Sex and the Honeymoon Period – two hot topics that usually go hand-in-hand, especially since we’re talking about the beginning of love relationships. But where does sexuality fit into the picture of burgeoning love? What things might you need to keep in mind as you take that first step onto the exciting but sometimes tricky path to long-term intimacy with your new partner?
Well, consider these points:
1) Tension, overemphasis on sex, & the beginning stage of love.
It’s a given; sexual tension will be there right at the beginning of most love relationships. You can usually feel it, even during that first meeting with the “other”; it’s in the air. And who hasn’t wondered how a prospective partner might be in bed, what they’d feel like, or even that first kiss? After all, we’re human beings; we think about sex, we like it, and we want it. The rub (no pun intended) is that most people, relationship specialists included, all too often consider the Honeymoon Period to be mostly about sex, something almost exclusively hormonal in nature. But it’s much more than that!
2) Sex ain’t the only thing!
In my latest book, Honeymoon Forever: Secrets to Long-Term Intimacy, I made a conscious effort to “cool down” this overemphasis on sexuality and the Honeymoon Period of relationships. Other, just as important issues like effective communication, dealing with addictive tendencies, understanding love, the biology of attraction, the cultural perspective, true partnership, commitment, and spirituality needed to be talked about. I really wanted to highlight these other vital issues related to the successful pursuit of true love. But don’t get me wrong; sexuality is an essential and powerful feature of Honeymoon Periods – but not the only feature.
3) It’s all in the timing.
One of the most controversial things I’m asked about when counseling someone new to a relationship, is about the optimal timing of sex. Client: “I don’t won’t to blow what we’re trying to build here by having sex with him too soon, but I don’t want to push him away by waiting too long, either.” Fair enough. I’ve seen it happen both ways, where sex initiated early in the relationship eventually transforms into a deep, long-term partnership. I’ve also seen it backfire. At the end of the day, it’s you and your new partner’s call.
There’s been some recent research out, (Brigham Young University, 2010), which suggests that engaging in sexual relations before truly getting to know the other is really taking a risk. The idea here is that if the sex early on, (within one month of meeting), isn’t that fulfilling, and other important aspects of the new relationship haven’t been firmly established, then one or both prospective partners may just fade away, including all the hopes and dreams of a lasting love relationship. But when it comes to the timing of physical intimacy, it’s always you and your new partner’s decision.
4) Mistaking sex for love.
Careful with this one! I can’t tell you how many times my clients, usually women, tend to equate sex with love. Client: “Oh, we made love all night long! I think I’m in love! It must be love!” But is it really? Sure, the sex might be good, and there is some intimacy there, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily about love at all – especially if it happens too early in the relationship.
5) Be open about sex with your prospective partner.
Taking into account the idea of effective communication as an integral part of any successful love relationship, the open discussion of sex between new lovers is the way to go if long-term intimacy is the goal. That includes talking about each one’s basic feelings about sex and its place in the new relationship – and that includes the timing!
6) Keeping it fun, sexy – and safe.
It’s really no secret that an upbeat and playful (but conscious) attitude towards sexuality keeps any love relationship alive and well, especially with regards to new, evolving love between two hopeful people. And safe sex never hurts, right?
No doubt there’s a lot more to discuss when it comes to sexuality and the Honeymoon Period. Consider the above good food for thought – a good start on your noble journey to long-term intimacy, to everlasting love.