Sex and heartbreak

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Illustration by Emily Reising Photo credit: Emily Reising

As a sex columnist, I feel somewhat obliged to only write about the positives of sex and portraying it as one of the, if not the most, fun and exciting activities one could partake in. Even though I strongly believe sex is both of those things, I also know there are negatives that come along with the sexual world. More specifically, I think giving attention to the emotional aspect of sex can be equally as important as the physical aspect.

Sex is a serious thing and if anyone’s like me, it can just about have the power to break your heart. Even though a large majority of sex is considered a “hookup” or “casual sex,” especially in college, there are people out there who have sex with actual, real feelings involved. Having sex can be both risky and scary solely based on the plethora of emotions that come along with it. There’s no question about it– sex creates attachment.

Unfortunately, this leads to people simply using each other for sex, which ends up being problematic if the feelings aren’t mutual between both parties involved. I’ve had this same problem, and it downright hurts.

I was sexually involved with someone who I cared for on a deeper level than purely sex, but it wasn’t hard to realize that feeling wasn’t reciprocated. That’s when I started to feel completely used and as though all my other qualities were being ignored by the person I cared so much about.

I know that I’m not the only one who’s experienced situations like that and that’s why I want to stress the importance of talking to sexual partners before getting involved any further. Even though sex is generally considered a fun, light, care-free activity, it can never hurt to talk about the situation before diving right in.

Establishing a common ground can save you from a world of emotional distress and hurt feelings, and that’s something you would never regret trying to avoid. So before you hop in bed and get down to work, take the time to pause and be honest about what you and your partner both want and expect from the experience.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at [email protected] or @gnarlyemma on Twitter.