The Adventures of Being Sex Positive and Not Always DTF
“One thing I’ve learned in all these years is not to make love when you really don’t feel it; there’s probably nothing worse you can do to yourself than that.”— Norman Mailer
“Do you even have a dick!” echoed across the empty park on a cool winter’s night. This wasn’t the first things she yelled, but they were the words that told me I wasn’t going to see her again. All because, on our second date, I wasn’t going to throw her over a rail and have my way with her. Apparently, my manhood was in question because I wasn’t ready to go at the drop of a hat. I wasn’t there yet, and I certainly didn’t want to get arrested for indecent exposure.
The majority of people are very much sexual by nature, termed allosexual, some are completely asexual, yet another category found in the range between is called demisexual which means that sexual attraction comes only after an emotional bond is formed. I’m very much demisexual which seems rarer among male-identifying people than many other gender identities. For me, I have to form a connection with a woman, and I very rarely will enter into most sexual activities until at bare minimum the third date with a woman for a number of reasons.
The irony is not lost on me that in the past I was very much active, but flexible, in the BDSM scene, polyamorous community and very much all about sex-positive lifestyles. This seemingly contradictory nature has made dating a bit more interesting that it already would have been, and my experiences have lead to a lot of confusing moments with the women I’ve dated.
For me, the way that I find that connection is in the process of dating, in that I want to get to know who a woman really is. Attraction to a person in a sexual sense is not synonymous with personal and romantic attraction. I don’t meet a woman, with exceedingly rare exceptions, and want to immediately have sex with her. Initially, I want to understand what makes her tick. The three questions that I seek answers to are seemingly simple, with often with complex answers. What makes a woman happy? What makes a woman laugh? What makes a woman whole?
Once I’ve figured those three things out, I love to find her beauty. All people have within them a vulnerability, when they put down their guard and let their true self show through. It can be seen when a woman talks about her passions, when a mother talks about her child, when a moment of silence shared together is no longer awkward but sincere. There is a penetrating moment when you can look into her eyes and see the little girl that views the world with wonder and excitement, and the young woman that seeks to love and be loved. It is a powerful and intimate moment to share, and that is where her true inner beauty lies, at least for me. There is so much more to a person than even this, but it a starting point for me and is when someone I’m spending time with becomes more that just interesting, but becomes a woman I could see as part of my life. This connection continues to be built with simple affectionate contact — a touch of the hand, a caress of the arm, simply holding each others hands and looking into each other’s eyes. Each initial contact is not about sexuality, but humanity. It helps me to start building trust and to determine if there is chemistry that can permit more than just shared mutual interests and experiences.
Kissing is my dividing line between basic affection and sensuality, as the desire to touch a person isn’t necessarily the same wanting to possibly have sex with them at some point in the future. Kissing is a very big deal to me, but doesn’t necessarily signal a desire for sex. Something has been lost with this new DTF (Down To Fuck) mentality in that the journey from kissing to the bedroom can be very wonderful if explored more slowly. Learning how a partner responds to kisses and caresses shares a lot about what they like and enjoy. That first kiss, and the ones that immediately follow it, can be simply magical. Being transported back to being an exuberant 16 year old can be so sweet and completely immersive.
But it all comes down to trust for me. I need to feel comfortable with a woman. I experienced sexual abuse as a young child, and it has left an imprint on how I relate sexually to woman, as a woman was my abuser. Finding a place of comfort takes some time for me, even when I’m very attracted to a woman in all other ways. I often combat my own inherent nervousness, in potentially intimate settings, by taking charge and making the encounter all about her needs. It is the fear of hurting her, making her somehow not feel sexy enough, because I’m not yet ready to have sex with her and to simply surrender and be pleased by her. In the past, I found myself going through the motions to protect a partner’s ego at the expense of my own, all to not lose the interest of a woman I wanted to be with but not yet in that one way. Each time I did that, I felt dirty. Often, when I was down, I would just go hook up with a woman, doing all I could please and pleasure her, feeling very remote from the experience despite making her feel good. I’ve found by taking more time with woman, and establishing a friendship first, it has helped prevent this need to not lose someone as another foundation had been laid.
Being polyamorous in the past added new complications to this sense of sexuality. The basic nature of dating polyamorously often involves a lot of time management and scheduling. For many that practice polyamory, their true primary partner is their appointment calendar. With the often accelerated nature of building polyamorous relationships, sexual connection is expected sooner rather than later. I’ve met many women who simply wanted a bit more than a sexual relationship, and only could share time maybe a day or two every couple of weeks. The time between seeing each other often put more pressure to “move things along” when together. The woman I quoted at the beginning of this article was polyamorous, married and very fixated on what she wanted from me from the day we met. I wanted the same, initially, but I wanted to get there naturally, not on the fast track. Sometimes, slow and steady doesn’t win the race.
Then there is the kinky aspect to whom I am, by my nature more a service top. A service top is someone who truly enjoys acts of service within BDSM play, to be a top, or dominant, but more to help my partner explore her desires, pleasuring her and helping her find her subspace in a healthy and loving way. Even in this capacity with new partners, my initial play scenes together frequently took on a more performative nature. While I very much enjoyed pleasing and playing with my partners, much of the time I felt like the drive to get to play was faster than I wanted. I again acquiesced to keep them happy. I found a few times couples approaching me to be their dominant, but wanting to get right to sexual play and not taking the time to form my very much needed connection. The realization of being approached as a sexual object for the mere gratification of some couple’s fantasy would tantalize many men, but as someone more demisexual it felt icky at best, self-destructive at worst.
Don’t me wrong, when I get there, I am a dedicated, passionate lover who delights in exploring, pleasing and being pleased by a partner whom I’m completely sexually attracted to. It’s just that my sexual engine takes a while to warm up, and sometimes won’t. I have often found myself seeing someone and realizing that despite my liking them as a person, possibly even loving them in other ways, the desire to be sexual with them just didn’t exist. Explaining that reality to a woman, as a man, can be very difficult and it’s often resulted in insults and drama being directed towards me. It can be rather daunting.
I’ve found that by setting boundaries, and not breaking them, I’ve had better success finding the relationships I’ve wanted. I’ve developed from very emotionally intimate relationships which are wonderful. I see good things in my life and my future, but this boy ain’t giving it up until he’s ready and raring to go!