"Intimacy Rules"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
"Intimacy Rules"
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 10:21am
There seem to be a lot of different opinions about how, where, and when intimacy should begin between a new couple. I'm wondering if anyone has any solid theories such as long day's in one of the posts below.

For me, I guess rule #1 is to follow what my heart.

First dates & kisses: I don't mind kissing on the first date, but at the same time, that all depends on the guy. I've never gone out on a date with a complete stranger, while long day stated that she has never dated a friend. Yes, I've made friends with people before in order to get to know someone better, but I've never accepted a date from someone that I didn't know at all. I've been on a blind date before, but the set up was made by mutual friends, and the initial dates were more of a casual "friend" setting anyhow. I guess my reasoning behind all of this is: if you're going to date someone for an extended amount of time, your going to need to mingle with each others friends well. Having a lot of friends is an important part of my life, and any guy I date will have to put up with that.

Sex: No first month sex. That's just a minimum... there is no maximum.

Trust: This is the issue that sparked my post, and where I am having the most mixed feelings. Where do you draw the line on how much you have to understand a person's character before you can trust them? I agree that trust is something that should be earned, but just HOW much do you need to know about a person before you can trust them? In the case of art guy, I've known him, his family, and his friends for quite some time, I decided that I did at least know enough about him to feel safe enough to be alone around him, but I was wrong. How guarded should one be? Do I now have to know a guy's life story before I can trust him? Do I have to wait 2 months before I ever kiss someone?

My entire thought structure on this issue is being threatened. I spoke on the phone last night to my two best friends: Friend #1 decided that you never know which ones are the jerks, and that you have to be more careful about who you trust. Friend #2 stated that I should not abandon everything that I believe based on one bad experience- continue trusting the way I know how to, and be glad that this guy is no longer a part of my life... he'll get what's coming to him. This was an isolated experience, and not all men would do the same thing or have those intentions.

So, my question is, and this may have been covered in previous posts before but I'll give it a shot anyways... what are your "rules"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:09am
My intimacy theory:

First, there are no studies whatsoever that indicate intimacy too early is bad or that waiting secures relationship bliss. There are men and women who slept with each other the first time they met, and have been happily married for very long time. There are people who have waited until three months or whatever, and have broken up or divorced.

Most people try to figure this waiting issue out in hopes of securing a long term relationship, and there is no guarrantee either way. Look over the archives and you'll find a lot of people who posted a question like: "We met and had a great time, we didn't get physical, he said he would call, but never did". You also will read, "I slept with him on the first date and he hasn't called me back...did I make a mistake?" Many posts of people who did and didn't get physical who never got a call back.

A common practice that I see in more women than men is something I call "Hindsight Regret". It felt right at the time, but afterwards, they wish they hadn't. My response to this is: Did he take the time to please you and not just himself? Most of the time the answer is, "yes". Were you pleased? Most of the time the answer is, "Yes". Did you feel that the person was enjoying being with YOU and not just an available warm body? The answer most of the time, again, the answer is, "Yes". Then what is the problem? There are worse things in life than having someone who you like enough to get naked with, safely, and have an orgasm or five with, regardless if the relationship went no further than that encounter.

When the answer to the questions above are "No", there is an issue. If he just pleases himself and you don't feel that it was specifically you he wanted to be with...there will be regrets. It might take you an hour to figure out if the answers lean towards "Yes", it might take much longer, or you may determine early on that the answer is, "No". A lot of people want so much to believe that those answers will be "yes", that they go further than they should have, because only afterwards can you be completely sure.

So it comes down to the feeling you have of it being right or wrong based on your assesment of the situation. If it feels right the first time you meet him, great. If it never feels right, don't do it. This is my intimacy theory.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 1:10pm
Title: Oh pilates!

First, let me register my agreement with Friend #2. Don't let this one negative experience completely change your view of the world and of how and when to trust people! It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and aren't so overly-trusting that everyone and their dog can take advantage of you. Even in this situation, you were strong enough to get this guy 1) off your body and 2) out of your life. I think your rules are *fine*.

My personal rules are a bit different. When I was a single woman dating, I had no problem having sex on the first date. I like sex. I like sex with new and different people. I have a fairly "masculine" view of sex--I can separate it from emotional connection. I also knew that any guy who considered me a "slut" or looked down on me for having sex on the first date was someone I wanted nothing to do with in the long run, so I wasn't worried about "making a bad impression".

I also bench-pressed 145lbs (3x10reps) at that time--more than my bodyweight. ;-)

For me, a desire to have sex with someone right away was a gut instinct that this was a person I could date seriously. A *lack* of that desire was a big waving red flag. I got into trouble more than once by trying to date someone I didn't want to jump on the first date. It didn't feel right at first, and it *never* felt right, and later on it always turned out that there was something *very* wrong with the relationship/how I interacted with that person.

Trust...now that is something completely different. I don't have to trust someone to **** them. Again--I think like a guy. Sex is just sex. Physically pleasurable, and I can do it without much emotional risk. Trust is a risky proposition, and trust is not something I give out *at all* freely. I've been burned way too many times, by lovers, by friends, and by family. It still terrifies me sometimes to give my husband my full trust, though we've been through enough that I know I *can* trust him.

