As millennials, it’s never been easier to meet a new special someone. With all this technology at the palm of our hands, the next date or hookup is just a few hundred feet away. But with great social media comes great responsibility.
The accessibility of today’s romantic and sexual culture is second to none but what comes next is often up for debate. In the push to make everything available at a tap or a swipe, some of us got lost along the way. When dating or having sex, there are certain guidelines of which millennials should be aware.
From the first date to the first time, we looked to the experts for some sage advice. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Joseph Cilona and sexuality and relationships expert, Dr. Logan Levkoff gave us a few brief tips to navigate dating and sex in 2017.
We can’t properly communicate our emotions via text. It’s an impersonal solution to communication that often leads situations open to misunderstandings. Remember the simple yet personal impact of verbal communication?
“Avoid using textingas the primary means of communication when first getting to know someone,” Cilona says. “If you must use it at all, limit it to simple, practical messagesrather than lengthy conversations. So much can be gained early on in arelationshipby just speaking to someone on the phone rather than excessive texting, andmany unnecessary problems can be minimized or completely avoided.”
This is always an important part of a relationship, but especially sex. There’s no point in attempting something so pleasurable if you’re not willing to be forthcoming about what you find pleasurable. Feedback is important.
“If you want something, ask for it,” Levkoff says. “There’s nothing more frustrating than having a partner (especially a new one) who is not forthcoming about what turns them on – or what feels good to their body. Being verbal can be super sexy, too.”
Honesty is important in a relationship, but it’s often necessary to not disclose too much when you first start dating. Be sure to match your partner’s comfort level and emotional cues. But don’t disclose too little so not to compromise intimacy.
“Distinguishing between too much and too little disclosure isn’t usuallydifficult,” Cilona says. “Both typically involve negative emotions in one orboth peoplein the relationship. Fear, anxiety, frustration, hurt, and anger may all besignals or alarms that too much or too little disclosure is an issue. So, pay attention to these signals and adjust your disclosures accordingly.”
We’re living in a new era of sexual liberation. Our fantasies are only limited by our own willingness to explore. Just as technology has brought dating to the palm of our hands, it’s given us the appropriate tools to bring those fantasies to life. It can also make for a good couple’s activity.
“Vibrators, rings, sleeves, and plugs are meant to give your sex life variety,” Levkoff says. “Shopping with your partner can be a great way to find out what fantasies are lurking in our minds.”
Avoid Social Media
Don’t succumb to the pressures of social media to label your relationship for everyone to see. It only adds unnecessary complications to something you’re still trying to figure out. Ask your partner to do the same at the beginning of your relationship, or else it’s like dating each other and your 5,000 Facebook friends.
“Findingways like this to simplify or minimize potential pitfalls is a great rule of thumb to follow,” Cilona says. “Share personal information with those that areimportant to you through more direct and private means. Eventually, you will very likely be glad you did.”
Practice Safe Sex
This one should be a no-brainer but it bears repeating. In addition to being pleasurable and consensual, good sex should be safe.
“Knowing your sexual health status, using condoms, and adhering to PrEP standards (if you use it), all contribute to a fulfilling sex life,” Levkoff says. “When you don’t have to worry, you can focus on pleasure.”
We all know how to play hard-to-get, but in the long run, it’s not helpful in creating a healthy relationship. It’s important to be honest about your feelings and not play games just for the sake of seeming less eager.
“Althoughgame-playing can appear to be effective in sparking interest or otherwise influencing how a person seems to feel about you early on, people that arevulnerable to this kind of influence tend to not be well-suited for long-term, healthy, fulfilling relationships,” Cilona says. “Be honest and avoid games to get to the true potential of a relationship much quicker and more effectively.”