What constitutes an epic sex life? Most people probably imagine something of a crossover between a Hollywood romantic comedy and a mainstream porn shoot. But in reality, an epic sex life is having the kind of sex life that is fully authentic to you (that is, in line with your desires and your moral values), and which allows you to nourish the three basic psychological nutrients all humans need to survive and thrive emotionally and psychologically: feeling in control, feeling competent, and feeling connected. Research shows that having this kind of life (in and outside the bedroom), is a recipe for physical and psychological health, continued growth, and a positive feedback loop; living inauthentically and without feeding your basic psychological nutrients leads to a downward spiral of dissatisfaction, distress, and illness.
What exactly this entails is going to differ for every person. There’s no all-size-fits-all when it comes to sex. So what I do with my clients is guide them in figuring out what is the most authentic sex life they could possibly have, and then work with them on a strategy for how to get there, taking into consideration their particular strengths and constraints.
As you’ll see in the video, Shaun, our “client” that day, came to us with desire to finally have that one-night stand with a stranger he picks up from a bar, together with some concerns about the danger of catching feelings for said stranger after having sex with him.
Developing unwanted attachments for hookup partners is totally something that happens for a lot of people! In the sex-positive world, we can sometimes be so enthusiastic about rejecting cultural norms like “sex=love” that we overlook the reality that, for a lot of people, sex can lead to romantically feelings, wanted or unwanted.
Luckily, there are plenty of strategies to help you anticipate and manage your feelings. Some people have found success in limiting how often they have sex with someone, or in limiting other activities they engage in together (cuddling, spending the night, etc.).
Have you ever caught feelings (or avoided doing so)? I’d love to hear about your experiences in this survey.