We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions remain anonymous. Now, onto today’s topic: how to know if you’re sexually compatible with someone.
Q: I’ve been in two long-term relationships that fell apart because we stopped having sex. I know that chemistry fades in a relationship, but each of these relationships went through drastic sexual drop-offs. I ended the relationship each time, and even though they were hard decisions, I was proud of myself for realizing I needed more. Sex is an important part of a relationship for me! Now that I’m starting to date again, I’m wondering if I should be changing my dating strategy to find more suitable partners. My question is: how can you know if you’ll be sexually compatible with someone in the long-term?
A: Thanks for the great question! I’m glad you’ve been able to give yourself some validation for making tough choices in your dating life. There are so many people out there who are afraid to end a relationship because they’re not compatible, and as a result, we have lots of sexually incompatible relationships out there!
Sexual compatibility can be a tricky thing to gauge, especially when you’re talking about your ability to be compatible in the long-term. It’s sort of like deciding if you want to marry someone. All signs could point to a great partnership, but you never know what life is going to throw at you. Since it’s impossible to tell if someone will always want to have sex three times a week or always be interested in rough sex, I think it’s most important to look for certain characteristics. Here are six things to look for when determining how compatible you might be.
There’s An Immediate Spark Between You
This one should sound totally obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people stay in relationships where there’s no chemistry whatsoever, even from the very beginning. It takes time for two people to get familiar enough with each other’s bodies to have great sex, but you should be starting from a place of “good enough.”
It’s hard to know what you’re looking for in a partner unless you’ve have some experience under your belt. You don’t need to have slept with a ton of people (or any, if you’ve been waiting for someone special), but having a couple points of reference can help you get a sense of your compatibility with new people. Now that you’ve had these two relationships, you may feel more clear on what you’re looking for in a partner and what good chemistry feels like between you and another person.
I think it’s also important to have experience with yourself, by exploring masturbation, your fantasies, and your relationship with your body. Being single is a great time to focus on your relationship with your own sexuality!
You Have A Similar Relationship With Sex
Part of those sexual explorations is getting a sense of what kind of role you want sex to play in your life. Some people don’t care all that much about sex, while other people think it’s the most important part of a relationship. You want to be on roughly the same page about what you want from your sex life together. In your case, you want to look for someone who is as open as you in stating that sex is a crucial part of a relationship.