Can Sex Ever Be Good Enough?
Last Friday, Phillip McCulley and I had a chance to participate in a training offered by Barry McCarthy. McCarthy is a well-known sex therapist, who offers training on different approaches that can help with sexual dysfunction. In this coursework, McCarthy talked about a concept of sex therapy that I have discussed with many of my clients, called “Good Enough Sex.” This approach helps people identify sex that will help them reconnect in their relationships in a way that works for both members in the relationship. So is sex really ever “Good Enough”?
Many clients come into sex therapy with expectations and hopes about their sexual relationship. Many times these expectations can be achieved through communication, compromise, and practice. However, there are times where these expectations are based on misinformation. In sex therapy, we focus on providing education with clients as it’s needed. Unfortunately, many of our assumptions about sex are actually false. What’s even more unfortunate is that these expectations can cause serious problems in a relationship.
Another concept of sex that is good enough is that it focuses on monogamy. This is similar to concepts that are offered by renowned expert, Esther Perel. Perel reminds us that many of our concepts on monogamy, romance, and passion can promote frustration in erotic relationships. Thus, it’s important to help people also identify whether monogamy is the relationship style that will work best for them. Most people assume that monogamy is the relationship structure that will work best for them. Then there are others who have considered more open relationship styles, yet who have still opted for monogamy. Regardless of the relationship style, there are times where sex doesn’t live up to expectations.
Sex is a tough, delicate type of communication. There are many paradoxes in sex. What works in your relationship, might not work in your sexual connection. What you think you want in your fantasies can be killed by the reality of the experience. Realities like this can make it seem complicated. The most important elements are to communicate, be open with yourself, and open with your partner. You’ll be able to share your expectations, but also the barriers that you’re experiencing as well. This can make it so you will feel like you’re moving closer to the goal of sexual connection.