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Hear Me Out!
with Sam Garanzini, LMFT & Alapaki Yee, LMFT

“I Want It That Way” – What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Interests

“I Want It That Way” - What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Interests

Today’s letter is “S” and the word is “sex” – more specifically, different sexual interests.

Everyone has their own unique fantasies and desires in the bedroom.

Some like it kinky, others don’t.

Some choose to wait until marriage, others don’t

Having different sexual appetites can be a dealbreaker in many relationships.

How can you satisfy a partner who is more sexually adventurous than you?

Remember that thing you tried after too many tequila shots? Maybe they want more of that.

Perhaps they would like things to go back to how they were when you first met.

Usually, at the beginning of a relationship, the sex is incredible – and almost a little too regular. 

Then, after a few months, the flame begins to die away.

Most couples continue to have sex reasonably regularly, but things do tend to fizzle out in the bedroom, which is perfectly normal.

So, how can you keep that fire burning for longer – or forever?

Let’s find out.

“I Want It That Way” - What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual InterestsLet’s Talk About Sex
Those who founded America – which is only around 250 years old – were deeply religious, conservative people. 

Incidentally, studies show that American culture isn’t very sexually expressive.

On an average day, Americans in intimate relationships don’t touch each other. This lack of physical interaction means we also don’t talk about sex as much as we should.

Couples who talk about sex tend to have more of it.

From our work at the Gay Couples Institute, we’ve discovered that regular conversation about the ins and outs of sex leads to a better sex life.

Talking about sex takes away the shame or pressure some people associate with doing it. It’s emotionally freeing, allowing the couple to explore with more confidence.

If you’ve taken our Communication Style quiz, you’ll already know that a partner who greatly values physical intimacy is known as a Sensualist.

The Sensualist uses sex to express their love.

It can be frustrating for a Sensualist to be with someone who doesn’t acknowledge or understand their desires.

But let’s not beat around the bush. 

You want more sex? Keep reading to find out how to get it.

“I Want It That Way” - What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Interests

“Are We Sexually Compatible?”
Sex is an integral part of relationships.

Simply put, it’s a big deal.

You’ve gone out on several dates. The chemistry is palpable. All either of you can think about is sex. You can barely keep your hands off each other.

But when is it the right time?

  • Should you apply the 90-day rule? 
  • The three-date rule?
  • Does sex on the first date make you seem too eager?
  • Maybe even a little desperate?

It is essential to find out whether you and your partner are sexually compatible. The only way to find out is by having sex.

Couples who are sexually active while dating naturally have an easier time figuring out what their partner is like between the sheets.

That can only be a good thing. 

So, we say go forth and have sex – consensual, safe sex.

A Lack of Intimacy – Dealbreaker?
How do you navigate a non-existent sex life?

It can be difficult when you and your partner have different priorities.

“Sex is sacred, so let’s wait until we’re married.”

In the beginning, you may be comfortable waiting, but as you spend more time together, a lack of physical intimacy can become very frustrating – especially for a Sensualist.

Perhaps you and your partner are into different things.

Should you break it off?

Professionals recommend finding something that you both like and are willing to try.

“I Want It That Way” - What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Interests

A lot of people emphasize what they don’t like.

“I don’t want honey on my Egyptian cotton sheets.”

Talking about what you do like takes you out of your comfort zone. It gives you and your partner the freedom to experiment and shows you’re keen to explore and try new things.

“Yeah, I’m willing to try that.

“I’ve always liked having sex in the shower.”

Couples who talk positively about their sexual desires may hit a few bumps along the road, but overall, they usually have a great sex life.

“You Want to Do What?”
For some people, sex is more fun when it goes outside the lines.

Some like it vanilla, others prefer it kinky.

If your partner only likes to do it one way, it can feel as though you are stuck in a routine, forced to lock away a part of your sexual profile.

You may begin to feel shame about your desires.

It could even drive you to cheat.

Don’t forget, a relationship is a partnership. Couples should be able to talk about sex.

“I Want It That Way” - What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual InterestsTrying to solve the problem unilaterally without the involvement of your partner is the wrong way to address sexual differences.

Instead, be open and honest about what you want and gauge their response.

“I want to try this with you how far would you be willing to go?”

A supportive partner will tell you what they are comfortable doing. They might not go all the way, but they are usually willing to meet in the middle – so to speak.

Professionals recommend an affirmative response to a sexually liberal partner’s requests.

Instead of, “What?! We are so not doing that!” try saying, “That sounds interesting. How about we try this first, and then we’ll see about the rest?”

Most successful couples can work through sexual issues with open-minded conversation.

Whether you are single or in a relationship, check out www.gaycouplesinstitute.org and talk to a professional for tips on how to keep your sex life hotter for longer.


ABOUT SAM GARANZINI, LMFT, LPCC, and ALAPAKI YEE, LMFT
Sam Garanzini and Alapaki Yee are Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapists and the co-founders of the Gay Couples Institute – the world’s only gay and lesbian couples counseling clinic. The Gay Couples Institute has locations in Northern California and Manhattan, as well as online counseling services available.

For more information about how the Gay Couples Institute can help you, please visit: www.gaycouplesinstitute.org

“I Want It That Way” – What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Interests


Sam Garanzini, LMFT


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APA Reference
Garanzini, S. (2019). “I Want It That Way” – What to Do When You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Interests. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hear-me-out/2019/08/what-to-do-when-you-and-your-partner-have-different-sexual-interests/

 

Last updated: 14 Aug 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.