Love Versus Sex/ Romance Versus Reality

Margie Nichols, Ph.D.By Margie Nichols, Ph.D.

 IN OUR LAST BLOG, WE DESCRIBED THE MOST COMMON ROMANTIC MYTHS THAT DESTROY SEX LIFE.  HERE WE TELL YOU WHY THEY ARE WRONG.

Most people are raised with a lot of romantic myths about sex, and like the women above, we refuse to see, hear, or talk about evidence that contradicts our beliefs.  These misconceptions can be grouped into a few categories.  Here are some broad categories and why these romantic beliefs are wrong:

1) Sex and Love are Intertwined:  we seem to think that once we are in love our sex drive will be focused only on our beloved. While this may be true during the initial infatuation phase of a relationship, over time we revert back to our true ‘animal nature.’  And believe me, animals are NOT monogamous.  You may have heard that some animals, like swans, mate for life.  What you probably don’t know is that swans and other ‘monogamous’ animals are connected to one partner for the purpose of child-rearing – but they all sleep around.   Monogamy is kind of – UNnatural. We can make our behavior monogamous, but not our desires.  Once we accept this reality, our partner’s attractions or fantasies about others, or ours, are not personal betrayals or disloyalties.

2) Sex is Spontaneous:  this one derails a lot of long term couples.  We have the illusion that sex will just ‘happen’ without prioritizing it or setting aside time for it.  The funny thing is if we are honest with ourselves – sex was NEVER spontaneous.  Even in the beginning of a relationship people plan in advance without realizing it – ruminating over what clothes to wear, how to set the stage for intimacy, how to be seductive, what to say.  Then once they are in a committed relationship they think they never have to do that kind of ‘advance planning’ again.

3) Sexual Proficiency ‘Comes Naturally’: we recognize the skill, experience, and practice factor in almost every other activity we do.  We know we don’t cook without being taught, ride a bike the first time we get on one, do a handstand without practice.  Yet we think there is no skill, knowledge, or technical expertise in sex.

4) Our Partner’s Sexual Desires Are the Same as Ours: but why should they be?  We don’t expect our partners to have exactly the same taste in food or clothes, the same lifestyle habits, the same preferences in movies or books – but we think we should be magically in sync with each other.  Sex involves the same differences – and the same compromises over differences – as any other activity we want to share with our mates.

5) Love Means Never Having to Say What You Want:  lots of people think their partners are mind-readers, and this is especially prevalent where sex is concerned.  We think they ‘should’ know what turns us on without our having to say.  This belief is rooted in shame and embarrassment about talking explicitly about sex or being sexually assertive.

In another blog, I’ll tackle gender-related myths about sex.

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