Psychologists say the road to sexual pleasure is paved with open communication

For a society rife with sexual content, we’re still pretty bad at having sensitive, nuanced, and factual conversations about our own sex lives with the people we’re intimate with.

The subject of sex rings alarm bells in our minds and inhibits open dialogue. This is of particular concern when sex life causes psychological distress.

Here are three possible signs that it might be time to make sex a topic of conversation with your partner.

#1. Is your partner just conforming for you, or vice versa?

We are taught that compromises and adjustments for the sake of a relationship are to be appreciated. But what happens when we bring the same philosophy to our sex lives and try to achieve narratives we may not want?

Generally, this does not go well for the relationship. Yet it’s more common than you might think, even in men. A study Posted in Psychology and sexuality tracked rates of sexual conformity (consensual but unwanted sexual activity) among heterosexual men and found that approximately 60% of men in their sample engaged in mild acts of sexual conformity with their partners over a 12-month period .

In other words, sexual conformity is widespread among both men and women. Although the root of the behavior is altruistic in nature, it can harm the quality of your relationship, your sexual satisfaction, and even your mental health.

Educating yourself about gender stereotypes and unlearning the conditioning of “martyrdom” to self-sacrifice so that you can invite or refuse sexual activity according to your wishes can help you lay the foundation for a healthier relationship.

#2. Is porn consumption a hindrance?

Navigating porn in a romantic relationship can be tricky. Here’s what the latest research has to say about this complicated question.

On average, solitary pornography use was negatively associated with factors such as relationship and sexual satisfaction.

On the other hand, some couples who watch porn together experience greater short-term sexual satisfaction. There are several possible reasons for this, such as:

  1. Shared pornography consumption could indicate similar sexual attitudes, sexual preferences, and libido. Generally speaking, people who are more alike have better relationships.
  2. It’s also possible that simply engaging in a shared romance and exciting activity with a spouse or partner, such as watching porn together, can relieve relationship boredom and rekindle sexual interest (not sexual) for each other.
  3. Shared consumption of pornography can also lead to increased sexual communication and experimentation, resulting in increased enthusiasm for sex.

According to researcher Taylor Kohut, what ultimately matters is whether you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to porn consumption and sex in general. The differences in porn use make it pretty clear that you might not be.

#3. Is pleasure distorted?

Recent to research Posted in Evolutionary behavioral sciences reports that about 50% of men experience an orgasm every time they have sex. For women, that number is only about 4%. Other to research published in the Sexual Behavior Archives reports that these percentages are around 75% for heterosexual men and 33% for heterosexual women.

This phenomenon, known as orgasm gap, is more common in heterosexual couples than in bisexual and homosexual couples.

This means that the female orgasm is supposed to be harder to achieve than it is, simply because it is biologically different from the male orgasm. The solution: acts of sexual variety.

According to research, you can use the following steps to close the orgasm gap:

  1. Oral and manual stimulation is the key to female orgasm
  2. Wearing sexy lingerie/undies, incorporating mini massages/back massages, trying a new sex position, or taking a shower or bath together increases the odds of reaching orgasm for both men and women

In summary, the orgasm gap can be narrowed by addressing socio-cultural factors and engaging in a wider variety of activities during intimacy.

Conclusion

Sexual health and intimacy are integral to the health and longevity of a relationship (and even your own mental health). Cultivating a safe space for open conversation and space for experimentation can have benefits that go far beyond your sex life.

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