Well, not gonna lie, that's why people date. It's the whole reason, and anyone who says otherwise is either a 12 year-old girl or a god dammed liar. And you know that thing everyone says about how life moves faster in the online age? Now you know why everyone says that.
And yes, dating is totally about sex. I can go for a walk on the beach with any girl, have long meaningful conversations with them, wait for hours while they pick out shoes to go shoe-shopping, and listen to them complain for hours on end about what a douche their cousin's best friend's ex boyfriend is, and I don't need to be in any kind of 'official' relationship with them to do any of that stuff. There is one and only one difference between friends and lovers, and that difference is sexual activity.
The further back you look in history, the longer the wait between meeting someone and having sex with them. Only 100 short years ago, the idea of sex before marriage was downright unholy. 50 short years ago, people did it but never spoke about it even after they got married. 30 years ago, girls were having sex with their male friends on a casual basis. And that was all before the internet even existed.