Love doesn’t always equal to sex. But if you are in a romantic relationship, you (or at least most people) are bound to have sex with your partner. So for most people, sex is what glued the relationship together. Yes, there are sexless relationships; but most of the time, the difference between a romantic and a platonic one is sex. Unless you’re in an asexual relationship, sex is the only thing that sets you apart from mere friendship.
As humans, sex is not only a tool for survival. It is also one thing that keeps the relationship going and alive. Considering how much we place importance on sex, we often think of how satisfying or rewarding the sexual part in our romantic relationship.
That leads to the question of how important sexual compatibility is for you in a relationship. What does it even mean?
What sexual compatibility means
I think I place the importance of sex in our relationship way more than Jess does. I don’t know if it’s just a man thing, but I feel that it is an integral part of what we are as a couple. So I will ask Jess if I think there is discontent in our sexual activities because it matters a lot.
For me, sexual compatibility means we have the same wavelength, in terms of both quantity and quality. She wants what I want and vice versa.
I’m not saying that I’m prude, but I came from a more traditional way of thinking when it comes to sex. As much as I think I’m a progressive and feminist woman, apparently, I had this bias where I thought men should lead more in bed and women should follow their lead. I learned a lot from Paul that that is not the case. Sex should be an activity where both parties feel satisfied and fulfilled, and it requires initiatives and proactive attitudes from both partners.
In terms of compatibility, I think it means that we understand each other’s kinks. What turns him on, turns me on. That we agree on what is the definition of sex for both of us.
How to you know if you’re compatible
Sexual compatibility has many different elements to it. It’s not as simple as wanting sex as much as your partner does. We have to start from the basics, and relying solely on your feelings and intuition just won’t cut it.
Some people think that, in terms of sex, when you know it, you know it (if it’s good or bad, if you’re compatible or not) because sex comes naturally to humans. It’s true and false at the same time because people are brought up differently. We have different interpretations of what sex is. The way we learn about sexual acts is not the same. Some of us (the lucky ones, that is) learned it with the guidance of our beloved parents. Most of us had to grope for answers: through awkward experience, porn, or awful sexual trauma.
Just like any other part of a relationship, the key to understanding compatibility is through a deep and meaningful conversation. Asking the right questions will lead you to know if or not you’re compatible.
Questions to ask your partner to determine your sexual compatibility
According to Dr. C Ryan Jones, a clinical psychologist with a specialty in sex therapy, sexual compatibility comes down to how well your individual beliefs, needs, and desires around sexual activities mesh. Dr. Jones says this includes your:
- definition of sex
- frequency and duration of desired sex
- preferred “environment” for sex
- turn ons and turn offs
- relationship orientation
The more similar you and your partner’s ideas on those topics, the more sexually compatible you are.
You can start by asking each other these questions:
What if you’re not compatible?
It depends highly on how much you put sex as a determining factor in a relationship. In a few cases, couples don’t mind at all if sex doesn’t exist in the relationship. Most couples, however, do not think like that. Eventually, it all comes back to what you and your partner agree on. Is sexual compatibility a deal breaker for you or your partner? Even so, there are still ways to make it work, for example, going to couples therapy or go the simple way, compromise. Be flexible about your preference. In the end, what matters most is how you approach the problem. Be constructive. Don’t judge. Don’t assume things.