"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.
"My advice is this: wait as long as you can," Allen says.
Her rationale for these dating rules may seem obvious, but many people tend to forget in the heat of the moment.
"The risks of STDS have got to be discussed and prevented from spreading," Allen tells Web MD.
"I say definitely use condoms, even if you're in a committed relationship," she adds.
Concern about STDs and unwanted pregnancies can help create sexual boundaries, believes Mc Clary.