You might think you have most of the answers when it comes to sex and relationships – but do you really?
Let’s face it: sex, dating and relationships are complicated, and much of the advice out there can leave you wondering if it really answers your questions.
Like, when is the right time to start having sex with someone new, or what should you do if you’re in a relationship but attracted to someone else?
Despite your burning desire for answers, some may not know where to get them, or may be too embarrassed to ask.
So Global News reached out to relationship experts Shannon Tebb of Shanny in the City and Chantal Heide of Canada’s Dating Coach to get the lowdown on what questions they’re commonly asked about sex and relationships by both singles and couples.
Here are the answers to your most asked questions below.
Q: Is this normal?
“Whether it’s a desire to explore something weird and wonderful, or wondering if a drop in sex is OK, I get this one a lot,” Heide says. “The answer to that is, normal always changes.”
Even in the same relationship, sexuality will shift with time, Heide points out. You might start out “vanilla,” but end up exploring some kink together. Or you might start out exploring a lot of fantasies, only to, over time, become routine.
“Sex can go from three times a day in the early stages to three times a month years down the road,” she says. “The point is, the link where the word ‘normal’ is drawn is fluid, and it’s OK to shift your perspective as you age.”
Q: How long should you wait to have sex with someone new?
For this one, Tebb and Heide have two different views.
According to Tebb, five dates in or after a month would be acceptable.
“I know attraction and chemistry can sometimes cloud your judgment, but men are willing to wait for sex and want to see if there’s a connection past your overall looks,” Tebb says. “Also, the longer you wait, there’s a good chance that the sex will be more fulfilling and you will feel that you are having sex for the right reasons since you have already gotten to know one another.”
For Heide, however, three months is the magic number – and this include the first kiss.
“Wait three months for a first kiss, then have all the sex you want,” Heide says. “Following a ‘three month, no kissing’ rule means there’s no question of commitment, compatibility or even chemistry between two people who have gotten to know each other well before taking their relationship to the next level.”
Observing before diving in is a good idea, she adds. It can help people know for sure if they’re committing to someone with the kind of confidence that comes with knowledge.
Q: But what about casual sex with no strings attached?
While Heide has suggested waiting three months before kissing anyone, Heide understands that some people can’t imagine seeing someone that long without wanting to have sex.
What it comes down to, she says, depends on what you want.
Sometimes that need comes from the fear that a potential new partner won’t wait for sex, but will instead get bored and move on.
This is where people get into trouble when trying to find a healthy, long-term relationship. So make sure you’re getting into this arrangement for the right reasons, Heide says.
Q: How do I know if the person I’m dating is sleeping with other people?
In the era of dating apps and unlimited choice, casual dating seems to be the norm, Tebb says.
So if you really click with someone and the feeling is mutual, it’s best to have a casual conversation on how your “hang outs” together will progress.
“Mention to the person how you have been asked out on dates, but are feeling the need to decline because you are really enjoying spending time with them,” Tebb advises. “At this point, a conversation will arise and you will be able to ask if the person is seeing other people.”
As long as there is honesty between you and your expectations are clear, you will know where you stand.
Q: Why are we having less sex frequently now that we’re married?
This answer, Heide says, comes from deep within a man’s brain.
“As species, we’re designed to pair bond for the time it takes to create, gestate and raise a baby together,” Heide explains. “Pair bonding comes with a heightened sex drive in a man, aimed towards the woman he chose, and he’ll often want to have sex with her to subconsciously ensure that it’s his DNA being carried within her body.”
This, she says, stems from an evolutionary drive to ensure that the efforts he’s putting forth to contribute food, safety and shelter are for his child and not another male’s.
But according to Heide, when marriage takes place, his mind becomes a little more soothed and the knowledge that “she’s mine now” actually brings his sex drive back down to his normal levels.
Q: How can we get those sparks back in the bedroom?
There are a few things you can try with your partner if you feel the relationship is becoming a little dull in the bedroom, Tebb says.
First, tell your partner what your fantasies are. Have a conversation and make sure boundaries are put in place so that trying out that fantasy is a mutual decision.
Next, try role-playing. Don’t be afraid to dress up and take on a new persona, Tebb says.
Another thing you can do is try a staycation. Rent a hotel for the night and decorate it with candles and flowers. Have some champagne on hand. Eliminate distractions and focus on each other, Tebb suggests.
Q: Sex with my partner is very one-sided – how do I change this?
“Have a conversation with your partner about how you’re feeling without insulting them,” Tebb says. “Present new ideas to switch things up.”
Also, Tebb suggests choosing times to be intimate when you’re not so exhausted at the end of the day.
“Try new things together and make each other feel appreciated and loved,” she says.
Also, remind your partner about what you like in the bedroom. And don’t confine sexy times to the bed, try other areas of the bedroom and house, as it will create excitement and not be so routine, Tebb says.
Q: Doesn’t being attracted to someone else mean the relationship is not working?
It is very normal to be in love with one person, but be attracted to another, Heide assures.
“We are not designed to be monogamous by nature. We are designed to want to make the strongest babies possible, and with that comes a drive to keep an eye out for strong mates,” Heide explains.
But choice is also part of our makeup, she explains.
“When we choose someone great we can appreciate their qualities and overlook those moments when our eyes wander,” she adds.