Boundaries: Sexual

Boundaries: Sexual

In my past writing on boundaries about two weeks ago, I introduced the six primary types of boundaries:

  • Physical Boundaries
  • Intellectual Boundaries
  • Emotional Boundaries
  • Sexual Boundaries
  • Material Boundaries
  • Time Boundaries

I focused on material boundaries and in the comments, someone said:

“It was sad that personal boundaries get neglected or trampled by the ones we had intimate and loving feelings and respect for.”

It’s my experience that the ones who truly love us will show us by respecting our boundaries MORE than others do.

And by discovering/creating our own boundaries and maintaining them, we become better lovers for others. We become more sensitive to the communication of boundaries, and WANT to know when we are bumping up against something that may cause others pain, so we can stop or take another direction.

Today, I’m going to focus on Sexual Boundaries: Emotional, Intellectual, and Physical Aspects of Sexuality.

I’m choosing to address this one next, since our sexual boundaries are at the heart of how and why we choose to give or withdraw consent for sexual play.

Healthy sexual boundaries: knowing and respecting your personal limitations, desires and ability to consent, and granting that same respect to others’ sexuality.

For example, being clear with your likes and dislikes, and asking after theirs.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want sex in your relationships?
  • What gets you “in the mood?”
  • How often do you want to have sex weekly (or monthly)?
  • What kinds of sexual touch do you enjoy?
  • What kinds of sexual touch do you dislike?
  • When it comes to sex, do you require love?
  • When it comes to sex, do you require friendship?
  • What besides love or friendship might you require when it comes to sex?
  • Do you enjoy sex monogamously or non monogamously? And do you require your partner to be the same?
  • Do you enjoy sex with multiple partners together?
  • Do you enjoy sex with a single gender or multiple genders? Does gender matter?
  • Do you have sex with the lights on or off?
  • What parts of your body are off limits during sex? For touch? For gazing?
  • Do you practice safe sex? If yes, how do you practice it?
  • Do you maintain your personal sexual health?
  • Do you get tested for STIs/STDs regularly?
  • Do you require that your partner(s) have similar sexual health and testing policies as you?
  • Do you feel comfortable selling or paying for sex?
  • Do you require an orgasm for sex to be a success? If no, what does make sex a success to you?
  • Do you enjoy certain toys with sex?
  • Do you like to discuss sex ahead of time, and tell people what you like?
  • Do you like to discuss sex ahead of time, and learn from others what they like?
  • Do you like someone controlling your sexuality?
  • Do you prefer to have sex in specific locations or atmospheres?
  • Do you enjoy people watching you have sex? If yes, what kinds of people in what situations?
  • Is one of your love languages “touch,” and are you comfortable with a partner who has that love language?
  • Are you comfortable being the object of sexual gaze? Of strangers? Of your partner?
  • Are there things that hurt you during sex that should be avoided?
  • If a partner wants sex more often/less often than you do, what ideas do you have to keep everyone happy?
  • Do you enjoy sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  • What words do you like to hear during sex? What words are off limits?
  • What words do you like to say during sex?

These are a place to start with yourself, and with others in conversation or negotiation as you build relationships.

The next writing will be on the topic of Physical Boundaries.

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One Response

  1. In many ways, conversations around boundaries and consent during the pandemic are similar to those that sexually active people have around physical touch, condoms and sexually transmitted infections and diseases. “The more information you have about what your partner has been engaging in and understanding the consequences of your own behaviors, the more everybody can make a more informed decision about what they want to move forward with,” said Dr. Anisha Gandhi, the acting assistant commissioner at the New York City Department of Health’s Bureau of H.I.V.

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