GAY SEXUAL SATISFACTION AND SEXUAL COUPLE’S COMPATIBILITY

This post is dedicated to a reflection on two important concepts in the sexual life of both heterosexual and gay:

1) The sexual satisfaction

2) The couple’s compatibility

Obviously I’ll treat the arguments in relation to gay reality on the basis of the  experience gained in chat with gay guys. Some premises are essential. Guys arrive at the couple’s sexuality after a run of years in which sexuality is defined and stabilizes and after a period, longer or shorter, of psicological investigation about the potential partener prior to sexual contact. Very schematically, we can speak of

1) ORIGINAL STRUCTURATION OF PERSONAL SEXUALITY

When a guy comes to live a couple sexuality his sexuality is usually well structured from many years and has a well-defined and well-established structure built on the basis of masturbation and fantasies connected.

2) PREFIGURATION OF COULPE SEXUALITY

Already before reaching sexual contact with his partner, in the phase of falling in love, the guy prefigures sexual intercourse with his partner through masturbation or through patterns consistent with his sexuality that sometimes may not end up in masturbation because of the so-called sublimation of falling in love. Somehow he prefigures the sexual couple relationship, in other words tends to interpret unilaterally the future sexual intercourse with his partner as ideal completion of his masturbatory fantasies.

3) COUPLE SEXUALITY

After a longer or shorter period of emotional contact, not explicitly sexual, the two guys arrive at the couple sexuality after living, usually through masturbation, a prefiguration of the couple sexuality built on the basis of the individual sexuality. All that precedes this phase belongs to the world of individual sexuality, depends on the individual experiences and is completely independent of the actual interaction with the other guy. Everything that happens in the couple sexuality is instead highly dependent on the mode of interaction of the two prefigurations of couple sexuality and on the two individual sexualities.

4) THE SEXUAL SATISFACTION

The sexual satisfaction in a couple relationship is derived from the greater or lesser correspondence of the actual couple sexuality with its individuale prefiguration, so that the greater or lesser satisfation in couple sexuality depends on how much the real couple sexuality matches the individual contents of the masturbatory fantasies.

5) SEXUAL COUPLE COMPATIBILITY

Sexual couple compatibility depends mainly on the degree of correspondence between the two prefigurations of that relationship by the two partners. If the two guys have very similar or complementary sexual expectations, couple compatibility will be good. If the two guys are expecting sexual behaviors significantly different, the compatibility will be low and the couple’s sex life can be a component of discomfort also very strong, to the point that it can lead to disintegration of the couple.

In the couple sexuality can emerge typical issues of sexuality of individuals but also problems entirely new related to the couple’s incompatibility. Let us consider three particular cases.

1) A (gay) falls in love with B (hetero). It is obvious that reciprocity is completely lacking: B is in the masturbatory fantasies of A but A is not in the fantasies of B. Not only that, the sexual fantasies of the two guys are totally different and do not have common features. The two individual sexualities are structured in a different way. The guy A prefigures a sexual relationship with B or at least thinks that B is gay; B clearly does not even thinks of any sexual contact with A. In this case the sexual couple’s incompatibility is very evident. I add as a corollary that in such situations often A tends to project its affective-sexual world on B and reads the behavior of B in a gay key or is looking forward  to a possible evolution of B towards being gay, something totally meaningless, because B already has a sexuality that has been structured over the years.

2) A (gay) falls in love with B (bisexual with intermediate bisexuality). Here the situation is very delicate. We have to remember first of all that there are two different types of bisexuality:

a) Alternating bisexuality, in which a person during the life goes through 2, 3 or even 4 different periods, lasting several years, where he lives alternately a strictly hetero sexuality or a strictly gay sexuality. When an alternating bisexual is in gay phase he is a 100% gay and his masturbation fantasies are 100% gay, in a similar way when he is in straight phase he is straight 100% and his masturbatory fantasies are exclusively heterosexual. Alternating bisexuals have to face real problems when they undergo a transition from one phase to another, because often these situations can destroy marriages that seemed extremely solid with many serious conflicts within the family.

b) Intermediate bisexuality, in which a person is sexually attracted to people of both sexes and has masturbatory fantasies not elusively gay or not exclusively straight.

Transient phases of intermediate bisexuality occur sometimes among gay men who after a straight imprinting (first sexual contact) in a very young age, lived a hetero phase and start to realize definitely that they are gay. In these cases it is not a true bisexuality but an evolutionary phase that accompanies the emergence of true sexual gay identity. Typically in these situations, the polarization of sexuality toward the gay sexuality is completed at age around 20/21years. If this does not happen and sexuality is not polarized, i. e. if masturbatory fantasies do not become exclusively gay or exclusively heterosexual but remain present in both orientations maintaining more or less the same proportion over time, then it makes sense to speak of intermediate bisexuality.

