Intimacy: It’s Sexier Than You Think!
Intimacy: It’s sexier than you think!
You’ve decided that now’s not the time for sex, and that’s totally cool! You can still get close with your partner by putting intimacy at the top of your list. (Keep reading, we promise we’ll make it worth your while.) Intimacy is a close personal connection with your partner, and you can make that happen without having sex. Intimacy involves trust, good communication and respect, which are important things to have in a relationship, whether you’re having sex or not. And when the time IS right for you and your partner to have sex, when you’re both ready, it’s going to be awesome.
There are many reasons people don’t have sex.
Think everyone is doing it? The truth is that only about half of teens have had sex—and the likelihood of having sex increases with age. That means most 16-year-olds haven’t had sex, while most 19-year-olds have. So what’s normal? Charting your own course and doing what’s right for you. Here’s why teens choose to skip sex:
- Their values say the time isn’t right yet.
- They haven’t found the right person yet.
- It’s too soon in a relationship.
Even if you’ve been sexually active in the past (by choice or not), it’s normal to set your own boundaries and hold off on sex if the timing, situation or relationship doesn’t feel right to you.
Be confident in who you are.
Confidence in yourself and what you want can help you make decisions that feel right to you. It’s also important to find a partner who respects your decisions. So how do you know? Choose a partner who
- appreciates and respects you for who you are;
- accepts your feelings, ideas and opinions as your own;
- feels safe to talk about sex issues with even if one of you is upset;
- respects your boundaries
- never forces you to do something you don’t want to do, especially sex; and
- never threatens or harms you in any way.
Consent is a big freakin’ deal!
Consent isn’t just important—it’s sexy! When you’re ready for sex, it’s important to give a clear, confident “Yes!” Anything less than yes means no, whether that message comes from you or your partner. So how do you know if something’s off?
- Is one of you pushing for sex even if the other partner has said no or seems uneasy?
- Are you using drugs or alcohol? Is your partner? Is your partner pushing you to consume more drugs or alcohol?
- Do you feel like it’s okay to say no? Does having sex feel safer or easier than getting a “no” message across?
The situations above are tactics predators often use to take advantage of people, and sex under these circumstances can be rape.
Get really intimate—using your mind!
There are few things sexier than building a deep connection with someone. That’s why so many rom-coms use that best friends-turned-lovers shtick. Talk about your ideas, hopes, hobbies and fears. Ask questions. Tell jokes. As a bonus, you’ll have built up good communication skills for when you do become sexually active.
Doing the things you love with someone you care about can be better than even the best sex. Try a new restaurant or cook your favorite recipe together. Take turns watching your favorite movies or listening to your favorite songs.
You can have a totally hot physical relationship and still respect each other’s boundaries. Smooching, snuggling and hand-holding are fun, safe and sexy ways to get a little closer without having sex.
If you’ve already been sexually active but don’t want sex right now, they are great alternatives for you, too.