Question: Conservative Exploring Casual?

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Hi! A friend of mine recommended I ask your advice on a topic. I’m a 32 year old man, and have lived a very conservative life due to my religious beliefs. I was a follower of waiting until marriage until very recently. I’m in the process of re-examining a lot of things about what I want and believe. A short time ago, a woman brought up the possibility of a FWB scenario. This isn’t the first time, but previously there was a combination of moral doubt combined with the knowledge that the women in question really wanted more than I did, and I knew it would be using them to take them up on it. However, this new girl has caught me at a time when I’m questioning my old moral position, and further I don’t think she actually wants more than sex. Consequently, I’m giving serious thought to the offer. One thing I’m not certain of though is the idea of separating emotional intimacy from sex. My lack of experience means that I have only had one previous partner, and I already had an emotional connection before we took that step. I know I can’t really tell whether I’m emotionally capable of casual sex until I actually try it, but are there any indicators that might give me some hints? Thanks so much for your advice!

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Well thank you for your question, and welcome to the blog! It’s nice to have you. The first thing I would like to point out, which may help ease some concerns you have, is that it definitely does not sound like you are using your lady friend.

You mentioned that she may want more, but that you think she is comfortable with just having casual sex. If this is the case, let her be that free thinking lady that she is and trust her. You’re two adults looking to connect and explore and it’s okay to have hesitations as long as you’re both consenting.

A healthy FWB relationship will have open lines of communication and mutual respect for one another’s situation.For instance, you’ll talk about boundaries at the start. What’s on the table, what’s off the table? Will you see each other once, or semi-regularly? Will you be dating other people? How will you handle safety? If one begins to develop feelings for the other that cannot be held within a FWB relationship, how will you approach this conversation together?

You don’t have to have all these conversations at once but it can be helpful to know that they are there when you need them.

How do you know if you can handle it? Oh, boy. The big one for me is finding that sweet spot where you can still experience intimacy with your partner even if your relationship is casual. Do you enjoy this persons company? Do you find them to be a lovely human being? Certainly that will reflect itself in the sexual experiences you have with one another. You can have intimacy without having a relationship. You can have intimacy without falling in love. I would actually not advise a FWB relationship without a certain level of chemistry. Sex with someone you’re not attracted to, sex with someone you don’t find interesting, sex with someone you don’t click with, it all sounds like a recipe for a bad time. Chemistry does not necessarily mean that a relationship will progress to the kinds of intimacy more well marked by long-term relationships. Sometimes chemistry is just a fling with a trusty friend.

Aside from the issues of intimacy, make sure you know that casual sex doesn’t necessarily mean sex stripped of all meaning, emotion, feeling, and power. Casual sex is incredibly powerful and is carelessly tossed all too frequently into the smut pile. You get to make the experience what you want it to be.

Before I sign off, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do my friend and I want the same experience?

2. Do I feel that I can trust this person to be honest with me?

3. Do I feel excited about this and feel as though it will be a fun experience?

Disclaimer: There can certainly be a lot that doesn’t go right in a FWB relationship. But the same goes for every kind of relationship. Focus on what you can control now, and handle potential bumps as they come at you.

That should, I hope, get you started.

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit to the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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