard 90, or does it apply for everyone. Some people could have more or less physicality than others. The point is it is for a certain end, and if you don’t want that end, no one is saying you should pay any attention to it.

  40. At the age of 83 I say when it feels good and right, do it. Sex should never be a trade-off which is one thing I am adamant about.

  41. Prince

     /  December 20, 2019

    great common sense article. as a guy also believe that sex is something to be enjoyed by two people when / if the time & circumstance is right. have come across women who try and use sex as leverage and i’d rather just not interact with those types altogether and be along my way rather than play games.

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