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Culture & Religion

Why You Shouldn’t Compromise on Sex

Compromise may be important to stable relationships but it can make the bedroom a very boring place. Sex psychologist David Schnarch suggests alternating between preferences. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Sexual boredom seems to be an unfortunate result of every long-term relationship, but why? Some say it’s a sign of incompatibility, others say it demonstrates a weak imagination. Still others say sexual boredom results from our evolutionary biology, which works hard to spread the human seed far and wide. Psychologist and sex therapist David Schnarch says, in his new book called Intimacy & Desire, that sexual relationships too often consist of the leftovers. In other words, “you decide what you don’t want to do; your partner decides what he or she doesn’t want to do; and ‘the two of you do whatever is left over’.”

What’s the Big Idea?

We often hear that the keystone of stable relationships is compromise. While this may be true, compromise may not serve couples very well in the bedroom, or the dining room, or wherever it may be. Schnarch argues for an alternative approach which he calls ‘differentiation’, i.e. “for each partner to grow sufficiently secure in themselves that pursuing strange new directions doesn’t seem like a threat.” So when it comes to sex, or other intimate outings, alternating between preferences–my weird restaurant this week, your strange movie next week–may prove better than blending them. 

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