Dr. Frankie, Is it OK to Take it Slow—In Bed?
Dear Dr. Frankie,
I think I've met a chick I really dig. We are still just flirting but I get a really good vibe from her. When I do ask her out I really want to impress her and hold her interest. Is waiting to have sex a good tactic for keeping her interested? I don't want to come off as prude, but I want her to feel like we could have something special and that takes time to develop.
In a dating pool where the decision to move in together is made on the second date, what is a tasteful and romantic way to maintain a slow pace and really develop an intense emotional connection before moving on to sex? Any advice you have is greatly appreciated!
This is truly a wonderful question and something that not enough women ask themselves before buying the packing tape and cardboard boxes. The decisions you make during the dating phase are so important because you are laying the foundation of your relationship. I have seen many women ruin potential relationships because they rushed through the dating and intimacy phases straight into a relationship, rather than enjoying the experience of getting to know someone.
I strongly suggest waiting to have sex until you have decided to be monogamous. The decision to be monogamous can be made once you realize that the person you are dating is someone with whom you see a significant future, and you are no longer interested in dating anyone else. But a word of caution ladies—even if the clouds part and the birds sing when you see her stunning face, don’t rush this decision! I would wait for at least one and a half months before you move to the monogamy phase. But don’t worry, I’m not subjugating you to a life of all work and no play-just because you refrain from having sex doesn’t mean you can’t make out and fool around a little!
Here is why. The problem with having sex too quickly in the relationship is that it alters brain chemistry. Sex floods the brain with neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine which cause us to experience a euphoria similar to being on Ecstasy. A chemical called oxytocin is also secreted in the brain which results in our desire to be near this individual constantly. U-Haul has made a small fortune off the lesbians exhibiting this “merging” effect. We quickly jump into spending every waking moment with this person and merge our lives—neglecting our friends and family etc.
Being intimate too quickly actually can produce the opposite of what you’re hoping for. The honeymoon phase is a wonderful part of the relationship, why burn through it so quickly? Maintain a healthy “pace” by initially seeing each other once a week. After a month or so increase your time together to twice a week. Avoid spending an entire weekend together. It’s fine to spend a Friday evening together after a month and wake up Saturday and enjoy part of the day. It’s healthy and important to have time apart and also helps you maintain connections with friends and family. Don’t be that girl in the relationship vacuum.
Be sure to communicate your reasons for your disciplined dating approach. After you ask her out if there is a real connection, tell her you feel a spark and are excited about the possibility of something truly special. You certainly don’t want your honorable intentions to be interpreted as a lack of interest or ambivalence.
You can communicate via text or email once a day to let the person know you’re thinking of them but do not text repeatedly throughout the day. We all have jobs and lives to manage. Maintaining balance in all areas of your life is so important and will ultimately help you create and sustain a strong and healthy relationship. Best of luck to you!
Dear Dr. Frankie,
I am a successful, driven, career-oriented woman at a Silicon Valley-based software company. I am in my early 30s and earn almost one million dollars a year. I am dating a wonderful woman who works in the non-profit sector. She attended Ivy League universities and has her PhD, she is extremely successful in her field. We’ve been dating for about six months and for the most part have a happy relationship. Lately we have had some issues because my income creates something of a power differential in the relationship. I have expensive taste. I enjoy traveling to exotic locations, buying nice things and eating at expensive restaurants. I am also happy to pay for my girlfriend. It bothers her that I pay for almost everything, but she just can’t afford the things I can afford. She contributes what she can, but I’m also not interested in living a more modest lifestyle. We both work extremely hard and I want to enjoy my life when I’m not at work. I tell her that if we were a heterosexual couple there wouldn’t be these issues. It’s becoming more and more of a problem, not less of one. Please help!
Dear Richie Rich,
It’s important to remember what is important in life, and that is human connection. It sounds like you and your girlfriend have a good thing going, so let’s figure out a way to navigate this situation. Empower your girlfriend by letting her treat you to meals at her favorite restaurants. It won’t be the Ritz Carlton, but remember what actually makes the meal special is that you are spending time together. The quality time together is what actually counts, the fancy food and drinks are a bonus. Be flexible and show your girlfriend you can enjoy a great Indian restaurant or Dim Sum as much as high tea at the Fairmont Hotel. I’m sure you also know that a high price tag and fabulous hipster reviews don’t necessarily mean the food is superior.
Think of activities that are affordable. There are no shortages of amazing activities in the San Francisco Bay area; a road trip to Napa Valley for wine tasting, a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a dog walk at Stinson Beach?
Be open to new experiences. Scientific study after scientific study has shown that money and material things don’t equal happiness. Step out of your comfort zone and live in the moment and value what matters. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Dear Dr. Frankie,
I just started dating someone who is really special to me. I don’t know how to, or even if I should, tell her that I experienced terrible physical and sexual abuse from a relative growing up. I don’t want to freak her out because things seem to be going really well, but I also want to have a trusting relationship with her. Should I tell her?
It’s important not to share extremely personal information, such as a sexual abuse history, too early in the relationship. Once there is a foundation developed you can begin to share more significant personal information. Avoid sharing personal information of this nature until at least 2 months into the relationship and a sense of safety and trust has been established. Give her the opportunity to learn some personal information about you that is less charged early on and see how she handles the information you’ve shared.
Let your guard down gradually regarding traumatic personal issues. If you share the information too soon it can indicate a lack of healthy boundaries. However, if you wait too long and a significant amount of time has passed your relationship will most likely have moved into a more mature state and you may feel uncomfortable about her not knowing about something this significant about your past. I imagine sharing is eventually necessary because it sounds as if the abuse you suffered has deeply affected you and could potentially impact your relationship. Sharing the information with your partner may help her to better understand you and give context to certain behaviors that may come up when interacting with her as a result of your trauma. Take your time and ease into the relationship. After a couple months do a “gut-check” and reevaluate if you feel safe and secure enough in the relationship to share your history.
Single? Looking for your soul mate? Dr. Frankie invites you to share her Love Seat. Post your questions to lesbian matchmaker Dr. Frankie Bashan below or email her directly at littlegaybook.com and check back on here at Curvemag.com on June 27, 2011 for her answers. If you choose to email her directly please be sure to indicate “Curve” in the subject line.
To learn more about Dr. Frankie's matchmaking and dating/relationship coaching services please visit her website at littlegaybook.com.