Should You Have Sex?

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This is a jump off from Ashley’s comment – here-> about how to date and handle sex and being a ‘Girlfriend.”

Ashley, here’s my take – when you’re young – say not yet within three to five years of wanting to have a child – though you really don’t want to fall into the “Girlfriend” trap – that’s the time when you have to figure out what to do about sex in that context.

Here’s where I think Erika can help you (see her comment here ->).  She has some very strong, interesting and powerful views about celibacy and how to do it even while you’re dating up a storm.

Talking with Erika here, and on her blog, also, might give you some things to think about.  She’s also totally, as you can see from her comment – into the organic, moment by moment being present way of working with relationships and men.

(Erika – I also would like to thank you for your fabulous comments and invite you to send me some longer posts about how to date while being celibate – with your permission I’ll incorporate them into guest posts…)

And on the other side of the coin – I also have “relationship expert” friends who live and prosper in the mode of polyamory – which means you have loving AND sexual relationships with more than one person at a time. Even in a “marriage” you may bring others into the family.  And if you are polyamourous and you like someone enough to “Date” them and become emotionally involved with them, you would also consider sex with them to be part of that – regardless of the “structure” of the “relationship.”  It all sounds pretty far fetched to most of us, and I’ve never tried it or can even get my head around it.

I sit somewhere in the middle.  I see sex as a powerful Tool to get closer to a man, closer to yourself, and yes – closer to God and the Universe.  I see sex as an animal joy and a spiritual miracle, and I am not one to promote celibacy (and I have a 20 year-old daughter and can still say that).

That said, most of us are not in full command of this power of sex, and instead get caught up by our hormones when we have sex with a man.

We are not like men when it comes to sex – and yet, men are capable of the full array of emotions that often cannot be fully expressed WITHOUT sex.

At some point, for a healthy masculine man, a relationship will die without sex.  It will simply not feed the greater growth of his emotions.

And for emotionally unhealthy men, the greater growth is more than he can handle.

My past is full of “serial” relationships and boyfriends, one after the other, all of whom I had sex with. Whatever drove me to jump in so fast (literally) – I know that sometimes I beat myself up over my poor choice because THEY liked ME so much more than I liked them, and most often I beat myself up because I loved them and they didn’t care all that much.

And now I don’t believe that sex had anything to do with it.  At that time in my life I needed closeness and affection and to be touched, and I got that for myself however I could, even if it meant deceiving myself.  And I believe that that was my “path.”  That was my “journey.” whatever happened, and whatever I did and didn’t do, whatever mistakes I made – they were a part of who I am now, and I choose to rejoice in who I am now – so – I MUST, then, logically – rejoice in who I WAS.

And I don’t see that having “sex” was necessarily a mistake.  What I see is how clearly I mixed sex up with love and affection, and how I took the “crumbs” of sex rather than actually looking for the whole enchilada.

And most important – I see that I almost DELIBERATELY took those crumbs because I was deeply AFRAID of the whole enchilada.  I had no idea what it looked like, felt like – or what it even meant. Sex had nothing to do with it.

I can remember nearly every experience I ever had with a man – sexual and non-sexual – and I can also see how each one was a DIFFERENT learning experience – though they all followed the same pattern.

I can look back and see the men I felt strongly for, and the men I TRIED to feel strongly for.  I remember how sex fit into the experience for me, how it intensified my feelings or dropped them into the garbage.

So – I want you to follow YOUR path.  Your journey.  And the only thing I want to say about sex is that, as powerful as it is – it cannot CHANGE anyone’s mind.  It can deepen love, and it can liberate the body and spirit, and it can feel cold and coarse and empty, too.  But it cannot change his mind.  It cannot bind him to you.

What it can do – through the way our female hormone’s work – is to bind US to a man.  It binds us in a physical way that feels like love, but often isn’t love at all.  And that’s the problem.

When we are bound, too soon, before we feel secure and happy, to a man on our hormonal level – we run the risk of talking the rest of ourselves into love, whether it’s there or not, or even good for us or not.

And then that can turn into self-deception that damages our entire sense of ourselves.

So – I say a rock-star free spirit woman who can stay in touch with her body, knows what her hormones tell her is not always the truth, and ALWAYS stays in love with HERSELF – can do ANYTHING.  Including having sex with as many men at one time or in serial relationships, or any way she wants to, as is humanly possible.

Find where YOU are on this journey.  Find what will serve YOU best.  Imagine what kind of woman YOU want to be.  Don’t let anyone put rules on you.

