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He's Giving Me 8 Weeks to be Ready for Intercourse... Help!

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confused@19 asks:

I've been seeing this guy from school for a couple months: three to be exact. From the moment we've met he's been interested in having sex, especially after he found out that I am a virgin and now he wants to be my first. He's pressuring me for pictures and oral sex, which we did but now he's pressuring me more for full on sex. We're not dating or in a relationship, all he says is that we're connected, which I don't understand. A couple days ago he said that he would give me 8 weeks to decide if I am gonna have sex, which will be in March.

He's the first guy to give me any sort of sexual attention, any attention more like it, I've always felt unsure of myself because I'm not a size six. I want to have sex, but with him I feel as if giving into finally have sex will just end up becoming sex and then the door. I don't want my first time to be a one night stand affair, he's assured me that it wouldn't be that way, but he's a guy looking for some. I'm real confused about what I should do with him. I want more than just sex, but I feel as if I wait it out long enough a relationship will grow. Please give me some help.

Alice B. replies:

Before anything else, one very important thing for you to know is that if you're underage, making and/or sending nude or sexually explicit pictures could be a felony for both of you. In the United States, those images of legal minors are considered child pornography, and his asking you for them (especially if he's over 18) and you sharing them with him are both very serious business. So, we'd advise you stay within the letter of the law with this partner and any other in that regard. The last thing you probably need is to majorly screw up your whole life because of some pictures you made for someone who, from the sounds of things, you're likely to remember less than fondly.

That said, first, I want you to consider this: You've already participated in sexual activities with him - oral sex and the picture sharing. How did that make you feel? When we have sexual and romantic encounters, the idea is that we should want to be having them. If we're barely willing participants, being dragged along and being pressured into things, that generally doesn't feel very good for anyone.

Check out Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist and pay special attention to the checklists. Do you feel you have all of, or even most, of these things? How about this article explaining consent? Does it seem like this relationship has had active, healthy consenting around sex?

Honestly, this being your first time potentially having intercourse doesn't matter much with this question. It could be your 8,427th time and the answer would include the same things. Respect is respect, regardless of your experience, gender, orientation, etc.

Same goes for your size - weight should play no role in your decision here. I say, respect is respect. Also, this may be the FIRST time you've been aware of a guy giving you attention in this way, but that certainly doesn't mean it will be the LAST. Nor does it mean you should jump into this believing it may be your one and only chance for any reason, including because you're not smaller-than-average-sized. It won't be your only chance, not for sex, nor for love. And if you suspect his continuing to give you attention, or loving you, are conditional around sex, this probably isn't a chance for love at all.

In your question you talk a lot about what he wants, and how you may or may not conform to his wants. Where are YOU in all of this? What do YOU want? When only one person in any type of relationship is making all of the decisions, coming up with all of the ideas, only letting THEIR wants be heard - seriously, what's in it for you?

I was thinking about this while whipping up a batch of muffins. I likened the issue of being ready and willing for sex with any given person to the recipe I was using. You need to use all of the ingredients or else it may not turn out the way it's supposed to, the way you wanted it to, right? That isn't to say that everyone would use the same recipe. Maybe I like blueberry, but you like Cranberry Orange. That's fine, just so long as all the right ingredients are in there.

Look at the checklists in Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist, do some soul searching and create your own recipe. The trick is that you're aiming to be happy with the result by the end. Hint: You want to use GOOD ingredients, such as trust, desire, a big bunch of respect for yourself and preparation, to name a few. Also? Make sure this is something both you and your potential partner feel will be satisfying: not just him.

Maybe not having a sexual relationship is a dealbreaker for him. That's fine - everyone is entitled to their limits. However, the way he is going about this is completely, utterly wrong. In healthy sexual relationships, you don't set ultimatums like "You must have sex with me in 8 weeks or I'm out!" No, what you do is say something to effect of "Hey, a sexual relationship is something I really want right now. How do you feel about that? Oh, you're not ready? I completely understand, and I respect your boundaries here. Because a sexual relationship is something I want, I need to take a step back from this."

A healthy, mature partner treating you with respect DOES NOT:
-try to guilt you into having sex with them
-push, pressure, or set ultimatums
-compare you to others
-try to manipulate or trick you into sex
-try to make you feel bad about yourself for any reason

They DO ask you questions and make their own limits, boundaries and desires clear in ways that also leave room for yours, even if they're radically different. They DO respect YOUR limits, boundaries and desires. They are nice to you and treat you with respect. A good partner doesn't pressure you for anything, for any reason. Also, a good, healthy and mature partner doesn't set arbitrary ultimatums in any way.

You say that you want more than sex and that you hope if you "wait it out" a relationship might grow. Have you ever heard the saying "The past is the greatest predictor of the future?" Has he shown you any concrete evidence that he wants a serious relationship or that he's interested in anything besides having sex with you? Has he shown any indication that he truly cares about you, respects your wishes or shows you kindness at all?

Relationships aren't really about hanging out, hoping the other person will eventually begin to care about you. A healthy relationship begins with friendship or mutual desire and a fair amount of trust and respect. From what you've described with the pressuring and the ultimatum, I would guess that he isn't so interested in other aspects of a healthy romantic relationship, and may not even know how to have one at this point in his life.

What you do with this relationship is up to you. The way he's pressuring you for sex is what we call a serious red flag, a possible warning sign of abuse to come. These things generally only escalate; they don't get better. Unfortunately, he's not going to wake up next Tuesday morning, refreshed and ready to start respecting you outta nowhere.

I am not ever going to tell anyone who they should and shouldn't have sex with. It's your body, your life and therefore your decision. I will tell you, though, that just from what you said in your question, I don't think you really want to have intercourse with him (maybe you didn't even really want or weren't ready for the sex you've already had with him); it's not supposed to be like this. Ideally, you have sex when you WANT to, only when you're good and ready and it happens at a pace that works for everyone in the relationship, not just on one person's terms. Not to say that relationships (sexual and otherwise) flow smoothly all of the time. They don't. But it isn't supposed to be unpleasant and stressful like this. You need to get to a point where you feel GOOD about the sex you're having, and having it in your OWN time, with or without him.

I am going to leave you with a few more links to read. My hope is that you will really take in the information and empower yourself with the knowledge to make healthy and smart decisions for yourself, which is likely going to involve starting from a place where you give yourself more respect than this person is giving you.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.