Top 5 Sexual Compatibility Pitfalls to Avoid

In my misspent youth, I remember well the fabulously intoxicating and all-consuming lust and physical attraction of a new sexual relationship – when you want the other person so badly, it’s all you can think about.

You can’t think, eat or sleep because every fibre of your being aches and hungers for their touch. Lust is, as Shakespeare noted, akin to a form of madness; the giddy dopamine high of a new sex partner makes it nigh impossible to concentrate on much else. 

There was Hot Irish (as my friends coined him), the perfect summer sex fling; the on/off again dalliance with the fellow journalist friend-turned-lover who made me giddy with desire with his sexy turn of phrase alone; the forbidden liaison with a high-ranking detective who sadly didn’t like sex play with his handcuffs; and the sexual dance with the tradie whose Greek god-like body was a thing of immense beauty and wonder.

What could be more invigorating, intoxicating and life-affirming than pure, unadulterated lust? Well, deep, nourishing love and intimacy, for starters. But is lust really the first rung on the ladder of love? Is thrilling sexual attraction enough to sustain a long-term relationship?

Let’s get to the nitty gritty, friends – attraction is easy, should you have the good fortune to be gifted a hot sex partner, but long-term relationships are not. Lust does not equate to relationship longevity – it’s like a burning star – quick to fade away.

When I met my professional musician husband, I knew very early on that our relationship was on a much deeper mental, emotional and physical level than any other I’d experienced – and not just because guitarists are better lovers (Google it).

With him, the sex was deeper, hotter, raunchier and tenderer than ever before and we’ve worked hard (pardon the pun) at it ever since our first date, when he gave me an amazing Hollywood kiss in the street as I hailed a Taxi.

Indeed, happily for me, every partner before him (very much including the aforementioned romances) has faded into insignificance and he’s been my beloved significant other for almost a decade. 

Relationships take constant work and adjustments to keep the love and spark alive – with the passing of time both lust and looks fade. But if you are truly sexually compatible with your partner, I believe you can conquer anything together because this will unite you and sustain you on many fronts through the tough times.

So, what do you do if you’re connecting well on other levels with your partner, but you’re a bad match in bed? It’s important to be able to compromise and accept each other’s different tastes, wants and needs up to a point, so long as those differences aren’t too great. A deep, lasting partnership means being willing to work at keeping your partner happy while being true to yourself, and never doing anything that makes you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, unhappy or compromised.

Here are some common sexual incompatibility pitfalls to watch out for, below. Ask yourself, am I willing to make compromises and adjustments and work on this with my partner, or am I best to cut and run for the hills? What can I learn from my partner in order to become a better lover?

1. The High Low

Is your partner's idea of a raunchy time sex once a year at Christmas? Abort. Sex should not just be enjoyed on special occasions! It’s one of life’s greatest gifts. Huge differences in libidos can be a very hard one to overcome, especially if you have a high sex drive and your significant other would rather do a million things other than ravish you until the cows come home. You only get one life – don’t waste the pretty – find someone who likes sex as much as you do. The alternative is ghastly – a sexless relationship is no relationship at all. Look for a partner with a healthy self-esteem, energy and zest for life in the high hope that they have a strong sexual appetite to match.

2. Night and Day

My husband, like most men, can seemingly get excitable around the clock – he’d happily have sex every morning when he wakes up, like clockwork, at 5am, life permitting (small children excluding). Now, I’m not a morning person, and my karate-chop arm has been enforced more than once in bed when he’s tried to cosy up, but I know it makes him happy (and me, by default, when I get in the mood) so I indulge him, when I can (morning crankiness permitting), as does he, when I get into my much-preferred amorous state post 7pm, when our kids are in bed, and I can finally unwind with a red wine. This sexual incompatibility can be worked on, if you’re willing to compromise. Learn to adapt and accept differences – strike a happy medium between what you each like. You’re not always going to be feeling amorous at the same time, but seeing your partner’s arousal may just be enough to get you going.

3. Kinky vs Vanilla 

Is he a one-trick pony, missionary man? Are you bored out of your skull and desperate to introduce some BDSM or even a ménage à trois into the relationship because she’s as beige as hell? You’re going to have to have the big chat and discuss your differences in the hope of a resolution. If you both really love and care about each other, you may have to get out of your comfort zones and – this is the best bit – you might even both really like it. No one wants a boring sex life – strive to be a sexual seeker, so you’re always learning new things and ways to pleasure both yourself and your partner. Try couples’ sex toys; raunchy dress-ups and role play; go to a swinger’s club or a sex party; try sex in the great outdoors – be anything but predictable. Happily, there are many classy lingerie/sex online shops these days to help you spice things up in the boudoir.

4. Chalk and Cheese

I’m a bit of a screamer, I can’t help it. I’m extroverted in life and in bed – and this is not everyone’s cup of tea, as I discovered when an old ex-boyfriend’s visiting parents accidentally overheard our lovemaking and I was effectively banished, in shame, from the house (insert eye roll here). Other key personality and background differences which will inevitably impact your sex life and sexual compatibility include whether you and your partner are touchy-feely or withhold affection as per your childhood norms; your respective religious or cultural upbringings and inevitable associated sexual hang-ups; your openness and willingness to try new things in bed; how well you communicate as a couple; your respective likes and dislikes when it comes to sex positions and oral sex and you may be surprised to learn how big a role sexual shame plays in relationship breakups – it’s not called the “silent killer” for nothing. Check yourself before you wreck yourself – can you and your partner overcome these sexual differences? Sometimes, professional help may be the answer.

