What does the perfect relationship look like? Boy meets girl and they fall in love at first sight. He sweeps her off her feet, the stars align, and they are fully compatible in every single way. They live happily ever after and the sex is absolutely amazing! That is how it is in real life, right? Or might that just be how it goes in the movies? Turns out that what we see on T.V. actually does influence our beliefs about sex (1). What do we do if it is not boy meets girl? What if there is no love at first sight? No sweeping off their feet and the sex turns out to be bumpy and awkward? Should we pack up and go looking for our perfect match? Or do we feel adventurous and go exploring?
Most of those who are reading this might have already figured it out… a relationship is messy and so is real sex! We cannot read our partners mind and they do not automatically know our likes, dislikes, turn on and turn offs. Because sometimes even we are having a hard time figuring out what we want ourselves, how do we expect our partners to automatically know our wants and needs (2)? If you and your partner have been struggling with finding the right chemistry in bed, you’re not alone. The best way to discover what your partner needs is to talk about it or go exploring together. Classical sex therapy is based on the principles that no two people are the same at any given time, sex is fun and messy and getting to know each other is the key to great sex. Getting in sync with each other according to classical sex therapy basically means, kicking off your shoes, dropping the big girl/boy pants and exploring in a safe way. A couple of tips to keep in mind when doing so:
There are no right or wrongs when it comes to sex if everyone who is participating is willing to be part of the experience and able to consent. Expectations can be different between a one-night stand, booty-calls and a committed relationship (3). So it doesn’t always have to be risky and outrageous and like what you see online, but it can be if you want (4).
Talking to each other is a great way to discover what you need, want and do not want at all. Make some time to talk about sex even when things are going great. If there is too much passion in the heat of the moment, plan a date and talk about your turn-on and offs, fantasies, and much more… No worries, you don’t have to go in all the way, make sure you’re all comfortable. Not the biggest on talking? Try ‘Discover your lover’ from Tease and Please.
Not finding the time to have fun together? Plan a date, just like you used to do when you were still getting to know one-another. Times are busy and schedules don’t always match, so planning a sex-date might just be what you need.
Sex should be anything but perfect. Unlike what we see by popular media, sex is MESSY and can be Hilarious when you think about it.
Mission for you after reading this: Create some room to laugh next time you’re having sex. There’s nothing like a good laugh to get the endorphins flowing and makes us feel more attracted to each other. As you read above, sex isn’t picture perfect and can be messy but fun.
Laramie D. Taylor (2005): Effects of visual and verbal sexual television content and perceived realism on attitudes and beliefs, Journal of Sex Research, 42:2, 130-137
Zoë D. Peterson & Charlene L. Muehlenhard (2007): What Is Sex and Why Does It Matter? A Motivational Approach to Exploring Individuals' Definitions of Sex, Journal of Sex Research, 44:3, 256-268
Peter K. Jonason , Norman P. Li & Jessica Richardson (2011) Positioning the Booty-Call Relationship on the Spectrum of Relationships: Sexual but More Emotional Than One-Night Stands, The Journal of Sex Research, 48:5, 486-495
Classification Office. (2020). Growing up with Porn: Insights from young New Zealanders. Wellington, NZ: Classification Office.