While some of our peers choose to get sexy with others, there are a lot of people who choose not to have sex. This choice can be due to a need for strong emotional connection, it can be a religious or cultural choice, it can be related to your own sex drive and preferences. There are many factors in play. Ultimately, everyone deserves to make their own choices regarding how physical their relationships become. However, it can be difficult to navigate a relationship with someone that you like when you have restrictions in place. Here’s a few tips about setting physical boundaries in relationships:
- Ignore everyone else’s opinion This is one area where you need to do you. This decision is up to you and shouldn’t be influence by your friends, families and the media. Regardless of with whom you confide or discuss your values, make sure they truly come from you.
- Communicate your boundaries This all shouldn’t be a hidden card that comes into play a month into your relationship. Be honest with your partners about what you expect and how you want a physical relationship to work.
- Don’t date anyone who criticises or tempts you It’s really uncool for your partner to make you feel bad for your decision. Someone who truly respects you will respect your decisions. If they try to ‘tempt’ you, or guilt you into changing your mind, that is an example of them disrespecting you. You don’t deserve someone who makes you feel guilty for being true to yourself.
- Find other ways to be intimate If you and your partner have a mismatch in expectations or needs when it comes to the physical aspect of a relationship, they could feel unwanted or rejected when you choose not to do more sexy things with them. Sometimes you need an alternate avenue to express intimacy and feel close to one another. This could be sharing something that’s special, having a snuggle and watching TV, or doing other fun activities.
- Be kind to yourself. It’s cool that you chose this path. Being sex-positive includes figuring out what you want sexually and then making that happen in real life. By being honest about your boundaries, that’s exactly what you’re doing. If you feel guilty or ashamed of your choices, don’t worry. We’re all on your side. If sometimes you feel confused about your boundaries, that’s ok too. You can figure this out by trial and error, just keep being honest to yourself and your partner about what you need.
That’s it for this week’s “The Birds, the Bees and Gettin’ Jiggy”, the first of Semester 2. For those that have just joined us, this column is a wholesome romp through the minefield that can be sexual health, relationships and the joy of the jiggy. If you have any issues you think would make a cool article, let me know either in person or via facebook.