How Important Is Sexual Compatibility?

The question of how good the bedroom chemistry may be with a partner can generate a certain degree of concern and unease in some people. This can arise in the early stages of a relationship as well as further down the road when attraction is at a lull and the initial spark seems to be dissipated. Research has consistently found that sexual compatibility weighs in strongly as a factor in determining overall relationship satisfaction. But what is compatibility, and how much control do we have over this mysterious x-factor in our relationships?

Compatibility encompasses many aspects of the overall chemistry within a partnership. It refers to the extent to which partners may share similar sexual preferences and beliefs. Are we aroused – and turned off – by similar things, on both physical and emotional levels? How often do we desire sex? How important is it to the relationship overall? How much variety do we want? How do we feel about certain specific sexual acts? These are basic questions that can determine how two people in a sexual relationship may perceive their compatibility.

It’s important to remember that compatibility is not a fixed thing, however. When we become involved with someone we step into an ongoing process of growth and change. Differences in sexual desire and sexual functioning may seem like major obstacles at first; but this is a perception that changes for many couples over time. Communication is crucial. Our desires and needs should be shared and talked about. If you feel anxious about perceived incompatibilities, remember that we’re all individuals; and men and women are hardwired differently to begin with. There will always be contrasts in some form or another. Sometimes they add spice to a relationship rather than subtracting from it.

It’s often been remarked that ninety percent of sexual arousal occurs within the mind. Oftentimes, how compatible couples perceive themselves to be is a lot more important than the reality of how they may function together. The belief becomes the reality, in fact. This is where communication and a commitment to moving forward can nurture growing compatibility even if we may have felt that it was lacking earlier. All too often, what partners perceive as “sexual incompatibility” really has more to do with some lingering misunderstanding and/or an unwillingness to compromise. In our daily lives together we have moments of harmony and moments of (potentially creative) discord. Our sex lives operate in the same way.

Inconsistencies that may arise along the way are seldom any justification for giving up on a partnership. It’s common for a certain degree of sexual incompatibility to be worked through over the course of a long-term relationship. If we’re willing to be vulnerable – and open to change – then we can communicate our needs and desires in a way that makes us perceive the chemistry again. If the spark is there in your mind then this will provide an aphrodisiac potent enough to smooth over any (relatively minor, in the scheme of things) conflicts of temperament and preference.

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