I’ve encountered a variety of sorts of “sexual imcompatibility”, some of which were important to relationships, others not.
These have ranged from communications mismatches around initiating sex through to things like “his kink is too much for me to deal with|my kink freaks him out” (had both of these). I’ve also encountered differences in basic belief about what role sex plays in a relationship that lead to rejection complexes or other damage in the long run – not “sexual incompatibility” per se, but it strikes me as in the same area.
I consider myself compatible with a wide variety of libido levels, for example, so long as the horny folks are willing to invest the time it takes to actually turn me on – I have a very low but reactive sex drive. Whether that’s good enough for the sort of guy who wants a lot of sex with evenly split initiation ratios is up to him; I suspect for some that would be a big incompatibility and for others it’d be just one of the things that one makes accomodations for for a specific partner.
Actually, you kind of threw this in, but I think this is a pretty important point! In our society you can go elsewhere to fill your other urges. But sexual urges must be filled inside the marriage, so if you don’t have what you really want, it does make it more difficult.
Eh, no biggie; I didn’t mean to start any pity parties. There is much else to enjoy and occupy my time, and while none of them are sex, at least I’m not a frustrated hormone-fuelled 24-year-old any more. If you ignore it long enough, it really does go away after a while.
Sometimes though, things just “click”.
I had boyfriends I just could not orgasm with, no matter what they did, or how hard they tried.
With my husband, I was multi-orgasmic from the get go. We just seem to work together, and since we both have fairly high sex drives, it works out well. There is love and trust in our relationship, and of course that helps, but the amazing sex actually came first.
Wait a minute, folks! As I said, I have a pretty good idea of what sexual incompatibility is (and if I didn’t, I would after this thread!); what I curious about is how often it happens. Basically, I want to know if I’ve beaten the odds, and, if so, by how much.
Correct-amundo. There are lots of things I enjoy that my husband doesn’t, and vice-versa. For instance, he would like nothing better than to spend the entire day at a NASCAR race…hang out in the pits, watch guys turn left, etc. I’d rather plunge red-hot pokers into my eyes. I’ll go to the local Cruise Night with him once in a while, and he’ll go to the occasional art fair with me, but in general, I attend art exhibits with his ex-wife and he goes to the races with his buddy. That’s just how it is.
As has been stated by others, to me incompatibility is the result not necessarily of unwillingness to perform specific acts, but more a matter of priorities and need. How important is having sex to you? How often will you want to do it? Will you take the trouble to make time for it regularly? Will you take pleasure in trying new things every once in a while? Is it important to you that both of us take pleasure in the act? If I try to introduce something new (role-playing, pornography), will you get grossed out or will you engage?
Some of us, who have not had much experience, don’t know how things can be incompatible in a sexual relationship.
I have to wonder, though… does porn give us an unrealistic idea of what people actually like?
I have the impression that a lot of man/woman porn is created such that the actors demonstrate ‘one of everything’ between them. Do people in general like this? I know that there are some things that do not appeal to me, which appear to be mainstream. And there are some things that I just can’t figure out how they would appeal to the woman.
But then, I suppose, some porn is not about what the woman enjoys.
Me, I would not enjoy a sex act with a woman who does not enjoy it. Who wants sullen sex?
I’ve been with my girlfriend for nearly 2 years and while things have generally been pretty good in bed, she has endometriosis. This makes intercourse very painful for her - even me just going in and being still. Humping is out of the question. I don’t push it, frankly I usually dont care, so we just have outercourse or “pseudo”-sex as we call it. The problem I foresee is that this endo will never go away, despite her expensive surgeries.
I have no idea what will happen in the future. I can feel my sex drive falling already and I’m 20 years old. My girl is broken. Its very sad. I still love her though.
I think part of the issue is one of insufficiently defined terms. What does “incompatibility” mean?
By some ways of counting, I’ve had three of the four sexual relationships I’ve had that ended end involving ‘sexual incompatibility’ – possibly all four if the “Never screw anyone crazier than you are” rule counts as ‘sexual incompatibility’; by other ways of counting, I could probably get that down to none of them. (By a reasonable way of looking at things, I think one has to include ‘sexual incompatibility’ for one of them, though.)
Here’s one case: the guy and I were both seventeen. We each had some insecurities in the relationship. My response to that sort of insecurity is generally to want more connection time – snuggling and sex. His response to my insecurity was to feel that the relationship was getting increasingly pushed towards sex, and feeling pressured, he kept turning me down. “Sexual incompatibility”? “Immature kids”? “He’s just not that into you”?
Another (this is the one where there were genuine incompatibilities that were part of the root of the actual breakup): He was extremely kinky. I don’t have an issue with accomodating kinks to a certain extent, as I figure that’s part of the compromise of a relationship, but the stuff he was into mostly did nothing for me, and so I wound up feeling depersonalised and detached from the sex and thus the relationship. That and a depressive downturn that killed my libido combined to making it clear that the relationship just wasn’t working. (The ‘real’ reason the relationship ended was that it was done, it had lasted as long as was good for it? But even if that hadn’t been the case, the sexual incompatibility would have ended it soon enough.)
Most recently: My relationship with my recently ex-boyfriend was broken in a lot of ways having to do with support, maturity, and commitment issues. The fact is, though, that we were also sexually incompatible – it woudln’t have ended the relationship on its own, but I could point to it as a factor afterwards. My kinks freaked him out, and suppressing them to keep him comfortable was draining to me. His treatment of sexuality as something unmentionable and uncomfortable and inability to deal with it directly fed a pattern where I felt he was only interested in me when I was unavailable – after he had already rejected me or because it was long-distance.
I don’t know which of these count for statistical purposes.
I think that there are so many varibles that you can’t really determine how common it is. I mean, if you an odd fetish shared only with a few dozen people, you are going to encounter lots of sexual incompatibility. On the other extreme, if you enjoy just about anything, but also really don’t mind going without if need be, you are going to find sexual incompatibility to be very unusual indeed.
So if you want to know if you dodged a bullet, I think you have to look at yourself–if any little thing–frequency, variation, styles, audience participation, initiation process–were to be shifted, would you find the whole process much, much less satisfying? If so, you dodged a bullet (for now–all those things can and will shift). Could things be substantially different and you still be having just as much fun? Then you are probably just easy to please.
I rencently went out with a woman a handful of times. Great makeout sessions. Really stellar. When we actually got down to the sex…it was the worst sexual experience of my life. Worse than the awkward teenage dryhump foursome I had in a friend’s grandparents RV (no grandparents were involved). Worse than that.
Our bodies just didn’t click. And my penis wanted nothing to do with her.
My longest relationship (3 1/2 years) was with a woman who due to age and inexperience on my part(this was most of college and a little after college) I didn’t realize that I was sexually incompatible with. I had zero sexual confidence after that.
Sex isn’t about the act – it’s about sharing something exquisitely intimate with the one you love. Possibly, like Tris, I’m a hopeless romantic (though certainly not celibate ), and possibly, as Manda JO suggests, I could be just easy to please. However, I’ve had two husbands and a smattering of lovers (from years and years ago – when I was too young to have them, really) and my conclusion is that sex flows from the feelings you have for the other person.
I think if the sex is no good, then something else has broken down. Communication. Affection. Something. The sex will be fulfilling if there’s true love, trust and communication involved.
Otherwise, it’s just recreation and gymnastics and with that, of course, incompatibilities can occur.