I Don’t Feel Obligated To Have Sex, And You Shouldn’t Either


As a woman in my early 30s who’s dated a lot, it seems to be harder and harder to get excited about new romantic possibilities. Perhaps, I’ve learned too many lessons, thus making me guarded and skeptical. Sometimes, I’m just over the monotony of dating. But even when my emotions aren’t coming out to play, I still crave the feelings of anticipation and ultimately, I want my heart to flutter when I’m with somebody.

Anytime I’m hanging out with a new prospect, there is an inevitable make or break moment when I decide how far down the physical path I’ll go. After years of casual dating, it doesn’t feel like it’s a stretch to throw caution to the wind and jump straight to sex.

Part of becoming a woman was learning that how far I go is entirely my choice. But even so, it often feels obligatory to have sex and ends up being just that, obligatory and quite lack luster. It’s like checking a box – yep, we hooked up because we are “grown ups” and that’s what “grown ups” do.

To help remedy this monotonous and uninspiring situation, and to revive some butterflies, I decided to rediscover where I first felt them – first base.

I recently started hanging out with somebody new. I went over to his house, we got cozy and he made his move. As we made out, he, characteristically and unapologetically tried to go further. I stopped him, but kept it playful and we continued kissing. After a few more of his failed attempts at this playful cat and mouse game, I decided to clarify, “I’m not going to have sex with you today.”

He inquired, “Why not? You know we’re going to eventually.”

I countered, “Perhaps, but this is way more fun.”

He pondered that for a moment, and surprisingly replied, “Yeah, you’re right. This is more fun”

I was thrown off at his reaction; I thought he would get bored or frustrated, but instead he accepted it and dove back onto first base.

Our kissing went from 0 to 100 and I finally felt the butterflies I had been missing so much. Without the pressure of going to second base, or even all the way, we dove in to discovering each other. Our kisses went from playful to lingering to deep and hit all the notes in between; each of these I had been previously glazed over while I raced to the end.

Without the obligatory hook up, I was brought back to high school innocence. We both got a healthy dose of frustration. Additionally, making out allowed me to test drive my new love interest before making any hasty decisions. I was pleasantly surprised by not only his tenderness, but also by his ability to be patient. I found out that to him, enjoying the moment was more important than “scoring.”

As I left that evening, I realized that besides the physical awakening I rediscovered at first base, my mind and my imagination were now piqued as well. Leaving unfinished business on the table made me way more excited than any physical activity had done in a while. The butterflies remained; I was left wanting more. Rather than checking a box and moving on, just like my regular to-do list, leaving one thing unchecked stayed on my mind the rest of the day. As a woman I pretty much have my choice of whomever I want to have sex with; this becomes problematic when I want to be challenged because I love the chase. Even though I had to fabricate it myself, I was able to recreate excitement by bringing back the most exciting first I could remember.

First base was the forgotten remedy to my uninspired situation. Rediscovering this high brought me back and gave me a much needed boost in an area of my life that was all but dead.

For more raw, powerful writing follow Heart Catalog here.