Dating men

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Do men typically focus on sex as a goal of dating? Is that normal?

If it is normal then I can accept it and expect that’s where we’re headed.

Sorry for the generalization. I am asking because don’t want to foster my fears if it’s a typical thing. 🤷‍♀️
 

Friday

Moderator
Do men typically focus on sex as a goal of dating? Is that normal?
Yep. Totally normal. For both men & women IME.

Which, by definition (normal is only most or most commonly, never every/all), means there’s a fairly wide swath of people (both men and women) for whom sex is not a goal.

Neither the having of it, NOR the discussions involved in finding a life partner whose sexual inclinations and your own line up (baseline for cultures or religions who ban sex outside of marriage is to talk-talk-talk about sex, desires, wishes, expectations; which means that sex is very much a goal of dating, in a couple ways) for an equally varied number of reasons.
 
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OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Yep. Totally normal. For both men & women IME.
Helpful! It is helpful for me to assume that the person dating me is looking for an opportunity to have sex—with someone—maybe me. It is helpful for me to assume that we are testing each other out.

I wonder why, if I want to have sex with someone—maybe a man I’m dating—why I might feel turned off if I can tell he’s coming on strongly. It might be because I had an experience dating and marrying a narcissist who love-bombed me. Or maybe I just don’t feel comfortable with this person, even though I wish I could? It’s hard to pick apart the ptsd from normal human behavior.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i thought that having sex was the long term goals of dating for both genders.

I wonder why, if I want to have sex with someone—maybe a man I’m dating—why I might feel turned off if I can tell he’s coming on strongly.

personally, i put the emphasis on "long term." easy does it, pardner. . . let me test the waters before i dive in.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I don’t know how long is appropriate to wait if the point is to have sex. Either I do it or I don’t.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel comfortable with a man. There’s something extra pushy IME compared to dating women.

And I think I need to accept, want, crave the pushy-ness as an opportunity to express my own pushy-ness, if I want to, and that is a case-by-case basis in which intuition has to have a prominent role.

I guess there’s an element of fear for me with dating men that I don’t sense with dating women. I’m not trying to justify my sexuality. I’m saying that for me to enjoy an intimate relationship with a man I’m going to have to face that fear, push past it. And see what’s on the other side. If I want to.

I like sex with men. If pushy-ness is a part of it then I can accept that I determine how much pushy-ness I need or will accept.

And still, I don’t know how to test the waters before having sex with someone. My history is meeting people who want to have sex with me and are not creeped out by me. (Strange to type that.). And I’m not creeped out by them. But narcissists didn’t creep me out then, and now I’m trying to discern their presence. Assuming I’ve discerned well, how do I test for having sex with someone who gives off vibes of ready-to-go? What am I testing for?
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
In the first month or so of my dating my current bf, there was one night that he came on real strong. At that point I wasn't ready, and I reacted pretty badly and thought about ending things. I went about a week with minimal contact, but decided to give him another chance. Since then, I've gotten to know him a lot better and know that he generally respects boundaries, and that he was, as you describe it just being "pushy" that night. I don't have csa as part of my history of abuse, but I imagine that complicates "normal" boundary issues even further when it comes to sex and intimacy.

All told, my bf waited for me to be ready to be intimate after dating about a month and a half or so. He said he'd have waited even longer, and that he was actually glad I made him wait. I do think that the most important thing is a heart connection, and if that is there, the guy will be willing to wait.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I imagine that complicates "normal" boundary issues even further when it comes to sex and intimacy.
Thanks for the validation. I think it does too, but it’s really hard to know how it does, and therefore to know what to focus on.

I appreciate you sharing your timeline with your boyfriend and also your background. Gives me perspective.
 

Livinginhope

Confident
Thanks for the validation. I think it does too, but it’s really hard to know how it does, and therefore to know what to focus on.

I appreciate you sharing your timeline with your boyfriend and also your background. Gives me perspective.
Hi. Not sure if this helps, so please only take what does (if anything) and leave the rest.

Flipping this around, I'm dating a man with C-PTSD. In between the push-pull, periods of complete withdrawal by him and Covid, it's not been an easy 2 years.

