Licensed therapist and social worker
Whether you’re demisexual, asexual, or wanting to explore celibacy, having conversations about sexual intimacy can be tough. How would I go about this?
Boundary setting! Boundaries are a great indication of healthy relationships with others. We often view setting boundaries as placing walls up between us and the people we love, know, or want to know. But, reality couldn’t be further from that. Boundaries are bridges, not fences.
In setting these expectations, you create opportunities for you and your potential partners to better understand each other’s emotional needs, desires, and limitations. These conversations can also spark other ideas of nonsexual intimacy.
My advice in setting these boundaries? Just think GLAD PASS, an acronym I often share with all my clients as a therapist.
· Give yourself permission to set boundaries.
· Lead with love while doing it. It is a loving gesture to want to better connect with someone, after all.
· Advocate for your needs in advance, avoiding reactionary boundary setting.
· Directly communicate what you need for you to feel good in the relationship.
· Prioritize yourself. Your needs and your boundaries should be all about you!
· Assess why you’re setting these expectations.
· Seek out support that will help you remember you have people who will love you with all of your boundaries.
· Stay firm in your personal desires!
Being demisexual, asexual, or choosing to be celibate doesn't mean you can't connect with others. Acts of nonsexual intimacy can be powerful in any relationship, and boundaries help us do that in meaningful and healthy ways. Boundaries operate like a compass, guiding you towards folk who will love and support you without trying to own or control. Don’t forget to give yourself some grace through this process. No one was born knowing how to ride a bike—boundaries are no different. You got this!