Two people enjoying a healthy sex life and sharing sparkling chemistry often points to great sexual compatibility, meaning they’re on the same page about their physical desires, kinks etc. But does the meaning of sexual compatibility end there or is there more to it? Once you’ve met your sexual match, is that it, or do you keep working at it?
Louisa, who was in a relationship with Drake for 4 years, says, “We were wonderfully physically compatible, but he wanted to take a break from the relationship for a year because he needed to move cities and prioritize his career.
“After a year when we met the attraction we both felt was magnetic. This only happens if you have intense chemistry with someone, and it’s definitely one of the signs of sexual compatibility.”
“This year apart from each other made us realize how sexually compatible we are. Despite being apart and despite not being committed, we didn’t feel like getting into bed with anyone else. Needless to say the reunion was mind blowing. We ‘re definitely each other’s sexual match!”
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When it comes to long-term relationships, love, emotional and intellectual intimacy are given priority but sexual compatibility is also a very important aspect that is often overlooked.
Should you marry for love or compatibility? This is a question that is often asked and our answer would be “both” because one without the other does not help you build a strong and healthy relationship.
What Is Sexual Compatibility?
It’s not easy to strictly define sexual compatibility, since everyone has different parameters and preferences. Broadly though, great sex does not always mean sexual compatibility. Sexual compatibility is when you are on the same page about your preferences in bed, you are in the mood at the same time and your sexual drive is also similar.
You know you have sexual compatibility when both partners are willing at the same time and it doesn’t happen that one starts off with foreplay and the other says that they are too tired and would prefer to sleep.
Of course, one person being tired occasionally or not in the mood doesn’t mean you’re not sexually compatible, but mostly, if your chemistry is strong, your vibes will converge. Here are some ways to know if you’re sexually compatible.
1. You have the same expectations
Sexual compatibility is about being on the same page about sexual expectations. You know what to expect when your partner initiates sex, you have talked about your boundaries but if they spring a surprise you are eager too. You go with the flow and come out enjoying the experience.
You’re not worried about performance or what face you’re making during an orgasm. (Trust us, no one’s orgasm face is exactly pretty. Except to their partner). You’re just expecting to have fun and give and receive pleasure in your own unique ways.
2. You believe in the same kind of sex
Yes, this is what it feels like to be sexually compatible with your partner. You have sexual compatibility if you believe in the same kind of sex, whether it’s good old vanilla, kinky sex or even sex in public places (Please be sure to choose somewhere hygienic!).
You know the kind of relationship you want to have (monogamous or an open relationship), you agree on the frequency and duration of sex and you enjoy the same kind of environment and the same things turn you on.
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3. You focus on fulfillment
Suppose you love PDA but your partner hates it but when you are together in the bedroom there is not much you disagree on. Then are you a sexual match?
Yes, you are. It is inevitable that that you will disagree on a few things. He might like doggie style more, and she might like cowgirl but as long as you are generous in bed and are focused on ensuring fulfillment for each other, you are physically compatible.
4. You like the same things
If both of you enjoy sex on the bed and the kitchen table top as well, if lights on or lights off doesn’t matter and sometimes it’s the backseat of the car where you love getting dirty, then you have sexual compatibility.
There are days you just love the cuddles, agree that kissing has health benefits, love spooning and intimate talks instead of getting in the act completely and you are totally satisfied by the intimacy, then that’s also sexual compatibility.
5. You communicate your needs
Couples who are sexually compatible keep communication open throughout their relationship. You might like something in your 20s but it could change totally in your 40s. But when your preferences change together, you are sexually compatible, meaning you both embrace your changing bodies and desires.
Talking about sex is important. You could be doing that while you are engaging in the act or later on. “I just loved that new thing you did today,” is something your partner loves to heard.
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How Important Is Sexual Compatibility In Relationships?
Love, respect, understanding, communication and sexual compatibility are the pillars on which a healthy relationship is built.
Sometimes in the early stages of a relationship a couple perceives sexual compatibility exists because they share a kind of chemistry. But after they tie the knot they could realize with time that they have mismatched libidos and while one person gives sexual intimacy top priority the other ones feels if they have basic intimacy in the relationship it’s good enough.
What it feels like to be sexually compatible with your partner? A couple takes some time to understand their own sexual compatibility and sometimes it can be achieved by some adjustments and negotiations. On the whole when you are sexually comfortable with your partner, it’s one of the signs of sexual compatibility.
Being sexually comfortable means that you don’t keep thinking of the stretch marks on your thighs or the paunch that you are developing, when you are with your partner. You feel comfortable in your body and in your mind and feel wholeheartedly accepted by your partner.
