Want a Healthier Relationship? Stop Focusing On The 'Big O'

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Orgasms: Why Communication Is More Important Than Orgasms
Three easy ways to achieve sexual compatibility with your partner.

Remember when we told you that 39 percent of people consider inability to orgasm with their partner is a dealbreaker? Well it turns out, there may be more to those breakups driven by disappointment in the bedroom.

A recent study of college-age couples reported that perceived sexual compatibility might be more important to a relationship than the actual satisfaction. In other words, crossing the finish line every time isn't going to make or break your relationship. However, the type of feedback that you give him — whether you reach the big finish or not — just might.

Researchers measured the impact of sexual satisfaction on overall relationship satisfaction, and found that the happiest couples were the ones who thought highly of their sex lives — not the ones tallying their climaxes. To YourTango dating expert Pamela Vandervoort, this isn't suprising.

"When you walk into a bar and watch people, you can always tell which couples are most connected based on their body language," she says. "When they seem to be mirroring each other — they're both leaning in, their knees are touching, their gestures are similar etc — those couples are the ones having a really good sex life."

According to Vandervoort, the key to achieving a shared sense of "perceived sexual compatibility" lies in communicating with your partner — both inside and outside of the bedroom. "The most important thing — not just for sexual compatibility but for relationship compatibility in general — is to feel connected to each other," she says. "If you're not feeling connected to somebody, then you're less likely to achieve orgasm — especially as a woman."

So how do you and your partner reach this relationship Zen?

1. Breathe Between The Lines
It could be as simple as breathing. "One of the easiest ways to feel connected to your partner is to lie in bed together and consciously match your breathing," explains Vandervoort. By facing each other and inhaling and exhaling simultaneously, you create the illusion of literally breathing each other in. This simple technique can have a very powerful impact on the closeness you and your partner share, and will help to open the lines of communication — without words. 

2. Prolong Foreplay
Ironically, one of the best ways to achieve orgasm is to take it out of the picture. "Have a lot of foreplay without the intention of actually having an orgasm," suggests Vandervoort. Let your partner explore your sensitive areas without the stress of "finishing," and your odds of orgasming will actually increase. When you take the stress out of the orgasm during your warm-up sesh, it will be almost impossible not to.

3. Listen Up
Remember the last time your significant other got home from work and you waited patiently for him to finish talking about his hellish day so that you could tell him about yours? Well, that could be a problem. Outside of the bedroom, the one fundamental tool that brings couples closer together is the one that is most often overlooked: listening. "Most people are actually thinking about what they want to say when another person is talking, but if they actually took the time to concentrate and focus on what their partner was saying, their partner will feel understood, and validated," Vandervoort explains. "It's a great way to feel connected."

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