Koala on the streets, croc in the sheets: Relationship guru waves down bedroom red flags!

Navigating the waters of a new relationship can be as thrilling as it is daunting.

There's the excitement of discovering a connection with someone, but there's also the need to be vigilant for signs that might indicate future problems.

When it comes to the intimate aspects of a relationship, it's crucial to be aware of the red flags that could spell trouble down the line.

Renowned British relationship expert Tracey Cox shed light on the early warning signs every woman should be on the lookout for in the bedroom.

According to her, ‘Unhealthy or manipulative behaviours reveal themselves quickly: you just have to know what to look for.’

Whether you're diving back into the dating pool or nurturing a long-term partnership, it's essential to recognise unhealthy or manipulative behaviours that can emerge early on.

Screenshot 2024-06-06 112515.jpg
British relationship expert Tracey Cox highlighted early sexual red flags for both genders to watch out for in relationships. Credits: Instagram / Tracey cox

Ms Cox first touched on common red flags in relationships committed by males.

Understanding these signs can help women navigate the complexities of dating and identify potential concerns early on.

Recognising these warning signals can empower them to make informed decisions about their emotional and physical well-being.

Not waiting for enthusiastic consent

Ms Cox emphasised the importance of enthusiastic consent. According to her, it's not just about agreeing to proceed; it's about wanting to.

‘We're not just talking consent but enthusiastic consent,’ she pointed out.

‘This means a “Hell yes! Don't you dare stop now” answer when he asks, “Are you enjoying this? Are you happy to keep going?.” Not a doubtful and unhappy sounding, “I guess so.”’

For her, if a man doesn't wait for or recognise your enthusiastic consent, it's not just a red flag but a sign of disrespect for your autonomy and could even be a criminal offence.

Pressuring to move too fast

According to Ms Cox, pressure to move too fast sexually or to engage in adventurous sexual activities early on can also be a warning sign.

‘You might be OK with having sex with him, just not want to do it straight away,’ she explained.

‘If he insists on having sex before you're ready (the timeframe you put on it is irrelevant by the way) it shows a lack of respect for your boundaries and comfort level.’

‘It also hints at disturbing issues with control and respect,’ Ms Cox added.

Additionally, she also expressed unease about men who push for unconventional or exceedingly adventurous sexual activities within a few dates or weeks.

‘Most couples keep sex simple at the start: you don't need acrobats when you're buoyed by novelty and the cocktail of potent love and sex hormones flooding your brains,’ she emphasised.

‘If he needs an extra kick during the honeymoon period, what will he be asking for three years down the track when sex settles into a predictable routine?’

Overly focusing on physical appearance

While receiving compliments on your appearance is nice, for Ms Cox, if that's the sole focus of his attention or the only aspect he consistently remarks upon, it could suggest you're being pigeonholed as a ‘trophy girlfriend’.

‘Fine if you're cool with being wanted purely for what you look like; not so fine if there's a brain and personality in there as well. (Is anyone happy with being put in the “vacuous female” box?),’ she highlighted.

‘Not only does it mean your opinion and perspective won't be valued, being wanted only for your physical attributes puts you in a precarious position.’

‘What happens if you put on or lose weight? What happens when you age? What if there's someone prettier, thinner, with bigger lips and breasts competing for his attention down the line?’ Ms Cox questioned.

She suggested that when someone embraces all aspects of your personality—from your quirks and kindness to your sharp intellect, wit, charm, and talent—it makes you irreplaceable.

While attractive individuals may be plentiful, finding someone who values your entire being is rare.

Feeling uncomfortable when talking about sex

As per Ms Cox, experiencing some initial awkwardness is typical as both parties navigate each other's sexual norms and boundaries.

However, it's important to be cautious of individuals who become withdrawn or visibly uncomfortable whenever the topic of sex arises, or when exposed to explicit scenes in the media.

‘Most couples don't shut up about sex at the start,’ Ms Cox remarked.

‘You're forever talking about how great each other is in bed, how hot that session was, what you want to explore, how you're going to ravish each other the second you're alone. ‘

‘It's only when problems start, that the topic can become off-limits,’ she added.