Stay in touch with how you feel about YOU – and you’ll be great.

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Daria on October 29, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    So Im guessing that when I wake up or find myself wanting to have sex with someone, maybe not anyone specific, maybe a couple candidates come to mind…lol… that it is my hormones speaking?

    And I can choose to satisfy them or not… and that either way it is going to be ok as long as I’m loving me.

  2.  #2Ashley on October 30, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this post Rori!

    It really gave me a lot of perspective. I totally love having sex and feel very comfortable with my sexuality…but similar to what you were describing, I feel like I have gotten into this “serial relationship” pattern over the past few years….and while I don’t regret any of it (the relationships with these guys, or the sex), and I have learned so much from each and every person….I still feel like I have reached the point where I am done being the “girlfriend.” I have (mostly) learned what I want and don’t want, and I’m SO close to being ready for marriage. Not quite there yet, but I feel comfortable waiting to have sex until the right guy comes into my life.

    In the meantime, I do plan on circular dating and having fun! But I have learned from a time or two in my past when I had sex with guys that I wasn’t in fully committed relationships with and it did not turn out well….I seemed to always develop feelings for them, as much as I tried not to become too attached! The opposite has also happened (but in my committed relationships though) where my boyfriends have had more feelings for me than I had for them.

    Anyway, I am aware that sex is a necessary part of a long-term relationship with a “healthy masculine man” as you described….so maybe for now I won’t say that sex is completely off limits until marriage. But I will definitely be more discerning in whomever I choose to sleep with, and most likely I might make the next guy wait a little longer than I did in the past, until I feel comfortable knowing that he is serious about me and that I am ready to share that with him.

    I am going to definitely look at Erika’s blog to get some more insights on the topic as well….thanks again for this post and have a great weeekend =) Love, Ashley

  3.  #3Daria on October 31, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Wow Ashley I just learned a LOT from your post!

    “I have (mostly) learned what I want and don’t want, and I’m SO close to being ready for marriage. ”

    When I read this I realized that maybe I don’t feel ready for marriage because I HAVEN’T learned mostly what I want and don’t want yet and I still have a strong desire to just learn and experiment! That’s so cool your post was so clarifying and empowering!

    “But I have learned from a time or two in my past when I had sex with guys that I wasn’t in fully committed relationships with and it did not turn out well….I seemed to always develop feelings for them, as much as I tried not to become too attached! The opposite has also happened (but in my committed relationships though) where my boyfriends have had more feelings for me than I had for them.”

    I Totally understand, I think this is kind of what Rori has been telling us and also what I have noticed as well. You put it so clearly!

    Thank you!

  4.  #4Reshi on October 31, 2008 at 8:23 am

    I was raised in a culture that believed strongly that a girl had to be a virgin at marriage, otherwise she would have no value. And furthermore, I was taught that if I had sex outside of marriage, the guy would completely lose respect for me and I would be alone, pregnant, and diseased!

    And I’m a highly, highly sexual person. I hit puberty when I was 8, and wanted children right then and there. I have ridiculous curves and the so-called perfect 0.7 waist-hip ratio. And during most of my young life it was a constant struggle to keep my feelings under wraps. They were sublimated into all sorts of creative endeavor and that was great, but I also spent years feeling like I was defective and UGLY because boys weren’t interested in me and seemed to like girls who looked more like boys. People told me they could SEE the sexual frustration on me–and that was humiliating!

    I dated only a few guys. Icky guys, guys I wasn’t attracted to, guys who tried to pressure me sexually, guys who lost interest when they realized I’d never go all the way. And then I found a man who was attractive and interesting and passionately interested in ME. And he RESPECTED that I didn’t want to have sex before I was married…though damned if we didn’t get close to it more than once in the meantime.

    I wasn’t prepared for how much I would change with sex. I went from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds and suddenly wanted it ALL THE TIME. And this is completely understandable after holding out for 25 years, no?

    But also kind of unrealistic to expect the man who dated me for 2 years with no sex to suddenly turn into a sex maniac after marriage. And this dynamic pretty much continued between us, creating conflict and eroding our relationship and destroying his love for me, until now.

    I wonder if, given this, I would have been better off learning about sex BEFORE I was married. But the fact is it probably would have been worse. I wasn’t in a good place INSIDE. I never loved myself at all until I was 23 and even then there were parts of me I hated. I am sure I would have therefore attracted all kinds of Toxic Men to make me feel even worse about myself.

