Are You Two Ready For Sex?

Think it’s time to get naked with your new honey? Check out these 5 reasons to do the deed first, and see if the time is really right.

By Gilda Carle, Ph.D.

he heat is on (romantic heat between you and your new love, that is)—and you’re in h-e-a-v-e-n! Your relationship is clearly heading toward the bedroom, but before you two head in there, slow down for a second. When you awake from your lust, will you question, “What was I thinking??”

If you’re the kind of person who isn’t comfortable with casual sex and only wants to get naked with prospective long-term partners, let me share some
Ask yourself: Do I feel emotionally safe yet?
advice. Prevent your heart from being trashed by thinking clearly before you do the deed. Ask yourself: Are you ready to get naked with this person? Are you sure? Consider these five reasons that reveal you’re really, truly, undoubtedly, and unequivocally ready to disrobe! If one of them suits your situation, go for it... if you can’t check any of them off, you may want to slow down and take a wait-and-see attitude.

Reason #1: You feel emotionally safe with your sweet thing
Alice went out a few times with a guy who was bonkers over her. That in itself was an ego trip. He was brilliant and had a high-level job at a prestigious organization, which was the subject of enormously stimulating conversation. They also laughed a lot. In short, he was a pleasure to be with.

Although Alice and he were always clothed, he complimented her body often. Then he would criticize his former girlfriend, a rather famous lady, saying what an awful body she had. Alice was appalled that he would degrade someone he had once cared for. Although he was wonderful to her to her face, his nasty critiques of his ex were a turn-off. She stopped seeing him because she felt she would never feel safe from his denigrations should their relationship go the way his last one did.

Feeling emotionally safe is vital before getting naked. I doubt that Famous Lady would have felt safe with this guy had she known how he would debase her once their coupledom was kaput. Remember my Gilda-Gram: Feeling emotionally safe means feeling emotionally protected—which is necessary in love.

Reason #2: You know your honey will still be your honey later, after you’re clothed
In a Seinfeld episode, Elaine described how her sweetie-for-the-night ran out of her bed early in the morning. She likened guys who do this to being farmers who feel they must tend their land before sunrise. Some too, exit early after a night of play. And it can erode even a sturdy self-image—if you allow that to happen. When a night of passion is followed by what might seem like icy abandonment, the previous evening’s thrill becomes a let-down. No person deserves to think the passionate night before was really meaningless. So, take your time, get to know this person, and make sure your relationship has some pacing to it. You are most likely to have a gone-in-the-morning paramour if things have proceeded quickly from first date to the bedroom.

Reason #3: Your sweetie really “gets” you
Out-of-sight doesn’t necessarily have to mean out-of-mind. If you and your new love have something real, he or she will think of you even when you’re not together. During their early dating stages, Carol and Carl were window-shopping and passed a kitchen
Someone who withholds acts of kindness also withholds love.
accessories shop. Carl had no interest in the shop’s contents, but Carol excitedly muttered, “Wow, I’d love to own that saucepan.” A few weeks later, Carl presented Carol with just the cookware she had admired. From that moment on, Carol knew she had found a guy who (a) was willing to listen and hear her and (b) wanted to please her with things she deemed important. She was able to move ahead with their romance, secure in the knowledge that there was real affection there and not just lust. As my Gilda-Gram puts it, it’s easy to get naked with someone who obviously cares about you, versus just hooking up with anyone. Today this couple is happily married—and Carl still listens to her intently and tries to please her whenever he can.

Reason #4: Your honey is willing to be inconvenienced to make you happy
New daters Cathy and Mark developed a quick connection that seemed very tight. They had not yet been intimate. One day, Cathy’s car needed to be repaired. Mark was at home doing yard work when Cathy called to ask him to please drive her to the dealership. On this summer Saturday, Mark was not on any deadline, nor did he have pressing appointments to meet. But he outright said, “No.” He didn’t say, “No, I have to finish doing the lawn by 2 p.m. before my kids arrive,” or, “No, I am too tired,” or even, “No, I don’t want to drive to that part of town today.” He simply said, “No can do, sorry.” Mark did not want to inconvenience himself. She began to notice other instances of his unwillingness to bend in her direction. A week later, Cathy wisely ended the romance. Mark still can’t understand why! But know this: Someone who is that selfish in daily, fully-clothed life isn’t someone who is going to turn into a giving soul in bed! Let me put this plainly: Someone who withholds acts of kindness also withholds love. If you’re looking for real intimacy — sexually and emotionally — you won’t find it here.

Reason #5: The decision to be intimate is 100-percent mutual
Paula and Charlie were platonic friends for three months, without the slightest hint of anything amorous. Then, just a few weeks ago, they casually kissed, and sparks flew. Neither could explain the change in their status, but they decided to officially re-name their get-togethers “dates.” Now the question was how to proceed. Neither of them wanted to destroy the wonderful bond they had established, yet both wanted to take the friendship to the next level. Yet, Paula was not quite ready to engage in naked romps. Charlie began to pressure her. Suddenly, the comfort they had shared was deteriorating.

Paula reasoned that if she abandoned her reticence, Charlie would feel happier. But she also knew that giving in to his desires was not where she wanted to be at this time. What was she to do?

They had a heart-to-heart talk. Charlie continued to push to move the affair up a notch. Paula suddenly perceived him as a self-involved baby who screamed, “I! want! my! sex!!” Sensing all that pressure, she ended both the friendship and the promise of more. Which was the right thing to do. If you’re not the kind of person who takes intimacy lightly, trying to do so for another person’s sake — “just this one time” — will almost undoubtedly backfire. You won’t wind up feeling closer… but probably will feel angry at yourself!

So, if you are interested in forging a long-term relationship and lasting bond, consider these points before you get naked with someone new. When these five reasons are involved, you’ll know you are treating yourself like a prize—and your new love will, too!

Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., has a private practice and is an associate professor at Mercy College in New York. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince!, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity and How to Win When Your Mate Cheats. Please visit her website ( and send her your relationship questions.
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