Science has already discovered that sexual satisfaction is important for a satisfying relationship. So if it is so important, how do you know if you are compatible?
Sexual compatibility refers to whether couples have compatible turn-ons and turn-offs. Do you like the same things. So how do you know if you have the same preferences? Maybe you could just ask your partner and compare notes. The question is, is your partner being totally honest? They may be too embarrassed to tell the whole truth or just want to be agreeable. You might easily think you are compatible, but then find out later that you aren't compatible at all!
Recently, a researcher from Kentucky and two from Guelph teamed up to see how far we should take this sexual compatibility issue. Should people be interrogating their partners, or can they trust their instincts.
To answer this, they took a bunch of couples and measured their sexual compatibility (similarity in sexual preferences) and then looked at their perception of how sexually compatible they were with their partner. Perceived sexual compatibility is whether you think you have the same sexual preferences, needs, beliefs, and desires as your partner.
They found that the perception of sexual compatibility was more important than actual sexual compatibility for relationship satisfaction. People who believe they are compatible are more satisfied with their relationship. So even if a couple has totally different sexual preferences, if they believe they have similar sexual preferences, they'll likely be OK in the end. It turns out we can trust our judgement.
To be philosophical, this is a case of our perception of reality being more important that reality itself. So don't worry, just believe.
By Dr. Syras Derksen
Mark, K. P., Milhausen, R. R., & Maitland, S. B. (2013). The impact of sexual compatibility on relationship satisfaction in a sample of young adult heterosexual couples. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 28, 201-214.