I understand that there is a different mind-set between dating and one on one with OSFs; I call it date-like. After giving it some thought, I guess i compare it more to the "first few dates" of a growing relationship where the two are getting to know each other enjoying other's company, and going to some activities together, which often leads to a deeper bond.
Again, it's probably about individual culture and what's available in a town. If for example, my lady friend from work that I went to high school with asked me to hang out one evening. Lets say I went along. We'd probably go eat, talk, laugh, maybe see a movie, or go to a local event, which is basically the same thing I'd do on a first date. That's why it seems date-like to me. If a person's idea of a real date is to be a lot more intimate, then I understand the difference.
I guess it's like ranching and farming; some people would say they are totally different, and some would say they are very similar.
I've no doubt culture plays a role, yet I've experienced the same attitude as my own with different women of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In my social circles, no one seems to care what others do within their own consenting adult relationships.
I'm (almost 45) a British Australian dual national (atheist), who was raised in Australia by a (North Western) English parent (non-religious, mostly Scottish background) and an Anglo-Australian parent (lazy Protestant, mostly Scottish and English background). Most relatives in now in Australia, most of the rest in England, Scotland and the United States.
My wife (almost 46) is an Australian woman (atheist) who was raised in Australia and Italy by Italian immigrants (entirely East Coast Sicilian, very Catholic with almost all relatives in Italy).
My before mentioned friend (51) is an English woman (atheist) raised in Southern England by non-religious Anglo-English parents. All relatives in England.
My ex-wife (43) is an English woman (badly practicing Catholic), raised in London by very Catholic Mauritian parents (black African and French background) most relatives in England and Mauritius. My ex-wife cheated on me with a man who wasn't an OSF, thus I immediately ended our marital relationship. She didn't happen to have OSF's, I did which was fine with her. Again despite the fact I had OSF's, I never cheated on her.
My other platonic OSF's and former sexual partners have mostly been (atheist) tertiary educated professionals. That are Australian, Russian, Polish, Cambodian, Spanish, French, Irish, Portuguese, Israeli, Japanese, Scottish, English and German women.
I can't recall any of them having any issues with having OSF's, being OSF's and catching up with OSF's alone or otherwise, to the point that it has never been talked about.
I also concur different experiences can lead to different things, I'm turning 45 soon and have been with the same woman for 20 years now. So my adult dating experience with others was a long time ago.
Yet through all of that dating (straining my memory here) I most often had sex on the first or second date, less frequently the third and once on the fourth. The only dating I have done that didn't lead to sex was on one occasion that went no further than the first date.
So for me catching up with other sex friends is not like dating, since there's no sexual tension, there's no having that feeling that sex is mutually wanted and can be easily had even if it will wait till the second date.
Even now when I frequently date my wife, we always flirt and still feel that sexual buzz. So for me catching up with my friends never feels like dating.
In all of my sexual relationships so far, I've never encountered the dramas that @NextTimeAround