There's a new book out about love, sex, and relationships called The Normal Bar. It's likely to be a best seller because most of us tend to be curious about how we are doing in the bedroom. We wonder if we are normal. Do other people feel like they don't have time for sex? Do other women get easily distracted during sex? Do other people feel like they have to beg their partner for sex?"
Curiosity to know "what's normal?" is normal. However, there are times when what is considered normal isn't useful and may even become a problem. Here are four kinds of "normal" that may harm your sex life and what to do instead:
1. Avoid "should" normal. This is an expectation that you set for yourself and your partner that causes you to make statements that include the word should:
o Woman should wear lingerie.
o New partners should want sex everyday.
o We should have an orgasm at the same time.
"Should" statements tend to be based on ideas that are portrayed in our culture as sexy. If you want to be sexy, "this" is what you do. In real time and real life, the sexy lingerie might be quite itchy. You might be exhausted ramping up your career with 60-hour work weeks, and the simultaneous orgasm doesn’t feel that great when you do finally achieve it.
"Should" ideas are often accepted without much scrutiny even if they don't work in real life. If you and your partner are arguing and the word "should" appears, it likely is a clue of what is causing the difficulty in the first place. Do your "should" expectations really deliver what works for you and your partner?
Find your normal:
Leave no "should" un-scrutinized. What really isn't working? What doesn't feel good during sex?
2. Avoid a "default" normal that doesn't work for you. A common "default" normal in dating happens around the second date. The second date is often like a litmus test for sexual chemistry. Both people watch intently to see if they are mutually "feeling it"—sexually attracted to each other. A normal like this, ignores the fact that you can have sexual chemistry with a partner who isn't long-term partner material. Rethink this normal to avoid "going no where" dating and lots of second date pressure.
We default to normal when we don't recognize or attend to what we really experience in our sex lives. For example, do we feel rushed and pressured to climax for our partner, yet wonder why sex has lost its spark for us?
We also default to normal when we discount the impact of our every day lives. For example, does our partner travel and "once a week" sex isn't possible, yet there is constant tension between you of not having enough sex? Day to day our depression, health issues, pain, or grief, can knock us off of the "default" normal path.
Find your normal:
Ask "what works for me?" For example, if I experience someone trying to have sex too quickly for me, I can take that as a sign that they are not right for me rather than asking "what's wrong with me?"
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