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Are you all taking it too seriously?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  September 2, 2011 08:39 AM

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Here's a philosophical question for a holiday Friday. Have a sunny weekend.


Q: This is an unconventional question, but here it goes. I am a longtime lurker and rare commenter. I am a 25-year-old woman, been in two relationships, dated many, am a strong born-again Christian (no judgments, please), and lost my virginity at 24.

My question is this: Why do the majority of LL commenters think that people should only sleep together in a monogamous relationship? Isn't that putting far too much value on the act? Don't you think that it's a good way to shoot yourself in the foot? IMO, if women just relax about it and have no expectations from it (let's try and see where this goes, NOT "He must commit to me for life!"), then they will be free to make a rational decision after the fact and be saved the emotional agony if the guy doesn't stay with them. I really don't get it and am looking for some reasons. Why the strict view on sex? Has this worked for you in the past? Thanks!

– Wondering, Boston


A: When I first read this letter, I assumed that you jumped to major conclusions about what Love Letters readers think about sex. I figured that if I scrolled through old letters, I'd find a rage of opinions about physical intimacy and monogamy.

But as it turns out, you're right. The majority of LL commenters don't like the idea of people sleeping with more than one person at a time. They usually don't even like the idea of letter writers dating more than one person at the same time.

But here's why:

1. Our commenters worry about health issues. They fear that if a letter writer sleeps with more than one person at a time, they'll put themselves (and their other partners) at risk for disease. They also believe in full disclosure for safety.

2. Our commenters are pretty romantic about sex. They tend to advise letter writers to wait until there's an emotional connection. They often suggest that sex is better that way and that there's less risk of getting hurt.

And ... I'm kind of with them, for the most part. I'm all for dating around. But the reality is that most of our letter writers are writing in because they're trying to find a real partner. In many cases, they want to find the person who will be their last partner ever. It's difficult to advise those people to have carefree sex without expectations.

If we're going to generalize about what our commenters and letter writers believe, I'll say that most LW's don't sleep with more than one person at a time because they really don't want to. And again, there are exceptions to that rule. But when I scrolled through past letters, I was able to see that most LWs save sex because they know what they want, not because they're taking it too seriously.

Readers? Do we all have one shared Love Letters view about sex? Can you address the idea of sleeping with more than one person? Does this letter writer's age have something to do with her philosophy about sex? Can you think of any letters that had us endorsing something other than monogamy? Thoughts?

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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