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From YourTango

Sharing one’s body is among the most initmate things we can do, so how can you establish the level of openness and trust necessary to feel comfortable?  Read on to see the different ways you can indentify a truthworthy lover and how to value yourself and body.

1.  Sex Is A Choice, Not A Gift
Sex isn’t something you give away to someone else, it’s a decision you make for yourself. It’s not something you provide in exchange for gifts, guarantees or security. Making choices about sex begins with you, not them.

2.  Trust Is Based On Evidence
Naïveté & gullibility are results of inexperience or ignoring intuition and result in extending trust where evidence is lacking or questions remain. What someone says, even how they make you feel aren’t what trust is built on. It’s the degree to which you know them and how consistently their actions match their words. Explanations and excuses in any part of life are a sign of incongruence in all parts of life.

3. ‘Exclusivity’ is a Decision Not A Right
Exclusivity is a decision made for one’s self, not a conditional demand that can be placed on another. Both individuals must make this decision of their own free will, not pressured by the other to come to the same terms at the same time.

Any decision made under durress is worth little and therefor the reality is that this is the most challenging of all relationship decisions as there is no guarantee that exclusivity will be offered in return or way to control whether they are being truthful.

4.  How Long You Wait Is A Personal Choice
It’s a myth that men are more interested in sex and women in relationships, and that therefore women hold the ‘sexual’ currency and men hold the ‘relational’ currency.  Waitng to have sex or abstinance is not a tool to control the behavior or choices of another and no one has the right to demand abstinence or exclusivity of another.

Intimacy is a gift that can only be given, not a commodity offered on specific conditions. This is true regardless of the nature or length of the relationship. The idea that someone owes us sexual availability, exclusivity or mutual abstinence is about control and an inability to manage the risks of intimacy.

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