"Should I move on from a relationship without sexual compatibility?"
My partner and I have been together for six months and I’m worried we are completely mismatched in bed, although we get on really well out of it. I’m up for anything and she’s not.
Her parents are very conservative and it seems to have rubbed off on her. I know this ‘vanilla’ sex won’t be enough to keep me interested in the long term. I’ve tried suggesting we do new things but she’s really not interested and I see little hope for change. Should I move on?
If sex is hugely important to you, I really wouldn’t advise you settling down with someone who’d rather watch telly or doesn’t even care if they’re bad in bed. The more you love sex, the stronger the argument for moving on. Having said that, if you really (really) like the person, there are times when it is worth sticking around.
Can bad sex be turned into good sex? The main questions you really need to ask yourself are these: Does she want to be more adventurous? And does she care that you’re not satisfied sexually? If the answer is yes to both, as a general rule, the problem is solvable. The adventurous vs conservative libido styles is a common problem. Their idea of a wild session is sexy lingerie, your version would include a lap dancer wearing it and doing a private dance for both of you.
Some psychologists believe our attitudes and beliefs about sex are formed by the time we reach 18. That means that if you’re audacious and they’re not, there’s not a whole lot you can do to meet in the middle. I disagree. If your partner is simply shy or inexperienced (which would make sense if she has conservative parents), she may not have had the opportunity to explore anything out of the norm.
With a bit of encouragement, a timid lover can quickly turn into a terrific one. What’s crucial is her central attitude to sex. Has she just led a sheltered life or does she secretly think sex is something ‘dirty’, to be endured rather than enjoyed? If it’s the former, stick around. If it’s the latter, you’ve got to challenge her childhood and/or religious presuppositions to make a difference. This isn’t an easy job and it’s only really fair to go there if she wants to change. She might be equally proud of her cautious, moral attitudes as you are your daring ones.
In short: if she wants to change sexually and become more daredevil, hang around, if she doesn’t, you may well end up sexually unfulfilled.