Why Normal Could Ruin Your Sex Life

Why Normal Could Ruin Your Sex Life
Love, Self

4 kinds of normal that don't work!

There's a new book out about love, sex, and relationships called The Normal BarIt'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?"

Ask "what works for us?" What are the "default" normal's that are present in your relationship that don't work? For example, it may be better to strive for less sex of a higher quality, than have more sex of a mediocre or poor quality.

3. Don't use "excuse" normal to blow off your partner's complaints. When a partner brings up something that bothers them about sex, it's really important not to respond with a "but everyone else does it this way" attitude.

Common blow off attitudes:


o "Guys all use porn and if they say they don't they are lying!"
o "Men have physical needs, and woman have emotional needs!"
o "It's normal for sex to go away after a baby comes."
o "Men are very visual."
o "Women take a long time to get warmed up."
o "I've never had complaints before."

When you use "but it's normal" to answer your partner's complaints it sends the message that your partner's feelings don't matter. When your partner raises a concern, complains, or gets angry about sex, it's time to look at options beyond normal. 

Find your normal:
Ask this question: "I hear that this part of our sex life isn't working for you, what can we do about it?"

4. Don't use "stereotype" normal to make a complaint or label your partner. Expressing your complaint using stereotypes can make it difficult to work through concerns you have about your partner.  That's because stereotypes are based on assumptions that may or may not be true.

o "It's not normal for a guy not to want sex every day, especially this early in the relationship!"
o " I can't believe you don't think about and want sex everyday!
o "It's like our roles are reversed and I'm the guy."
o "I know that if you aren't having sex with me, then you must be getting it somewhere else."

Find your normal:
Express your complaints by starting with your feelings about what you experience:

o "I am not enjoying this part of our sex life, let's find something that works for both of us."
o "I don't like it when we wait until we climb in bed and the lights are off to start sex."
o "I don't like it when you wake me up in the morning."
o "I don't like that you don't initiate sex."

Your normal is the best place to start on the path to feeling great about sex!

Want help finding your normal?

Dr. Lisa Terrell can help.  If you would like to explore how to feel better about yourself sexually, we invite you to try the E-Sensual Woman program.  It's affordable and convenient and available in online, hard copy or in-office classes.  Extensive men's programs for healthy sexuality also available.

Learn more about Relationships and Sexuality at Sensovi.com

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