Relationship Fitness

P19 E7: Talk about Sex

In our society, discussions about sex often come with a mix of discomfort and taboo, especially when it veers away from the conventional. While acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community has grown, there remains a significant misunderstanding and stigma associated with unconventional sexual preferences such as spanking, wearing high heels, or other unique desires. However, the key to a fulfilling sexual life is open communication about these sexual interests. Many people, due to shame or fear of rejection, hide their true sexual desires, which can lead to dissatisfaction and strife within relationships.

 

The prevailing notion that sex should primarily be for procreation and conducted in a conservative manner overlooks the human aspect of sexuality. Embracing one’s sexual desires is a crucial part of individual authenticity and happiness. For instance, some powerful individuals find solace in submitting to others sexually after a day of exerting control. Expressing these needs is vital for compatibility, especially in committed relationships.

 

For those exploring alternative lifestyles like ethical non-monogamy, finding a community of like-minded individuals is essential. This requires not only looking in the right places but also practicing acceptance and understanding that diverse sexual preferences can coexist harmoniously.

 

Furthermore, the debate over human sexual behavior—whether strictly monogamous or not—continues. I argue that our attachment styles significantly influence how we form relationships. For some, monogamy works best, while others might find fulfillment in having multiple partners. Recognizing and acknowledging one’s true desires concerning physical attraction and relationship styles is critical to preventing dissatisfaction and infidelity.

 

Discussing sexual expectations early in a relationship can prevent a lot of heartache and miscommunication. Being upfront about one’s desires can avert the buildup of frustrations and secretive behaviors that emerge when needs are suppressed. If these aspects are not openly discussed, one might spend years in a relationship where crucial parts of their identity remain unexplored and unfulfilled.

 

The importance of sex extends beyond individual relationships. I believe in a pro-sex approach where increased sexual activity could potentially lead to societal benefits, like reduced conflict and better global cooperation. Sex should be viewed not just as a means to achieve orgasm but as an exchange of pleasure that fosters intimacy and mutual satisfaction. The cultural fixation on performance can paradoxically impede the very outcomes it seeks to promote.

 

Moreover, foreplay should not be limited to the moments before sex; it encompasses everything within a relationship. Building closeness and intimacy throughout the relationship makes the transition into sexual encounters more natural and fulfilling. On the contrary, avoiding conflicts and letting issues fester can disrupt the sexual dynamics of a relationship, pushing individuals towards alternatives like pornography or affairs.

 

As relationships mature, it’s essential to address the physical and emotional changes that occur. Understanding how a woman’s body changes with age and through menopause is crucial. Maintaining a healthy sexual relationship involves continuous work and understanding, including reintroducing passion and intimacy as both partners evolve.

 

In conclusion, whether it’s about discussing unique sexual preferences or addressing changes in sexual dynamics over time, open communication is key. The myth that marriages are doomed to decline sexually is just that—a myth. There’s ample research, like the Gottman studies, showing that long-term relationships can maintain vibrancy, including in their sexual aspects, through continuous effort and communication. If you’re interested in keeping a healthy sex life, ensure you’re also nurturing the overall relationship, as all components are deeply interconnected.

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Luis Maimoni is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in relationships of all kinds, including men having relationship difficulties. Luis offers a no cost, no obligation consultation.

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