Sexual compatibility is that complex component that can elude even the strongest personal connections. It has no official definition, and it’s about as easy to explain as quantum physics. It’s elusive! It’s ephemeral! And it’s very important for the longevity of your romantic relationship.
Sometimes there’s an immediate spark, and sometimes you have to work at it. Sometimes it’s hard to tell either way. So to help, here are 7 signs of sexual compatibility to be on the lookout for.
1. There are instant sparks.
Some couples are lucky enough to strike sexual gold at first sight. When sparks fly at the moment you meet someone, sexual compatibility is almost a sure bet. Do you find yourself flirting without even noticing? Are you imagining what it would be like to get in bed with your new beau? Do you and your date keep finding your conversation circling around sexy topics? Maybe your body temperature rises, your hands get clammy, and you find yourself literally hot and bothered. While it takes time to get familiar enough with another person’s body to have great sex, some signs of sexual compatibility are apparent from the get go.
2. You both know what you want.
Self exploration is one of the most important pieces in finding a partner who’s sexually compatible with you. If you don’t know what you want, how will you know when you’ve found it? You don’t have to have a ton of sexual partners to know what you want. However, some sexual introspection is an important thing to explore before you enter into a sexual partnership.
Having a general idea as to your sexual orientation and preferences is work that each partner needs to do on their own to have successful relationships. Without these pieces, it’s hard to know if you’re compatible. So if you and your prospective partner have clarity about what you’re looking for sexually, you’re more likely to be able to reach compatibility in the bedroom.
3. You have comparable feelings about sex.
When you start dating someone new, have a discussion about what sex means to you and what you want out of your sex life together. For some people sex is about intimacy, for others it’s silly and playful. Some like to have the same type of sex, while others prefer exploring outside the box. Some people avoid sex, or need to engage with sex in specific ways because of trauma.
Have in-depth discussions about what your relationship is to sex is like. This can include what environments you like to have sex in, how often you like to have sex, what kind of sex, what fantasies you have, and your general libido. Ask yourself if those relationships are compatible. If you need sex everyday, and your partner is more of a once a month person, it might not last! Which brings me to my next point…
4. You can find a middle ground.
Not everyone has the same wants or needs, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you and your partner are doomed for a relationship of bad sex. Sex is incredibly specific and complex. Not everyone is going to want to have sex in exactly the same way and at the same frequency. Your long term sexual compatibility also depends on finding an enjoyable middle ground. Relationships are a give and take. Sometimes you have to prioritize your partner’s pleasure. For instance: do you enjoy the same positions, or is EVERY position they want to do a compromise to you? It’s okay to have differences, but if there’s no effort to find an overlap between your wants and needs, you may not be compatible.
5. You talk the talk.
Communication is key to all aspects of partnership, but ESPECIALLY when it comes to sex. You and your partner should be able to communicate your boundaries, your fantasies and, most importantly, consent. Sexual conversations might not be the easiest conversations to have, but they lead to deeper intimacy and stronger connections between sexual partners. If you and your partner can manage thoughtful, caring, and productive communication about sex, it’s a great sign that you’re sexually compatible.
6. There is mutual effort.
Keeping your sex life hot and exciting over the years takes work! If your partner isn’t willing to work on your sex life now, will they be willing 20 years down the line? Keeping the spark alive takes effort, communication, and perseverance in order to keep things exciting, intimate, and enjoyable. Great sex is created! It doesn’t just happen. The most compatible thing your partner can do is show you that they’re just as invested as you are in keeping your sex life fun and fulfilling.
7. You respect each other.
At the end of the day, sexual compatibility is about working together. Things will happen as your relationship progresses that change your sex life and the frequency that you have sex. But as long as your partner is concerned about fulfilling your needs, you won’t feel neglected. A compatible partner cares about your pleasure and your enjoyment in the sex you’re having, just as much as they care about their own. That care is what keeps the spark alive.
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At the end of the day, you and your partner won’t always feel sexually compatible. But like all aspects of relationships, you need to communicate, respect one another and work towards fulfilling common goals and needs. If you can keep doing that, I promise you’ll have great sex for years to come.
Tessa Skara is a writer and comedian. She is bravely bicoastal. She loves all things queer, including, but not limited to sex. Follow her on Instagram @tessafuckinskara.