All of us feel insecure about something. Many, many of us feel insecure about sex. 

Here’s the thing: Insecurities tend to be the result of very deep, very old “wounds” that we may have experienced as children. If something made us feel ashamed and unlovable, (even when it was not meant to) then those feelings will often last our whole lives. And they have the tendency to come out when we are least interested in experiencing them. 

So if, for example, you overheard a parent say something about your body that embarrassed you, even if they didn’t mean it badly, the deep mortification that you felt and couldn’t share might bury itself in you and come out later in all kinds of ways. Or if your first sexual experiences were awkward and uncomfortable and left you feeling mortified, that can just move with you throughout your life. The more you carry them around and don’t share them, the deeper into your soul then can burrow and wreak havoc.

 In my experience, and I deal a lot with sexual shame, by far the best way to combat shame and the insecurity it causes, is to talk about it in a safe space. I know it sounds incredibly simple. But the truth is, it’s not. It can be horrifically scary and horrible to take that first step and talk to someone. 

You can start by talking to a family member or friend whom you truly trust. You can start by letting them know that you need to share something that makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. You can start by talking to a professional. That is what we are here for. 

And I can promise you something. Even though it may feel like you have the most shameful secret in the world, it is so likely that it’s incredibly common and not as shameful as you think. 

But I want you to know this. The more you take things out of the “shadows,” where the shame lives, and the more you can hold it up to the light of day, the less power it has over you. Slowly over time, in talking and sharing you can truly minimize insecurity.

I hear it all the time. How do I know if I am sexually compatible with someone? Do I need to have had sex (intercourse) with them in order to know for sure?

My answer is no. No, you don’t need to have oral sex, intercourse or any other kind of sex to know if you are compatible. Since people are constantly changing, there is nothing that really can guarantee long-term compatibility. However, there are some basic indicators that you can look for as “guide posts”.

Top 3 Tips:   

  1. You find their scent appealing:  Since there is no logic behind sexual attraction, it is not well understood. But there is something about body chemistry, be it pheromones or something still undiscovered, that lets you know pretty quickly if there is basic attraction to this person. Without this basic attraction, it is hard to weather the ups and downs of a long-term, physical relationship. You’ll never be able to talk yourself into attraction, but if their smell is appealing, that is a good sign this person might be good for you. 
  2. You like the way they kiss. It’s time we realize that a soulmate isn’t solely determined by communication or non-physical relationship criteria. When was it decided that being verbal in a relationship is more important than being physical?  Finding pleasure in your partner’s kiss, is a good sign this person is a good contender for long term compatibility.
  3. You agree on your sex life as a couple. You’ve made clear to each other, what you want in your sex life. (At least for now).  Let’s face it, if you don’t agree on the basics, you’re relationship will not last.  If one person’s idea of a good sex life is having sex once a week, primarly in the bedroom and the other person’s idea is having sex twice a day, regular threesomes or stead visits to sex clubs, the compatibilty isn’t there.  It’s important to have the conversation early about what a good sex life looks like to you and your partner. If you find your expectations or needs are developing and changing, make it clear to your partner that you want to explore those needs. 

These are some simple, basic signs that will help you decide if you are sexually attracted to someone. Let’s stop the stigma that physical reactions lack significance or are merely temporary. A strong physical relationship can be a huge determinant of a strong, long-term prognosis in a relationship.

If you’re looking for something long term, look for these indicators early and it can help you understand if you are compatible and maybe even help you decide if you should move forward in your relationship.

I received a (not so unusual) call today from a woman trying to figure out if she should set up a consultation. During our 10 minute phone call she basically told me that:

She was interested in sex but her husband seemed totally disinterested. He maybe wanted to have sex once a month — usually if she reminded him that they hadn’t had sex in a while. He often had a hard time keeping his erections. It took him 45 minutes of hard work to ejaculate.

“Hmmm,” I responded, “it sounds like he should see a male sexual dysfunction specialist.” “Oh,” she replied, ”but he refuses to see a doctor. And (now here’s the punch line) I think maybe I’m not erotic enough and interesting enough and that’s why he’s having problems.”

Oddly enough it is often hard for a woman to accept that she is not the problem in a sexual relationship. It’s hard, I’ve found, because women seem to naturally take the blame for so many things that aren’t their fault.

It might also be hard to accept that you’re not the problem because that means that you can’t be the solution. If the problem is not yours, it’s also not yours to fix, and that’s a hard reality for some women to accept. It means giving up an element of control.

 So for the woman on the phone, she needs to talk to her husband and see if he can shed more light on the situation. He claims he loves her, is turned on by her and just has a hard time. That leaves many more questions to be answered, but they are all questions which need his participation to answer: Is his testosterone low? Does he have blood flow issues? Is he having an affair? Is he watching too much porn?  Is he gay? Is he over-ridden with guilt?

Obviously we can’t answer those questions, and whether he chooses to participate in finding answers or not will be his decision.

 I can tell the women one thing though: it isn’t her fault.