The Weekly Mindfuck: Good Sex Takes Hard Work

July 6, 2017 | Posted in Editorial Features by colette-callaway

Sexual compatibility is an ill-defined concept. It's implied when our friends say, "How's the sex?". We reference it when we talk about our own libidos in comparison to that of our partners. We assume we all know exactly what we like and will forever - and that our partners do too. We think, in short, that it should be the default of any sexual relationship - not the goal. In my experience, this mindset is entirely counterproductive. 

In my experience, this mindset is entirely counterproductive. 

For starters, let's consider the notion of libido by itself. It's not static, not for anyone. Women in particular develop an intense sexual hunger once they learn of their own sexual needs (not to mention potential) and are able to communicate. It's true for many men, too. Diet, exercise, hormones, stress, sleep, and so much more can make our sex drives soar one month and crash the next - and don't even get me started on the implications of kids, menopause, and ED. Some people have responsive libidos and don't crave sex until some kind of initiation has happened, and some experience it spontaneously. 

There's skill level - something that can be developed, of course; comfortability, or the ability for both people to let loose entirely, which takes time. Frequency is another; partners who have great sex have it all the time no matter what, right? Some of us are lucky and find that our new partners want sex as much as we do, in the ways that we like it, at the times when we want it, with no effort required. As if that weren't impossible in itself, we expect it to last that way forever. And the truth is, that's not how familiarity works.  

But I don't mean that sexual compatibility is a moot point or that sex should decline and become less exciting with a long-term partner as the years go by - quite the opposite, actually. We've just all been encultured to believe that great sex should manifest itself in our lives and relationships with no work on our parts - and if I've learned one thing, it's that the work - no matter what we're referencing - is the whole point. 

You may have landed yourself a partner that constantly turned you on and knew exactly what buttons to push since the get go - but the urgency may wane a bit as you grow more familiar and your partner becomes more and more reliable. The sex may be good with someone you've just started seeing, but it may not be great - yet, because there is some fine tuning still left to do. You may find that when sex is readily and consistently available, it's not much of a priority in your life anymore - unless you decide to consciously make it one. 

We resign ourselves to losing the spark in our relationships because, well, we've done nothing to stoke it. Great sex - consistently great sex - takes a lot of work. It's understanding there will be an ebb and flow, and some seasons may be filled with more and some with less. It takes introspection, bravery, and an adventurous spirit. It takes relentless communication, tons of foreplay, and intentional appreciation for your partner. It means trying things you've never tried, making enough space in your day to have it and enough space between you and your partner to facilitate desire.

It takes patience. You'll read books about it, plan special trips for it, argue about it, then argue about it some more. Having great sex is hard, and it rarely just happens.

And the thing is: that's good news. It's not supposed to. Nothing worth having comes easily, remember? 

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