Back in my young and more virginal days, I was a huge fan of the naked makeout sesh. The guy who introduced it to me sucked in a lot of ways, but he always respected my hesitation to commit to P-in-V, and I always felt safe getting naked with him. I met another guy who was also kind of a jerk, but again, was totally fine with respecting my boundaries and he never pressured me to do more than I wanted. Other friends of mine had fairly similar experiences, so I was under the impression that it was totally normal and acceptable to get naked with someone without P-in-V needing to be on the table.
Alas, I found out that wasn’t always the case, but despite an annoying/slightly traumatizing experience, I’ve always continued to be a fan of it, even after having become comfortable with going all the way. Recently, however, I was reading through an advice forum that’s usually frequented by fairly open-minded people. These people bashed the idea of getting naked with someone repeatedly while having zero intention of boning them. They called it irresponsible and labelled it a “tease” move.
I totally understand the “irresponsible” part of this. Things can certainly escalate in the heat of the moment, and if neither partner was prepared on the contraception front, that could lead to nerve-wracking consequences (or at the very least, shelling out $40 the next morning). I know that I’m very lucky to have mostly encountered guys who didn’t go further than I wanted to, and I’m also very lucky that I had enough anxiety to prevent me from letting anyone stick it in, especially since I wasn’t on any birth control. Getting naked with someone can be very risky, and it does make some sense that people would be skeptical as to whether certain boundaries can still be enforced at that point.
But to say that getting naked is “teasing” is absurd to me. Being naked with someone is not an inherent invitation to fornicate. I’ve been with a guy whom I explicitly told was not getting in my vagina that night. He claimed to be okay with it, but then it turned out he wasn’t. Instead of just communicating that to me like a normal human being, he decided to violate my boundary. Under no circumstances was I teasing him. I wasn’t dangling my vagina in front of him and squealing, “You can’t have it, loser.” It wasn’t my fault that he wanted to try to coerce consent out of me, and it wasn’t my fault that my boundaries weren’t compatible with his desires. That’s really the crux of the matter – some people don’t have the self-control necessary to adhere to certain sexual restrictions. That’s totally okay, but it’s not cute to shame people for enforcing their own boundaries.
Naked makeout sessions were really great for me. They helped me become less self-conscious about my body, made me feel desired, allowed me to have intimate experiences and were generally excellent learning opportunities. No, they’re not for everyone. You have to be empowered enough to be able to put the brakes on activities that are generally implied when nudity goes down. You also have to be able to not let your raging hormones cloud your rational judgment. And, unfortunately, some people cannot be trusted in this arena.
Nevertheless, hooking up doesn’t have to be an all or nothing kind of affair. There’s nothing wrong with slowing down and enjoying the journey.
[Lead image via Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/Shutterstock]