“When you are secure in yourself, know what turns you on, and enjoy watching your partner watch you experience sexual pleasure, you have a highly novel relationship grounded in love. The experience of seeing and being seen fuels lust and desire. This is exactly the way you integrate healthy lust and love into your sex life.”
~ Alexandra Katehakis
When is it too early or too late to have sex with a new partner that you are looking for a long-term relationship with?
This is a tricky question to answer, as there are so many variables involved.
Personally, I have been in a few long-term relationships that all started with sex on the first date including the man I am engaged to. That being said, that’s not always the case to meet, have sex, fall in love and live happily ever after.
There are many people that associate sex with love and may do better sticking with their belief system, doing what is comfortable for them but there is a difference between sex and love.
There is a double standard that when a woman sleeps with a man on the first date it means they are easy or not worthwhile to have a long term relationship with but you should look at it as this is one hell of a strong woman who knows what she wants, is confident in her own skin and deserves pleasure and enjoyment just as a man does.
Women don’t have to have sex and associate it with love or feel that the man is “taking” something from you.
You are making the conscious choice to do what you want that feels good and right at that moment and you shouldn’t feel guilty for that.
The truth is, many women have a tough time separating sex and love and think that their value lies in the action of sex.
In most cases, it is the reaction to the sexual experience that makes the difference in whether the person you had sex with will decide if you are a person they can possibly see a future with or consider dating further.
Women have different ethical, moral or religious values that shouldn’t be broken if you feel it isn’t in your best interest but the most important thing is to go into each date with an open mind and allow nature to take its course.
I don’t feel less valued because I allowed myself to have sex so soon just as others shouldn’t hold out just because they may be afraid what the other person will think.
You want to be in a long-term relationship where you are not going to be judged, where that person respects you for being authentically yourself, where you have no shame or guilt for being true to you.
Relationships will build if both people connect on a multitude of levels, not just with the act of sex.
Even if you have sex right away or if you wait for the 3rd date or 6 months later, if the person you are dating is also looking for someone long term that has the same values, outlook on life, love and sex, then you will find the right person when you are being true to you no matter when you have sex.
Stacy Friedman, DHS, CSC – www.drstacyfriedman.com
Fulfilling your sexual desires is a vital part of a healthy relationship, most anyone would agree. The problem is, most people don’t really think things through before they get sexually involved with another person.
So when should you sleep with him? There are certain things you should always know about yourself—and your partner—before you hop into the sack together.
Here are the 9 things I recommend you know before you having sex with him:
1. Do you honestly feel sexually attracted to your partner?
If your answer is “kinda” or “sort of,” then perhaps this match is lacking sexual chemistry. Chemistry—especially sexual—is so important to having a strong, healthy relationship with another person.
If you aren’t sexually attracted to the person, the spark you feel initially will die out and there won’t be anything left to hang onto in the long-term.
2. Are you really ready to have sex with this person?
You don’t win in the long-term dating game by getting into bed with someone sooner than you’re ready for. A relationship can easily turn sour by having sex too early.
Both people have to be ready to have sex, and ready for how having sex changes the dynamics of a relationship.
3. Does this person make you feel respected?
Would you want to introduce this person to all the important individuals in your life, like family, friends and colleagues?
The character of the person you sleep with is so important when it comes to developing a long-term relationship. You need to feel comfortable, respected and like you can trust the other person, before you sleep with them.
4. Do you know the things you like and dislike—about yourself and about the relationship you have with this person—and can you communicate them?
Before you have sex with someone, you should know yourself. You should know the relationship you have with this person. The lines of communication should be wide open between the two of you.
If they’re not, or if you’re not comfortable talking to them about your sexual likes/dislikes, maybe this isn’t the right person for you to sleep with.
5. How did your partner’s last serious relationship end?
If the answer to this question seems vague, confusing or concerning, this may be a red flag.
Many couples avoid talking about their relationship pasts, but knowing about each other’s histories is an important part of developing a stronger relationship.
Don’t avoid the “touchy” subjects, because those are the subjects that really help you get to know someone better.
6. Do they take good care of themselves?
Proper hygiene, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a sense of humor are all signs of good mental, emotional and physical health. You want to make sure that your sexual partners are good to themselves.
7. Have you met any of this person’s friends?
Remember, who a person spends the most time with is a direct reflection on them.
