A guy I started seeing a week ago and I were discussing the lessons we’ve learned about jumping in the sack too soon. I shared what I reported in “What women need from a man before having sex” — that women need to have an emotional connection to make the physical part satisfying. He asked why I didn’t think sex with a guy I’ve known just a week wasn’t satisfying. (He was teasing me, since we’d only been seeing each other a week.) I said:
It’s all just physical at that point, so early in the relationship. You don’t really know each other. I know, you’re saying, “What’s wrong with that?” It’s mechanical. While it can feel nice, it isn’t nearly as fantastic as when there’s an emotional connection. When you know what it feels like with the latter, the former just isn’t really worth it.
It’s like non-fat milk after you’ve had whole milk. Or soy bacon after pork bacon. Or non-fat food after the real thing. Or imitation anything. You know what the real stuff feels/tastes like, and the other is just too far off to really make it worth it. If you have to partake in the fake stuff (because you’re on a diet, the real stuff isn’t available, or digestion problems), then you learn to tolerate — and in some situations even like — the substitute. But when you have no restrictions, you will only go for the real thing.
While I know there are exceptions when you’ve felt fantastically close to a guy within a few hours or dates, generally it takes a while to create a bond. And for some, albeit few, women that connection isn’t necessary. But from DG readers’ reports as well as the studies I’ve read, sex too soon is commonly unsatisfying for most midlife women. Even if you think you’re connected before going down that road — to the bedroom — you often exit the hay-rolling highway not feeling entirely happy. Something was missing.
One of the great things about midlife dating is you have more lessons from your history that inform your current decisions. You know how you felt in the past when something didn’t turn out like you wanted. You can now more easily delay gratification — at least presumed gratification — because you know what needs to be in place for you to feel the way you want. You can control your urges (at least let’s hope you can) much better than when you were younger. You have different motivations and can apply your hard-won wisdom to your behaviors.
In other words, you can wait until you have what you need before progressing. There’s no need to jump into bed just because you are hot for each other. You know there are other considerations beyond physical, sexual attraction. You are wiser and can dial back your animalistic desires for the benefit of longer-term payoffs.
What are the lessons you’ve learned about midlife sex before there’s been an emotional connection? What are the signs of that connection for you?
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