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Sexologist Dr Rajan Bhonsle, MD, Hon Professor, HOD, Department of Sexual Medicine, KEM Hospital and GS Medical College, Mumbai, says, “When a couple is young, in their 20s maybe, then sex is far more important than when they are in their 40s. That’s when life has other priorities like children, investments, travel and they are happy being involved in other things. Sex life takes up a more comfortable rhythm and both partners are satisfied with that. As long as both partners feel the same they are sexually compatible.”
The sexologist points out that some couples in their 60s or 70s also have great sex and that is only possible because they have matching libidos, understanding and have achieved that comfort level with each other.
Dr Bhonsle adds that two things decide on the sexual compatibility of a couple – desire and how much a person is physically capable of pleasuring the other, and of receiving pleasure.
“A couple might have similar physical desire but the man in the relationship could have difficulty in keeping an erection for long and so the desire is not complimented with fulfillment,” Dr. Bhonsle says.
How can you be more sexually compatible with your partner? Dr Bhonsle, who is also a Diplomat, American Board of Sexology and American College of Sexologists, says, “People have understood the importance of sexual compatibility in a relationship that’s why they take the help of a sexologist to achieve that compatibility. Sexual dysfunction can be treated and mismatched libidos – like a wife wants it only once a week and a husband prefers it every day – can be negotiated if there is love and understanding in the relationship.”
Dr Bhonsle also says that perfectly happy sexless marriages also exist. “If a couple had their share of good sex in their youth and are more focused on other things in their 40s and are not interested in sex anymore, there’s nothing wrong with that. But once again the feeling has to be mutual. When you’re both not interested in sex at the same time, that’s also a kind of sexual compatibility.”
“But, it cannot be that one person isn’t interested and the other is, in that case the marriage becomes a breeding ground for an extra marital affair.”
How Do You Know You Are Sexually Compatible?
This is actually a million dollar question. Some people mistake instant sexual chemistry with compatibility. But what is enjoyable over two-three sessions might not be so when the novelty wears off. Two people are sexually compatible when they are willing to accommodate a partner’s needs, are ready for compromises and negotiations and are always willing to communicate about what works and what doesn’t.
Seattle-based dating coach Cora Boyd says, “It could happen that you find little common ground with a person when you have a conversation but when you are between the sheets you see that you match instantly.”
The signs of sexual compatibility will be there in a relationship. All you need to do is know those signs and follow your instincts.
1. You look forward to lovemaking
When you think of your partner do you think of them in a sexual way too? Do you keep replaying what you did in bed this morning in your mind? Do you want it to happen again?
This not only means that you have intense sexual chemistry, this also means that you have sexual compatibility that will help you have a fulfilling sex life in the long run.
You tend to fantasize about your partner and you don’t think of a film star or the hunk next door as the best. Well, most of the time. To you, your partner is the one you need to fulfill your sexual fantasies and that means you are totally satisfied with them in bed.
Mind you, expecting perfection in sexual chemistry or compatibility doesn’t work. Even if you are totally in sexual sync with your partner, there may be days and nights where one or the other’s sex game is a little off. But, you look forward to the tenderness and the messiness of the sex, your expectations aren’t unrealistic.
2. When you catch your partner’s eye, you feel ripples in your stomach
Yes, we know this tends to happen in romance novels, but even fiction has some basis in fact. If your stomach flutters when you and your boo look at each other, it means the sexual tension between you exists beyond the bedroom. This is a good thing. When you catch your partner’s eye in the middle of a party do you feel butterflies in your stomach?
Are you with your partner for a few years now and you still feel this way? This means you have kept the zing alive in your relationship over the years.
What compatibility feels like for you? It feels like the intimacy that you share with your partner when you cook together, go trekking together and when you find yourself between the sheets.
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3. You never count the minutes or hours, you enjoy the moment
If you are asked how long do you have sex, in all probability you will not be able to answer the question. Because you have never quantified your sessions, it is the quality that mattered to you.
You have sexual compatibility when you have similar desire levels and on a Sunday you can stay in bed all day but you can also do with a morning quickie on a work day.
You just enjoy the physical intimacy with your partner and it has never mattered to you how long you have indulged in the process.
4. You accept that there will be bad days
Both you and your partner are sensible to know that every single day won’t be the same. He could be stressed at work and you could have had a really hectic day with the kids.
Does a cuddle and some kisses work for you then? Couples who are sexually compatible are extremely sensitive to each other’s situation and they don’t push sex when a partner is not up to it.
There might be days when he might get a lousy erection or her lubrication might not be at its best. Partners who are sexually compatible accept that, often laugh about it and don’t let any sexual stress build up over these issues.
