I have been dating my boyfriend for two months or so now. Unfortunately, he goes to another college and we don’t see each other as often as we would like. Neither of us dated in high school; neither of us has any experience with dating or sex. Recently, the time we do have together has been getting very sexual. He is a little bolder than I am (although always a gentleman) and the last time we saw each other things got a little out of hand. By the time I asked to slow down (which he did immediately), neither of us had clothes on.
He always touches me and makes me feel wonderful, and I want to return the favor–but I feel like if you’re going to go below the belt on a guy you should be prepared to finish the job. I don’t know if I’m ready for that. I’m certainly not ready to lose my virginity.
I care about him a lot. I want to respect his needs and wants without being selfish, but I don’t want to push myself into territory that I’m not ready for, either. I definitely don’t want to be a tease. He makes me happy. I just want him to be happy, too.
What do I do?
— Searching For Boundaries
Dear Searching For Boundaries,
To put the rumors of my unfortunate demise to rest…yes, last week’s “How Do I End Things Without Breaking His Heart?” was written by yours truly. It was a stylistic experiment that was a ton of fun, in case you couldn’t tell (and if you didn’t read last week’s column thus having no clue what I’m talking about, well, click on the link).
Onto present predicaments…
Right out of the gates, I applaud your consideration for his wants and needs. Sex can become immersed in a lot of selfishness. The problem there is that it takes two to…euphemism. So it can’t always be about just you or just him.
Teases are torturers as far as guys are concerned. The teased is in a vulnerable position. When you’re unguarded you’re trusting that the other person isn’t going to chop your…out from under you and thereby destroy your sexual-related sanity. So, bravo for not wanting to be a penile lumberjill.
Mini-rant behind us, let’s deal with some do’s and don’ts that might penetrate through your fears arisen from the situation.
DO: Be open and honest about what sex acts you’re ready to commit with him.
DON’T: Expect him to read your mind about what sex acts you’re uncomfortable committing with him.
DO: Allow yourself to trust him.
DON’T: Let yourself be pressured into doing what you’re not ready to do yet.
DO: Ask him what he’s ready for.
DON’T: Take advantage of his eagerness by having him satisfy you and then not satisfying him.
There are pitfalls here. Fortunately, with communicating what feels good and what you’re ready to experience with him, those pitfalls can be avoided on the road to achieving a new level of intimacy. That’s what makes sex special with people you care about: intimacy. It sounds like there’s a real emotional investment in your relationship, of which sex is a component, and that’s what’s freaking you out. By letting him know where you stand and where you do want to go with him (plus giving him the chance to give his side of the story) you’ll be exploring the new emotional terrains together.
That being said, I’m going to venture out on the ledge and say this: You should examine why you’re not ready to go beyond the level you’re at. Is it because you’re not comfortable with giving a hand job, or blowjob, or intercourse, or is it because you’re not comfortable experiencing them with him? A lot of girls are in relationships with men they’re not sexually compatible with. They gravitate towards them because of any number of reasons (he treats her well, she depends on sex not being apart of the dynamic, he’s her first relationship, she’s breaking a pattern for the type of guy she usually gets burned by, and so on…). Is it that or does it not matter that it’s him, and it’s got more to do with you?
I’m not suggesting you do anything you’re not ready for. I’m asking you to examine what boundaries you’ve erected for yourself and why. Sometimes we realize that we’ve put up walls that once protected us but now are trapping us. Sometimes we still need the walls as they stand.
When you understand what the boundaries are, why they’re there, and whether they’re still necessary, then you can find new ones. Only this time, you’ll discover them with him. And that, is an act of intimacy…
Running the bases,
[Isn’t he wise? Don’t you wish you could get more? You can! Check out The Dude’s other insights into the male mind right here.]