    So I can move forward with no regrets. What happened was exactly what needed to happen. It doesn’t keep heartbreak from hurting, but at least I don’t have to pile guilt and regret and self-judgment on top of the pain.

    I don’t know at this point who I want to be sexually. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to go back to pursuing what I was trying to get during the past 6 years of my marriage–as if having sex a certain number of times a week would magically make him love me more. It’s pretty clear that what I really want is LOVE that is sometimes expressed sexually–but it’s easier to just go for the sex–even when doing that creates intense rejection and DESTROYS love. So I’m working on loving MYSELF in that way now…and maybe after that it will become more clear whether or not my man can love me that way.

  5.  #5Rori Raye on October 31, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Reshi – You’re doing fantastic – and your situation is so common – people who are very careful to not have sex before marriage (I work with many religious Christians who are very strict about this) – can go a long time together before having sex – in your case 2 years is a VERY long time.

    And after a while it becomes artificial. After a while, you have to question the why of it.

    Many people are having difficulties with sex these days. Men are losing their libido, believe it or not, and are quite easily talked into backing away from sex – because it’s also permission to back away from emotional INTIMACY.

    For some men, it’s a RELIEF to not have sex, because of fears of getting more emotionally intimate.

    And often, people will marry a completely inappropriate partner just BECAUSE of sex. They feel that if they’ve already put in a year with someone, it will take them longer to find someone else and get married to have sex, so they stick with it.

    Or they get married too soon in order to have sex in an “okay” way.

    In other words – WAY too much emphasis is put on sex – either doing it or resisting doing it.

    What you had was a man who was willing to tolerate going 2 years without sex. That is a long, and in my opinion (after a certain age, let’s say somewhere in your early 20’s) unnatural way to be in an exclusive romantic relationship.

    As you say – you could almost bet that a man who is willing to do that is not highly sexual.

    A highly sexual man would not tolerate that. He’d find some other way to either marry you or leave you for another woman.

    This is complex – but what you have to do here is TALK to him about all this – and see if you can rekindle his sexual energy.

    In the meantime – keep expressing your own sexual energy, on your own, with yourself. Love, Rori

  6.  #6Erika on November 1, 2008 at 12:43 pm


    Thanks so much for the shout out, and I would love to have any and all feedback on my blog. A conversation is so much more fun than a monologue 🙂

    Maybe this will change, but there is something about actual intercourse with a guy that tended (at least in the past) to get me attached to him in ways that didn’t feel good to me. It’s funny I can pretty much do anything else physically without having that emotional response. I was told by many people that guys wouldn’t date me or connect with me if I didn’t have sex, and that just hasn’t turned out to be true. If anything, I’ve become the girl that guys want to “figure out.”

    It seems like intention is key. I’m not trying to manipulate anyone or play hard to get. I’m just following my feelings, and when it feels right to have sex with a guy, you can be sure I’ll do it.

    Even for those who don’t want to practice long-term celibacy, a shorter period of abstinence can do wonders for clearing out your head and allowing you to focus on getting in your heart without so much distraction and hormonal rollercoaster.


  7.  #7Rori Raye on November 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Erika – would you please lay out – graphically and with diagrams if need be – how you can be “Physical” with a man without actual intercourse? And exactly how YOU do it that makes you so fascinating?

    I can talk about this for days – and give out book titles, and describe it – and I think coming from you – who’s actually in the “process” of living this – it would be very helpful.

    I’ll turn it into a post, and add my two cents, when I see it so it’ll go out on the RSS feed. Love, Rori

  8.  #8Benaddette on December 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Rori,

    I love your newsletters, however have not purchased any of your programs, due to finances. I am a sinngle Mom of 3. Married for 14 yrs and recently divorced.
    I guess, I feel like exploring my sexuality since my X was not much into it.
    So I had a date and broke all my rules, was intimate on the 1st date, but this is the only man I have been with besides my X, I saved sex for marriage.
    This guy is so sexual, I sense he has been with alot of women, and I do not like this idea, even if we use protection.
    How do I slow it down and find out what he is really all about. I have asked him nicely to stop turning the conversation to sex all of the time but he just sort of laughs.
    I have said to myself that if I get into a serious relationship there will be sex and that is OK, I just do not know if he is the one. My gut says to try to get rid of him.?

