One of the many reasons that couples struggle in the bedroom is because they may have a different sexual style. Sexual styles were first discovered by the psychologist Donald Mosher and popularized by David Schnarch in his best selling book “Passionate Marriage”.
There are three types of sexual styles and while many of us can move between some or all of them, we all have a primary sexual style. Read the following descriptions and see if you can figure out what your style is.
If you are someone who likes to go inside of yourself during sex, usually with eyes closed, in order to be able to really focus on physical sensation, you are a “trancer”. You are also likely to be highly kinesthetic, meaning that touch is one of the primary ways in which you connect sexually with a partner.
Trancers tend to like very slow, focused touch in a space where there are not a lot of distractions which might take you out of your body experience. You can probably go very deep and even have an out of body experience during sex. Emotional connection may be harder for you as you are focused on your own pleasure.
If sex for you is about emotion, romance, lots of eye contact during sex and orgasm, kissing and face to face contact, your sexual style is partner engagement.
Intimacy and partner connection is most important for this style. Romantic and loving words, creating the right mood and atmosphere will help enhance your sexual experience. Partner engagers also have a lot of range within this style and tend to shy away from casual sexual encounters.
Role Play and Fantasy:
If you are someone who needs to go into a fantasy in order to get really aroused during sex or sex for you is about role play, then this is your sexual style. This style involves a lot of creativity and exploration and the ability and breath to play many different roles. Role playing in particular, requires a fair degree of comfort with your own individuality and sexual expression.
When Sexual Styles Conflict:
Trance State and Partner Engagement are a very common combination that can cause conflict in your sex life.
This might show up when the partner engagement person gets triggered because their trance state partner closes their eyes during sex. They might be feeling like their partner isn’t interested in them or is detaching emotionally.
Similarly the trance state partner might feel a bit of overwhelm if their partner is constantly reminding them to open their eyes or feels pressure to have sex with the lights on, which is distracting to them.
The good news is that just because you have a primary sexual style that does not mean that you can’t try out and find aspects of other sexual styles that work for you. Many people can go back and forth between sexual styles.
I switch back and forth between partner engagement which I love during foreplay and as I’m establishing intimacy with a partner and trance state for intercourse and orgasmic play for which I invariably end up closing my eyes for some significant portion.
As always communication is key as is being willing to explore and try out new things. Who knows, you might surprise yourself!