The Non-Sex Stuff that Affects Sex

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The Non-Sex Stuff that Affects Sex

We often hear the question, “How far is too far?” and it’s asked within the context of having sex.

Well, there’s another question that we should, perhaps, be a bit more concerned about. It goes like this: What’s that stuff that isn’t sex that will impact my decision to have sex and the actual act of having sex in a negative way?

I got the “guard the avenues to your heart” talk when I was young. I’m not sure who gave me that talk but I know I got it. What I didn’t get was, “What are your thoughts about how sex will/can be and where have those thoughts come from?” Had these questions been posed, followed by an in-depth exploration of the root of my ideas on sex, it would have increased my awareness and wisdom tenfold. And these are conversations that should have, ideally, been ongoing. Instead of one sex-ed class in 8th grade, adding more conversations sprinkled across high school and college would have been golden because we are maturing. Even though I maintained a stance that I wouldn’t have sex till marriage, my ideas about sex were changing because my encounters with sexuality were growing and becoming more complex. And it’s not that I had questions, necessarily, that weren’t being answered. There are many things I’ve never questioned not because I was afraid to but because I didn’t know there was a question.

So I’m an example of the type of person who’s benefited tremendously from random people taking it upon themselves to educate those around them about the complexities and sometimes the ridiculous surprises of sex. Here are two things that may help you unpack…

Chick Flick Ideation
In good stereotypical woman fashion, I love a love story. But when I realized that many of these love stories were creating in me a very unrealistic view of not only sex but dating, communication, marriage, men’s roles, women’s roles, and more, I began cutting back. This was before I was even dating the man who’s now my husband. Even now that I’m married, I sometimes see how the ideas I picked up from film are affecting how I view my husband’s actions. How awful is that? Comparing my husband to a conglomeration of fictional male characters who are underdeveloped and unrealistic? Note to self: if it can happen in and hour and 50 minutes, it probably can’t happen in real life.

And it’s not just the chick flicks, the pornography…it’s not just media. There are a variety of misinformed sources that plague us in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Yet instead of simply saying, “Be careful what you let into your head,” we also need to ask, “What is in your head?” and unpack things from there.

Time Spent
The more time we spend together, the closer we become, the more we feel like we should be together…even if the relationship isn’t the healthiest and even if we’re not yet having sex.

Who we spend our time with and how we spend that time when we’re with them will, inevitably, affect how we view a lot of life. Ignoring problem points that come up between you instead of learning to communicate properly and argue well? So excited to be together so you give in to what the other person wants just to keep the relationship? These are just a couple of the things that affect sex, even if you’re not having it. How so?

A couple needs to be able to speak clearly about sexual expectations: what kind, how often, etc. If you don’t know how to communicate well in other areas of your relationship, it’ll hurt your communication about sex. You can’t ignore that. Even if you don’t have sex till years from now, start practicing healthy communication now.

And giving in just to keep the relationship will set you up for sex failure. Sex is supposed to pleasure both people. You’ll only be able to acquiesce for a little while when it comes to sex. Eventually your frustrations will overwhelm the relationship.

So how are you spending your time?

That’s all for now…

Now What?: That’s our final topic in this 7-day series titled, “Sex–Respect It.”

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