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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    My partner and I have different sexual preferences. What should we do?

    The desire to feel love and connection to another human being is part of what makes us human. Hostess with the mostest, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty; as different cultures, civilizations and traditions have personified romantic love over centuries, they all agree that it is one of life’s greatest treasures, offering joy, meaning and pleasure. The experience of a beloved can bring a heightened awareness of our own heart, mind and soul. So when we try to find this feeling with a partner and find out we have different sexual preferences, many couples are at a loss for what to do.

    First of all, it is important to be honest with yourself and your partner about what you want out of your relationship. What do you both expect from each other regarding sex, intimacy and physical touch? Every relationship is different and there is no “right” answer, or requirement for how often you should be having sex and what types of activities are acceptable. This kind of open dialog with your partner will create a safe space to better understand each other and make sure both of you feel heard.

    Now it might be difficult to communicate honestly with your partner without feeling judged or misunderstood - especially when talking about something as personal as sexual preferences. But it is crucial to work on your communication skills, since these conversations ultimately lead to trust and understanding. Deep, meaningful conversations will not only help you to explore your feelings, but also make sure both of you are comfortable with what’s being asked and discussed. One way to help get started is to ask the other about their thoughts and desires in a non-judgmental way.

    In cases where one or both partners prefer a type of sexual activity that the other isn’t comfortable with, you will need to come to an agreement about what fan aspects of the relationship both parties can enjoy. Maybe you decide to be adventurous and try a few new things together, or maybe the two of you agree to abstain from sexual activities until both are ready.

    No matter which route you take, it’s important to remember that different sexual preferences don’t mean either one of you is right or wrong. It doesn’t necessarily reflect levels of attraction or compatibility. Instead, it’s just a matter of understanding that everyone has different preferences and needs in their relationships. Respect those differences and aim to have mutually beneficial conversations so you can learn more about each other and arrive at a mutual understanding.

    Above all else, if you truly care about your partner, be honest, open and understanding. Don’t be quick to judge or criticize your partner for the choices they make. Nothing is worse than feeling unheard or judged for who you are and what you want. As long as both partners are engaged in a respectful dialogue, different sexual preferences should not be a barrier to enjoying a fulfilling and exciting relationship.

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