5. One or Many

When you first start falling for someone, for God’s sake ask them as honestly as you can, and without shame or fear of prying, if they are the monogamous type or if they prefer to play the field. Seriously, this one bit of sex/relationships advice may save you so much heartache! You deserve to know where you stand when you are investing both your time and your energy into someone – ask before you get too emotionally involved. NB: You can’t change your partner or make them conform to your ideal, so if he/she says they aren’t capable of being faithful and prefers a harem, rather than just little ol’ you, believe them. Today, many people openly identify as being bisexual or pansexual and are challenging the traditional monogamous relationship ideal. No matter whether you’re into polyamorous, open or monogamous relationships, honesty and open communication with your partners is key. Indeed, it’s a basic hallmark of respect for both yourself and others.

Sex is wonderful – let's all do our best to enjoy it.

What do you think? What are your sexual compatibility deal-breakers?


  • havinfun181
    More than a month ago

    A great read, and so many truths here, I have been married for over 3 decades, and I have to say the warning signs were there before we got married, but I thought I could handle the differences! It is not possible, I have and always have had a high sex drive and libido, I have stayed, we have grown kids now and even grandchildren, but the difference is still there, and I still struggle! Sex is definitely a deal breaker, I have been shamed all my married life for being a freak, over sexed, and almost blackmailed by threats of telling people that all I want is sex! I have come to realise that I am not a freak, but just a normal, maybe kinky male, with no partner to share it with! I tried bringing videos home, suggesting new and different things....but only added to her thought that I am odd...thank god for the internet, and the learning I am quite normal!
    Thank you Nicole, a great article, and many others.

  • Mtgcouple1974
    More than a month ago

    Very good read.

  • LaughAnytime
    More than a month ago

    What a load of crap
    Humans are more complex than this and no one falls directly into the stereotypes outlaid here. Don’t be fooled

  • player1959 Photo
    More than a month ago

    top read
    but I think your article is skewed towards the younger age brackets
    yes desire ebbs and wanes with all sorts of life issues
    but with women hitting menopause for me it hasn't been fun and probably cost me my relationship but then again probably more to to do with him being a violent bully and bipolar.
    face it men get bored
    we all do
    but I thought by embracing a swingers lifestyle and opening the relationship up I'd get what I needed emotionally but sadly I'm not a mental health nurse and shit happens. Libidos can be fixed to a degree. If you truly love one another you adjust. Anyway 6 years of swinging has been fun and I would not have discovered the lifestyle without my ex.
    Its about give n take but you need equilibrium. Otherwise its just not fair.

  • trusted8 Photo
    More than a month ago

    Thank you for your insights and frankness to this issue. I'm sure there are a gamut of people out there (similar to me) that need to make drastic changes or discuss the issues that effect the quality of their sex lives.

  • NiBbLe43 Photo
    More than a month ago

    Thank You.

  • deepblue181
    More than a month ago

    Brilliant article, good advice & well researched .... an excellent read.

  • TeamGirly Photo
    More than a month ago

    I enjoyed your article Nicole, however, loathe the couple of references perpetuating the myth that men have high libidos and women potentially don't.

    Your husband not withstanding ?? (lucky you) I'm leaving a trail of men who can't keep up... but more than that I'm finding (as are my female friends of a similar age) man after man in my age bracket with dwindling or no libido. That's right.... NO LIBIDO! I'm not sure if the 'men always wanting it' applies just to young men... or is perpetuated to protect fragile egos, however, past a certain age I think it's simply not true.

    Maybe more relationships would suceed if we were honest about this point and women expected the libido drop off in their partners as likely rather than being blindsided by man after man from a certain age no longer wanting sex and being baffled as to why.

    Maybe this is why so many older women go out with younger men?

    • Atomiser Photo
      More than a month ago

      I beg to differ. Some of us have stamina and can back up too ??

    • AMM.Editor Photo
      More than a month ago

      Nicole has asked us to reply and say it was never her intent to imply a woman's libido is lower. We'll get the reference to "her" changed to "your partner".

    • friskypuz Photo
      More than a month ago

      I'm hearing ya..

    • Account Closed
      More than a month ago

      So true. She is older and wants it more than he does. Doesn't take much for her to get him interested though.
      We've found the happy medium.

    • Account Closed
      More than a month ago

      I don’t know that it’s the reason as I know more women who’s libido has dropped off, or they just don’t care for.

      My ex partner was 9 years younger then me and NEVER really had one for the 8 years we dated.

      Age means nothing :)

      Haven’t struck many men my age where it’s been an issue to be honest, as I said it’s not just the men :)

    • AMM.Editor Photo
      More than a month ago

      @TeamGirly just a follow-up from Nicole, "I was striving to balance the article so as to not batter men’s egos and I’m living proof of a high libido! I purposely changed the sex of each pointer."

    • Brendanforfun Photo
      More than a month ago

      Sounds like you are finding all the wrong guys. I’m of a similar age and I know all too well what the issues are when it’s like “omg he wants more”. I know now where to keep clear of and what really is a match for a relationship

    • 49humber Photo
      More than a month ago

      As an "older bloke" the desire never fades, it is unfortunate that the body cannot keep up with the mind despite the pills and injections to help. Michael

    • TeamGirly Photo
      More than a month ago

      Excellent, thanks that makes more sense.

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