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1. Don't rush in! Commit yourself to a minimum time to wait
before engaging in sexual activity.

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Don't be in a hurry to 'take it to the next level'

"I think attraction is often mistaken for rightness."
~ Richard Gere as Ike Graham in Runaway Bride

You have, no doubt, heard the old line:
    "Anything worth having is worth waiting for."

While that is not the only reason to wait before jumping into bed too quickly, if that's the one that makes you stop and take stock, then it's certainly not a bad one.

So, for instance, you may say to yourself, "if I don't have sex with this person, he/she may move on and I'll never know if this was 'the one'"

Now, wait a minute. (or, actually, three months… or six months). This may be the most important tenet of the Sexuality Contract to help you protect yourself.

Whether you're a sensitive man or the more typical women, when you go to bed with someone, (at least) two things (can) happen:
    You become emotionally attached to your partner.
    You create a sense of false intimacy with your partner.
It becomes very, very difficult to be open and honest (not co-dependent) with someone that you desparately want to keep in your life.

   Abruptly, she asked, "Why is the aftermath so awkward? I feel so… apart from you."
   He nodded, thinking, yeah, sex could be weird like that, even if there weren't complications… even if you didn't go all the way, the shattering closeness that was shared seemed to make the return to normal feel like distance in spite of the fact that you were lying side by side.
No'One and Thorment from J.R. Ward's
Lover Reborn

Then again, sex and sexual attraction had a way of making you feel close, when in fact it was just about two bodies rubbing together.
Rielly in J. R. Ward's book, Envy

Put it another way, you may be asking yourself, "what can I do to keep my partner happy?" as opposed to "is this person what I need to help me create happiness in my life?"

If you know what you're looking for, what you want in a partner and a relationship, it is very important that you not become attached to someone who may not actually a good match for you. If you become attached, if you did not wait, then it becomes very difficult to walk away.

"That visit of Quinn's had been the only time he and I had been intimate. In hindsight, I regretted having taken that step. It had been a mistake. I'd been banking on a future that never came to pass. I'd jumped the gun. I hoped I'd never make that mistake again."
Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris's
book, From Dead to Worse

First, you become acquaintences. If an acquaintence is not a good match for friendship, you haven't lost anything by retaining your freedom to walk away.

Second, you work toward becoming friends. If a freind is not a good match for partnership, you still haven't lost anything by retaining your freedom to walk away (or, hey, maybe it turns out that you really can be good freinds. Maybe it turns out the he/she knows the perfect match for you).

There are all kinds of reasons why people are co-dependent. Co-dependent people try to figure out what you want to be a good match and try to conform themselves to what they think you think that match looks like. This is very confusing! It's also an awful lot of hard work. And, if you think that you love them, you're only in love with their mask. That's not going to make for a lasting relationship.
   He explained everything. He was clear. He wants me, but the truth is I need more. I need him to want me like I want and need him, and deep down I know that's not possible…
   Perhaps it's best to back away now with what self-esteem I have reasonably intact.
   But the thought of not seeing him again is agonizing. How has he gotten under my skin so quickly? It can't just be the sex… can it? I dash the tears from my eyes. I don't want to examine my feelings for him. I'm frightened what I'll uncover if I do. What am I going to do?
Anastasia Steele from E.L. James's
Fifty Shades of Grey

No one (except maybe a psychopath) can maintain a mask indefinitely. By waiting, you take the time to allow the real person to come out into view. By waiting, you are more likely to see red flags that would encourage you, not to just walk away, but to run away from this relationship! You are also more likley to see those qualities that are your own personal deal-breakers and to walk away before you become attached or hurt.

And, by waiting, you give yourself the time to be open and honest about little important things like STD testing. After all, if you cannot bring yourself to talk about things like STDs and monogamy, you don't really know this person well enough to be having sex with him/her.

By maintaining respect for your own boundaries, by waiting for sex, you are actually freeing yourself to become more honest and open. You don't need to be afraid that this person will leave you because you are less invested in forcing the relationship to last longer than it should.

My recommendation is that, whenever you meet someone with whom you share a mutual attraction, make a note to yourself that you keep with your sexuality contract, including the date. If, after four or five months, this person is still in your life, and still attractive to you, then it becomes time to talk about STDs. Since, for instance, it can take HIV up to six months to test positive, that waiting period may actually save your life.

