Many of us experience love. We may love our Mum or Dad. We may love our pet rabbit. We may also have a crush on a pop star or a movie star.
We hear a lot about love when it comes to dating and relationships. But how is loving a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner different from loving our Mum or Dad? How is it the same? Is loving a partner the same as having sex with them? Is it different? Is a crush the same thing as love?
And what does intimacy mean? Does ‘being intimate’ with someone always mean having sex with them? Are there other ways people can show love to each other, or be intimate with each other? What’s scary about love and intimacy? What’s great about it?
It’s amazing how our bodies are able to feel pleasure – whether it’s the taste of ice cream, the feeling of petting a kitten, the sound of our favourite song, the smell of jasmine flowers, the sight of a beautiful sunset, or the emotions we experience when we spend time with a good friend.
Sex can also be pleasurable – whether we are masturbating by ourselves or having sex with someone else. But it can be harder to talk about sex than about ice cream or sunsets. So we might wonder: Should sex feel good for us? How do people make sex feel good / better? Is it ok for us to have sexual pleasure by ourselves (also known as masturbation)? What should we do if sex is pleasurable for our partner but not for us? How do we get comfortable with feeling this kind of pleasure if bad sexual stuff has happened to us? Who are the right people to ask about these things?