I regularly talk with clients who have been emotionally devastated by their decisions regarding sex. I find it nearly impossible to find the words to comfort them. Their hearts are broken, their spirits are crushed and they’re left feeling fearful of future intimacy or dead set against it.
That is tragic. We desperately need to raise our Sexual Intelligence level (SQ) and get a whole lot smarter when it comes to sex.
But judging from the pain people are still experiencing regarding sex, a third revolution is needed, which is what this article is about.
But first, a little sexual history is needed.
Wave #1: From Repression to Expression
The First Wave of the Sexual Revolution began in the mid 60’s, and can best be described as a shift from Repression to Expression. Human beings have always been highly sexual creatures, but prior to the mid 60’s, human sexuality was denied, repressed and thought to be shameful.
For example, in sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show, the two stars, Rob and Laura Petrie, slept in separate beds even though they were married! We were seriously repressed as a society back then and a revolution was needed.
So in the mid 60’s we began to express. There were some downsides to this, as I’ll discuss below, but overall, this was a healthy shift in our collective mindsets concerning sex. People began owning their sexual natures and freely and openly expressing them. People then experienced what might be called, liberated or “Free Sex.”
Wave #2: From Free Sex to Safe Sex
However, liberation that began in the late 60’s led to a problem. By the early 80’s, we were facing an onslaught of sexually transmitted diseases, the most dangerous being AIDS. This brought a new (and literal) kind of pain and suffering to our sexual experience.
Being sexually liberated and free was now dangerous, even life-threatening. This initiated what I call, The Second Wave of the Sexual Revolution, where we collectively shifted from Free Sex to Safe Sex.
Yes, we were liberated from the sexually repressed 50’s, but that freedom now brought huge consequences. Back then, everyone was talking about safe sex. In fact, Saturday Night Live did a skit where two people were having sex while each person wore a full, body-covering condom. It was hysterical, yet poignant.
These first two waves of the sexual revolution have been largely a good thing. We are now free to express our sexuality in any way that feels right to us but we do so (mostly) in a safe way.
And you’d think that those two “waves” would lead to peace and harmony when it comes to sex. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, there is as much pain and suffering about sex today as there has been, arguably, in any time in history.
We have reached another crisis point regarding sex. It’s time for The Third Wave of the Sexual Revolution. We’ve gone from Repression to Expression and from Free Sex to Safe Sex. Now it’s time to move from from Safe Sex to Smart Sex.
Wave #3: From Safe Sex to Smart Sex
Much of the pain and suffering that people are experiencing today is because people aren’t smart about sex. Yes, they know how to have sex. They’re uninhibited and even protected, but they’re naive.
People don’t understand that there are actually two kinds of sex.
There is sex that celebrates raw chemistry and there is sex that celebrates real commitment. The two are as different as night and day. If you are not smart and understand the difference, you are going to suffer immeasurable pain and suffering in your love life.
There is nothing quite like raw, sexual chemistry. It’s one of the most exciting and exhilarating experience life has to offer. When you experience it, you will naturally have a very strong urge to have sex with that person. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. Tear each other’s clothes off!
But don’t fool yourself as to what’s really going on. It doesn’t mean you have a relationship or even a trace of commitment. It doesn’t mean anybody is even interested in something real and lasting. This is where you have to be smart.
This is a very general, politically incorrect (and perhaps arguable) thing to say, but many men and women view the sexual act differently.
Many women think that having sex means a relationship is being consummated. But that might not be true for a guy. He might love your chemistry, but it doesn’t mean he loves you —or even wants to see you again! Not understanding this is not smart and it causes tremendous pain.
Commitment Before Consummation
Because men and women often have different ideas about what sex means, I suggest that people establish a commitment before consummating the relationship.
I’m not suggesting getting engaged or married before you have sex (unless your religious beliefs demand that), I’m suggesting you date each other for a while and hold off on having sex, as difficult as that may be.
Discover whether or not the two of you are interested in something beyond chemistry before you have sex.
Now, let me try to give you some parameters about how long it might take to discover that, and of course, how long to wait before having sex.
First, as unromantic as this sounds, you have to talk to each other about your sexual boundaries. You should discuss the difference between Raw Chemistry and Real Commitment. You need to talk about exclusivity and when/if you’re ready to take your profiles down (if you’re online).
Secondly, in terms of when to have sex, the right time is however long it takes for the two of you to form an exclusive commitment.
That said, in my opinion, if sex happens before, say, the 10th date, you’re probably celebrating chemistry and someone might get hurt.
(I don’t believe you can honestly determine that you want to be exclusive and become a couple in less time than that. And making a quick or immediate commitment is a sign of love addiction (the topic of my first book) and it’s unhealthy.)
Here’s the bottom line: You may be having sex way, way too soon and that is not SMART! If you’re interested in creating a long-term, monogamous, committed relationship, you should delay sexual activity until both of you feel you have a future together. However long that takes is however long it takes.
I know what I’m suggesting sounds pretty conservative. I guess in today’s culture it is. Rest assured, though, that my counsel is not coming from any moral or religious perspective. It’s coming from the thousands of tears that have been shed in my sessions.
If you aren’t smart as I’m describing it here you are taking an unnecessary chance with your heart.
If you make sexual decisions based only on chemistry, you may have your heart broken so many times that when you do meet someone who really could be “The One”, you might be so bruised, fearful and shut down that you won’t even give them a chance. And that would be tragic.
And perhaps that’s where you are right now. You’ve made some “not smart” sexual decisions and now you’re hesitant to open up and trust someone again. If you need to work though any type of sexual pain and baggage (or any other form of baggage), please reach out to me.
I offer a free 30-minute coaching session to anyone who want to explore working with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly at 407-687-3387.
Roy Biancalana is a certified relationship coach, a TV personality, and the author of two books, the latest of which is the #1 best-seller, Attracting Lasting Love: Breaking Free of the 7 Barriers that Keep You Single. For the past 10 years, Roy’s mission has been supporting single people in the art of attracting and creating conscious, lasting relationships. He offers a complimentary 30-minute coaching session to anyone interested in working with him. You can learn more about him by visiting, www.coachingwithroy.com.