Before discussing your intimacy needs with anyone, it’s important to put your comfort first. When you would like to get intimate with someone, how far would you like to go, and what your boundaries may be are all such a personal and subjective choice.
There’s no one ‘right’ way to bring up this conversation – the rule of thumb is to approach it with care and sensitivity in a manner that is respectful to both your feelings. Because, if you think the date is going well, and you feel like you are ready to get intimate with them/ready to take this step and they’re game too, why not! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do it.
To begin with, if you don’t feel comfortable enough to directly jump into the conversation, you could start by discussing lighter topics such as their dating preferences, and turn-ons and slowly build towards the intimacy talk. You could even coyly ask what would be some things they might be interested in or would like to try out with you, their boundaries, and limits, and what intimacy really means for them. It’s important to listen carefully to their response and to respect their boundaries, even if they’re different from your own. That being said, remember that you are not less worthy because you show interest or even if you are rejected. Another thing to keep in mind is that your first intimate encounter may not be the best one. Having a good (or, better) experience does take some getting to know each other’s bodies, needs, and desires.
If the thought of having this conversation or having to initiate the act is making you squirm, remember that the three Cs – Communication, Consent and Contraception are going to help you get through it.