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Why Would You Want (or Need) a Sexuality Contract?

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Have you ever heard the phrase, "Children need boundaries"?

They need boundaries to help to keep them safe. You would not let your child walk up to a ledge without a railing; you don't want them to fall and risk irreparable injury or, worse, death.

Sadly, many of us, myself included, have not learned how to set our own boundaries. We eat too much; we don't clean up our rooms; we stay up too late at night watching TV, reading or surfing the web. And, by not setting boundaries to learn when it is safe to let someone into our lives, not learning to pay attention to potential red flags, we set ourselves up to dangers that can be just as far reaching: injury that can be dangerous, such as chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea; injury that can be permanent, such as herpes; injury that can be fatal, such as HIV/AIDS. Consequences can be permanent: you might have an unplanned pregnancy; you might decide to have an abortion.

One way that you can set a boundary is to commit to celibacy. Either you're not ever having sex with anyone ever again or you're committed to waiting until you get married. You can find plenty of information to encourage you to wait until the wedding vows. But, if you're not a virgin, it can be very hard to decide to wait that long.

I assume that you're looking for answers here because you have already chosen not to wait but, also, that you've found that serial monogamy (one rule: one lover at a time) or 'free love' (essentially, no boundaries at all) hasn't really been working for you. You have already found out that, by not having boundaries, you have been hurt, likely again and again.

Part of becoming an adult is learning to set our own boundaries. It's okay, and often very healthy, to say, "No, this isn't what I want." By committing yourself to a sexuality contract, you can empower yourself to say, "No, I'm not ready" or "No, this is too fast for me."

By staying within the contract's guidelines, you can keep yourself from going too far, too fast, to s-l-o-w down until your rational self can catch up, to learn whether this person might actually be a good match for you and to discover if there are any really bad red flags that would make you walk away, or run away, from a poor choice.

It is a choice. Part of what makes us human is that we can discriminate between good and poor choices. Part of what makes us adult is choosing to exercize that discrimination.

So, why would you want to make a sexuality contract? To protect yourself.

Remember, the sexuality contract is something that you make with your self. It is not something that you make with someone else. You do not need to tell a potential partner about this contract, not right away. Anyone who pushes on your boundaries too soon only needs to know that you want to know him/her better, that you're not in a hurry. (also, remember, someone who is pushing against your boundaries too hard or too soon is actually exhibitting behavior that could be indicitive of a red flag)

You don't need to share your contract with your self with any potential partner on your first date. Or your second, or your third. It's not a secret: it's about privacy. The contract is about helping you to take the time to determine if you even want this person within your boundaries. You might very well find out, before you choose to discuss sexual behavior, that this person is not for you.

I hope that you'll find that out, not for me, but for you!

Sexuality Contract
Darbie Marlin

Return to Home Page of the Sexuality Contract

Make a Contract with Your Self!
Why You Want Boundaries