Thursday, July 10, 2014

How Sexual Are You?

I have used my Sexual Proclivity Scale in several of my posts because I wanted to begin a discussion about how sexual  different people are.  Some people are more and less sexual than others, and there's a very wide scale of sexuality.  This seems obvious to say, but it is something that isn't usually looked at on a scale like the one I created.

I went looking for research or images to use for the discussion of the difference between highly sexual people and not-as-sexual people and literally found nothing.  I just found information suggesting that people are either sexual or asexual.  So I made up my Sexual Proclivity Scale for my own use, because there is a lot more variety than just sexual or asexual!

My scale is not scientific in any way...however...I know it is relevant and very useful and I've found that most people who see my scale immediately understand it.  Usually they will also know immediately where they themselves are on this scale.  (I invite anyone to share with me any research or information that examines "how sexual" people are, by the way.  I'd love to make my scale as accurate as possible based on real research, if there is any.).

Why Does it Matter How Sexual You Are?

It matters because the more self-aware you are about your own sexuality, the better chance you have at using that awareness to pursue your optimal sex life.

Generally speaking, you will have the best chance at having a fulfilling partnered sex life by choosing a partner who is at approximately the same level on the Sexual Proclivity Scale as you are.

Also generally speaking, a big mismatch in how sexual two people are can cause huge relationship issues...and divorce.

How sexual you are is a part of you.  You can't escape who you really are.  There are some people who go through some kind of hormonal or life change and this causes a big change in how sexual they are.  A good example of this is that many parents do not feel very sexual when they have young children, and many people do not feel very sexual when they are depressed.  But usually, if the parent or depressed person was highly sexual before the children or the depression, most likely they will return to their natural sexual proclivity of being highly sexual again eventually.

Most people stay in their same place on the scale for most of their lives, however.  Again, how sexual you are is part of you.  (However, in cases of sexual repression or trauma, the natural proclivity level may be masked or difficult to determine without therapy first.  In severe cases, an individual may not be able to realize their natural proclivity at all which is one of the most detrimental effects of sexual trauma).

You owe it to yourself to do some self-study and really know how sexual you are.  Do you think about sex often?  Hourly?  Daily?  Monthly?  Never?  Each of these answers is normal for some people.  Any answer is correct, as long as it is authentic.

Do you make your sex life a high priority?  Is it a higher priority than your job?  Your hobbies?  Your children's hobbies and lessons?  Television?  Again, a yes or no to any of these questions is someone's authentic answer.  You should know your own answers.

There's no best or preferable place to be on the Sexual Proclivity Scale.  More sexual is not better or worse than less sexual.  Everyone's true place on this scale should be honored and accepted.  We shouldn't try to change other people to be more or less sexual than they really are.  It really doesn't work, and it shows a misunderstanding of the wide range of human sexual potentials.

Although I am highly sexual, I have had the blessing of knowing many less sexual, gray sexual and asexual people.  This allowed me to really understand that my sexuality isn't better or more fulfilling than theirs is.  People who are lower on the Sexual Proclivity Scale (including asexual people) can have amazing sex lives which they cherish.  I wrote more about this topic in this blog post.

The quality of intimacy or sexual pleasure a person is capable of has nothing to do with how sexual they are.  A highly sexual person may be anorgasmic and an asexual person may be hyper orgasmic, for example.  A gray sexual person may be extremely kinky and a hyper sexual person may have no kink to them whatsoever.  An extremely sexual person may have had only one sex partner in their lifetime (I know people who married their high school sweetheart, and are still having sex like teenagers decades later), and a moderately sexual person may have lots of sex partners.  How sexual you are doesn't determine that kind of thing.

Awareness and Acceptance are Key

Understanding these differences between us helps us have empathy and accept each other.  There is so much pressure on all of us to "be someone"...whoever society and family believe you should be.  If they believe you should be a highly sexual person but you are not, you will feel pressured by the world to act in ways that are not natural to you.

Men are always assumed to be highly sexual.  But studies show that they are not, except for a very small percentage.

I wrote a book review that discusses this issue in this blog post.

On the other hand, women are assumed to be less sexual than men.  Since I am a highly sexual woman and I've found that I am more sexual than just about any man I've ever met (besides my husband), I feel pressured to not act as I really authentically want to act.  I feel pressure to conform to something that looks like I am less sexual than I really am.  I wrote about this topic in this blog post.

The more we become aware that assumptions about how sexual other people are isn't good and causes societal pressure, the more sex positive we will be.  Instead, we should focus on understanding our own natural level of sexual proclivity and on accepting each other's.

Sexual Mismatches = Not So Good

Self-aware people in the asexual community typically understand that if they partner with a sexual person, it is highly likely that both people will be unhappy eventually.  They may be able to work around the situation by making a conscious effort to meet each other's needs, but it will be very difficult.

Here's an AVEN Relationship FAQ article which discusses romantic relationships between sexual and asexual people and the difficulties that can arise.

Most people are not totally asexual, but many people are gray sexual, or just not very sexual.  People who aren't very sexual can go weeks, months or years without sex sometimes, and this is normal for them.  If you get into a relationship with someone who is at a lower level of sexual proclivity than you are, it is very likely you will not be very happy with your sex life.  Love doesn't tend to fix this type of thing.  It is unsolvable for many couples and causes a lot of divorce.

But two people who aren't that sexual can be very happy together and have a very fulfilling, vibrant, sex life.  So can two averagely sexual people, two highly sexual people, or two moderately sexual people.

I wish this was more understood.  I wish people who enter relationships could realize how difficult a sexual mismatch will be and that they should intentionally try to find good sexual matches for themselves, especially for long term relationships and marriage.  For casual sex and short term relationships, a sexual mismatch may not matter at all.  But when it does matter, it matters a lot.

Some couples can navigate a large sexual mismatch and still have a good sex life and still be happy.  And I'd like to give those couples a lot of kudos!  But I also want to caution that this is very rare.

So enjoy your natural level of sexual proclivity with a lover who is at approximately the same level as you are!  This is one of the biggest pieces to the success of my excellent married sex life and I wouldn't have it any other way.  We don't have to be perfectly in synch, and we definitely are not exactly the same as each other sexually.  Yet we are a match, not a mismatch.  That's the key.

Soon I will be creating a blog post that discusses more about the criteria I considered when creating the Sexual Proclivity Scale, and also a self-test for people, even though as I said most people know where they are on the scale just by looking at it.  But people love self-tests, so I just have to do one, because it's fun.  I will link it on this post when it is finished.

Thanks for reading!  Please share this post and help spread awareness and good sex lives.

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