Marvin Gaye had a point when he sang of Sexual Healing—apparently getting horizontal can offer a litany of benefits to your body and mind including (but not limited to):
· Stress relief
· Pain reduction
· Better immunity
· Heart health
But before you skip your next doctor’s appointment in favor of a sack session, you may want to take some precautions.
Stress relief…or just more grief?
Our friend Sidney Williams, co-founder and co-creator of The Science of Dating website says that in regard to romantic relationships, “Yes, sex certainly has its place…where both parties understand the other partner’s values. [Sex] causes a dopamine-response, subsequently lowering cortisol [the hormone responsible for stress], which causes an immense amount of damage to the body if present in large amounts or for too long.” However, Williams digresses that the benefits cited are not to be taken out of context. “Running also reduces cortisol along with meditation. Sex also comes with a flipside in that it can create large amounts of stress stemming from its impact on the relationship.”
Williams continues that when sex is brought into a relationship too quickly or without careful consideration, it may even end up being responsible for the relationship’s demise.
When is it “the right time”?
As with most if not all issues in romantic relationships, one of the keys to assessing whether or not you are both ready to become intimate is communication, communication, communication.
“The decision to bring sex into the relationship is a very personal one,” says therapist and author Lisa Kift. “To avoid hurt feelings, couples should monitor and clarify their expectations before taking it to the next level.”
In a decade where the terms “booty call” “hookup” and—God help us all—“smushing” have become common vernacular, varying viewpoints regarding the seriousness of sex can become a problem in relationships and dating.
“For some, sex can be a casual, near emotionless experience—at least for a period of time,” says Williams. “For others, sex and love—or at the very least, sincere infatuation—go hand-in-hand. That being said, your partner’s viewpoint might not match you own…Building a successful relationship is a lot like building a home together; the most important stage involves building a foundation, and premature sex—no pun intended—in a relationship can be a killer.”
Williams goes on to note that before deciding whether or not to have sex, you must first gain an understanding of your partner, which can be difficult during the beginning stages of dating due to the euphoric dopamine rush caused by infatuation.
In other words, when it comes to sex and relationships the right time should be decided by both partners after communication, careful consideration (as opposed to inebriation) and a thorough understanding of each other’s relationship needs and expectations. If you don’t feel 100% on whether or not you should take your relationship to a sexual level, it most likely isn’t the right time.
What if I have sex too soon?
Every couple is different, and hitting the sheets prematurely won’t necessarily cause a relationship to demise but it can definitely be risky both physically and emotionally. For more information on how sex can complicate your dating life, visit 6 reasons to avoid sex on the first date.
Find the perfect date spot in Baltimore!
An article from CBS Baltimoreoffers up great ideas for the perfect first date. Made Manual also offers a list of the 10 Best First Date Restaurants in Baltimore. Want to peruse other activities in the area? Visit Baltimore.orgfor information on everything the Maryland city has to offer.