Forget everything you’ve ever heard about opposites attracting – in bed it’s far more helpful to be similar. It’s not just frequency you need to agree on, the type of sex you both want is just as crucial.
Mismatched sexual personalities is one of the most common problems sex therapists deal with – one that can ultimately ruin the very best relationship.
Trouble is, it’s not easy to instantly spot your partner’s sex personality early into the relationship.
Newness and the act of falling in love boosts the sex drive of low libido people and makes routine-loving lovers more daring. Meanwhile, the thrill seeker’s happy with ‘ordinary’ sex because they’re high on love hormones.
It’s only when the hormones wear off, that you get a true picture of what your partner’s natural ‘resting’ sex drive and personality is.
Therapists now think knowing what intrinsically drives you and your partner sexually is a vital clue to keeping things going long-term.
Australian sex therapist Dr Sandra Pertot has identified no less than 10 libido types or ‘sex personalities’.
Find yours, identify your partners and you have unique insight into the type of sex both of you need to keep you interested long-term.
Sex is an expression of love.
Emotional intimacy is more important than sexual performance.
The perfect sex move: Slow everything down, focus on touch and stroking, choose face-to-face positions. Hold eye contact through the entire session, including while you both orgasm.
Sex needs to be intense and lusty. Low-key ‘ordinary’ sex is OK but it needs to be punctuated with extraordinary sessions.
The perfect sex move: Variety is paramount so change at least one thing each time you have sex (where, how, time of day), alternate quickies with long sessions, try role-play.
Text the first line of a fantasy, get them to continue it by texting back the second line and then keep going to and fro. It’s a sneaky way of finding out what they’d really like to do in bed because we drive the fantasy in the direction we fancy.
DEPENDENT Sex is used as stress release and you become agitated if denied it. It’s predominantly a male personality type and sometimes linked with people using masturbation as a way to cope with anger and other negative emotions. The perfect sex move: This is one of the least desirable types with partner’s typically feeling used. Therapy helps enormously: so does encouraging them to substitute other stress releases like exercise. Set sex rules and make it clear you expect them to stick to them. You’ll gain both control and respect.
Sex is about giving not receiving. It can be based around a low sex drive or you need to see your partner aroused to become aroused yourself.
The perfect sex move: Encourage them to enjoy both roles by getting them to agree to a few five minute ‘you only’ bursts each sex session, when you focus on giving them pleasure. Tie-up games work well because they are forced to give in and take.
ENTITLED Sex is your right. You have little understanding of your partner’s sexual needs – or even your own – just believe you’re ‘owed’ a certain amount and type of sex. The perfect sex move: There isn’t one. If this is you or your partner, I’d strongly recommend working this through with a therapist. Try bacp.co.uk, relate.org.uk or cosrt.org.uk.
Sex is something you find so appealing, it’s hard to manage. It controls you rather than the other way around and you’re prone to cheating.
The perfect sex move: Be specific about what you expect from them fidelity wise (you might give the OK to porn but not web cam sex, for instance) and steer their energy and enthusiasm into other passions. Have bite-size sex sessions frequently rather than daily marathons and make sure their technique is perfect for you, so your enjoyment level is as high as possible.
Sex is worrying. You feel under pressure to perform and worry you’re inadequate.
The perfect sex move: Get them to talk about where the anxiety stems from. Parents who saw sex as dirty? An ex that put them down? Talk it through and load on the sexual compliments. Take baby steps when you introduce anything new: this type won’t appreciate any sex surprises!
DISINTERESTED Sex provides little pleasure and you rarely desire it. It can be the result of distressing sex that’s quelled any natural desire. The perfect sex move: Talk through any past traumas and follow something like The Sensate Focus Program to awaken desire. This involves working through different stages where you touch each other non-sexually then sexually, giving feedback for every touch on every part of your body.
Sex is good but competing distractions put you off. Work, pressure, problems mean you emotionally withdraw from your partner and sex.
The perfect sex move: Setting ‘sex dates’ works well for this type, as does doing sensual things before a sex session to focus them. Come up with at least two new ideas each a month of things you’d like to try. The more effort you make, the more likely you are to lure them away from other distractions. Mundane, routine sex won’t cut it.
Sex is only good if you follow a specific ritual. Fetishists can fall into this type. It’s selfish sex that has little connection with your partner.
The perfect sex move: Some couples accommodate the ritual if it’s acceptable, others try therapy (which only works if the person with the fetish wants to get rid of it).