Modern dating culture is constantly evolving, leaving us seeking new ways of navigating our relationships and hookups. Particularly with the rise of online dating, singles are complaining that continuous ‘swiping’ and messaging feels more like a job interview than fun. Whether it’s the rejection of being ‘ghosted’ by someone you really liked, or a disappointing hook-up, it can feel like heartbreak is unavoidable. However, there is a way to dodge emotional disappointments. Intimacy coaches suggest that by expressing your boundaries and desires to a potential sexual partner, you can not only avoid heartbreak but keep yourself physically and mentally safe too. It’s never too early to open up this conversation, to form a healthy relationship and, of course, a healthy sex life!
Intimacy Coach Advice
International sex educator, Yuval Mann (founder of Sensual Alchemy School of Integrated Sexuality) has a way for daters to start this conversation. He suggests using the RBDSM model, during dating, to positively navigate your first sexual experience together. You may have heard of the kinky BDSM community before, however, RBDSM has nothing to do with bondage and dominance. Instead, following this model is an excellent way of building trust in a sexual relationship to ensure that everyone involved is safe and consenting.
You can use the system during a date, as a point of reference to establish your desires or open up a more formal conversation before sex. Whichever you choose, it’s the perfect way to determine what you and your potential sex partner want, and have a little fun along the way! What’s more, it can also be used by long-standing couples as a way to be more playful in their relationship. So, it’s a win-win, right?
What is RBDSM?
According to intimacy coach, Yuval Mann:
1. R is for Relationships
First, take the time to discuss your relationship status. For example, are you dating other people? Or maybe you’re looking for a once-off hook-up? This is a good way for you to understand the specifics of the situation, leaving less room for heartbreak and frustrations.
2. B is for Boundaries
Intimacy coaches suggest that setting your boundaries at this early stage helps to keep you safe and protect yourself from trauma. Maybe you already know that after the date you want to make out, but you know that you don’t want to have sex. Whatever it is, take the time to express what you are, or aren’t, comfortable with. You’ll be surprised at how empowering this conversation is, especially if it’s the first time you’ve asked yourself these questions.
3. D is for Desires
Pleasure is a huge part of intimacy and everyone deserves to have their desires satisfied. To do so, discuss what you want, whether it’s on the date itself or in the bedroom later. It’s also a great way to break the ice and have some fun and flirty conversations. As an added bonus, you can also ask ‘what do I desire right now, with you’. This is a beautiful way of bringing you both into the present moment and helps you adapt to changing feelings. After all, as the date continues, your desires may be taken to a whole new level!
4. S is for Sexual History
This is an extremely important part of RBDSM, something Intimacy coach Yuval Mann is very passionate about. Having fun and exploring each other is one thing, but doing it safely is another. Because of our societal taboo on talking about sex, or STIs, it can feel uncomfortable asking about someone’s sexual health, especially if you have only just met them. However, if they’re open, honest, and caring they’ll be very happy to share this information. If they don’t want to respond then this may be a potential warning sign.
Some key questions to ask are:
- Do you have any STD’s/STI’s?
- When’s the last time you had a sexual health check?
- Is there anything else I should know about your sexual history? Especially if you’re a man, it can be hard to imagine the level of collective and individual trauma women carry with them around sexuality. If your partner is open to it, this can be a good time to discuss traumas that may be relevant to your sexual experience together.
- What are your wants/needs when it comes to sexual protection tonight? If your prospective sexual partner is not in agreement with using protection then this is the time to find out.
Remember: Asking these questions doesn’t have to be a mood killer. You can still get hot and heavy as you express your excitement for what’s about to happen, while also protecting yourselves.
5. M is for Meaning
Searching for the meaning of your current dating experience is a beautiful way of connecting with this new person in your life. It’s not only important to ask yourself ‘what’s the meaning of this connection for me?’ but also to ask the person you are dating ‘what is the meaning of this connection for you?’. Sometimes the answers may be so mismatched that you don’t feel comfortable proceeding. On the other hand, you might find this conversation gives way to a surprisingly higher level of intimacy!
Not sure what the meaning is? That’s ok too! However, make sure you are honest so that the other person has a fair representation before engaging sexually with you.
A New Way to Avoid Heartbreak?
By sharing your desires, boundaries, and sexual health BEFORE jumping into bed with someone, you can both connect on a deeper level. This not only protects your physical and mental well-being but can be extremely sexy too! These might feel like awkward conversations for a first date, but the benefits for your sex life and relationships are undeniable. For example, it creates trust – something Gen Z and Millenial daters rate as one of the top qualities in prospective partners. Showing up in an honest and caring way far from kills the moment. In fact, it kicks up the heat to a whole other level, building trust, safety, and mind-blowing attraction!