Let’s say you meet someone for a first date and have sex. Or you start dating them and it seems like all your time spent together seems to be in the bedroom. Or, you haven’t had sex yet, but you’re concerned that your openness and comfort with discussing sex and sexuality might give off the impression that that’s all you’re looking for. How do you get across that you’re looking for more than sex?
First things first, I’m not making a moral judgment that there is something inherently wrong with just wanting sex. If all you want is sex, that’s perfectly okay, this isn’t the post for you though. I’d write something about how to effectively get across that all you want is sex, but that post would be one sentence: Tell people all you want is sex. They’ll believe you.
I don’t think the same could be said for conveying that you’re looking for more than sex. People tend to be skeptical when you tell them “I’m looking for more than sex”. Society conditions you to believe certain things about people based on their comfort level with discussing anything sexual in nature, their gender, when they decide to have sex with you, and sexual orientation. We’re all influenced by those factors, whether we disagree or not. In my experience as a straight man dating women, not a single woman I’ve ever told “I’m looking for more than just sex” believed me when I said those words, but they were more likely to believe me when my actions reflected that statement. Usually anyway.
Keep that in mind when trying to get across that you’re looking for more than just sex. People will consider their own experiences, and what society has told them about sex and sexuality when they consider whether you’re looking for something more than sex. Even if you’re being 100% honest about your intentions, some people wont believe you no matter what.
That said, there are some things you can do to try to subtly get across that while sex is cool, you’re looking for more.
For starters, try to shift the focus away from discussing sex. Or, at the very least, don’t make sex the primary or only subject of conversation. I’m not saying that anyone who discusses sex at length is only looking for sex, but people tend to equate frequency of discussion with interest.
You should also consider planning dates, instead of just meeting up to sleep with someone. Even if your goal is to eventually end up at one of your places for a bone session, plan an actual date, and not a “I’ll come over and we’ll watch a movie together” date. If you want more than sex, plan for more than sex and ask for more than sex. You should try to find a balance between having sex be an end-goal for when you see the person you’re dating, and not the main focus of when you see them.
Alternatively, you can plan a date/hangout/meetup, etc., and purposely not have sex. This is about as direct a way to say “I want more than sex and let me prove it” without just flat-out saying it, and probably more effective at getting the message across. It’s easy to say it, but it probably says more when you remove sex as a possibility.
There are other ways to get the message across, but they all can be best summed up as not focusing on sex, not making sex the driver of your time together, the absence of sex, and finally, connecting over something other than sex. Sex can be a part of what connects you, but there are smaller things you can learn about someone that carry a lot more weight when it comes to chemistry. It’s easy to ask someone what their favorite position is, or what gets them off, but learning about their interests is going to do a lot more to endear you to them, and show that you’re looking for more than just a hookup. Learn about them, share yourself with them, and grow closer. Sex can absolutely be a big part of that, but it doesn’t have to be.
Finally, I would recommend being inflexible about these sort of things. If you sleep with someone, and whether they say it outright or not, you get the feeling that they think all you want is sex, show them that’s not the case. If you recommend a date and they insist upon a Netflix and Chill date instead, don’t budge. If they keep trying to steer conversations toward sex while you try to learn more about them, don’t feed into it. If they persist, it’s less a question of convincing them that you want more, and more a question of whether they want to give you more.
Some things you can never get across, especially if the person you’re trying to convince doesn’t want to be convinced otherwise. If you’re doing all you can to tell someone subtly that you’re looking for more than sex and they refuse to get it, the issue isn’t with you, it’s on them. Don’t spend too much time trying to convince someone you want more than sex. At some point, if they refuse to believe you, or refuse to give you more than sex, you need to move on.
Good Luck Out There.
Also published on Medium.