Sex: The Rules of Engagement for Singles and Couples

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on September 15, 2013

in Dating, Marriage, Men's Help, Relationships, Singles, Women's Help

In our culture we approach sex in relationships all wrong. Most singles have sex with the people they are dating much too soon, using it as a way to build a relationship, while couples have entirely too little sex to keep their relationships healthy and vibrant.

We think of sex the way we think of food: we should have it when we want it not when we don’t.

Except you know what happens when you eat all you want when you want – you make yourself miserable. Starving yourself is also not a much better choice. Food is used best consciously and thoughtfully, to nourish our bodies and souls, providing pleasure and sustenance that helps us thrive.

Sex should be used the same way – consciously and carefully, providing nourishment, connection and satisfaction at the right, key times in relationship building and sustainment.

This does not mean that sex should be devoid of passion and drive. I am simply suggesting that consciously choosing when to and when not to have sex is a powerful thing you can do for creating the kind of a relationship you want.

Because of the reversal of how sex should actually be used in relationships, as opposed to how it is used, I am providing two sets of sexual rules of engagement:  one for singles and one for couples.

Sexual Rules of Engagement for Singles:

Do not use sex to build connection with a potential partner. Although sex does create a sense of connection, it is false and unstable. Early sex creates a sense of false intimacy and closeness that will often break a relationship that could have been viable without it.

The typical dating behavior where the two people have sex between the 1st and 5th date is crazy. On the 1st through 5th date you are strangers who should be getting to know each other to see if and how you fit together.

When you throw sex into the mix, your ability to see each other is greatly diminished. After early sex you will mostly see what you wish to see in each other instead of what actually is.
Eventually reality will dawn, overwhelm, disappointment and resentment will set in and one of you will end the relationship.

This is not to say that you should absolutely abstain from the pleasure of physical contact when dating. But it is to say that intercourse should be saved for after the 3 month mark.

If you want to form a solid, sustainable relationship, no more than 30% of time together should be spent on fooling around. 70% of the in person time together should be spent on getting to know each other.

Once you do get fully sexual, expectations of each other and anxieties about the relationship will go up for both of you. Expect this and accept it as normal, as opposed to a sign that something is wrong.

Bottom line: do not have sex to create a relationship. Build the connection first, and take at least three months or longer. Then use sex to deepen your bond.

If your new relationships seem to fall apart or stop working, I can teach you how to build a relationship that is loving, long-term and functional.

[stextbox id=”red_box”] To get my help and start creating the relationship you want in a 30-minute Get Clarity telephone Coaching Session, register for your session here.[/stextbox]

Sexual Rules of Engagement for Couples:

Many of the couples that come to me for couple’s coaching deal with lack of sex in their relationship. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always the woman who does not want sex. In about 50% of the couples I work with, it is the man who avoids sex in the relationship or marriage.

Typically the partner who wants more sex feels rejected and unwanted. The partner who wants less or no sex feels put upon and resentful of the demand and pressure.

I often tell couples to see sex as a way to bring back closeness and intimacy. Walls come down and both people relax more when they are naked and in each others arms. If this works to make strangers feel as if they love each other, how much more effective is nakedness and sex for couples who actually do love each other?

To use the food analogy here, sex to a relationship is like water to a person. If you eat but do not drink water, no matter how much or how little you eat, you will not feel well. Sex is that water, the quencher of thirst for closeness and connection, the playful flow that can make many difficult things between the two of you easier.

This is why I coach couples to say yes to sex with each other as much as possible, even if one of you is not in the mood.  Often, getting in the mood happens after the touching has already begun. This means that being in the mood is not a requirement to start having sex.

The most important thing to understand is that saying yes to each other is not an obligation, nor is it a subjugation to each other. Sex is good for both of you, good for closeness, and good for keeping love alive. When you say yes you are not giving something up, but rather gaining something.

Bottom line: In a relationship or marriage connect sexually as often as possible, even if you are not in the mood. Stop thinking of sex as a service for your partner, and think of it as something that serves you, is good for you, for your relationship, and for your partner.

I am not sex coach, nor do I work with couples who are dealing with sexual dysfunction. However, lack of sex often has roots in other relationship issues, and when those are resolved the fire between the two of you can be reignited.

[stextbox id=”red_box”]If lack of sex is an issue in your relationship and you don’t know what to do about it, I can help. To get my help and start creating the relationship you want, register for the 30-minute Get Clarity telephone Coaching Session.[/stextbox]



Edward Weiss October 8, 2013 at 12:14 am

3 months? :)

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries November 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Yes, crazy to say in our instant gratification culture, yet, still true!

Previous post:

Next post: