This week, we’re passing the mic to Authentic Dating Series’ David Chambers for the lowdown on how to ensure comfort and consent are at the heart of your intimate encounters.
Did you know that the word intimate comes from the Latin word intimare, which means make familiar. And isn’t that the goal of being intimate with someone, to become more familiar with each other both physically and emotionally.
From talking to women in the Authentic Dating Series community and from my own personal experience I know that for a woman (and men as well) to become physically intimate can be nerve-racking and put her into a very vulnerable place as many of us have a fear of abandonment, the fear of judgement and the fear of rejection.
Our internal fears mixed with the social conditioning that we grow up with around sex often means that she is not going to be able to fully relax into the experience until she feels safe, comfortable and able to completely trust you.
I also know from my experience coaching hundreds of men over the last decade that men are often oblivious to the fears and worries that are on a woman's mind when it comes to the first time of sleeping with a particular man.
As one woman I dated once said to me, “Whenever I go to a guy's place part of me is worried that he will force himself on me”.
I believe that a vast majority of men are kind, loving and want to treat women with the utmost of respect. But sometimes a man’s desire for sex gets ahead of him and drives him to rush to get to the end goal that’s in his head, sex. And this leaves women feeling uncomfortable, tense and sometimes even unsafe.
To help out my fellow brothers (and sisters) I have put together some pointers to help men create an environment, setting and mental space for the beautiful women that you are with to feel more relaxed, comfortable and safe to open up and get more familiar with you in the way that she wants to.
Clean and tidy room or space
This is a simple and obvious one to do guys but it has to be said. (Yes, I am assuming that she is coming to your place.)
Guys, tidy and clean up your place. We all feel more comfortable in a place that is clean, tidy, clutter-free and fresh smelling. Think of the last time you walked into a friend's place that was light, airy and felt great. Then think of a time you went into a dirty, grubby and damp smelling house. You can feel the difference, right?
How welcoming a clean and tidy place is something that has been talked about when we have had female guests on our podcast.
So, do that washing up that has been hanging around all day, put some fresh sheets on the bed, hover the floor and tidy things away into draws.
And while you are at it, get some nice fresh smelling incense to boost the smell, even fresh flowers or plants.
Get some nice relaxing music on
When the woman you have been dating comes round for the first time and settles down on your sofa, but the two of you can hear the sound of your next-door neighbours arguing about what to watch on Netflix is the last thing you want to hear.
It’s not normally that bad, but you get the picture. Those little sounds of flatmates and neighbours can sometimes put us on edge and make us feel like someone else is in the room with you or worse still like someone is going to walk in unannounced.
Music relaxes us, it’s well known and you have surely felt it. It will help the two of you relax a lot. The last thing you want to do is put on some 90’s gangster rap or techno (maybe minimal techno is ok).
Jazz, meditation music or sexy house music are my personal preferences.
Get out of your head and being present moment
You may have never heard about being present or being in the present moment. But it simply means to be focused on what you are doing.
For example, if you are talking to your date about the photo on your wall that you took in Colombia but at the same time you are texting your friend about your plans tomorrow - that’s not being present!
When it’s just you and her, keep your attention with her. Leave your phone to one side, whatever is happening on it, it’s not as important as the amazing human being in front of you. This is also great advice for when you are on dates.
Overthinking is also a way that we leave the present moment. Getting caught up in what plans you have for tomorrow or stuck worrying about something you did at work yesterday. Both are ways that pull you out of being present with the one you are with right now.
By being present, you make it clear that the person in front of you is important to you and that they matter to you.
This is a term that is thrown around a fair bit these days.
I see it to mean “a bubble of non-judgemental attention and listening”.
It ties in with being present but it also adds in not judging someone.
We all fear judgement, none of us wants to be judged badly for the things that we say or do. One of our innate needs in life to be accepted.
The best way to do this is to mind the language you use about the women you are with and other people you talk about.