For example, if this person’s best friend is an out-of-work, womanizing, alcoholic who would make a great sitcom character, this could be a cause for concern in your relationship.
8. Are they able to apologize AND take responsibility if they have wronged you?
All relationships require the practice of forgiveness, and if your partner doesn’t seem to share this vital skill, that can be a serious barrier to a long-term relationship.
9. Did you have “the talk?”
Before you sleep with someone, there are certain things you need to talk about first. Like what sexual intimacy means to you; what kind of protection you’ll use; and whether or not either of you have any sexually transmitted diseases.
“Gifts” you can’t return later are not a long-term relationship consolation prize.
Jeannie Dougherty, MAPC, LCPC, LPC – www.jeanniedougherty.com
Not to take away from the magic of that first kiss, but let’s talk about what’s really going on in the beginning of a new relationship.
Before deep love has time to take root, we experience strong infatuation and it’s taking place at the neuro-chemical level.
Two central chemicals are at play: dopamine and oxytocin.
First of all, dopamine is the “feel good”, “foot on the gas”, “got to have it” chemical. It drives you to want to have sex as soon as possible with your new love interest.
When you do, you also encourage the production of oxytocin.
Oxytocin is the “cuddle”, “bonding”, “unconditional love” hormone. So, here’s what you need to consider: once you start having sex with a man, dopamine is supplying the “kick” and “drive” and oxytocin is causing you to “fall in love”.
Having sex too soon in the relationship will most likely have you bonding to a man who you scarcely know outside the bedroom and who may be all wrong for you in significant ways.
And guess what else?
Dopamine goes straight to the pleasure receptors in the brain which demand more and more “to get high”. How many women have told me that they know he’s all wrong but they can’t seem to break away?
Rule of thumb–date for a few months.
Get to know your man’s dreams, values, and goals over an array of circumstances. If it’s right, sex will still be there. Sweet, erotic and bonding with the man of your dreams!
Mary Kay Cocharo, LMFT – www.mkcocharo.com
Many women believe that if they don’t want to lose a man. they better hurry up and sleep with him.
Despite the fact that they may want to connect on a deep emotional level, many women mistakenly believe that the way to connect emotionally with a man is through the physical connection first.
In truth, what happens when sex comes into play too early is that the relationship runs the risk of remaining in the physical realm and consequently runs a strong risk of ending abruptly because the depth isn’t there to sustain it.
The best way to build a relationship that has the potential to last, is to start by creating an emotional connection first.
By focusing on the emotional aspects of a relationship and making sure that a strong connection exists, the couple can then enter the physical realm without fear of the relationship ending suddenly.
The emotional connection facilitates healthy communication enabling the couple to create trust and belief that the relationship has a solid future.
If a couple are physically intimate before the emotional bond is created, it often causes them to forgo the emotional relationship entirely, because intimacy has been created without the use of words.
Couples then often find it difficult to return to an emotional connection because things become assumed instead of discussed. It often will feel strange for the couple to revert to verbal communication when the physical has come before the emotional.
In fact, couples often use sex, or physical touch to smooth out difficulties rather than use words. Physical intimacy alone has a limited lifespan.
An emotional connection is vital to ensure that mutual understanding and empathy develop in a healthy and sustainable way.
Micki Lavin-Pell, MS, MA – www.mickilavinpell.co.il
Finding a new love is very exciting and often raises the age old questions: “Should I or shouldn’t I” and “If I do, then when?”
Intimacy and timing is a personal choice.
Although no single answer is right for every woman, every woman should feel empowered to make informed decisions regarding the course of her relationship.
1. What is the priority in your relationship?
Building a strong foundation of respect, honesty, trust, and open communication should be a priority in any relationship. Research supports that couples who wait to have sex spend more time building the foundation of their relationship.
Dr. Mark Regnerus, of the University of Texas reported,
“Waiting helps the relationship form better communication processes, and these help improve long-term stability and relationship satisfaction.”
2. What are your expectations in the relationship?
Be sure to speak honestly and continuously about your expectations for the relationship. Honest communication helps partners establish a clear outlook for what each of you wants from the other.
In speaking honestly, you reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and increase your decision making for if or when sex is right for you.
3. Are you comfortable in your relationship and the decisions you are making?
Every woman should have charge over her own body and what happens to it. Consenting to a sexual relationship is your choice and should not be based on pressures from your partner.
