Sexual Boundaries and Resentment

What are sexual boundaries?
Boundaries describe the limits of what we can tolerate emotionally, physically, and mentally. Sexual boundaries describe the things we want and don’t want to do to do sexually. This could mean anything from a look, a comment, a touch, or even what we do while having sex. In other words, our boundaries can define the line between consent and sexual assault.

How do we know when a boundary has been crossed?
Typically when a boundary is crossed, we feel angry, resentful, or ashamed. How this looks can differ greatly from person to person. While one person might say something to or even yell at the person crossing their boundary, another person might freeze, say nothing, and go along with what the other person seems to want. Building emotional awareness can help you identify your sexual boundaries.

Why do people often get resentful when their boundaries have been crossed?
A lot of times we did not even know we had a boundary until it is crossed, whether intentionally or unintentionally by another person. For example, a person might feel resentful of their partner if something they did not expect happens during sex. Resentment is a built-in alarm system that can inform us of our boundaries.

What are your sexual boundaries?
Consider not only your preferences, but also your deal-breakers. The line between these two concepts can be difficult if you have never considered it, which is very common. While some people discover their sexual boundaries early in life, many of us are discouraged from exploring or are taught that we are not allowed to have boundaries; as a result many people learn about their boundaries as adults. Defining our sexual boundaries can also be daunting because we do not always have the words to describe what we need. If you’re not sure, be patient with yourself – consider brainstorming, making a list, or seeking sex therapy to clarify your boundaries.

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