By the time I met my friends at a restaurant the other day, I was seriously hungry. I’d had a long day at work and a small lunch—and man, the fried seafood dinner on the menu sounded tasty. I don’t eat much fried food, but I thoroughly enjoyed the pile of shrimp and french fries. Yum.
But the thing is: An hour later, I didn’t feel great. Not sick, but heavy, weighed down, logy. Just, meh.
My dinner choice got me thinking about sexual choices. (Yeah, I think about this stuff all the time….) It seems to me that casual sex is a lot like an unhealthy dinner. It may feel terrific at the time, but after the fact…maybe not so much.
People who tell me about hook-ups often report a similar experience. The sex may have been fun (though not necessarily). But later, something doesn’t feel quite right. There are doubts, worries, questions. (Will he call? Will she tell her friends I was awful in bed? What if something went wrong with the birth control? Did I agree to sex too quickly? Why do I feel not quite right about it?)
I believe we can use our gut feelings after we make any choice to assess how healthy that choice is for us. Something that feels good in the moment may or may not be good for you. If you feel yucky afterward, you can learn from the experience and try not to repeat it. If you feel calm and energized after the fact, that’s a sign that you’ve chosen wisely.
I like how Nathalie W. Herrman, a health and wellness teacher, puts it:
“I choose well so that I can feel well.”