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Illustration: Assa Ariyoshi

Let Us Sex-plain: He wants to wait till marriage to have sex

Your personal wingwoman, Jillian Anthony, answers all your questions about dating and doing it in New York

By Jillian Anthony

I get it—being single in the city can be tough, and the ways New Yorkers are having sex these days can be surprising. But whatever your dating conundrum might be, I'm here to help. Consider me (Jillian Anthony, Time Out New York’s Editor) your personal wingwoman, guiding you through dating and doing it in New York in our weekly "Let Us Sex-plain" column. Check out my answers to all your questions online and in the magazine every Wednesday, and submit your own coitus queries below!

I met a guy from a dating app, and we had a great conversation. We went back to his place and our chemistry was intense, but he steered us away from penetrative sex. I looked deeper into his dating profile and noticed that he’s a virgin who is waiting until marriage to have sex for religious reasons. I’m definitely not a virgin and am not sure if I want to get married (to anyone), and if I did, I’d for sure want to have sex beforehand. I want to explore this further, but would that be disingenuous?

—Ana, Brooklyn

Probably. But the persona we each present online is one thing, while who we are one-on-one is another. So bring it up, talk it out and weigh your options, then go on a couple of more dates (with your clothes on) to see if this first-date chemistry was the real thing. But, ultimately, it sounds like the two of you are headed to different nirvanas.

Can sober sex be fun?

—Juan, East Village

Yes, yes, yes! Alcohol seems to be a constant third wheel in today’s dating scene, and it makes sense—we’d all like to loosen up and get past the awkward conversations (and hookups) of first dates. But sober sex can be a revelation! You know the electricity you feel when you touch someone for the first time? Imagine feeling all that without booze numbing your senses (especially after that third or fourth drink) or feeling the thrill of confidence that pure intimacy (the terrifying pleasure of staring into someone’s eyes—just you, just them) can strike through your body. Challenge yourself to be bravely sober sometime soon!

I have neurofibromatosis type 1, so I have hundreds of tumors that grow at the end of my nerves. My ex said the tumors didn’t bother him, but I don’t believe him. How do I handle telling dating prospects about my disease, and how do I handle the rejection when they tell me it’s the tumors they can’t handle?

—Lilly, Bed-Stuy

I know the conventional wisdom you’ve been told time and time again: “You’re beautiful the way you are,” “You should love yourself and someone else will,” “The person meant for you won’t care.” Those words can sound hollow, however well-meaning and true they are. You should work to get to a place where you can accept those who reject you (for shallow reasons, though it may still hurt) yet fully embrace those who tell you they love all of you, like your ex. But keep in mind that a real, caring relationship is based on much more than physical appearance (case in point: all the upper-echelon hot people in the world with a graveyard of failed relationships). There are many parts of you for potential partners to get to know beside the physical. Show those off first, then let people see the more vulnerable pieces once they prove themselves deserving.

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Read previous weeks’ sex columns

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Let us sex-plain

Sex and dating

Your personal wingwoman, Jillian Anthony, answers all your questions about dating and doing it in New York. Read them all here.


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