Intimacy is funny. You don’t always know what kind of intimacy will feel painful or threatening until it happens. I agree with your conclusion- the best way to deal with it is to talk with partners about what feels okay or not outside the relationship. Flirting, cuddling, hugging etc.
Totally agree with all of this. So much better sans condom. I’ve been using the pull-out method combined with charting my cycle with my long term partner for 8 years. The one thing I get sick of is guys telling me how unreliable this method is (I’m pretty open about talking about this stuff). Glad you wrote this… I might have to share it next time I hear someone else judge my choice for safer sex!
You’ve articulated something I’ve been trying to do… but keep forgetting about. Reading this is a great reminder to appreciate and love the people in my life now, rather than pining for some future someone.