If you dump the old paradigms around sex and dating, what do you do?
Cathy: We have a video on playing games around sex and releasing old paradigms in our relationships, where a woman’s not supposed to initiate sex, not supposed to have sex with someone for so many dates or whatever. There’s a lot of rules about that. Someone wrote in and said after watching the video, so what then? She learns how to express her fear of connection, she’s afraid that the gentleman will leave her if she has sex. After she expresses it, what happens then? It seems like this woman equates having sex with a longer term commitment. Maybe that other person equates it to fun and experience, one day at a time, and doesn’t see it as a commitment. How does she deal with that conversation? This is Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com.
Reid: Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.
Cathy: Honestly, I’d rather know early if the other person doesn’t have the same interests or the same… there’s nothing wrong with wanting casual sex and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a long term commitment, but having that conversation early lets them figure out what they have in common.
Reid: Yes. I mean in the dating world, the uncommon thing is for people on those first couple of dates to have like real conversations about their values and especially around sexuality. I would model that if I’m gonna have a real conversation with you and scare you away on the first date, then I didn’t waste a second date on you. If, and again this is me, if you have watched any of these videos, then you get a little bit more about my orientation on the world, but also as you’re building that relatedness, which seems to happen a lot more these days online, so you kind of already vetted that they might be a good fit for first and hopefully second date. When you’re meeting in person, if not already in the online conversation, you’re having conversations about real things, which include sex and what sex means to you. Not what you are gonna say to impress the other person and try to get them to not run screaming from the restaurant, but like a real conversation about like… well, here’s how I like to have sex and have relationships. What about you?
Cathy: One of the things I’ve noticed is that … I’ve been paying attention because I read the rules and I read a lot of the stuff that the normal dating stuff for a long time before I found Reid and Sex Geeks and people that are self-expressed-
Reid: And it all went to hell.
Cathy: Yeah, and it went to hell. One of the things was as I started sharing more, I noticed… I was watching people’s reaction. I’m a PhD, I’m a geeky. I noticed that sometimes people would pull back when I would share too much of what I wanted… too much of what I wanted. I was like maybe Reid’s descriptions are wrong, like what’s going on. What I found was, if I was sharing it … can I role model for you?
Cathy: If I was on a date and I was like I really want to have sex with you and I was like pulling and needing that person to validate me and not being okay myself, then the person was kinda like … whoa, that’s a lot. Like it felt too soon or like I was being … I interpreted it according to the old rules that I was expressing, sharing too much or being too forward. Whereas if I was present in myself and I was really okay with whatever your reaction was or like whether you wanted to or not. Yeah, you’re pretty hot, I’d like to have sex with you.
Reid: I get that a lot. Come on, it’s funny. I don’t get it that much. Please continue. Tell me more.
Cathy: It allowed me to be self-expressed without the shame or the neediness-
Cathy: It allowed me to be self-expressed sooner, without needing to follow the rules, which would … like if I was trying to date according to the rules and I wasn’t telling someone that I wanted to have sex with them. I was like letting them be the pursuer, that would let me hide my neediness or hide that I’m wanting them to validate me. Whereas if I was okay in myself and I shared it, it didn’t really matter like … yeah, if he says no, okay. He’s not you know-
Reid: The only thing I would add to that is if you create the context on the date or whatever, but hey-
Cathy: You want to model it?
Reid: Yeah, like I would love to have a conversation about sex and what it … how it fits into intimacy and relationships with you. Talk about like casual sex, while you’re dating sex, and then like you’re having a relationship sex.
Cathy: Okay, I like that context rather than just like … oh, how was your lasagna? I want to have sex with you.
Reid: Yeah, which depending on the lasagna is perfectly legitimate [inaudible 00:05:00].
Cathy: Yeah, actually in the video it was like I’m afraid that if we have sex, you’ll leave. The difficult conversation formula is a great one.
Reid: Yeah, and you can find that at ReidAboutSex.com/difficultconvo . I think it’s really about context. Use dating as a means of assessing whether you two can actually have deep conversations. It doesn’t have to be like deep, like you know … we’re gonna save the world, but like so … who are you? What do you know about yourself and what works for you? Let’s talk about sex, let’s talk about things like finances or … let’s talk about all the taboo stuff a book like The Rules tells us not to talk about. Are you up for that? Then see … cause then if they say no, I’m not up for that. Be like okay, thank you for taking care of yourself. What would you like to talk about. I think that’s a much better use of your time in really getting to reveal yourselves to each other. Then around sex … like have the conversation about the sex. If you have similar shared values … or even inside that context … you’d be like well, just so you know, like around casual sex and how I’m getting to meet you in this state, like I would totally have sex with you. Like tonight. How does that land on you? What does that feel like?
Cathy: Then in that case, it might be like … well, I’m really afraid that if we have sex that you’ll think I’m cheap or you’ll just leave. I’ve had a lot of people leave afterwards, and so I’m nervous about that. So being vulnerable and sharing.
Reid: And now we’re having a real conversation, rather than everyone … like the way that I think Chris Rock said it. On the first date, it’s not you, it’s your representative-
Reid: That’s on the date. So avoiding that, and again … you’ll find your own style with this, but creating context and having real conversations, I think is a much better way to get to know each other. That’s me.
Cathy: Yes, thanks so much for sharing that and asking because it gave us a chance to geek out with you. Leave comments below. We’d love to know what you think about sharing vulnerably on dates.