    thanks for any input you may have,

  9.  #9Rori Raye on December 7, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Whoa, Bernaddette, Welcome – and you sound like you’re on a grand adventure here!!! There’s just no way you’re going to know ANYTHING about dating, or men in general, or a man in particular right now. It’s like you’re a newly-hatched chick!!! You get to make “mistakes.” You get to “experiment.” Please don’t worry so much about what’s “right” – (just stay protected physically as much as you can.) – you’re going to find out what’s right for YOU as you go along. Just feel your way. Now that you’ve jumped into sex – you get to slow down a bit and just see how you feel. You really can’t make a mistake at this point. If you want to spend time with a man, do it. If you want to sleep with him, do it. Date lots and lots of men. Circular Date. Learn to use the Tools everywhere and anywhere…We’ll all help. Focus on you, and don’t worry about “outcomes” – only EXPERIENCES. Okay? Love, Rori – I know I speak for us all when I say I’m truly looking forward to hearing about all your adventures on this journey. Love, Rori

  10.  #10Felicity on January 24, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Hi Rori

    I am in a similar situation and so thought I would post something. Firstly can I say how much your phone conferences helped me!!!! It was almost 2 years ago now and I can still hear your words of wisdom in my ears.. thanks is not a big enough word for all that you did. I have just recently started dating and have been on a few dates with one guy in particular. He is very keen and wanted sex straight away, I said I did not feel comfortable and he was okay with that and said it is sometimes better to wait as it makes it more meaningful. my problem is that I have been so starved and neglected emotionally for so many years that this handsome kind man comes along and I go to pieces. I feel like he should go stand somewhere else and just wave at me or some other non threatening thing like that as I can’t handle the way he looks at me and the compliements…anyway I want to have sex but then I also don’t want to as I don’t really know this guy. My ex fed me so many lies for the 10 years we were married that it is hard to know when to trust. he gave me the spiel about loosing his labido..he obviously found it at his girlfriends house…. he told me that he was just tired so years and years of virtually no sex made it “normal” and so now that this man has turned up..he contacts me when he says he will he sits and looks me in the eye while I am talking. he plans dates and constantly asks if I am ok and brings a coat just in case I am cold….what the hell??? I have never ever had that before!!!! so yes I want to be close to him and we have fooled around and it feels great but then I feel this urge to explain why I don’t wnat to have sex and then I go home thinking why not?? so anyway I keep thinking maybe I should go out with others but am not sure if my poor overwhelmed head can handle that. don’t know if you remember but I have two kids and my ex moved back to the US pretty much as soon as he had gotten rid of me. i have started Uni full time and am moving house so somehow I have to work in the midst of all that too ….not sure if I can handle dating more then one guy??? I am tired just thinking about it and am still trying to feel will be pleased to know that I can FINALLY melt.. when I was speaking to you I could not melt at sad is that!!! anyway I have made big changes and I can feel things now, losing Dad so close to losing my husband (10 days apart) was pretty horrifying but I am doing well now..anyway any words of wisdom would be so appreciated!!!

  11.  #11Rori Raye on January 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Oh, Felicity, so great to hear from you here, and SO glad you’ve had so many new experiences since last we talked. This guy sounds like a pretty good practice arena. Circular Dating doesn’t require you to actually “date” – it’s just about using the Tools with every man who comes into your space – so thin of it that way and do that – it will keep you sane and steady. From what I hear… and I know I will draw a lot of controversy with this…it seems to me you’re overdue for some sex. You refer to yourself as starved and neglected – and sometimes the only way to break that “label” is to get yourself some pleasure. The longer you wait to “experiment” with this, the more importance you’ll put on it. You deserve pleasure. Can you baby-step your way to that with the “fooling around” and melting practice? I don’t think this guy is going to disappear because you need to go slow with sex, and I don’t think he’s going to disappear once you do heave sex, either. It’s a matter of you FEELING in control of YOU, and your feelings and decisions – and just following what feels good to you. Getting attention, affection, cherishing is so foreign to you after what you’ve been through – it’s to be expected that it would feel weird. Just keep baby stepping. I’m not sure that what you need right now is anything “serious,” so try not to attach rules to the way this is going. This is going to be an ongoing experiment for you – some days good, some days a little off…until the good start to outnumber the off and you feel STRONG…in a way you never, ever have before. BRAVA to you! Love, Rori

  12.  #12Felicity on January 24, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    thanks Rori,

    I am going to follow what feels good to me.

    I am going to take baby steps and you are right it does feel so weird but at least I am feeling it.