And here's the shocking part which I know is far from 'normal' and which would invalidate the relationship for most people. It's also not easy to say 'aloud' but here goes - We've not yet been intimate. Do we both want to be? Hell, yes! We swap pics and talk about it, and have even fallen out about him suddenly pushing for it one day and me questioning that sudden request. How he feels about himself is the stumbling block to actually moving forward.

I'm telling you this in case it helps how you feel at the moment. There is no 'normal'. Not really. It depends entirely on the two people involved. Everyone is different. What they need and want will be different, as will what the other person is prepared to accept. There's no two ways about it, sex is very important, but other things are too.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
sex is very important, but other things are too.
Thank you for your perspective. Are you talking about friendship and emotional vulnerability? T said people date so they would they have a partner to do things with. That doesn’t make sense to me because I have friends that I do things with, but I don’t have sex with my friends, nor do I want to.

So, for me, I don’t understand the point of dating men without moving toward sex. I’m not talking about PIV necessarily, but some physical intimacy. And I have never dated a man who didn’t want sex. Since I used my body as leverage in past relationships I personally would struggle with feeling desired if someone did not have some kind of physical desire with me, even if it was cuddling, but I’d probably be confused if they didn’t feel physically attracted to me. Not saying I’m normal, nor am I looking for a normal relationship, rather trying to understand how to navigate dating men from a perspective that is not codependent and enmeshed.
 

Livinginhope

Confident
Thank you for your perspective. Are you talking about friendship and emotional vulnerability? T said people date so they would they have a partner to do things with. That doesn’t make sense to me because I have friends that I do things with, but I don’t have sex with my friends, nor do I want to.

So, for me, I don’t understand the point of dating men without moving toward sex. I’m not talking about PIV necessarily, but some physical intimacy. And I have never dated a man who didn’t want sex. Since I used my body as leverage in past relationships I personally would struggle with feeling desired if someone did not have some kind of physical desire with me, even if it was cuddling, but I’d probably be confused if they didn’t feel physically attracted to me. Not saying I’m normal, nor am I looking for a normal relationship, rather trying to understand how to navigate dating men from a perspective that is not codependent and enmeshed.
Hi @OliveJewel We absolutely are attracted to each other, and I totally agree with you that an intimate relationship needs to be working towards sex otherwise it's a friendship - which can be great too, of course, but isn't the same thing.

I'd be totally confused too if I wasn't sure that he found me attractive.

No, what I meant was I don't think there is a strict rule on how long it should take to include sex. This was something you pondered on in your original post and I wanted to reassure you that not all men want sex immediately in order to feel the relationship is worth it. That's not to say the slowness of our relationship is the norm, I’m sure it's not! Good luck with this new relationship of yours. I hope it's bringing fun and joy 🙂
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks for clarifying. I can tell that I’m feeling triggered about this, which makes sense, but I’m going to try to work through it. Because I know that parts are conflicted and I’m uncertain about some aspects. Or I’m trying to integrate my old understanding with my current self.

needs to be working towards sex
Ok, this pretty much makes sense. I am aware that some people don’t want to and that there are people who are up front in the beginning that they don’t want it, but still want closeness, commitment, loyalty, etc.
Good luck with this new relationship of yours. I hope it's bringing fun and joy
Thanks. I’m mostly scared of it, unfortunately. Well, parts are, but they are winning currently. So it’s not bringing me anything anymore as I’m avoiding it. We only went on two dates.
not all men want sex immediately in order to feel the relationship is worth it.
Helpful for me to remember. Unfortunately, due to my past of csa and of living in ignorance of it for 39 years and of being formerly married to a sex addict I have skewed perspective on relationships. For example, with the guy I went on two dates with and recognized that he wanted sex, in my brain I have the child parts who are afraid and the adult parts (maybe teen?) who are saying what’s wrong with me that I couldn’t have sex with him and follow up with seeing him? Once I can discern that they want sex my mind says, “Why aren’t you giving it to them?” And before I never honored the child parts. But now I am. And that makes it confusing for this.

So far I’ve noticed that I have much less fear with women, generally speaking. But I know that my body likes to have sex with a man. (What a weird thing to write.). Anyway, that’s where I’m at and I really want to figure out what works for *me*, what’s my timeline. Unfortunately, I still have old tapes that say, “Give it to them or you’ll lose them.” And the child parts panicking.

Therapy tomorrow so I’ll try to make sure to bring it up. Appreciate readers’ perspectives in helping sort this out.
 
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