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Why I'm Not Having Sex Outside of a Relationship
After years of having casual sex and friends with benefits, I’ve decided I’m no longer interested in sex outside of a relationship. However, it took me a while to stop settling for friends with benefits/casual arrangements and start recognizing my emotional needs. I still consider myself sex positive, but that doesn’t mean I need to have sex outside of a relationship.
I used to have casual sex. I used to meet with people off of FetLife for kinky encounters. I was more than happy to enter a friends with benefits situation. Now, that is no longer the case. My libido has decreased significantly and when I do want to have sex, there has to be a romantic connection involved as well as a committed relationship or I’m not interested.
People often assume that because I’m polyamorous, I must want casual sex. That’s not true. The word “polyamory” is Latin for “many loves” and means being in multiple relationships. I have a boyfriend I’ve been with for over 13 years. I’m open to being in other relationships, but I’m not interested in sex outside of a relationship anymore.
I used to be open to casual sex and friends with benefits. Men often asked me to hook up and expected sex out of me. They often did this without taking me out on dates or establishing any kind of emotional rapport. I often found myself in situations where we had sex, but that was it - these guys never took me out to eat or did anything else meaningful with me. If they did do something “major” like make us drinks or take me out to eat, they expected me to hook up with them 99% of the time.
The last time I attempted to have a casual hookup off of FetLife, it was with a guy who I had met for coffee once, but he said he “didn’t feel any attraction.” While we were hooking up, the guy admitted his ex used to have a restraining order against him for punching her and I immediately stopped. When I told him why I didn’t want to hook up with him anymore, he compared me refusing to sleep with him to me refusing a job to someone who’d been arrested in the past. He also said, “You’re lucky I didn’t strangle you when you got into my car.”
That was the moment I realized I needed to actually know someone before hooking up with them.
I also found myself getting involved in “friends with benefits” arrangements with friends, only for them to stop caring about me once I gave them those “benefits.” We’d hook up, then they expected to hook up every time we hung out. Sometimes, I wouldn’t see these so-called “guyfriends” for months, only for them to pop up, ask to hang out (usually late at night on a week day), and try to hook up with me.
I was tired of guys never making plans to see me on the weekends or during waking hours. The men I was sleeping with never took me out or made any effort to make me feel special. I realize I need that kind of romance and commitment if I’m going to sleep with someone. The sex I was having often made me feel neglected, unfulfilled, and used. I shouldn’t have to walk away from sex feeling negative, yet there I was, feeling icky after sex.
I want to have sex with people who are emotionally invested in me like my boyfriend is. I want to have sex with someone who takes me out on dates. I want to have sex with someone who communicates with me regularly, not someone I see once every few months or so. And if we do communicate regularly, it can’t be all about sex or else I’m not interested.
I realized I was giving people sex when they barely gave me respect. Now that I realize this is the problem, I only feel comfortable having sex with someone if I’m in a relationship with that person. If they can’t take the time to get to know me and make me feel special, they don’t deserve to sleep with me. I deserve to be taken out on dates, not hidden away in some dude’s living room because it’s closest to the bedroom so he can use me for a hookup.
To be clear: I don’t think there’s anything inherently degrading about casual sex or friends with benefits. I support individual autonomy in the realms of sex. You can have as much or as little sex as you want. However, having sex outside of a relationship doesn’t feel right to me at this point in my life.
I deserve the time, energy, and effort of a relationship. At least 2 people (including myself) think I’m worth being in a relationship with. From now on, I’m saving sex for the people who actually deserve it.