How many of these three intelligence factors do you have?
Beyond pleasure and intimacy, there is sexual intelligence.
I love to read books for you. And in Dr. Marty Klein’s book, Sexual Intelligence: What We REALLY Want From Sex and How To Get It, he outlines some needs we have beyond just being sexy and knowing techniques.
He says, “For some people, reassurance, validation, and relief are the real payoffs of sex.”
I often encourage men especially to be reassuring to their partner. (They love it too, ladies!)
Being run by estrogen makes us naturally more anxious. So reassurance increases his masculine sexual leadership.
Reassurance generates more polarity —the magnetism between masculine and feminine energy —which increases sexual desire.
Validating your partner as a good lover by recognizing things they do well during sex is also important. We like to hear that we’ve done a good job. It builds confidence.
Verbal affirmations are as important to men as they are to women. If a partner is having sexual issues they need validation that you still find them desirable. They need to know they are wanted.
If a partner wants to try something new or a little kinky, validating their desire helps them enjoy the experience more. Dr. Klein says we need to have a sense we are, “normal.”
Performance anxiety is also as big an issue for men as for women.
If he takes on her difficulty orgasming as his fault — or she takes on his struggle to achieve or maintain an erection as his lack of desire for her, that generates even more anxiety.
When you encourage, reassure and validate your partner that they are sexually competent, sexually attractive and desirable, it relieves them from worry, lowers their stress and increases their pleasure potential.
If your partner is caught up in “doing you,” rather than being present with you, that is often a sign of performance anxiety too. Many people strive for the perfect technique as a way to compensate for their sexual insecurity.
To validate another person’s sexual worth requires that you “step into their shoes” and become empathetic to what is going on fro them. Maybe they don’t realize what pleasure they give you. Or how much you love to hold or be held by them. How good their skin feels.
How much you love the way they touch you. The list of appreciations can be endless when you begin to focus on what IS working, instead of what isn’t.
The book outlines the three components of sexual intelligence as being:
- Information and knowledge (you’re doing great with this one!)
- Emotional skills (apply what you’re learning here today)
- Body awareness and comfort (being ok with what IS, and confident expressing yourself sexually)
The section of Marty’s book I found fascinating was about body awareness.
Imagine a couple where she’s an HSP (highly sensitive person) who needs the temperature to be just right, nothing or nobody to be scratchy or smelly, et cetera, et cetera. And he’s “all thumbs” and keeps putting his elbow on her hair or banging his teeth on her lips and such.
Neither of them can get in the flow. They struggle.
She yells at him. He feels like he can’t win.
It turns out there are people who are at the edges of the sensory perception spectrum from extremely aware of their surroundings, how things feel and where their bodies are in space to others who as Marty says, “genuinely struggle with a lack of instinct about their own body” and their partners.
Same with touch: Some like it more than others… though a person can grow to appreciate touch if they simply haven’t had much of it. Body smells and the wetness of sex is another area where some are repelled and others are turned on. A great example of this is the man who loves when his woman lets her juices gush on him or a woman who is turned on by a man releasing on her body.
Bottom line? We are all on a spectrum of what is yuck and what is yum — and what we want evolves as we mature sexually. And understanding what our lover’s preferences are in the moment and working to accommodate them can bring you closer together and please you both.
There is no, “normal.”
What is right for you at your age, where you are now in your sexual development must be honored. Your boundaries and conditions are perfectly acceptable requests.
At the same time, keep stretching yourself to enjoy new experiences. Take a walk on the wild side. Get out of your comfort zone. You might find that you’re less fussy or more facile than you thought!