The Happy Trail

Sexual perfection: an unobtainable goal

Practice makes perfect. But does this prove true for our sexual lives? No matter how amazing one is while in the bedroom (or on the couch, on the floor, outdoors, et cetera) there is always a disconnect between how we imagine things to unfold and what actually happens.

Did I put that in the right place? Was I communicating enough with my partner?

Regardless, things never go exactly as we draw them up in our head; it is impossible for things to go ‘perfectly’ if there are two (or more) people involved. There are simply too many variables to be taken into account.

No one is immediately cognizant of their partner’s needs and nuances, and this creates unneeded anxiety for those stuck in a perfectionist mind-set. We all want to be Aphrodite.

Practice will help you be better in bed, but it is important to realize that perfection is an unobtainable goal.

If you are both participating in consensual sex, then you are obviously doing something right. Let your partner’s attraction to you be enough.

At first I thought this sexual apprehension was only something some of my close friends and I experienced, but it is actually a documented psychological phenomenon. In a recent Psychology Today article, Dr. Susan Whitbourne explains that there are four types of sexual perfectionists: those wishing their partners to be perfect, those wanting to be perfect for their partners, those that feel society wants them to be perfect, and those who feel their partners expect them to be perfect.

Most people, especially us college folk, likely fit into one of these perfectionist categories.

The varying extent to which we all fall victim to these internal and external pressures is personal. Whether you obsess, or just have the occasional unease, stop worrying! That moment of pure bliss could be missed if all you’re thinking about is whether or not you are doing everything right.

So, do you—and whoever else you want to do, but don’t get caught up on every single blunder. Sex, like life, is full of imperfections. Trying to smooth out all the wrinkles is absurd.

The good news for those who fall into the perfectionist mentality is that it means you care. If you want to be better, you will care enough to work at it and be focused when it is time to perform the task at hand. This is good. Wanting to perform at crazy levels to satisfy your partner, though, could be unrealistic.

There is a fine line between wanting to create a mutually pleasurable experience and simply being obsessed with performance.

If you are worried about how you are performing, it doesn’t hurt to, get this: ask. Talk about it with your partner. Even if it’s a one-night stand, ask your counterpart how things are going on their end. This will quell the qualms and allow you to do what your emotions tell you. Some like to get lost in a wild moment. Others enjoy slow calculated movements. Open communication is an integral part when trying to find what’s best.

Listen to what your partner likes and respond to it however you know how. That’s all you can do. Anything beyond this will draw your attention away from your partner in the hot and steamy moment.

Whether you are into shaking the halls of Trimble with passionate, unwieldy sex, or a slow, sensual roll in the hay with Marvin Gaye playing in the background, be confident and simply do the best you can in the moment. Any worries about making things “perfect” will just add extra anxiety to love-making, which is, if we’re being honest, difficult enough to navigate anyway.