Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Top 10 Reasons to Postpone Sex

Most of us beyond a certain age can think of at least one good, promising relationship we had that became irredeemable because of having sex too soon. I hear these stories frequently as an EQ and Dating Coach. Here are the top ten reasons to postpone physical intimacy.

1. STDs
Practice safe sex!

2. People regard sex differently.It can mean committment, or recreation, or nothing at all, or the best cure there is for the pain of another breakup - it varies. you will save yourself some grief if you get to know the other person well enough to find out what meaningthe act has for them.

3. Regardless of what you think (intellectually), sex has powerful consequences and implications.

4.Sex puts your feelings 'on speed,' magnifying and distorting them."Reproduction" is a powerful drive from the reptilian brain which is interested in survival, and sends us the strongest messages we have to deal with. When encountering situations of sex (or threat), our brains pump out chemicals designed to stop us from thinking. Is that really where you want tobe with someone you hardly know? At the crucial stage of getting to know someone, you won't be clear-headed enough to make good decisions.

5. Sex releases bonding chemicals. Do you want brain chemicals deciding to whom you become bonded? Stop, look and listen and you can save yourself the very real agony of breaking up with someone unsuitable that you've become attached to because of the sex.

6. Sex releases a stream of feel-good chemicals, particularly good for diffusing anxiety and negative states (including depression). In some residential drug rehab programs, for instance, participants are separated by gender because program directors have found that otherwise they'll just "fall inlove," the feel-good chemicals take over, and rehab ends. In other words, it can be a show-stopper. A little 'anxiety' is not a bad idea when you're getting to know a stranger, and contemplating a life partner. It's a time when you should be thinking as well as feeling, and a time when there is work to be done.

7. Sex narrows options. It can define the relationship prematurely, not letting in unfold naturally. It can become a substitute for the other forms of communication a developing relationship needs to sustain it. And, worst-case scenario, do you need the pressure of a pregnancy impinging on an important life decision? (Practice safe sex!) Some of the unhappiest people I know are those who felt they didn't have a free choice in marrying the person they married.

8. Anticipation is a sort of tension, but it's delicious. Don't deprive one another of that. You'll appreciate something more if you have to wait for it. That's human nature.

9. Engaging in sex too early implies a lack of restraint and lack of respect. It is human nature to conclude from an early jump into the sack that the other person has no restraint and won't be faithful, and also to doubt your own ability to hold to your standards where this person is concerned, i.e., they'll'make you write bad checks.' This is part of what's meant by putting pressure on the relationship. Those conclusions may or may not be true, but why complicate an already complex issue?

10. Having sex too soon truncates an important period of fantasy and dreaming. This is particularly important for men, who are said to "fall in love in the spaces." Men need the challenge and the work. Women ... need to remember that most men decide immediately whether the woman is marriage-material or not, and if he considers you the latter, he'll still have sexbefore he exits.

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