Nichi Hodgson is a real life sexpert. She describes her job as “writing, speaking and coaching on all aspects of sex and relationships.” She’s written two books, one on BDSM (erotic practices and roleplaying for the uninitiated) and ‘The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder’. So, we trust her. Read on to be enlightened…
What are some of the questions you get asked most often?
Can I really find love on a dating app? How do you ask someone to be exclusive? How long should you wait to move in with someone? Is it ok to sleep with someone on the first date?
What are some of the most common dating mistakes you see?
The main one is giving up too much ground too soon. From the very first messages people exchange on dating apps, the tone of the relationship or further interactions is set. If you’re too flexible, that can allow for you to be taken advantage of early on. Other common mistakes are dating too many people which confuses your ability to choose what you really want, and conversely fixating on one person too soon. And playing text games. They suck the authenticity out of interactions.
What is the most bizarre question you’ve ever been asked?
I’m very open minded. I’m not judgmental about sexual questions but I’m not keen on those that demand individuals act a certain way. Also, someone on a dating app once asked me why he had to bother doing any of the looking or deciding on a date and why couldn’t a computer just create him a shortlist. It’s actually a view held by many people. I think it says something worrying about some people’s blind faith in technology to find their love plus their own reluctance to put human effort in.
What issues do people most care about in meeting a partner today?
Commitment – or not wanting it come up time and time again. Ie how do you form a relationship that isn’t rushing away on the so-called ‘relationship escalator’ to marriage and babies. For women, finding someone who really believes in equality is important. Most women don’t want to end up a stay at home mum but might still want a family and that’s a really tricky thing to balance. A partner who’s on your side is really important. When it comes to a long-term relationship, most people of all genders and orientations prioritise kindness over looks, which often surprises people.
Do people come to you more for sex or relationship advice?
Both. People are more hesitant to ask about sex, but if a discussion opens up naturally at an event then they usually start asking more intimate questions. These days I focus more on relationship advice than sex advice too, just because that’s the direction my career has taken me in. But no question is off limits with me.
Is there any advice we should all follow?
Yes – have good boundaries and respect yourself. The more you respect yourself, the more others respect you. It can be really difficult to assert yourself when a dynamic has already been established in the relationship where one person has more power than the other in some regard. It might be that one has more money, a better job, and just more personal confidence. But you can always push back on a dynamic where you feel the other person is using their upper hand against you. And they generally respect you more for it when you do.
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