    I do feel better

  13.  #13Rampiance on January 14, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I do believe this is the first time I have ever seen this notion stated so enthusiastically on the web:
    “So – I say a rock-star free spirit woman who can stay in touch with her body, knows what her hormones tell her is not always the truth, and ALWAYS stays in love with HERSELF – can do ANYTHING. Including having sex with as many men at one time or in serial relationships, or any way she wants to, as is humanly possible.”

    Convention is completely against this approach. I’ve been looking for years to find a source that fully supports this, not just giving tolerance or minimal acceptance, but celebrating it with integrity. And here you are. So happy to meet you!

    Bless you for your courage to make your statement loud and clear.

  14.  #14Dragonlady on January 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I am facing some similar experiences/perspectives as I have recently become a single woman at 34 after 13 yrs of supposedly being with my “soul mate”. Now things weren’t perfect between us by in any means but I loved this man with my whole being and was self-sacrificing in every way to have a life with him. Ironically, losing my independence and flair within the process made him turn away from me. Never saw it coming; was like being stabbed and hit by a train all at once. Anyway, over the holidays I planned a hook-up with this very hot 26 yr old and we had a blast; never happened again but you know, there wasn’t really much to talk about in between the 9 times 😉 I didn’t regret this experience at all since it made me feel alive, desirable and reconnect with my woman powers again. So fast forward a month or so later, this 36 yr old artist reaches out to me (via online dating site) and even though he didn’t appear so attractive, he was immensely talented (which I melt at) and we shared many other interests. So we meet at an Art Walk and from the moment he turns around, I’m hooked. He oozes charm, sex appeal, gentlemanly behavior, touches me a little through the evening, holds my hand by the end of the night and wants to take me home. WeIl we end up making out next to my car like teens, I tell him that I’m tempted and that maybe this weekend we’ll see. He immediately contacts me the next day to make plans. Now at this point, it’s been established between us that I’m spending the night with him. He lives @ 30 min away but he wants me to drive down there first so he can have the pleasure of my company back and forth on the drive since he is taking me to a very nice Seafood restaurant where I live. He parades me around very proudly the whole evening, shares intimate family things, truly seems interested in me…I’m a LEO and we sponge this stuff up. Back at his place, he has candles, music, $200 btle of whisky, won’t even let me get h20 for myself. Everything but the actual sex act was incredible…he couldn’t perform. I guess it had been awhile and to be honest, I’m a very attractive, sexy and uninhibited woman and I think he had major performance anxiety. He attempted to keep an erection the whole night. We laughed about it, constantly engaged in kissing and oral sex and he was incredibly passionate. The next morning, even though he engaged himself in some work, he made me feel comfortable enough to bathe ( he brings me a towel), lounge around, entice him to try again, makes me gourmet eggs. I’ve never been treated like this in my life. Shockingly, even with his issue, I find myself really liking this man and I know that it partially due to the Oxytocin that is making me feel attached but I feel a genuine connection to him. Under my new single life terms, this simply wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m not supposed to be feeling anything but lust for men right now so this has thrown me and I don’t know what to do. I also know that he is so embarrassed about his lack of performance that I’m not sure if he wants me still; can’t tell you how many times he apologized. I emailed him that night to tell him what a great time I had no matter what and that I found him a sexy and smart man whom I want to spend more time with. He replied “Cool-I’ll touch base when I get back in town” (had a trip). Very aloof and I don’t know if it’s cause he thinks I’m a promiscuous woman (except why would he go so out of his way to impress me for one night) or ’cause of the cock not working factor. Any advice on how to approach this man and pursue anything with him would be greatly appreciated. Would you just give him a few days after he comes back to make contact? If he still doesn’t, should I just not care and find a young stud again or inquire as to why? Thanks!

  15.  #15Rori Raye on January 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    wow, dragonlady – what a fantastically great story!!! Let him be. Let him contact you again. Let him figure this out. There’s always Viagra – and he certainly knows where to get it. If he lets a few weeks go by – you can reach out to him…otherwise, let him be. Love, Rori

  16.  #16Dragonlady on January 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks Rori…it only occurred a few days ago which I’m sure is which I’ve become a bit obsessed with it and him. Thanks Oxytocin. So from your perspective, does this sound like a man who only wanted to have sex with me one time? I mean is such behavior common for any man who knows he is getting lucky either way? Do you think he’s just showing his independence as well as probably trying to deal with the fact that he so badly wanted to be with me and couldn’t? Any extra insight would be greatly appreciated Rori. I’m so happy I found this blog.

    Dragonlady 🙂