What is Your Couple Style… Emotional or?

When sex is going well in a couple’s relationship, it provides a positive influence that enhances each partner’s feelings of connection and vitality.

Conversely, when sex is avoided, dysfunctional or causes conflict, the couple may experience lack of desire and relationship instability. Understanding your Couple Sexual Style can help you to enjoy the benefits of shared pleasure, greater intimacy and the ability to withstand the pressures that threaten the marital bond.

Barry McCarthy, PhD., along with his wife, Emily, have written extensively on the subject of marital sex and have identified the four most common Couple Sexual Styles: Traditional, Best Friend, Emotionally Expressive and Complementary. No one style is right for all couples, and each has its benefits and challenges. Discovering your Couple Sexual Style can help you build desire and avoid the struggle over how you should be having sex. Let’s look at the four styles to determine which best describes you:


These couples follow a traditional pattern of male/female gender roles when it comes to the bedroom. The husband is the sexual initiator and focuses on intercourse frequency, while his wife is more concerned with feelings of affection and intimacy. These folks often value marital sex from a religious viewpoint and emphasize the importance of family and children. They know their sexual roles and rarely experience conflict regarding them.

Traditional couples may struggle when the wife’s need for intimacy and closeness feels ignored by the husband’s focus on intercourse. Additionally, as they grow older, the husband’s inability to produce spontaneous erections as he always had, may cause him to avoid sex altogether. This further reduces the intimate aspect of their connection, thereby leaving the wife to be further dissatisfied. In order to combat this problem, twice-yearly partners are responsible to plan a specific sexual encounter, designed to ignite their Traditional Style. The wife plans an erotic or sexually playful date where she can choose whether it will continue to orgasm or intercourse. For the husband’s date, he will engage in intimacy that does not proceed to intercourse or orgasm.

Best Friend:

Those couples with the Best Friend style are soul mates who feel quite loving towards one another, sharing good communication and intimacy. They report a sense of acceptance by their spouse and are often very affectionate. A crucial aspect of their relationship is mutuality, where they seek to have experiences together. Their secure emotional attachment is the strength of this couple and they feel well bonded.

Due to the closeness of this couple, they are prone to miss out on eroticism and the excitement that sex can add to their relationship. As best friends, they neglect the sexual aspect of couplehood, choosing to be emotionally close instead. When Best Friends do have sex, they seek to ensure both are in the mood and equally satisfied, which leads to lesser sexual encounters overall. They don’t take risks sexually, resulting in monotony and predictability. In order to overcome these issues, every six months each partner is responsible for suggesting a sexual date that is erotic for just one person. This encourages them to be sexy or playful without waiting for agreement from both parties, thus expanding their sexual repertoire and frequency.

Emotionally Expressive:

These couples have the wild, frequent, highly charged sex life that other couples envy. They reject the constraints of traditional rules around sex and are open to exploring new erotic activities to spice things up. Role-playing and pornography may be valued as a means to creative sexual expression. Sex soothes the pain of affairs or turbulent outbursts for these individuals.

The downside to this extremely emotive couple style is that eventually these folks can grow weary of all the drama. While they can use sex to kiss and make up, there may come a time when too many infidelities can finally take a toll on their relationship. When they have a negative sexual experience, Emotionally Expressive couples are apt to make hurtful comments that cause permanent damage out of frustration or anger. For this sexual style, it is critical to learn not to express oneself with a painful comment while lying in bed after an unsatisfying sexual encounter.


Favored by sex therapists, this couple sexual style is ideal because each partner knows their sexual voice and feels empowered to both make requests and decide not to engage, all the while seeing themselves as part of a sexual team. They value both eroticism and intimacy in their sexual encounters and feel being sexual to be a shared pleasure. These couples enjoy variable sexual options and are comfortable with an outcome that may only satisfy one partner, so long as it is not at the expense of the other.

The problem for Complementary couples is that they can neglect their sex life and fall into routines that become uninteresting, and sexuality falls to the wayside. Sex may work fine, but there is lack of desire due to monotony. The solution to their sexual rut is to encourage these couples to take turns initiating something new and fun to enliven their sex life.

After identifying the Couple Sexual Style that best describes the way you and your partner interact sexually, accentuate the strengths that enhance your relationship and be aware of the pitfalls that can diminish your sexual bond. To learn more, the McCarthy’s book, Discovering Your Couple Sexual Style, can increase your knowledge and provide useful tools to ensure that sex adds that positive boost to your partnership. You might also want to consult a sex therapist, specializing in sexuality issues, to rev up your sex life or resolve problems that hinder your connection. Remember that sex cannot be treated with benign neglect, but rather needs attention and intention to promote couple satisfaction in your relationship.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

What Sexual Inheritance Did We Receive from Victorians, Romans and the Renaissance

What would you like to receive as a intimate inheritance?

