Do You Know Your Sexual Standards?
How important is sex in your life? What kind of sex life do you want? Have you ever given it much thought?
We all set standards for our lives. We know the kind of person we want to be with- or not be with. We decided which people we would- and would not- accept as friends. We relish on personal standards regarding appearance. For instance, I’m totally one of those gals who hate to leave the house without at least a teensy bit of makeup. We have made decisions of where we like to hang out, how much money we’d shell out for a car, what we do for employment, and what side of ourselves we show to others. But what about our sexual standards? What we like sexually? Desires? Sexual values? I’d say we don’t give this area the focus it deserves.
It is important to know what you enjoy, sexually, what you don’t, what you’re comfortable with, and what you want in a partner. Standards are not just about boundaries. The definition of ‘standard’ is ‘a level of quality or attainment’. Something you like and accept into your life. What sexual qualities do you look for in a partner?
Here is a comprehensive list of sexual standards from the book, The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, by Felice Newman.
- Erotic attraction. Heat. Someone for whom you feel powerful sexual desire.
- Sexual compatibility. Your favored sexual activities needn’t match up like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, but it helps to be playing the same game.
- Willingness to try new things– that’s what makes it possible for you to grow sexually, both individually and together.
- Openness to discussion about what you like, don’t like, what you need, how you feel, your sexual histories, STDs, safer sex- even if the conversation is awkward or uncomfortable. Good communication deepens sexual relationship.
- Respect for both herself and you. That’s limits and desires- especially respect for those she does not share. This also includes respecting your physical and emotional health concerns.
- Sexual honesty. This is required for your emotional safety. It’s also the bottom line for couples who forgo safer sex practices, instead choosing to be monogamous or fluid-bonded.
- Ability to listen to not just the words, but the intention. Listening is more than just waiting your turn to speak.
- Embodiment. You do not have to be a goddess of sensuality or a practitioner of Tantra to be in touch with bodily sensations. Regardless of your level of sexual experience, your disabilities and physical limitations, and even a history of dissociation, you can learn how to live in your body as a sensate being.
What other standards can you add to this list?
I think we all should check in and take personal inventory of ourselves as sexual beings. What are your desires anyway? How do you like to be touched? Are you a top or a bottom? A switch? Do you like butch girls? Bois? Lipstick lesbians? S & M? Toys? Massage? Do you like to experiment? Are you shy? What are your fantasies?
Once you establish your own set of sexual standards, make a commitment to live by them. Declare what you want in a sexual relationship, and make those connections with others. Sex can be so fulfilling when you are confident in what you welcome.
Please feel free to comment and share your own thoughts on sexual standards.