Dating and relationship coach and matchmaker, Asa Baav, is all about helping people find a partner they’re compatible with – in and out of the bedroom. So what is sexual compatibility? And how can you tell if you’re a good match? Here are Asa’s five surefire ways to tell if your sex life – and relationship – has staying power.
I created my matchmaking company, Tailor Matched, because I believe so strongly that sexual compatibility is just as important as all other aspects of any successful relationship. But it’s just not something we’re great at talking about! I’m here to banish the taboos when it comes to desiring a partner who can meet our needs in and out of the bedroom.
So what is sexual compatibility? What it really comes down to is how well your individual beliefs, needs, and desires around sexual activities mesh. This could be to what extent you share the same definition of sex, frequency and duration of desired sex, preferred “environment” for sex, what your turn ons and turn offs are, and your relationship orientation. The more similarities you have in your answers to those things, the more sexually compatible you are.
Five ways to tell if you’re sexually compatible with your partner:
1. You both accept that good sex is created and doesn’t just happen
There is a strange misconception (perhaps created by Hollywood movies) that when you find the “right person”, sex will be efforlesslessly passionate and multi-orgasmic.
This assumption leaves us mere mortals feeling like there’s something seriously wrong with us and/or our relationship when there aren’t fireworks and squirting instantly happening.
The truth is that sexually compatible couples know they’ll have to work on creating a sizzling sex life. What this means is that they accept their incompatibilities too; the times when there’s an awkward moment or embarrassing bodily function doesn’t phase them and make them think their relationship is doomed forever.
Real sex isn’t a porno and there is no editing – sexually compatible couples tend to work at creating the magic. Therefore perhaps the single most important characteristic to look for in a sexual partner is their willingness to put effort into keeping your sex life interesting, romantic, and intimate.
2. You can talk about sex – the good, the bad and the ugly
Communication is a necessary part of any healthy relationship, but it’s especially important when it comes to sex.
I’ve written before about how we have a lot to learn from the kink community about how to talk about pleasure and sex. Kinksters (as people who enjoy things on the kinky side sometimes call themselves) are masters when it comes to conversations about consent, boundaries, and desires. They talk about sex before sex, talk about sex during sex, and talk about sex after sex!
Once you start dating someone new, create an ongoing conversation about what sex means to you and what you get out of it. Here are some questions to explore:
- How often do you each want to have sex?
- What consititutues sex to you? Does a snog session count, or is it only penetration?
- What does sex mean to you? Connection, pleasure, stress-release, exploration?
- Is there anything sexual you’d be curious to explore?
- What are your turn-ons and turn-offs?
- What time of day do you most like to have sex?
- Where is your favourite place to have sex?
Then see how much your answers match up. There are some things that are easier to compromise on than others but if you have completely different ideas about what you get out of sex, or when you’re most aroused, it could be a sign that you’re not super compatible.
I get asked a lot about when a good time is to start having these conversations. Personally, I think the sooner the better, first date included. If sex is an important part of a relationship for you, don’t leave it off the table.
3. You have similar sex drives
Sex drives are more complicated than we like to think, and can be affected by everything from diet and stress at work, to what time of day either of you tend to be in the mood, or even who is initiating.
Differences in sex drive can be worked through if they don’t vary too widely (if one of you wants it all night long every night and the other is satisfied with a quickie once a week, you’re unlikely to make it work).
Talk about your expectations and what affects your sex drives:
- Do you love it when your partner lets you come to them occasionally. Is being the initiator more of a turn-on for you? Or do you prefer to be seduced a little?
- Are there certain habits or foods that are a no-no for sexy time (for some people alcohol or not getting to the gym can have a big knock-on effect on desire)?
- What time of day do you feel more horny? Could they please go down on you before they drink their coffee?
Get curious about it all!
Here’s the big secret to sex drive: it’s all about how you feel about yourself. Yes, you need to fancy the person you’re with and a little spark can go a long, long way, but ultimately it’s on you to discover and nurture what turns you on, then communicate it to your partner.
4. You generally find the same things hot
In the early days of dating, there are a couple of delightful little signs to look out for that could give you some clues about your sexual compatibility, such as:
You’re on the same page with PDA (public displays of affection). If you LOVE a public hand hold/hug/leg touch/face stroke, and your date clearly hates it, that could be a sign you’re not on the same page sexually (and could lead to some serious frustration if it’s a big deal for one or both of you).
You both like (or dislike) flirty/sexy texting. If they are all about the sexting and you get turned-on by it too, great! But if they respond to your flirty text with a mundane clanger that ruins the mood, you might not be sexually compatible.
You find the same movie scenes/songs/podcasts hot. A shared look, a nervous giggle, an eyebrow raise. If the same content gets you both a little flushed, it’s nothing but a good sign.
5. You’re on the same page about monogamy
While monogamy has been the assumed default model for relationships for eons, people often forget it’s an important discussion to have with a partner. For the love of all that is orgasmic, please talk about it!
From threesomes to watching porn, to sex parties to full blown open relationships, get all your wants, desires and curiosities out on the table. Not only will it build intimacy, you need to be clear with each other about your expectations and boundaries if you want a fulfilling relationship in and out of the bedroom.
Some people might treat watching porn as infidelity, and others may be totally up for a sex party. There’s nothing wrong with either one, but how will you know unless you discuss it? Be aware that your and your partners needs and desires could change over time, so keep an open mind and be curious about what’s on (and off) the table.
Is sexual compatibility a done deal?
Absolutely not! Though sexual compatibility may happen instantly for some people, for others, getting in the groove takes some (sexy) practice. You should expect your sexual compatibility to evolve over time as your wants and needs change.
If you and your partner aren’t “perfectly compatible”, it can be improved through open communication and compromise over time. But if your baseline needs and expectations aren’t being met, your incompatibility may not be surmountable and perhaps the sexy search must continue.
Asa Baav is a dating coach and matchmaker on a mission to help single Londoners over 30 to find love and sexual compatibility. Don’t leave love to an algorithm, join Tailor Matched today. https://tailormatched.com/services/