Archive for May 14th, 2015

Unwanted Strings

I have found that when I have sex with a man I start feeling very bonded to him, especially because I don’t have sex often.  How does one separate the sex from the feelings so one doesn’t become attached to the man?  I’m afraid to be sexually involved because I think I might get attached and he might not be the right man for me, and then I’ll feel the loss and detachment which is sometimes painful.

This is not at all an easy question, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to answer it in a way that will give you any help.  The reason for this is that I believe the tendency to bond with someone during sex is more a matter of temperament and biology than anything else; a lesbian-leaning bisexual woman, for example, might tend to bond with women she bedded but not men, and of course sex workers have no problem walking away from work arrangements without any residual bond whatsoever.  I’ve known women who can have as much sex as they like (or can contract for) without any risk of the sort of inappropriate bonding you describe, while others get attached very easily and become serial monogamists who tend to fall “in love” with every man they sleep with (even if he has very little to recommend him).  This is even true of men; while most men can have no-strings sex without emotional consequences, I’ve known more than one man who lacks the ability and will fall quite easily based on nothing other than the fact he had sex with the object of his affection.  It doesn’t even seem to have anything to do with age or relative experience; I’ve known young women who can sleep around as carefree as any man, and older ones who have been “in love” literally dozens of times.  It’s possible that you can eventually learn not to act upon the feelings sex generates in your psyche, but unless I’m very wrong about this I don’t think it will be easy – and maybe not even possible – to teach yourself not to feel those feelings in the first place.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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