I’m quietly preparing to have sex for the first time in my life.
I say “quietly” because, in my mind, this isn’t actually a big deal. The getting ready for it, that is. I haven’t decided that I actually want to have sex anytime soon-ish, but over the past several weeks my face-to-face encounters with exploration has – on this day – culminated in a realization that I need to start thinking about what precautions should be in place in case I do bring that possibility to the table.
And so I research birth control options, STDs, and sort out gynecology coverage for myself.
I think something about knowing I’m fully ready and able to have safe sex will make the decision not to “go that far” more valid, if that is what I continue to choose. I’m loving my new freedom. Being around someone I care about where sex is on the table and I graciously turn it down has been an incredible experience for me so far, where each of us has such high respect for the other that here is not the slightest judgment of any form of desire, nor any hint of pushing boundaries.
This is my opportunity to discover myself. At long last.
He asked me a few weeks ago if I still wanted to save sex for marriage. My answer: “I believe if that’s what I truly want, then it will occur organically by making each decision in the moment.”
That was true at the time. But now, as I feel myself beginning to fall emotionally in the most beautiful ways that I didn’t even think possible, I’m realizing how heady such influence can be in temporary moments that might be regretted1 later.
So conservative Christian culture was actually right about something for once. Hrmph.
Thus far I feel good about where my explorations have gone, but now I realize there’s opportunity for going further than my current beliefs would be cool with,2 and thus I’m preparing accordingly. Which on paper sounds like a bigger deal than it actually is. Simply put, I’ve decided where my physical boundaries are right now, and also that those will not be changed in the heat of the moment. There is also a trust involved that the other person will not merely go along with that boundary but also respect it, to the point of helping me maintain it if needed. I wouldn’t be mentally letting myself go this far otherwise.
This must be what complete freedom looks like. The freedom to maintain my long-held personal values, the freedom to let them go, and full support in either direction.
I’m telling you, it’s astonishingly glorious.
- The whole “I have no regrets” thing is bullshit, IMO. It’s good to avoid dwelling on regrets, and to see regrets in a positive light as learning experiences, but they’re still regrets. Regret is not a dirty word in my book. ↩
- This is how much complication is prevented – in every area of my life. I only do things that mesh with my personal feelings/beliefs/convictions/whatever, which naturally evolve over time. Allowing that process to unfold at its own pace tends to work swimmingly for me. The alternative, not so much. ↩