People have different expectations and experiences and desires about sex. OK, stating the obvious here, but actually what I mean to say is that people in the same bed, in the same sexual experience often have totally different expectations, experiences and desires… Individual preferences are impacted by everything from our personal history to our comfort with our own body- but because language is hard to find, I think it might be helpful to offer a few categories of sexual tendencies that might help in bringing you and your partner’s experience into harmony

Here are a few agreed upon categories of mental functioning around sexual experiences: Sexual trance, Partner engagement and Role playing. Sexual trance involves focusing on body sensations. This is the kind of sex people enjoy when they want to get out of their head. You probably prefer little talk during sex, sexual experiences have an inward focus of experiencing your own sensuality. Good sex for you feels like an altered state of consciousness.

Partner engagement is all about the emotional bond between you and your partner. Couples in this space enjoy eyes open sex and have a lot of affection and romance- This is the kind of sex that romance movies and novels celebrate… Great sex is surrendering to the unity and oneness in the couple experience.

Role Playing is the theatre arts of sexual experience… Fantasies enliven and enrich the couple and are shared and acted out freely. At its best, this kind of sex is not about acting, you become your roles so completely that the experience frees you from even your own ideas. Orgasms are dramatic and expressive.

If you want to learn more about these distinctions pick up Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch, the man who understands more about love and sex in committed relationships than anyone else around. The book is referred to as the modern day Masters and Johnson. It teaches me every time I read it.

Sexual encounters can mix all three of these styles, or people can be pretty committed to a single approach. Try using these categories and see if it enhances your understanding of the love you share.