I’m a big fan of the online strip Questionable Content.
One of the more recent strips has a couple of characters have a discussion about sex and relationships that I found interesting.
For those poor souls who have not yet had the opportunity to become fans, the two characters are friends with benefits. The male… well, he sleeps around a lot but has never made any real bones about it to the female character. For the record, yes, Sven is a big jerk if he isn’t up front before he gets involved about his desires and his expectations. He’s always been clear with Faye.
But I wanna focus on Faye a minute. She wants something — to know that she’s the only one Sven is gonna be sleeping with. Does anyone think this is a good way to go about it? Even though (in the context of the story), Faye saying, “I’d like us to be exclusive even if it’s not ‘serious,'” would be about as likely to get a “Yes” as Dick Cheney would be likely to apologize for lying to the citizens of the US about weapons of mass destruction Iraq, she’s still allowed to ask for what she wants.
She’s also allowed to set boundaries. It would even be okay to say, “I’m comfortable sleeping with you as friends, but if and when you have another partner, I’m not going to want to sleep with you any more.” It wouldn’t be attempting to tell Sven what he could or couldn’t do, but would be setting a boundary that’s important to her. In fact, it’s relevant information that might effect Sven’s choices.
Obviously, neither of these characters are great at communication. Learn from their bad example!