5. You are willing to make adjustments
Sexual compatibility does not happen just like that. You need to work on it. For instance one partner might like to be kinky and the other partner might not like the idea at all.
In that case two people can be willing to experiment and adjust to some extent to achieve the most out of their relationship. It is inevitable two people will not be in sync over everything in bed. Accepting that and communicating about it is important.
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6. You care about your partner’s pleasure
Boyd says that you need to check if your date gets water for both of you when thirsty or gets a glass just for themselves.
This says a lot about how they are as a person. If they have selfish traits then chances are they wouldn’t care much about your pleasure in the bedroom.
People who are generous in bed are the people who care about a partner’s pleasure both in and out of the bedroom. It’s easy to have sexual compatibility with people like this than with someone who cares only about their own pleasure.
7. You look at the process and don’t focus on the climax
If both of you are sexually compatible then you really enjoy the whole process of being physically intimate, the climax is never the focus.
There are days you could just take off while watching Netflix on the couch and there are days you could also schedule sex in the shower.
You enjoy the whole ambience of doing it on the couch or in the shower, share a few laughs when you fall off the couch or fail to achieve the right position in the shower. You enjoy the whole process of lovemaking.
8. You always work towards making the sexual experience more pleasurable
On days you have some time you could be checking out some YouTube videos that would allow you to experiment with positions and foreplay.
Both of you regularly check out books like Kamasutra or read articles on the net to make your sex lives better. You take your sex life seriously and want to make it better.
Sometimes you watch porn together or movies like 50 Shades Of Grey, Blue Lagoon or The Notebook to feel the romance on screen that you translate to your bedroom.
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9. The sexual attraction persists beyond the bedroom
If you are not connecting sexually with someone you would know it even when you are out with them on a dinner date. The sparks won’t fly when you look at each other.
But if you are sexually attracted to someone, that candlelight dancing on your partner’s face, as they look intensely at you can give you goosebumps.
Sexual compatibility goes beyond the bedroom. When you just hold hands while he is driving or she slips her hand around your waist while you are posing for a selfie you can feel the sexual attraction.
Sometimes, just the mere proximity of your partner in a closed space like a lift or a smoking room can turn you on. If you catch a whiff of their perfume on the way to work you could think all day of what you would do to them when you get home.
10. You love to explore each other’s bodies
When you are sexually compatible, your partner knows things about your body that you do not know yourself and vice versa.
Exploring each other’s body, finding the erogenous zones and pleasure spots is something both of you really enjoy doing. And if you can give them pleasure with your explorations you feel fulfilled.
Knowing each other’s body does not happen in a day. It’s a pleasurable process of discovery that sexually compatible couples embark on. If you are doing this often then it’s a sign you are sexually compatible.
What Do You Do When You Are Not Sexually Compatible?
Most often couples fall in love first and then they explore sex. Sometimes when they find that they are not sexually compatible they take into account the love, understanding and emotional intimacy and think that sexual attraction is only a part of the relationship. Not having it would not be the end of the world.
But, says Dr Bhonsle, sexual incompatibility can become an issue in the long-run. “Sometimes marriages end because of sexual incompatibility,” he warns.
Sexual incompatibility can lead to resentment, frustration and bitterness that can ruin the other good aspects of the relationship.
The good part is one can achieve sexual compatibility by working on it. You could have a clear talk with your partner and together, you could visit a sexologist to find out how you can improve your sex life.
Instead of treating your sexual incompatibility as a lost case and looking outside the marriage for sexual gratification, you could look inwards and see that if both of you could negotiate and come to a better understanding.
Sometimes, sexually incompatible couples go for open relationships, opt for swinging or end up in a polyamorous lifestyle. Whatever choice they make at the end of the day, they should keep in mind that sexual compatibility in a relationship is very important and it should not be ignored when you are trying to build a healthy relationship. Pre-marital counselling can also help you determine compatibility.
But most often in a relationship, when there is trust, care and clarity, couples can work around sexual compatibility, find a middle ground and enjoy long-term sex.
It is possible to be sexually compatible. If you have the same level of desires, enjoy doing the same things in bed, like the same kind of environment – bed or kitchen table top, or lights on or lights off everything works for you – you have sexual compatibility. If you are willing to negotiate and adjust that’s also important for fulfilling sex.
Usually if there is trust, emotional intimacy and communication you can work on sexual compatibility and find sexual fulfillment. You can take the help of a sexologist too.
Sexual compatibility is a very important part of a relationship that is often overlooked. But if the compatibility is missing you can work on it through negotiations, compromises and by finding out what pleasures your partner or works better for them.
This is a question that is often asked and our answer would be “both” because one without the other does not help you build a strong and healthy relationship.
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