Author: Todd Baratz
When it comes to dating… when is the right time to have sex?
I’ve been doing this for a while, and I am always shocked by the amount of rules, advice, scripts, and more cultural bullshit out there that shows up in people’s realities as the “right” or “normal” way to express sexuality.
Most of these thoughts come up as fact – like the sky is blue kind of fact.
What’s worse is it often shows up as judgment, contempt, and moralizing.
People label others in a variety of different ways from slutty (even though I use this as a positive word) and/or lacking self-awareness. Some people fear that others will not take them seriously if they have sex right away – and others fear they wont be taken seriously if they don’t.
Any rules about sex are myths steeped in cultural values, fear, and shame. All of this is in service of relational and sexual fear/anxiety. We want to be loved (and fu*ked) and most people are simply so terrified about it that they create and endorse these rules. These rules are all culture – that’s it! There is no merit to them – they are cultural values repackaged as truth.
So relationships – and the sex we have in them – are not up to anybody else but ourselves to define. YOU define what’s right for you – and then you negotiate that with a partner.
There is no universal data that suggests the timing or type of sex one has is related to a lack of anything. There is no control group for normal sexuality.
By contrast, there is TONS of data which clearly suggests that couples who have a positive sexual connection report more satisfaction and have a closer bond than those who do not.
Unless there is a safety concern, I encourage people to start talking about and/or having sex right away. For some people, having sex is part of their road to building intimacy whereas for others cuddling, kissing, or talking is. Everybody has different parameters around their sexual expression and the timing of such.
Have opinions for yourself not others. Stop moralizing about about sex and relationships. When you do – this is your own cultural bias. Explore that.
Todd Baratz is a licensed personal and couples psychotherapist, podcast host, and writer who specializes in relationships and sex.
D’bunked strips down the myths surrounding gay sex, intimacy, relationships and love and is brought to you by The GLUE.