This comment was from NickMostly on the post Am I Not Enough For Her, in response to Eric.
Eric, I don’t think you get it: It’s Not About Him.
It might seem like it’s about him, particularly if you start with the idea that by default he should be the exclusive provider of her sexual satisfaction.
Going with Heather’s dessert analogy…
The market up the street from me has a number of ice cream flavors I love. When I want Moose Tracks or Mint Oreo I buy it at my corner market. But sometimes I’m in the mood for Three Geeks and a Red Head which my corner market doesn’t carry, so I go to my local coöp which does.
My wanting Three Geeks and a Redhead says nothing about how I value:
The Corner Market
What it does say is that occasionally I like Three Geeks and a Red Head.
Now if I had the view that my corner market should be my exclusive ice cream provider then I might be disappointed with them that they can’t fulfill this need of mine. And I might grow frustrated when they say they can’t provide Three Geeks and a Redhead because their distributor doesn’t carry it. My corner store might feel like our agreement was violated if I decide to go to the coöp for my Three Geeks and a Redhead needs.
I think the model of sexual relationships that says all of your sexual energy should be focussed exclusively on your partner is an unrealistic ideal. It’s one that works when you’re sexually compatible, when your libidos are closely aligned and your sexual temperaments match. But most relationships aren’t like that, and in our exaltation of romantic love we’ve been conditioned to see sexual dissatisfaction as something less than a deal breaker. We’ve also come to view sexual compatibility as a function of frequency, where we measure the ratio between their desires and define a cutoff point.
- He wants it every day, she three times a week = .4285 compatibility factor
- He wants it once every other month, she wants it twice a day = .0167 compatibility
- He wants it three times a week, she wants it twice a week = .6667 compatibility factor
Then we try to figure out what a good cutoff point is and add in some confounding variables. Maybe if they add oral sex on one of the days she’s not interested we can boost the .4285 to .5714 instead, and we decide that an absolute cutoff before your sexual compatibility is somewhere around .2500 or so.
Of course we don’t explicitly think in terms of ratios like this, but the exercise is more or less what we go through in thinking about sexual compatibility. Other considerations, such as the use of toys or pornography, are generally pushed aside and though of in more absolute terms: acceptable or deal breaker. Indeed, it is unfortunately all too common that people view these other sexual behaviors as a form of “cheating,” as if they were another partner. And ultimately I think it’s this view of sexuality that even gives rise to questions like these.
Am I Good Enough is a question rooted firmly in insecurity and ego. The answer is and always should be No. The question is the wrong one to be asking. We should instead ask, “can I be sexually fulfilled with this person? Can they be sexually fulfilled with me?” There needn’t be an assumption that your partner’s body should be the exclusive provider of sexual fulfillment. If I am sexually satisfied by my partner, I’m going to want to help her be sexually satisfied as well. If what she wants is a battery operated toy, what’s the big deal if your needs are being satisfied?
photo: kb35 / flickr