Sexual compatibility requires open communication and a willingness to try new things. It also means accepting that your partner may have different preferences than you do, but this is not a reason to blame them for the state of your relationship.
For instance, some couples get obsessed with how often they have sex in comparison to other couples, but as long as they are both satisfied, this should not be a big deal.
1. Know Your Sexual Needs
One of the first steps in determining sexual compatibility is knowing what your own needs and desires are. This can include things like what kind of sexual experience you want and don’t want, how often you prefer to have sex, and whether you have any preferences regarding the bedroom environment (e.g., whether or not you prefer the lights on/off or music playing).
A top-tier sign of sexual compatibility is if you and your partner respect each other’s comfort levels. This means that you don’t feel pressure to get intimate in moments when you simply aren’t feeling it, and that your partner is comfortable waiting until you are ready to engage.
It’s also important to remember that sexual compatibility can change over time, so it is normal for couples to have to reassess their needs and desires as they grow and evolve together. In some cases, this may require seeking the guidance of a professional therapist or sex coach who can offer expert support and strategies.
2. Know Your Partner’s Sexual Needs
There’s no denying that sexual compatibility can play a crucial role in the overall satisfaction and longevity of a relationship. However, it’s important to note that a partner doesn’t need to be on the same page as you in terms of sexual desires or preferences, and it’s also completely normal to have a desire discrepancy!
This is where communication and openness comes into play. It’s important to talk to your partner about their erotic needs and goals, as well as yours. This can include discussing a variety of topics, including the frequency of sex and a preference for rough or soft sex.
It’s also important to keep in mind that sexual compatibility can change over time, as people grow and evolve. If you find that you and your partner aren’t on the same page in regards to your sexual needs, it’s worth seeking professional help to discuss ways of working around this.
3. Know Yourself
For many people, sexual compatibility is often an important aspect of a relationship. However, it’s not always a deal-breaker, especially if both partners prioritize consent and respect in their sex life.
It’s also worth noting that everyone has different kinks and interests in the bedroom. For example, some people may prefer anal or oral sex while others may only be comfortable with manual sex. These differences are totally normal and should be discussed with your partner.
In addition, it’s crucial to know what activates your erotic triggers. Most folks who are easily embodied (their mind and body are well-integrated) can readily describe what turns them on. However, there are a number of folks who have difficulty accessing their sexual interests for a variety of reasons (childhood shame, trauma, gender dysphoria).
Having an honest conversation with your partner about what makes you tick can help avoid misunderstandings and unfulfillment in the bedroom. It’s a process and it takes time to build trust and open communication, just like any other aspect of your relationship.
4. Know Your Partner’s Body
Sexual compatibility is a highly personal and individualized thing. Even if you and your partner have different needs or preferences in the bedroom, it’s possible to work around them with open communication and mutual respect.
For example, if one person prefers to be the initiator, it’s a good idea for that person to make themselves known early on in the relationship so their partner knows they find them desirable. Alternatively, some couples may find that they can both be the initiator and enjoy taking turns.
Having similar sex drives and enjoying the same kinds of sexual experiences is another indicator of sexual compatibility. Intimacy in a romantic relationship comes from more than just sex, though, so it’s important to keep communication open about other areas of the relationship as well. Natasha is a full-spectrum doula and health+wellness copywriter who deconstructs the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond.
5. Know Your Partner’s Emotions
It’s important to be aware of your partner’s emotions and not rely solely on their verbal responses, which can be misleading. For instance, some people may not be able to articulate what specifically turns them on sexually because they struggle with accessing their activated arousals or because of past trauma. Practicing mindfulness-based techniques to explore their sensations and triggers can help.
Other ways to get a better sense of your partner’s sexual needs is by talking openly and regularly about sex and making time for intimacy beyond the bedroom. This could be as simple as forehead kisses, holding hands during a meal or long walks together during the day.
Ultimately, sexual compatibility can be improved through open and honest communication and being willing to try new things together. It is also important to remember that sexual needs and desires can change over time. For example, a woman may decide she wants to reverse her role from being the initiator to the receiver.
6. Know Your Partner’s Mind
If your partner respects your comfort levels in the bedroom, this is a top-tier sign of sexual compatibility. For example, if you don’t want to get intimate until you’re fully dressed or have taken a shower, it’s important that your partner respects this. They should also never push you to become intimate in moments when you’re not comfortable with it.
Lastly, your partner should be open to trying new positions and exploring your sexual desires. This will help ensure that your sexual needs are met in a way you both find satisfying. If your partner is not open to this, it’s a red flag that there might be underlying issues with your sexual compatibility. Working with a sex therapist or couples counselor may be helpful.
Sexual incompatibility can range from a minor annoyance to the death-knell for some relationships. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you and your partner can’t work through these issues together. It simply means that you need to have open and honest communication about your sexual needs, desires, and boundaries.