So my birthday is coming up on July 8th. My birthday wish this year is that everyone donates money or time to their local LGBTQP...
Just because someone feels sexual or feels ready to be actively sexual with others doesn’t mean they’ll always want or feel ready for everything, all the time or at any time, or that they’ll always want or feel right about putting those feelings into action. Because a relationship has become sexual doesn’t mean one pace fits all, or that what felt like the right thing last week will feel like the right thing next week. And while it might seem like sex should feel right because you’re in a certain kind of relationship, or have been in one for a certain length of time, because you have certain feelings, because you’re a given age or because you feel the desire to be sexual, none of those things mean that sex at a given time will feel right, even if it feels right for a partner or did for you before. Our limits and boundaries often shift and change, and sometimes we don’t even know what they are until we realize we or someone else has overstepped them.
A lot of young people think that sex is like Pandora’s Box: once you open it, you can’t ever close it and everything you took out of it can’t ever be put back in, whether you like it or not.
But that’s just not true: just because we’ve done something once sexually never means we have to do it again or always have to do it. Just because something felt right once, or in one situation, doesn’t mean it feels right now or always will in every situation. And sometimes what felt like the right pace for a while can later feel way too fast in hindsight. If and when that happens, we never have to stay at a given pace: we always have the choice to slow things down and only do whatever it is that feels right for us at a given time, even if that’s nothing at all.
You might already know and recognize that things are or have been moving too fast for you. But sometimes people don’t realize that’s what’s going on, and figure the way they’re feeling must be about something else, like fear about pregnancy or commitment, a health issue, or stress about another part of life. This can be a challenging issue, especially in ongoing sexual relationships, so it’s not surprising that sometimes folks try to dismiss it. If things are moving too fast for a partner, if they don’t tell you, or you just assume that your pace is the right one for both of you, you might not even know the pace isn’t right for them.
What are some signs things may be moving too fast for you or a partner?
- Sex feels more like something that “just happens” rather than something you or your partner actively choose to do
- You or your partner are experiencing anxiety, fear and/or regret during, after or about sex
- You or your partner don’t, can’t or don’t feel able to really talk about sex together
- You or your partner feel pushed sexually or like one person is always leading sexual activities
- Sex feels physically painful, uncomfortable or just really blah for you or your partner
- Sex feels like it starts and ends too fast or too soon
- You or your partner are taking risks you don’t really want to or don’t feel ready for
- You or your partner are skipping or being inconsistent with safer sex and/or birth control
- You or your partner feel unable to be assertive with limits and boundaries or like limits and boundaries aren’t respected
- You are being dishonest or feeling like you can’t be totally honest with friends and family about the pace of your sexual relationship
- You or your partner feel dissatisfied with sex, or like sex is very one-sided
- You or your partner feel like you’re doing things you just really don’t want to do
- And the easiest clue of all: things feel like they are moving too fast
Okay, so you know things have been moving too fast. But what can you do once you know that? How do you pull back the reins and slow it all down?
Read on at Scarleteen here.