Unfortunately, societal expectations make it seem like boys don’t have emotions—especially emotions dealing with sex. But this just isn’t true! Despite the idea that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” boys are not aliens. They have emotions, just like everyone else.
These damaging ideas about how to “be a man” make some guys (not all!) feel like they can’t fully express themselves. They may feel like they have to treat sex casually, or hide how they feel. But bottling emotions up isn’t healthy—expressing them is.
How an individual feels about sex depends on a lot of things. Sometimes, sex is about physical pleasure. But it can also be about intimacy, love, stress relief, curiosity, or fun! Sometimes, sex may feel casual. Other times, it might feel intensely emotional.
Some people (of all genders) feel closer to their partner after sex, others don’t. Some people feel comfortable having sex outside of a committed relationship. Others need emotional intimacy to feel safe. It all depends on the individual and their situation—not their gender.
Figuring out how to navigate emotions and sex is an important part of being sexually healthy. Keep checking in with yourself. Get comfortable talking about sex—both the physical and emotional aspects. It’s important to be able to talk about birth control and STI testing, your emotions and desires.