Anything, where you are being derogatory about people’s weight, intelligence and, in particular, the physical appearance, will leave the woman you are with consciously or subconsciously worried about how you are judging her.
It’s important to remember that the way the media and society have conditioned women is to always question their physical looks, meaning that any negative comments about other women in this way can cause her to worry that you will judge her as being “not good looking” when she is naked.
Another way to hold space for her is to listen to her, but not just her words, but the emotions behind the words. We all want to feel heard.
Consent is probably the single most important thing on this list.
Establishing consent between the two of you around getting intimate with each other makes both of you feel safe and respected. But not just at the beginning. It’s also important to constantly check in with each other as the night (or day) goes on.
An important thing to do is to talk about your sexual likes, dislike, desires and boundaries before entering the bedroom.
And consent doesn’t also have to be “Can I touch you?”, think more like “I’d love to kiss you right now” or “Your skin is so soft, would you like a massage?”. It’s also important to check in along the way, asking “Does that feel good?” or “Are you enjoying this?”
Consent can be fun and playful but it is both of your responsibility.
Listen to her words and her body
This is closely aligned to consent, but slightly different. It’s feeling more than just her words but also her body as well.
For example, if she says yes to you going down on her, but she says yes while her whole body is recoiling, check-in with yourself and ask, “Did that feel like a yes beyond the words?”
It’s not always easy for us to say what we do and don’t want.
And it goes the other way too, if you are passionately kissing on the sofa for 25 mins and she is touching you enthusiastically, it’s most likely a sign that she wants more than just kissing. Simply asking if she would like to go to the bedroom or stroking your hand along her arm or thigh while checking to see her reaction would be a nice way to move things forward.
If she feels that you are in tune with her needs and wants this will allow her to relax knowing that she is understood and that you won’t do anything she doesn’t feel ready for.
If I had £1 for every time I hear a woman say to me “I wish he would have just slowed down”, I’d have enough to buy a beach house in Goa.
Rushing, guys, can very easily feel like pushing or forcing. And pushing and forcing are scary and stressful for her.
Slow it down, she is with you right now to be with you, rushing her to get naked and in the bedroom isn’t going to stop her from changing her mind, it will make her change her mind.
And if she is rushing things along, don’t be afraid to slow things down.
Start with soft non-sexual touching
When you are starting to get naked don’t rush to touch her vulva. She has a whole body to explore and spend the time to explore it. Be imaginative with your touch and pressure.
Touch all of her, arms, legs, neck, hands and feet with soft sensual strokes. It’s incredibly relaxing for both you and her.
Having no goal
Non-goal orientation allows you to be more present. It stops you from just focusing on getting to having sex and keeps you in the present moment of the touching, kissing, massage or talking.
You will feel more enjoyment for all the things that come before sex if you can stop having that as your single goal. Plus, being non-goal orientated helps you slow down and as a by-product allow the two of you to relax into each other's company far more comfortably.
Leading without pushing or coercing
I was tempted to leave this one out as it’s not always easy to describe the difference between leading and being pushy.
But as a man in society, and even our innate masculine energy, we want to lead.
For a lot of you reading this, you hear the words masculine and lead, and assume it must be toxic and wrong. But mature masculine leadership is done with love and care for those that you are leading.
So when it comes to romantic and sexual encounters, leading with love is having someone else's best interests at heart, letting go of you just getting what you want (this is what most of the leadership in the world is about).
Leading can look like asking her to come to your place, it would be surprising her with her favourite meal and even taking her to the bedroom (and looking after her needs), but if you are leading from a place of love, care and with the acceptance that she may choose to say no at any time, then it will always be welcomed.
Thanks, David. Searching for the realness? Head to Authentic Dating Series for more honest, relatable pieces on dating, creating and nurturing connections and be sure to follow their podcast for club bangers such as, ‘how being authentic will get you laid more.’ We’re all ears, tbh. 👀 Join the conversation over on our HANX Life forum here.