| Adrian Jay Neil, Jr
SEX CAN OFTEN be an uncomfortable topic of conversation, especially among couples. When we first enter into a relationship, we often discuss boundaries, likes, dislikes, pet peeves and so on, but often we walk into a sexual encounter with a partner blindly, not really knowing what the other person likes and often not fully knowing what we ourselves like, assuming that everything will magically fall into place like it does in the movies. Sex can be very pleasurable, but it can also be the cause of many arguments, hurt feelings and even the separation of two individuals.
If we don’t talk about sex in the beginning of our relationships, we miss out on the opportunity to express what we like and discover if our potential partners are somewhat sexually compatible. Having this conversation early on can prevent disappointment and many fights down the line. It can also help you come to compromises about what is a go and what is a definite no.
Feeling forced or pressured into doing something sexually that your partner likes is not healthy and can leave a person feeling as though they are not enough, as though they always have to go above and beyond to keep their mate interested or keep them from seeking pleasure outside the relationship. On the other hand, the partner who desires certain things may feel their needs are not being met in a relationship where those desires are denied.
Where does one draw the line between compromising to please a partner and compromising yourself?
I am a firm believer that sex is important and that eventually the flame may not be as vibrant after the first few years of a relationship and that couples may have to start working harder or differently to please their partner. I also believe that if conversations regarding sexual boundaries are shared in the beginning of a relationship, there is a better chance of meeting everyone’s needs. Disclosing long-held desires that may cross a partner’s boundaries after months in a relationship is a lot harder than being upfront about what you’re into at the beginning. Forcing or pressuring a partner into sex acts they aren’t comfortable trying is never OK.
Sex should not be placed in a box, and people should be free to explore their desires. We all know that there are going to be points in a relationship where one person is compromising more than the other and vice versa and that’s perfectly OK in the short-term. Sometimes it’s not about getting what you want but being heard and having your desires or needs respected.