Ms. Cox acknowledged the challenge of overcoming such hurdles; however, she emphasised that without establishing a foundation of honest and open communication, resolving future issues related to sex could prove extremely difficult.

If one is interested, she advises inquiring gently to understand why the partner may be hesitant to discuss sex. Perhaps they were raised conservatively or religiously, or maybe they lost their virginity late and lack confidence as a lover.

According to her, the crucial aspect to ascertain is whether they are willing to confront any negative influences from their past.

If the answer is affirmative, it may be worth giving them an opportunity. However, if the response is negative, it's best to consider moving on.

Ms Cox acknowledged that it’s not just women who should watch out for sexual red flags from their partners.

She also provided some early warning signs that some women do that men should keep an eye on.

Using sex to manipulate you

Ms Cox warned against significant fluctuations in libido, suggesting that this behaviour might indicate the individual is using sex as a means of manipulation or control, such as withholding it to achieve specific objectives.

‘If you don't mind being a puppet on a string (with your penis attached to one end), go right ahead. If you'd prefer sexual authenticity, steer clear,’ she cautioned.

‘This behaviour quickly creates a toxic dynamic where sex becomes a bargaining tool rather than a mutual expression of intimacy.’

Needing constant reassurance about her desirability

According to Ms Cox, a need for constant reassurance about desirability can also be a red flag.

‘Being overly dependent on validation hints at deeper insecurities that can place undue pressure on the relationship,’ she explained.

‘Body image issues have ruined many a potentially brilliant sex life; deep insecurities about her appearance suggest narcissistic behaviour traits.’

‘The first may be tackled with love and understanding. The second casts you into the (largely unappreciated) role of constant reassurer,’ Ms Cox continued.

Not talking about contraception

A reluctance to discuss contraception is a serious concern for Ms Cox.

While a man’s ego might soar after hearing compliments like, ‘I never liked sex until I met you,’ she warned that it usually indicates a woman’s low interest in sex.

‘The chemistry might be intense now but will her overall sex drive match yours in the long-term?’ she asked.

Moreover, she recommended being careful of statements like, ‘Sex with you is like nothing I've ever experienced.’

‘Again, flattering. But it can mask issues with sexual compatibility, unrealistic expectations or a history of dissatisfaction,’ Ms Cox pointed out.

She recommended that if she mentioned her past sexual encounters have generally been unsatisfying or negative, it's essential to investigate the reasons behind it.

Overreacting to a performance problem

Ms Cox explained that initial sexual encounters can be stressful for both parties, but men may find it particularly challenging as everything is visible and obvious.

She mentioned that a woman’s reaction to problems like not being able to keep an erection and ejaculating too fast or too long is very telling, emphasising that this is a dealbreaker for some.

‘The only correct response is to dismiss it as nothing. “Don't worry about it! It happens to everyone—we're both nervous and just getting to know each other,”’ she stated.

‘Comments like, “This has never happened to me before. What's wrong with you?” reveal an unrealistic, rigid expectation of sex—and a deeply unattractive nasty streak.’

As we delve into the red flags outlined by Tracey Cox regarding sexual dynamics and relationships, it's important to also address common misconceptions that can impact intimacy and partnership.

While understanding potential warning signs is crucial, debunking prevalent myths about sex is equally essential for fostering healthy and fulfilling relationships.

This exploration will provide a comprehensive understanding of both the pitfalls to avoid and the truths to embrace when navigating the complexities of human sexuality and connection.
Key Takeaways
  • Tracey Cox, a British relationship expert, outlined several early warning sexual red flags that men and women should be vigilant for in a relationship.
  • Some red flags included a lack of enthusiastic consent, pressure to move too fast, excessive focus on physical appearance, and discomfort discussing sex for men.
  • Sex being used as a form of manipulation, constant need for reassurance about desirability, avoidance of discussing contraception, and overreactions to performance issues were additional warning signs for women.
  • The relationship expert emphasised the importance of open communication and healthy attitudes towards sex for a satisfying and fulfilling relationship.
Have you encountered any of these red flags in your relationships? How did you handle them? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below.

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