Ana: "I've kind of fallen for this guy, and he's so different from me, and I don't know if we should be together."
Carla: "You've fallen for someone, finally. Oh, honey, men, they are tricky. They are a different species, honey. How long have you known him?"
Ana: "Oh, nearly three weeks of so."
Carla: "Ana, darling, that's no time at all. How can you possibly know someone in that kind of time frame? Just take it easy with him and keep him at arm's length, until you decide whether he's worthy of you."
Ana thinks, Wow… it's unnerving when my mother is so insightful, but she's just too late on this. Is he worthy of me? That's an interesting concept. I always wonder wherher I am worthy of him.
   Anastasia Steele and her mother, Carla Adams in E.L. Jame's book, Fifty Shades of Grey

Really, what have you lost if you wait before dancing in the sheets? If you're still together in three months, then you've enjoyed three months of anticipation. Worst case scenario: you didn't make it past two weeks, but that's one less person that you've slept with, become attached to, broken your heart over or taken risks that could impact your life.

You need not look upon waiting as sacrificing something that could have been wonderful. Think of it as a sensible choice that protects you from grief. "I don't want to feel like dirt anymore!"

Excerpt from The Fisher King, written by Richard LaGravenese

Lydia: You don't have to say nice things to me. It's a bit old fashioned, considering what we're about to do.
Parry: What are we about to do?
Lydia: You're walking me home.
Parry: Uh-huh.
Lydia: I think you're a little attracted to me.
Parry: Yeah.
Lydia: Hmm. You'll probably want to come upstairs for some coffee.
Parry: I don't drink coffee.
Lydia: And we'll probably have a drink and talk and get to know each other a little bit better. Get comfortable. And then you'll… you'll sleep over. And in the morning, you'll be distant. And you won't be able to stay for breakfast. Maybe just as cup of coffee.
Parry: I don't drink coffee.
Lydia: And then we'll exchange phone numbers and you'll leave. And never call. And I'll go to work and feel so good--for the first hour! And ever so slowly, I'll turn into a piece of dirt. I don't know why I'm putting myself through this. It was really nice to meet you. 'Night. (She runs off down the street)
Parry: 'Night…(a pause, then he runs after her) Excuse me! Wait! Just-hey-sorry, wait, one minute-hey, excuse me! Please wait, wait!
Lydia: No, listen, I'm not feeling very well…
Parry: Well, no wonder. We just met, made love and broke up all in the space of 30 seconds and I don't remember having the first kiss, which I think is the best part.
Lydia: Look, it was so very special to me and I had such a wonderful time…
Parry: (overlapping above) It was to me, too. But I think it's time you should shut up now. Shut up please? (she shuts up) I'm not coming up to your apartment. That was never my intention.
Lydia: Oh God, you don't want to…(embarrassed)
Parry: Oh no, I want to. I have a hard-on for you the size of Florida. But I don't want just one night. I have a confession I have to make to you.
Lydia: You're married?
Parry: No.
Lydia: You're divorced?
Parry: No.
Lydia: You have a disease?
Parry: No, please stop… I'm in love with you.
(Lydia looks at him like he's completely nuts, not believing him. Parry shakes head, puts a hand toward her mouth softly)
Parry:: And not just from tonight. I've known you for a long time. I know you come out from work at noon every day and you fight your way out that door and then you get pushed back in and three seconds later you come back out again. I walk with you to lunch and I know if it's a good day, if you stop and get that romance novel at that bookstore. I know what you order, and I know that on Wednesdays you go to that Dim Sum parlor and I know that you get a jawbreaker before you go back in to work. And I know you hate your job and you don't have many friends and I know sometimes you feel a little uncoordinated and you don't feel as wonderful as everybody else and feeling as alone and as separate as you feel you are…I love you… …I love you…and I think you're the greatest thing since spice racks and I would be knocked out several times if I could just have that first kiss. And I won't, I won't be distant. I'll come back in the morning and I'll call ya if you let me… But I still don't drink coffee.
(Long pause, Lydia slowly touches Parry's face)
Lydia: You're real…aren't you?
(Parry smiles, and quietly laughs; they kiss)
Script excerpt from The Fisher King

Sexuality Contract
Darbie Marlin

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