Btw, my husband was the last man with whom I slept on a first date. Obviously, that worked out okay for us. ;-)

Bottom line--I believe that everyone should have their own conscious, thought-out "rules" for intimacy and trust. You should follow your heart, your mind, and your inner set of morals and values. Be true to YOU.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 5:32pm
My typical rules (but I would never believe they would work for anyone else and yes I have made exceptions, except about intercourse)

I will kiss on the first date but will not go back to his place or invite him to mine. I will have sex with someone after a few months of dating if we love each other, are exclusive, and see the potential for marriage. Between kissing, and sex - it depends. As far as trust, my trust has been betrayed only once - it was not someone I had sex with and I was already thinking of ending the 2 month relationship when I saw the side of his character that made me ill. I would not have sex with someone I didn't trust/feel comfortable with although I might fool around with less of that trust.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 5:48pm
From age 15-27, my rules were, go with my heart. Personally, I think fighterchick described my life during those ages. Have sex with whomever, whenever I wanted. I can take emotion out of the equation, but unlike her, I found it's not working for me (since she's found an H and well, I found 2 XH's)

So, finally at age 28, after getting my heart ripped out too many times to count, my rules are as follows: light kiss on first date is okay. No making out. No going to his house, or mine, for the first 3-5 dates. No sex for a minimum of 1 month, preferbly 2-3. Making out is fine after 3 dates, but still trying to draw the line at oral sex. I'm a sexual person and like fighterchick, I enjoy sex, so it's hard for me to NOT have sex with a person I'm attracted to.

As for trust, I always give people the benefit of the doubt, but once lost, my trust can never be regained. So, I trust pretty much everyone. But once I lose my trust, I'm not angry, I don't get bitter, I don't blame the world, I just say, that he broke my trust, and is to never be trusted again. I realized that if I chose to freely trust, that my trust would be lost a lot...and I had to learn how to deal with it.

I always say I'm a pessimist, but when it comes to love, I'm always willing to give love another shot (not with the person who lost my trust, but in general). Don't let this one man scorn you, just say to yourself, I did what I did, it's my way, he broke my trust, time to move on.

My only one problem though? I've only tried my "new" way on one guy and since he was already a friend, most of those "rules" were out the window. However, he was kind enough to respect and help ME respect my wish of waiting 3 months before we had intercourse. Yes, we did have oral sex at the time. Also, he broke my trust, sort of, and well, we backed off, stayed friends, and I have regained trust for him. So, as you can see, I just broke all my rules, but he's a wonderful man and well, we'll see where it goes.

Good luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 5:57pm
Title: "I also bench-pressed 145lbs (3x10reps) at that time--more than my bodyweight. ;-) "


Not many GUYS can bench press their body weight...even one rep, when talking about free weights (I presumed you were talking about free weights, but you aren't, it is still impressive). It is funny sometimes to watch guys try at the gym...they really have NO IDEA how heavy 200 lbs of free weight really is, if you aren't regularly working out. All the muscles required to STABILIZE the weight...not just the big ones required to move it...just aren't up to the task.

For a WOMAN...3 X 10 @ 145 is WOW!!!! Hats off sister!!

Question...are we talking free weights, and what do you think you could do now?

GoGo...who when he was at peak pre golf trip / pre wedding shape could do 3 x 10 @ his 250 lbs body weight no problem...but might not be up to 3 X 10 @ his current 270 lbs nowadays...(BTW...for those who care...and I realize this might not be many, the "magic number" in football, as Curtis knows, is 1 X 25 @ 225lbs. A test of both strength AND endurance. If you can't do at least that it, you aren't a "man"...its sort of a rite of passage...)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 7:17pm
Title: Total thread drift

Answer: Yes we are talking free weights. Having to stabilize and balance the weight does in fact make an *enormous* difference. At that time, I weighed about 135. (I weigh about 125 now.) As a competitive gymnast, I had more upper-body strength than I did talent. The strength kept me competing longer than I likely would have without it.

Once some guy at the gym tried to snatch the only two 45lb plates on the bench I was using without even bothering to ask. I stopped him, and he asked in scornful, incredulous disbelief "YOU aren't going to use these, are you?" I informed him that yes, yes I was and proceeded to knock out my 3X10. You could almost *see* that poor man's genitals shrivelling.

What can I bench now? Much, much less. I have persistent, aggravating, TOS-breaking-word-inspiring tendonitis in my right elbow. That's my sword arm. Upper-body weight lifting of any kind aggravates it, and bench is one of the worst offenders. So I've given up regular upper-body lifting and found a set of exercises that don't use the elbow *at all*. (That was...challenging. Picture working your upper body without ever moving your elbows.)

Someday, it's possible I may grow a brain, take a 3-4 month hiatus from fighting, do PT, and work really hard at getting the elbow fully healed. My upper-body strength is still okay, but I *miss* lifting.

And for the record--3X10 at 250...d@mn!!!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 11:13pm
Here's a different way to answer your question. I'll answer what earns trust.

For me, it's open communication. When a person will tell you anything

and everything, answer all questions, and you don't feel like you

have to worry that anything you might say will be slammed or misinterpreted

then I feel trust for the person. Also trust is built by little things.

Reliability is a big part of it. He should phone when he says he will.

He responds to me. He doesn't leave me hanging. He is consistent. He doesn't

tell me one thing today and a completely different thing tomorrow (I'm not

stupid, I'll remember what was told to me.) Of course no lying, (or lies

of "ommision".) Thinking about some of the posts, I think some people

want a relationship despite the fact that they don't feel trust.

This results in an inner conflict. Maybe it's natures way

of protecting us. We feel conflicted and then the relationship ends?

Your post made me think this.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2003
Fri, 04-18-2003 - 1:13am
Fighterchick said: "For me, a desire to have sex with someone right away was a gut instinct that this was a person I could date seriously. A *lack* of that desire was a big waving red flag. I got into trouble more than once by trying to date someone I didn't want to jump on the first date. It didn't feel right at first, and it *never* felt right, and later on it always turned out that there was something *very* wrong with the relationship/how I interacted with that person."

So are you saying here that if someone wasn't a good sex partner then you didn't consider them as serious dating partners?

Do guys think this way too when they are wanting to sleep with a girl early on?