With the sophisticated toys on the market today and the prolifically lonely need for touch, one needn’t travel far for pleasure. But if you value your heart, perhaps you should step back from the excitement of the moment, and discuss some of the below topics.
All but one of these topics were recommended by others – thank you to the contributors who made me think. Some seem obvious. Others came as a surprise. While they are all correct, they can all be uncomfortable. This list is NOT in order of importance. Only you can determine the priorities.
1. Intent. Is sex an event – the big event – or is sex a means of creating more intimacy with the one who has you atwitter? Discuss what each of you hope to gain from the experience. Whether it’s a friends with benefit relationship, a one night stand, or figuring out how spiritually deep you can go with a person, understanding where each party is coming from will set you on a more satiating course.
2. Insanity: Some say insanity makes the best sex, but it doesn’t necessarily make the best relationship. It seems psychiatric diagnoses in California are the norm – start with the premise that everyone is insane, and coping becomes a bit easier. Besides understanding one another’s mental health, or lack thereof, talk about what tips you toward temporary insanity (aka really angry). If you don’t know this about someone, you are in lust, not love.
3. Menstruation: Because we are animals, blood happens. But some men (and women) still consider menstruation taboo, as if we are operating under the laws of Moses. According to Red Wings, “Often these are men who are physically mature enough to have sex, but who lack the emotional development to accept menstruation as a normal, beautiful part of being a woman. You probably shouldn’t be having sex with someone like that in the first place.” During the research for this article, two men boasted they even have their gold wings – glad those were telephone conversations.
4. Possession: Does sex mean exclusivity? At what point is monogamy expected, if ever? Do you think your new found friend is manufacturing unrealistic expectations in their response? Discussing this topic can prevent overshadowing misunderstandings.
5. BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism): Are you willing to install a trapeze in your bedroom for the right person? In addition to BDSM, you might want to discover your new potential partner’s attitude toward any non-mainstream sexual practices such as swinging, polyamory, fetishes, and Karezza.
6. General feelings about relationships: You should have the same general understanding, and be in the same hemisphere of desire. Feelings needn’t be exactly the same, but they should be compatible. If not, skip the sex – it will be boring anyway.
7. Sexual Orientation: This is usually pretty clear from the beginning, but if it’s not obvious, discuss it. If you are bi-sexual, your partner will probably want to know that about you. If you are transgender, you should discuss what one will find south of the belly button – there’s no excuse for not revealing this beforehand.
8. Privacy: How much privacy do you expect? How much privacy are you willing to give? Although snooping is technically a crime, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, lovers, and stalkers commonly infiltrate another party’s smart phone, email, text, and social media accounts gathering evidence to support their fears. Some people, like myself, could care less whether someone flips through my electronic communication so long as they are mature enough to handle Pandora’s limited perspective. But, espionage is a deal breaker for others. Where do you stand on the issue?
9. Who pays: This topic has taken on a life of its own here on Laguna Beach Gazette. If you are having wild, dysfunctional sex at home, you can ignore this topic. But, if the objective of sex is to take your relationship farther, understanding financial responsibilities may circumvent many happy arguments.
10. Transmittable Diseases and bacteria: Apparently, there is a rise in sexually transmitted diseases amongst the least expected demographic: seniors. Kids: Talk to your parents and grandparents about safe sex. Some issues you should be aware of: AIDS, HEP, MRSA, sepsis, STD.
Surprisingly, not one person surveyed mentioned birth control or marital commitments.
I’m left with one question: Should you discuss your prior sexual experiences with your new partner? Or do those discussions cause more harm than good?
Richard Craig will return with his weekly ‘Single in Laguna’ column next week.