If your partner cannot respect your decisions, then your partner is not the right match for you.
Dr. LaRay Imani Price – www.womeninnerfitness.com
Because every woman is so unique, there is not one right answer to this question.
It’s important to finding the right answer for you! Intentionality is so important when making big life decisions!
Take some time to tune into your thoughts and feelings and really get in sync with yourself.
- When you think about taking the next step in your relationship, what does your gut tell you?
- Do you feel good about having sex or is there a part of you feels unsure?
If any part of you is unsure, it’s good to honor that part of you and trust your gut! That feeling is there for a reason.
Knowing your values will help you as well.
Your values are your guiding principles that tell you what’s important and how to live your life. When you make decisions that are in line with your values, you feel good about yourself.
Making choices that are not in line with your values may lead to feelings of regret or disappointment.
So, ask yourself,
- “How do I feel about sex?”
- “What do I need to feel emotionally and physically good about having sex with my partner?”
- “What do I need to know about my partner and our relationship before having sex?”
Understanding the answers to these questions can help you find your unique right answer.
To assist with this, I suggest Listing out your values and developing some personal dating guidelines before being in a sexual situation. This can help you make decisions you feel good about and that are in sync with what matters most to you!
Dr. Bianka Hardin – www.centeredtherapychicago.com
There is no one size fits all formula. However, having sex too soon in the relationship can cause all sorts of challenges , making it difficult to objectively assess the relationship.
Here are some tips:
1. Have a conversation WITH YOURSELF about sex.
Know yourself and decide ahead of time what your boundaries are. What are the pro’s and con’s of having sex with your partner now? Will you respect YOURSELF in the morning?
2. Have a conversation WITH HIM before getting into bed together.
The conversation may include how sex could affect the relationship, and what each other’s expectations are. For one partner sex may be a fun recreational activity. For the other partner sex may mean commitment.
3. Have a sober mind when making decisions about sex.
After consuming alcohol, our judgment becomes impaired and behavior may be dis inhibited. We may then behave in ways we would not behave if sober.
4. Have safe sex if you do decide to have sex.
This is important in order to avoid unwanted pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
5. There are plenty of incredibly pleasurable ways to be intimate that don’t involve intercourse.
Experimenting with these and taking gradual steps toward sexual activity can make the experience of learning about each other’s body that much more intense.
Making love can take many forms and is one of the most beautiful capacities of our body, mind, and spirit.
My advice is to choose your partner wisely. Practicing on your own (masturbation) is another alternative that can ultimately enhance the experience of sex with a partner when the time is right.
Dr. Elayne S Daniels – www.drelaynedaniels.com
Great sex. Passionate sex. Kinky sex. What are you hoping to get through sex?
The experts: Sue Johnson, Hold Me Tight, Stan Tatkin, Wired for Love, and Helen Fischer, Match.com’s researcher on attraction, all tell us it points to attachment.
Furthermore, to become securely attached, we need to feel safe, not just physically, but emotionally as well.
What we’re really looking for is for someone to love, protect, and provide companionship. Therefore, sex is a vehicle we use to help us with attachment.
As with anything, how and when we have sex can be healthy and good or it can be destructive to all parties involved.
The problem in our society is that we lost the ability to distinguish between good and bad sex.
All sex, with anyone, at any time has a green light, until we get caught. Then the media and everyone else is quick to judge, blame, and condemn the actions, whether it’s a pregnancy out of wedlock, getting caught having an affair, or being exposed for porn use.
Knowing that sex is a vehicle that can either help us attach or keep us apart (and miserable), we now can find some answers to our dilemma.
When is it good to have sex early? Probably never.
You might test that answer by looking back in on your experiences and reviewing the times you did that and how it ended up.
Having sex causes us to become attached prematurely, which clouds our judgment.
If you wonder why you keep getting hooked up with losers, this might be a factor.
Now, to address the concern about waiting too long to have sex for fear the guy might look elsewhere. .
Question: If you have to have sex to keep him, is that the kind of guy you want?
The kind of guy I’d want (now) is someone like Wesley in Princess Bride who’d wait forever and go through hell to have me.
However, when I was young, I didn’t believe I was worthy of someone like that so I settled. I encourage you to seek help to heal from the deep wound of feeling unworthy, so you don’t settle or have sex until the time is perfect…for both of you.
Charlene Benson, LPC, CSAT, CMAT – www.bensontherapist.com
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