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Do you have Unrealistic Sexpectations?

As a therapist working with many people around their sexual concerns, I have noticed that expectations around sex can be a danger. This is because often our expectations don't reflect reality. A discrepancy in what we expect and our reality can lead to sexual problems including low sexual desire, erectile problems, rapid ejaculation, and other sexual performance issues. There are some positives to those expectations, of course, and knowing what you want is very important.

I want to share some truths that I wished all my clients knew...

Sex can be awkward, and it doesn't always end with both people having a Hollywood orgasm at the end. In fact it rarely does.

This belief can lead many to experience performance anxiety. The best thing to do is focus on what feels good for you, not what the end result will be. This commonly comes up around orgasms. And there is no normal amount of sex - it's couple dependent and is almost never the same between 2 people.

Sex takes ongoing work and planning. Many people believe it should happen spontaneously despite knowing that arousal cycles for most people tell us we need time to warm up. I also remind people that in the beginning of their relationship they likely did plan for this cycle and made time for it - and were present during it.

Past experiences, societal messages, and personal insecurities can all play a role in setting the stage for unrealistic expectations. You need to learn that bodies and people don't always perform and behave in a way that you may have thought, or expected.

I would encourage you to examine your expectations and talk to your friends. I suspect that your experiences are likely very normal - your sex life expectations (and the reality) are not all that different from theirs. Like anything else with your partner, good sex takes tons of communication around your needs and wants.

~ Laura

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PS: Thank you for all your great questions! Got a sex question to ask me? You can ask anonymously right here. I’ll answer as many as I can in my upcoming emails.

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