Let me ask you this: are you able to describe your sexual style? That is, if we were having a face-to-face conversation right now, could you describe it to me, in detail? If you're shaking your head (and maybe even blushing a little), don't worry – you're definitely not alone.
There aren't many red-blooded adults who could describe their sexual style, and of those who could, few would feel comfortable enough to talk openly about it in public.
The reason for this, I believe, is that there is still so much taboo around sexuality, particularly for women.
On the whole, women aren't encouraged to properly explore their sexual identity. More often than not the topic is off limits, and the information we're given as we're growing up is usually driven by someone else's agenda.
The first formal sex education I received was in year 7 at a private Catholic girls school. Our PE teacher (not a nun) was under strict instructions (by the nuns) to educate us about masturbation. The key takeaway was that it was a sin!
Fortunately for me, my informal education came by way of older sisters, and Dolly Magazine. Any questions, I had my sources.
Nowadays, working as a relationship therapist, I get to talk about sexuality all the time. I see couples who site their sex life, or lack of one, as the biggest issue in their relationship. But once we start to explore what's behind their concern, the focus is always less about the sex, and more about the beliefs, values and emotional connection that each individual brings to the relationship.
In his book Passionate Marriage, Sex Therapist, David Schnarch, describes the three styles of sex as, sexual trance, partner engagement and role-play.
These descriptions can help couples struggling with sexual intimacy to better understand where each other are coming from. For instance, if you're tending towards one style, and your partner has another, it can feel like you (or they) are doing it wrong. Having some insight into how your partner feels about sex (and during sex) can be a real game-changer in the bedroom.
Don't forget, the act of sex itself can be boring, terrifying or exciting – depending on who you're talking to. Each of us has a preference for technique, emotional tone, and style, so it can be helpful to understand what that looks like for your partner.
There's no right or wrong way to have sex. What works for you and your partner can change based on your moods, the environment you're in, and many other variables. This is normal, healthy sexuality.
If your sex life, or love-making, only works for one or the other (or neither) of you, then with a greater understanding, you each have the opportunity to do something about it.
If this is your style, you like to focus inward on your sensuality. Your focus is drawn to your bodily sensations, the tingling of your skin, the feeling of arousal, the build-up of …