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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Guest Post :: Ileana Ramirez

Photo Series: Jackson Loria
Intimates | For Love & Lemons via driftlab


{5 Reasons to}
Let Go of Bad Sex Habits
Women tend to treat sex the same way they treat their diets.  Most women have principles informing them to have as little sex as possible and to limit experimentation before marriage, either for religious reasons or to seem more attractive to a would-be spouse. BUT, inevitably, most women cheat on these sex diets.  They meet someone, experience the temptation to have sex, binge, and then feel subsequent guilt and shame.  We arbitrarily give ourselves extreme boundaries about sex, and then beat ourselves up when we cheat those boundaries.  This attitude is just as destructive to our bodies and souls as sneaking into the kitchen at midnight to eat ice cream straight out of the pint and then sob over the scales in the morning. 

Please understand, I don’t compare sex to dieting to minimize anyone’s religious values or trivialize the experience of sex.  All the opposite.  Sex shouldn’t be like dieting.  Dieting shouldn’t be like dieting.  Here are some of the problems with the dieting approach to sex:

1. When we treat having sex like cheating from the plan, we make our sexual decisions (with whom and when, etc.) based on whims, rather than standards. 

2. This makes us more likely to be unprepared for sex: emotionally, physically, and prophylactically (yep, that’s a spell-check certified adverb, folks). 

3. We have unrealistic expectations of entering into a committed relationship after sex, even if the other person hasn’t indicated a desire for this. 

4. Morals and standards become weapons of guilt rather than tools with which we make good choices.

5. We don’t know how to have satisfying married sex once this paradigm shifts. 

While some of these are more obvious, the marriage problem is perhaps the most lasting.  When you’re single, taking the dieting approach to sex can be fun.  There’s a lot of drama in the uncertainty of the will-they-won’t-they buildup of suspense, until our passions are finally released.  The problem is this:  once you’re in a committed relationship where this drama no longer exists, what is the source of your passion?  How do you keep the heat turned up in marriage—with one partner and the certainty of forever—for the rest of your life?  (A conversation for another blog post, perhaps?) {uhh..yes please! Tom Robbins has a solid opinion -- just read Still Life with Woodpecker}

Regardless of your religious beliefs or husband-hunting status, we can all agree that sex requires an enormous amount of TRUST.  In a society where one in three women experiences physical and sexual abuse, the act of giving someone else access to your body is a leap of faith that can have beautiful or devastating consequences. 
This means that all of us need systems in place with which we select partners.  Setting standards isn’t a way to make ourselves feel worse about our decisions or make up more unrealistic goals for us to fail to achieve.  Rather, it’s an act of self-love that protects us from people who would harm us and empowers us to share our intimate moments with people worthy of our trust and confidence.  Not everyone believes in waiting for marriage, but everyone should believe in waiting for something. 

The most common standards in our cultural sex narrative are religious (waiting until marriage) and emotional (waiting for true love).  But there are countless others.  Some standards are practical, like having a conversation about birth control and disease before engaging in sex. Some standards are self-protective, like waiting until you’ve known someone for a specific length of time.  Others require more from your partner, like waiting until you have talked about what you want from the relationship or until you’ve discussed what you would do if you got pregnant. 
In addition to spending countless hours making ourselves more attractive for would-be partners, we should ask ourselves prior to engaging in our sexual relationships: Who do I want? What makes a personal trustworthy enough for me to share my body?  What am I waiting for?


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