When it comes to intimacy, the most important thing to consider is how sex fits into your relationship goals. If you’re in your 30s and you’re looking to find someone with whom to develop a long-term relationship that leads to marriage, you may feel very differently about the role of sex in your relationship than a woman in her 50s who is past childbearing age and isn’t interested in marriage.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What are your relationship goals? How does sex fit in with your relationship goals?
What is the source of your beliefs about sex? Are your beliefs a reflection of how you were raised? Are your beliefs an expression of your religious faith?
There is nothing wrong if your upbringing or religious tradition is the source of your beliefs. But it’s important to ask yourself the question “What are MY beliefs about sex?”
If you’ve been sexually active in the past, think about the circumstances of the relationship and how they shaped your feelings about sex now.
Were you with someone that made you feel unsafe and you’re reluctant to enter a sexual relationship with someone else?
Were you in a loving relationship, where sex was an important and healthy component, but that relationship didn’t work out, and now you’re afraid you’ll get hurt again?
Did you experience a whirlwind romance, and had passionate sex with your partner, but later mutually decided to end the relationship and now you’re looking to recreate that same sexual abandon?
If you’ve had hookups in the past, how have they made you feel?
Have you felt used because it was a one-time thing?
Have you felt satisfied and OK with not seeing the person again?
What are your feelings about monogamy?
Do you consider non-monogamy “cheating”?
Would you feel comfortable knowing your match was non-monogamous?
Would you ask?
Would it be important for you to establish guidelines around this before you are intimate?
These are questions only you can answer. And your answers may change over time. Again, that’s OK. People grow and change. And remember, you can decide to change course at any time you wish. It’s your life, and you only have one. Own your sexual power.