How to Set Sex Boundaries From Someone Who Knows

Just kidding, I'm actually terrible at this. But maybe we can figure it out together?
Publish date:
May 17, 2011
boundaries, overshare

Have you guys heard about this thing called boundaries?

Apparently they're limits and rules that people have for themselves to help protect them and guide their interactions, instead of just wandering lackadaisically across a road sign-less highway like I've done all my life.

And they're very chic this spring for women over 30! I'm actually only 28, but Jane, who has an uncanny ability to do this, has pegged my emotional age at 35, so I'm working on it.

Boundaries in the bedroom might be things like "I don't have one-night stands" or "I insist on condom use from my partner" or "Don't touch my butthole please." You can see how this could get important pretty fast.

I have traditionally (for reasons involving, what else, my childhood) been terrible at setting sexual limits like these. I'm like one of those robot vacuum cleaners that just keeps going until it bounces up against a wall. This is why I have had several FMF threesomes in my life despite the fact that I'm not really that attracted to women.

Here's a basic one that's beyond me -- "I only have sex with people I'm attracted to." Do you know how many ugly people I've slept with because they were attracted to me? If you put all my sexual partners in a room together it would look like a session of the U.S. Senate -- a bunch of old, fat white guys and a couple of token women.

Many years ago (in 8,000 Anno Domini the years before snuggling and Netflix), when I first started dating my partner, I pretended to like a lot of things that I didn't because I thought that's what you did to please a man. So I said stupid stuff like "I just think that if you're in a relationship, you have to give your partner oral sex whenever he wants it" and "You can have sex with other women if you want."

Said partner, bless him, didn't buy it for a second. And by not buying it, he slowly, over the years, taught me that I don't have to be some sort of wanton, rule-less porn fantasy in order to be hot.

Of course, his fantasies are pretty normal. If he were a different kind of man, I'd probably still end up letting him do whatever perverted/illegal/potentially messy stuff he was into, because why not, right?

But did you guys already know all this? What are your boundaries in the bedroom, and how did you learn to set them?