So an intermediate bisexual has masturbatory fantasies both straight and gay. If his patterns are more markedly hetero type, his homosexual fantasies will be quite different from those typical of a guy 100% gay, just because an intermediate bisexual markedly straight will live the relationship with a guy with categories influenced by his prevailing straight orientation. Despite all the reservations, due to the low (not very small) number of such situations taken into account, I find that a bisexual intermediate:

A) tends to consider the anal penetration fundamental reserving for himself the active role in a homosexual relationship.

B) He likes the partner do oral sex on him but tends not to take similar initiatives towards his partner.

C) In the mutual masturbation tends to be masturbated avoiding to masturbate his partner.

When a gay guy falls in love with an intermediate bisexual must always understand that his partner is not really a gay and that the couple’s compatibility can be low, even if a bisexual is interested in a sexual relationship with a gay, the symmetry between the prefiguration of the relationship of a gay guy and that of the intermediate bisexual is usually is very relative. A characteristic symptom of sexual discomfort is called “forcing”, that is the attitude that tends to impose or expect from the partner behaviors that he does not want spontaneously, a common occurrence is in relation to anal penetration. In general, the forcing is accompanied by expressions such as “you will see that you will like it.” This sentence reveals a tendency to impose his own vision of sexuality.

Keep in mind that often the situation of unease in the couple sexuality does not emerge in a conscious way but manifests as true sexual dysfunction through problems of loss of erection or ejaculation. When these things happen the couple’s compatibility is low, the partner is surprised, he cannot find a reason and tends to attribute the failure in responding of his partner to sexual individual problems of wich his partner is probably unaware. It is not uncommon that guys who haven’t the slightest erectile deficit during the masturbation instead manifest an evident erection deficit during sexual activity in conditions of low couple’s compatibility. In this case, the erectile dysfunction is attributable to the couple relationship that the guy feels as substantially unsatisfactory. It is not unusual for gay guys who tend to form a couple with an intermediate bisexual, completely underestimate the fact that there may be a reduced sexual compatibility, and then, after some time, they realize that this relationship is not exactly what they would have wished, and that sexual behavior and fantasies of a gay and those of an intermediate bisexual are only vaguely similar. In many cases, as a result of the emergence of the sexual incompatibility after a while the gay-bisexual couple breaks.

3) A (gay) falls in love with B (gay). This is probably the situation that in principle should create less compatibility problems, but even here couple’s sex problems, although less weight, are not uncommon. Many factors can lead to different structuring of sexuality of both partners. In a purely indicative way, I quote a few:

a) The sexual imprinting, or the first conscious contact with the sexuality (often but not always the first sexual intercourse) that may have been straight or gay.

b) Any sexual abuse.

c) The presence or absence of a phase of couple’s heterosexuality in one or both partners and the presence or absence of a concomitant masturbation with gay fantasies.

d) The dependence of masturbatory fantasies on models of pornography.

e) The education they have received and especially the religious education.

f) The previous sexual experiences.

It is clear that also between gay guys the couple’s sex compatibility is not so frequent and obvious, the problems can be very different and from what I’ve seen it is not infrequent to find forms of non-sexual incompatibilities that interact in different ways with the sexual incompatibilities. I am referring to incompatibilities related to relationships between openly gay guys and hidden gay guys, related to have and to strive to maintain each one a large autonomy of behavior both in the general affective life and sometimes in sexual matters, but often incompatibilities have absolutely nothing to do with sexuality, as in the case of incompatibilities due to the radical difference in social origins or cultural level.

Only one thing seems absolutely essential to underline. First of all, for two gay guys, before reaching sexual contact, it is essential to understand whether or not it’s really possible to build a serious relationship, and of course it’s extremely useful talking seriously about sexuality.

Then, in the couple’s life in general, emotional and social, as in the actual exercise of sexuality, it should be always kept in mind that the couple’s logic in very different from the individual one. In a gay couple’ life roles are normally equal and the sexual initiative, that is the timing, is not assigned to one of the partners exclusively.

A fundamental concept must be kept in mind, namely that gay sexuality is a form of love, and that’s why in that field, the forcing is not absolutely eligible because it radically damages the relationship. The couple sexuality must be explored as a couple and without running too much as individuals into strictly individual directions. It is useful to talk, discuss and ensure full respect to the other to his time and to his sexuality. At this point I emphasize that there is nothing more unpleasant for a guy than receive a negative comment or, worse, an ironic comment about his sexual performance by his partner. A similar behavior is the classic sign of a serious incompatibility. Consider your partner complexed, clumsy, childish in his approach to sexuality, immature, is like to explicitly declare a serious couple’s sexual incompatibility.

Another fundamental concept: sexuality in a relationship between two gay guys is important and is a way of loving, but it is not always the most important thing, you build a relationship establishing a real community of life with a common design about the future, with a couple’s vision at 360 degrees. When sexuality is substantially integrated into a real emotional life, many problems of partial couple’s sexual incompatibility can be overcome in view of a deeply satisfying balance at the global level, and a choice made consciously and shared in this direction is not a waiver but it is just the sign of a couple’s life lived with a sense of responsibility and love.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:
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