These days, just about anything goes when it comes to sex between two consenting adults. On the one hand, that’s great when it comes to pushing your boundaries and experimenting as a single person. Not everything acceptable when you’re single and sexually active will necessarily translate well when it comes to healthy sexual relationships though.
Here are some signs that you’re doing just fine in that department. How many do you recognize from your sexual relationships, past and present?
1. Both of you find the sex mutually fulfilling.
When you’re in a sexual relationship, committed or otherwise, it’s not just about you anymore. Mutual fulfillment is what makes the difference between amazing sex and sex that’s frustrating for at least one of the two people involved. How are things on that front? Do both of you come out of sex feeling good about what just occurred in general or does your average encounter leave a lot to be desired?
It’s up to every couple to define what “mutually fulfilling” means to them. It may or may not involve having an orgasm or penetrative sex every time. However, it should always involve a willingness to be flexible and considerate of one another’s needs.
2. Both of you are happy with the frequency.
Quality isn’t the only thing that’s important when it comes to sex within a healthy relationship. Both parties involved have to be happy with the frequency as well. The most awesome sex in the world isn’t going to do much to keep a relationship healthy if the two people involved rarely to never have it.
Keep in mind that it’s normal for an individual’s sex drive to differ from their partner’s to some extent. Work stress, health issues, and overfilled schedules can contribute to someone’s interest in sex (or lack thereof) as well, so patience and understanding are important. However, these should be temporary obstacles, not ongoing problems that leave either partner feeling permanently high and dry.
3. Sex isn’t always necessary for intimacy.
Sex creates intimacy. It also plays a critical role in keeping a couple close, especially over time. However, it shouldn’t be the only time those two people feel content, connected, and close to one another. Healthy couples like having sex with one another, and many like having it often, but it’s not a requirement for intimacy.
Healthy couples also enjoy physically intimate activities like kissing, hugging, and even just cuddling. They feel connected emotionally and mentally when engaged in meaningful conversation or mutually enjoyable activities outside of the bedroom. They regularly show one another they care in both big and small non-sexual ways as well.
4. You both care about keeping things interesting.
Even the happiest, sexiest couples occasionally experience sexual ruts and dry spells. You learn what works, both for you and your partner. Each of you winds up with a favorite position, activity, or location you make sure to come back to again and again. Many couples develop a sexual routine after a while as a result. This isn’t a bad thing, per se, but it can mean things can get stale if you’re not careful.
People in healthy sexual relationships understand how important it is to keep treating sex like the exciting adventure it is. They’re always experimenting with new positions and new activities. They share their fantasies. They use toys and accessories to explore new sensations, both together and separately. You get the picture.
5. Communication is open and easy.
Communication is the key to a healthy relationship, but this isn’t just the case outside the bedroom. Couples with healthy sex lives and healthy relationships communicate openly about sex. They’re quick to let each other know when something’s working for them between the sheets, but they’re also comfortable giving gentle direction when they’d like something to be different.
Such couples also feel at ease talking to each other about sex outside the bedroom. They know each other’s preferences and needs very well. They each know what turns the other on. They can likely each name a few of the other’s pet fantasies. They know how to use communication to overcome any sexual differences they may have too.
When it comes to the reasons couples break up, sex ranks pretty high on the list. It’s estimated that sexual differences are at least a contributing factor in up to 40-50 percent of divorces and break-ups. Prioritizing the health of your sexual relationship won’t necessarily fix every problem, but it can go a long way toward keeping the two of you in sync to the extent you should be.
How is the health of your relationship with your partner? Which of the above areas are you best at and which could stand a little extra attention?