How Your Expectations About Maintaining Sexual Satisfaction Affect Your Relationship

Sybil T. Mann
12 Sexual Compatibility FAQs: What It Means, Signs to Watch For, More

The secrets to a happy, healthy relationship aren’t really secrets at all. Most people realize that compatibility hinges on several different things like agreement about financial affairs, honesty and respect, making each other a priority and having a fun and fulfilling sex life. No matter how good a relationship is, no two people are going to agree on everything all the time, so compromise is an integral part of making a relationship work. When it comes to sex, it’s important to have healthy and reasonable expectations of both yourself and your partner.

It’s Normal for People to Have Different Sex Drives
The first thing to let go of is the idea that there’s a “normal” sex drive—there’s not. If you don’t want to have sex with your partner (or they don’t want to have sex with you) every day or at certain regular intervals, nothing is necessarily wrong. Sex drives between people, even those in love and deeply committed, rarely match up perfectly. It’s also normal for an individual to have different levels of sexual desire from day to day or even moment to moment, based on things like mood, life events, stress, hormones and general wellness, among other factors. Some people aren’t interested in sex at all, which is perfectly normal for them. There is no one-size-fits-all level of sexual desire.

Don’t Be Fooled By Social Media
Social media has twisted our perception of reality. Social media streams from sites like Facebook and Twitter bombard us with an unending and heavily curated view of other people’s lives. We only get to see the happiest moments, the biggest achievements and the most loving couple milestones between friends and contacts. If you look at couples you know on social media and feel like everyone is incredibly happy and getting it on all the time, it’s going to make you wonder why your sex life doesn’t match up.

Comparing our real lives, warts and all, to what is essentially only the highlight reels of everyone else’s lives is almost certain to lead to at least some doubt about why our own lives aren’t as fantastic. Resist the urge to look at couples you know on Facebook and compare your own situation to theirs. You can’t see what goes on behind closed doors or what got left out of that stream that would probably make their relationship seem a little less spectacular than they want it to appear.

The Orgasm Isn’t Everything
People who enjoy sex typically enjoy orgasms, but sex without the money shot at the end is okay, too. Expecting every sexual encounter to end with one or more orgasms might be adding unnecessary pressure to your relationship. Statistically, women take longer to achieve an orgasm than men, and women faking their orgasms to please their partner has become a popular culture joke because it seems so common. It can take extra attention and work for some women to achieve orgasm, so much so they might not be concerned with getting there. If you can focus on pleasure or follow some sex tips instead of expecting an orgasm every time, from you or your partner, it can help strengthen your relationship.

In fact, going into a sexual encounter without the goal of having an orgasm but instead focusing only on pleasuring your partner can keep your sex life exciting and give you some pleasant anticipation about having an orgasm next time.

Think Outside the Box for Better Sex
While managing your expectations can take the pressure off and help you and your partner enjoy sex more when you do have it, changing things up can add spice to the bedroom, too. Encounters where pleasure, not the orgasm, is the goal can make your sex life more giving and interesting, but when you do want to have orgasms, look at new ways of achieving them.

If your partner isn’t in the mood but is willing to participate, try masturbating with them watching, or let them help you masturbate. It might change your partner’s mind by getting them in the mood, but don’t have that expectation. Using sex toys can add an interesting element to masturbation, and with the large variety of different toys available today it’s easier to keep things interesting.

Sex toys aren’t just for solo play, either. When you’re both in the mood, sex toys can still play a part in a healthy and fun sex life. Vibrators or other devices designed for clitoral or G-spot stimulation can help women achieve orgasm more easily if penetration alone isn’t quite enough. Restraints or other types of stimulation toys can add new, fun sensations to your bedroom time. Communicate with each other about what you think you might like, and experiment together.

Communication and Responsibility Are Key
No matter how different your sex drive might be from your partner’s, as long as you openly communicate about what you both want, you can probably find ways to achieve those things. Letting go of the idea that there’s an ideal sex life out there somewhere that you need to live up to is the first step. Understanding that even people in love don’t always want the same thing at the same time is the second. Taking responsibility for your own sexual satisfaction, and letting your partner take more responsibility for theirs, will go a long toward keeping your relationship healthy, too.

Your sexual pleasure is ultimately your own responsibility. Talk about your sexual expectations with your partner to be sure you’re both on the same page. Communicating your desires to your partner as well as being willing to masturbate when you want to have an orgasm but your partner’s not in the mood, and vice versa, can go a long way toward strengthening you as a couple and help get rid of the pressure that unrealistic expectations can put on a relationship.

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