When it comes to sex, we all want to be a living, breathing, moaning example of the perfect lover. We want to make our partners shiver with delight, scream our name and be left gasping for more.
But, hold on a second there—can this quest for sexual perfection actually be getting in the way of true intimacy and enjoyment? In the world of bedroom gymnastics, it seems that aiming for a perfect ten may not always guarantee satisfaction.
What is sexual perfectionism?
Sexual perfectionism is the concept that one must always be at the top of their game regarding sex, never faltering or disappointing their partner(s). It's an all-consuming desire for everything to be just right, from the angle of the pillow to the intensity of the orgasm. In essence, it's the belief that to be a good lover, you must be a perfect lover.
The problems with sexual perfectionism
While striving to be the best lover you can be might seem like a noble pursuit, the reality is that sexual perfectionism can have some pretty negative consequences on your sex life. Some of the most common issues that arise from this relentless quest for perfection include:
1. Performance anxiety
When you're constantly worried about hitting all the right notes and making your partner scream with ecstasy, it's easy to become overwhelmed with anxiety. This can lead to a whole host of problems, such as erectile issues, difficulty reaching orgasm, and even avoiding sex altogether for fear of failing.
2. Lack of connection
When your focus is solely on the physical aspects of sex and achieving a certain level of perfection, you might lose sight of the emotional connection at the heart of intimacy. This can make sex feel mechanical and impersonal, ultimately detracting from the overall experience.
3. Unrealistic expectations
Sexual perfectionism can lead to the belief that every sexual encounter must be mind-blowing, with fireworks and earth-shattering orgasms aplenty. But let's face it—not every sexual experience is going to be worthy of a Hollywood montage. By setting the bar impossibly high, we set ourselves up for disappointment and dissatisfaction.
4. Decreased pleasure
Paradoxically, the pursuit of sexual perfectionism can actually decrease our pleasure in the bedroom. When we're so focused on achieving a certain outcome or hitting a specific milestone, we may miss out on the spontaneous, sensual moments that make sex so enjoyable in the first place.
How to overcome sexual perfectionism
If you suspect that your quest for sexual perfectionism is getting in the way of your pleasure, don't panic—there are several steps you can take to start enjoying a more relaxed, satisfying sex life.
1. Embrace imperfection
Accept that sex, like life, is imperfect. Bodies make funny noises, positions don't always work out, and orgasms aren't guaranteed. By embracing the inherent messiness of sex, you can let go of the pressure to be perfect and simply enjoy the ride.
2. Focus on connection
Instead of obsessing over the physical aspects of sex, try to prioritize the emotional connection with your partner. Engage in more eye contact, cuddling, and deep conversation to foster a sense of intimacy that goes beyond the superficial.
Talk to your partner about your fears and insecurities surrounding sexual perfectionism. They may be experiencing similar concerns, and an open, honest conversation can help you both let go of unrealistic expectations and focus on what truly matters in the bedroom.
4. Be present
Practice mindfulness during sex by focusing on the sensations and emotions of the moment, rather than striving for a specific outcome. By staying present, you'll be better able to appreciate the pleasure that comes from simply being intimate with your partner, rather than obsessing over the need to achieve perfection.
The bottom line
While it's natural to want to be the best lover you can be, it's important to recognize when the pursuit of sexual perfectionism is hindering your ability to enjoy and connect with your partner. So, it's time to toss away the ruler, forget the performance reviews, and just have fun. After all, there's no such thing as perfect sex—and that's perfectly fine.