Some things never change but sex isn’t one of them. Marcus Field looks back on some surprising episodes in the centuries-long evolution of Western sexual attitudes, from the ancient Greeks to the present day

Let’s start with the Greeks

Aphrodisiac, eroticism, homosexuality, narcissism, nymphomania, pederasty all these terms are derived from the language of ancient Greece which tells you something about its society. The myths of Homer and Plutarch told stories such as that of Aphrodite, goddess of sexual intercourse, who emerged from the foaming semen of her father’s castrated testicles. Then there were the mortal heroes such as Hercules, who it is said ravished 50 virgins in a single night, but who also had an affair with his nephew Iolaus and fell in love with “sweet Hylas, he of the curling locks”.

From the early 6th century to the early 4th century, the culture of pederasty flourished in Athens, with adult men taking adolescent boys to serve as their lovers (although how much physical sex actually happened is a matter of some debate). Women in ancient Greece were generally the property of men and rarely enjoyed the exalted status of the young homosexual partner. But we know that there was a strong culture of female prostitution, with the most successful courtesans often wielding power and wealth and with brothels paying a state tax on their profits. Neglected wives found ways to satisfy their desires. Lesbians (called tribades) certainly existed, and the culture is associated most particularly with the island of Lesbos “where burning Sappho loved and sung”. There are also plenty of literary references to the use of dildos, which in ancient Greece were made of padded leather and anointed with olive oil before use.

And then along came the Romans…

In Rome, as elsewhere in the ancient world, wives and children belonged to the man of the family. A woman caught in the act of adultery could be killed by her husband on the spot, while a wife who drank more than a moderate amount of wine gave grounds for divorce. Despite this, the orgiastic culture of legend certainly existed during the Bacchanalian festivals, when all restraint was abandoned. Such was the hedonism and lawlessness of these rites, with rampant couplings of both heterosexual and homosexual nature, that public worship of Bacchus was finally outlawed in 186 BCE. Prostitution was widespread and legal, and the Greek tradition of pederasty was significant enough to cause concern when the Roman birth rate dropped. Much attention was given to the development of contraception.

Pliny recommended “mouse dung applied in the form of a liniment” or pigeon droppings mixed with oil and wine. Much more successful was the method devised by the gynaecologist Soranus of Ephesus who suggested a wool plug for the uterus impregnated with gummy substances. However, it is more likely that outbreaks of plague and disease led to the catastrophic fall in the population of the Roman empire than the success of primitive contraception.

Are Your Partner’s Fantasies Unnerving to You?

Sex experts discuss the pros and cons of revealing to your partner your most private erotic fantasies.

You’ve been sharing a bed with the same partner for years. By now you know each other’s sleeping habits inside and out, right down to the exact room temperature and sleeping position preferred. But how well do you know what it takes to turn on your partner? There’s one way to find out — by sharing your most intimate sex fantasies. An open exchange of erotic fantasies can help rekindle the flames — or can they? Here’s what sex experts say on the subject.

Risky business

Many sex experts advise couples to use caution when revealing private sex fantasies. “It often backfires,” says Wendy Maltz, MSW, sex therapist and co-author of the book Private Thoughts: The Power of Women’s Fantasies. That’s because too often, says Maltz, there’s a lack of understanding about what it means to share them.

To minimize misunderstandings, Maltz suggests setting some guidelines before agreeing to reveal erotic fantasies. “Make sure you have a mutual understanding of each other’s objectives. Are you doing it simply to learn about what each other’s private sexual thoughts are, or are you creating a menu of the type of sexual activities you want to try?” she says.

Other experts agree that it’s best not to plunge head-first into a completely candid revelation of your deepest erotic fantasies. “First, test the waters. Float the idea in a general way,” suggests Barbara Bartlik, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. “You could say, ‘What did you think about that scene in the movie?'”

Even when both partners willingly reveal their sex fantasies to one another, says Maltz, there’s no guarantee that the outcome will be a positive meeting of the minds, or bodies. “It’s shaky ground for a relationship. It can really enhance the sexual experience, or destroy it. It can make people very uptight and anxious,” Maltz says.

That’s particularly true if either you or your partner finds the content of a particular fantasy off-putting. “What about the person who likes to be sexually sadistic? The other person may take great offense to that,” Bartlik says. Oftentimes, explains Bartlik, it takes a lot of courage to reveal a less conventional fantasy such as one that includes sadomasochism. Further, it takes a very loving and loyal partner to listen and accept fantasies that may be outside the mainstream of sexual experience. The inability to accept an edgy fantasy may cause a rift in the relationship.

But even if you find your partner’s sex fantasies a bit unnerving, there’s hope for moving forward.