Let's face facts. Here’s what’s “normal”: adults have sex primarily when they’re tired. This shapes the quality, content, and frequency of the experience. Most adults save their “prime time” for things that are either, what they deem, more important (raising their kids, working after hours, maintaining their health, handling crises) or more reliably satisfying (watching TV, going out, sharing hobbies, playing around on Facebook). Not having much energy is one aspect of “normal sex” that most people don’t want. But many adults seem to believe that most sex will inevitably take place when they’re not at their best, without considering the consequences of this kind of sex life -- that it may become routine (and therefore boring), not involve much time, lose its playfulness, and that using contraception or a lubricant may seem like too much trouble.
If we think of “normal” as common, typical, and accepted as “the way things are,” this is what “normal sex” may actually looks like:
• Awkwardness and self-consciousness are common.
• Communication is limited.
• Neither partner laughs or smiles much.
• One or both partners are obsessively concerned about performance.
• One or both are unsure what their partner likes.
• One or both tolerate what they dislike, hoping that it will stop soon.
• Masturbation is kept secret.
• There’s difficulty using birth control without embarrassment or conflict.
• Desire requires a perfect environment.
• Sex is sometimes physically painful.
• He believes that “her orgasm problem reflects on me.”
• She believes that “his erection problem reflects on me.”
Also, whether young or old, gay or straight, male or female, when American adults have sex, they frequently:
• Are self-conscious or self-critical about their body
• Don’t feel as close to their partner as they’d like
• Don’t feel confident that they’re going to have a good time (which is why they don’t do it more frequently)
• Are concerned about performance -- either their own or their partner’s
• Feel inhibited about communicating what they want, don’t want, feel, or don’t feel
Health problems are also frequently part of “normal” sex -- because normal people have health problems. So, are you realizing that you are starting to look pretty “normal”? Are you starting to realize this might not be the right goal? The awkwardness and emotional isolation described above are what most people get when they try to have “normal” sex, but they are anything but. And that’s why your vision of sex matters.
So you can see why it’s not important to be sexually “normal” and why, in fact, pursuing “normal” sex is often destructive. Of course, by “normal” sex most people don’t mean the reality I’ve just described, but a romanticized vision of perfect performance, perfect environment, and nothing too novel or psychologically challenging. The only thing normal about that kind of sex is the fact that so many people aspire to it, and so few people have it. (And here’s a secret every sex therapist knows: even when people get this kind of sex, they’re not necessarily satisfied with it.) So if, like so many other people, you’ve been pursuing the wrong thing (“normal” sex), you need a new way to think about sex. Although most people assume it’s logical to have a performance orientation (how many times per week, how many minutes before orgasm), that’s only one way to look at sex. And it’s exactly the wrong way.
I do not pretend to be a sex therapist, but I know sex therapists and I have consulted with them to help me with things regarding my business and personal lifestyle. So if you need any help, or you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help or seek someone who can help. If you want to chat here and remain anonymous, that's ok too. I will be glad to help.
Ill write a few more blogs concerning this and how true intimacy and even the use of personal pleasure items, pillows and more help with sex with your significant other. When I discuss sex, I will be discussing monogamous relationships, not one night stands or multiple partners. Not that there is anything wrong with whatever you want to do sexually, but my references will be geared towards monogamous relationships.