Sex File: Sex doesn’t have to be taken too seriously

Sex File: Sex doesn’t have to be taken too seriously

The woman I’m dating is very light-hearted and often starts giggling during sex. I love her bubbly personality, but I find this quite difficult because she doesn’t seem to take it seriously. She says our sex life is hugely satisfying, so why does she find it so funny?

What I don’t understand is why you’re intent on sex being so serious. Reading between the lines, it sounds as if your girlfriend’s flippancy is triggering some sort of personal insecurity. 

Are you a little sexually underconfident? Or are you secretly worried that she may be laughing at you? I doubt that she is, but if you feel that way you ought to tell her. 

I know you have asked her if she finds sex satisfying, but that is different from admitting that you feel vulnerable.

It is not particularly easy to discuss sexual difficulties, especially if you think that a lack of confidence may be perceived as a turn-off, but the truth is that most people are incredibly relieved when their partners open up about sex. 

It gives them permission to be honest about their own insecurities in the bedroom, and it sets a precedent about sexual honesty, which has lifelong benefits for any relationship.

It is very common to be nervous in a new relationship and some people use humour as a way of deflecting attention away from themselves, so it is possible that your girlfriend’s light-heartedness and laughter during sex may be her way of coping with feelings of awkwardness or embarrassment. 

If this is the case, talking about your own insecurities will help her to feel more relaxed and less giggly when you have sex. 

Having said that, you say that her personality is generally very bubbly anyway, so perhaps it is that her behaviour in bed is simply reflective of who she is.

She is clearly very different from you, and although people say that “opposites attract”, when it comes to relationships, the reverse may be true. 

People have a tendency to choose partners who are very like them. If one partner prefers early mornings, right-wing politics or eating vegan food, there is a good chance the other partner will too.

For a long time it was thought that married couples grew together and became more like each other. 

However, in 2010 Mikhila Wildey, a psychologist at Michigan State University, disproved this idea with the study ‘Is Spousal Similarity for Personality a Matter of Convergence or Selection?’

This analysed data from 1,296 married couples to assess their personality and behaviour. What Wildey found was not that people became like their partners, rather that they picked partners who were like them in the first place.

However, that’s not the whole story. Although similarity helps, in certain contexts it is better to be different. 

Sex File: Sex doesn’t have to be taken too seriously

Research by Manon van Scheppingen, an expert in developmental psychology, has found that the benefits of similarity vary depending on the trait in question. For example, if one partner is very extroverted, it is often better if the other partner is less so. 

Similarly, if one partner is very disorganised, it is better for the relationship if the other partner is highly conscientious. 

Openness, however, is one trait where similarity is important, Scheppingen found. This makes sense because couples who can be open with each other tend to find it easier to share problems and support each other emotionally.

By the sound of it, your new girlfriend is lovely, open and communicative, and has many qualities required for a successful and satisfying sexual relationship. 

Perhaps, instead of trying to get her to tone down her light-heartedness, you ought to think about lightening up? 

It is early days, but the fact that your relationship is serious doesn’t mean that sex has to be.

Send your queries to suzigodson@mac.com

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