In a previous blog post, “Are You Having Enough Sex?” I wrote about sex through the lens of quantity. Today, the lens is quality. Are you having “Good Enough” Sex and what does that even mean?
I’m borrowing the term “good enough sex” from a concept by the renowned psychoanalyst, Donald Winicott, who wrote about the “good enough mother.” This referred to the idea that a mother didn’t need to be perfect, only attuned well enough to sufficiently meet the child’s needs so that it could grow up and mature into adulthood. I would suggest that sex can also can be “good enough” in that it will allow the couple to connect, bond and share themselves with each other sufficiently in order to sustain a mature, adult relationship.
Practically speaking, there is a natural variation in sexual encounters with your partner. They might not always be satisfying. Sometimes you might feel like the top of your head has exploded. Sometimes you might feel disappointed, like “is that all there is?” This is normal and yet many couples hold themselves to superhuman standards of perfection, that each time must be the best time yet.
I’m recommending that you take some of the pressure off of yourself and your partner. Sometimes “good enough” sex really IS “good enough.” Some would argue that this is settling. I don’t agree. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t also have “Fourth of July Fireworks” sex, I’m only saying that over the course of time in a relationship, we want to have a sexual connection that sustains our bond in a realistic way.
There are many types of sex. There is “vacation/honeymoon” sex, there is “the kids are at the movies” sex, there is “quickie” sex and “new situation/risky” sex. There is “married people” sex which begins at 10pm on the dot on Saturday night and consists of five minutes of kissing, ten minutes of foreplay, eight minutes of intercourse, an “I love you” and a snore. You’ve all experienced different variations and can add many different types of sex as well.
What is important is some consistency and some balance between “quantity” and “quality” in the sexual arena. The sexual connection between a couple is an incredible opportunity to bond, to share, to become closer in a physical/emotional/spiritual way. And while the quality of the sexual connection varies from sex act to sex act, it truly is one of the major ingredients in the “glue” that keeps couples connected. I encourage you all to commit to more consistent sexual contact and to do your best to eliminate your judgments about quality.
That doesn’t mean you don’t want to work to improve the sexual chemistry with your partner. The research really does indicate that “practice makes perfect.” So get busy and remember, when your heart is in the right place, it will be “good enough” !
And as always, I welcome your questions, comments and experiences.
Dr. Adam Sheck
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