Conflicting Sexual Styles: 50 Shades of Gray

How to get your groove on in the bedroom

You've met the seemingly perfect guy, and your first couple of dates are awesome, and that goodnight kiss on your doorstep is swoonworthy.

After a few weeks, you venture into the bedroom, only to discover that your sexual styles don't match. At all. Is there hope? Is there anything that can be done to save this relationship? Or is this “50 Shades of Gray” without the resolution?

Sexologist Debra Laino, therapist and author “How to Get the Party Back in Your Panties!” said that there is definitely hope. “No two sexual styles are ever exactly the same. Some couples may seem to click instantly but in reality there is always some adjusting and learning to be done in any new relationship. Some just have an easier time of it, and a shorter distance to go (so to speak), than others. While there are sometimes cases of true incompatibility, most of the time things can be worked out easily enough if both parties are willing.”

Conflicting Sexual Styles: 50 Shades of Gray

Sexual disconnect

There are many ways for couples to experience a sexual disconnect, said relationship expert Ken Blackman.

Despite the differences, there are some ways to work through it and get the pilot light aflame between the two of you, Blackman said:

  1. Talk. Have a conversation about what you like, what you want, what your ideal sensual life would look like. Talk about what embarrasses you and what your secret thrill is. Get to know your partner's likes and dislikes. This doesn't just give you the lay of the land. Honesty leads to connection, and connection can work miracles in the bedroom. Even a nasty fight can lead to great make-up sex, fueled by passion and truth.
  2. Take turns. Compare these two: “We have really different tastes when it comes to lovemaking.” Not so good. Compare this to saying: “We have really different tastes when it comes to lovemaking… and we're both rock stars at giving the other exactly what he/she likes.” Now that's a little more like it. The point is, it's not so important that you like the same things. It is important that you both know how to please each other, and have the desire to do so. Okay, so one partner may need a little more practice. That's okay, it just means you have to spend more time in the bedroom.
  3. Identify the turn-off. If one of you just hasn't been interested in awhile, all is not lost. A genuinely asexual person knows they're asexual, and seeks an asexual partner to have an asexual relationship with. So just admit that you both really do want a rich, gratifying sensual life. It's more likely there are one or two big turn-offs in the relationship that are spoiling the fun. Many couples find that once they deal with the thing that's killing the mood-which could have nothing to do with the bedroom-suddenly the juices are flowing just fine.
  4. Adjust the relationship. If you find you're absolutely incompatible in bed, and there's still something drawing you to each other-you still have strong feelings, or really enjoy each other's company-maybe your relationship is meant to be something other than romantic. Maybe you're more Netflix buddies or BFFs than bedmates. Opposite-sex friendships can take many forms. They are healthy anddon't have to get in the way of our romantic connections and can become valuable, resilient relationships in their own right.
Conflicting Sexual Styles: 50 Shades of Gray

Size matters

Dr. Fran Walfish, psychotherapist, author, and expert panelist on “Sex Box” premiering on WE TV in early 2015, said what the difference is and how big it is can definitely matter.

“The way to handle conflicting sexual styles depends on many variables including the details of what the different sexual styles entail. For instance, if a male partner discovers that he is bisexual and enjoys intercourse with men his lady may not be willing to accept this. However, if the woman is bisexual and wants to engage in sexual activities or threesomes including women some men might find this a turn-on and be glad to agree,” Walfish said.

“The complication here is that feelings change - moment to moment. A person can believe he or she is comfortable with an idea, try it, and be fine. But, then when circumstances change so do feelings. Relationships are constantly affected by ever changing feelings. The main ingredient to good healthy relationships is open, honest communication. Talking is the glue that holds relationships together.”

Conflicting Sexual Styles: 50 Shades of Gray

Use it as a growing opportunity

Dr. Jane Greer, marriage and family therapist and “Shrink Wrap” media commentator, gives her advice on conflicting sexual styles.

“This issue doesn't mean you shouldn't be together; it's just an opportunity to learn, grow, and experiment with different styles. Find new things you both will enjoy, that please you as well as your partner. If they're really experimental, but you like the same old thing, agree to experiment occasionally. The experimental person should not get bored in between because you've both agreed on this compromise. In a way, they're experimenting with similarity and enjoying the pleasures of the 'tried and

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