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Sexually compatible: Turn ons, turn offs, condoms, regrets

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Sex is emotional and satisfying, but it can also be disappointing and superficial. One example of the latter is in a recent Reuters Health study that explains women's biggest sexual regret is being intimate with someone who is physically unattractive. Never mind if it was good or not. That guy was ugly.

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And in the December 2013 issue of Men's Health magazine, a special report by Jim Thornton tackles "The Condom Conundrum" about why condoms are so uncomfortable.

"When it comes to physical sensation, sex with a condom may not be quite as awful as dining with a sandwich bag on your tongue, but the analogy isn't that far-fetched. As thin as latex stretches, it still blocks a cardinal feature of sex: the deliciously slippery feel of skin on skin," Thornton says in the special report.

The article goes on to discuss how many people have patented different types of condoms trying to figure out how to fight against STDs, STIs and unwanted pregnancy without dealing with the biggest downer: Not being in the mood anymore because of that latex blocker.

If one person is very adamant about not wanting to have children (or anymore children) or is very concerned about STDs and STIs, and the other person is adamant about no protection at all, does that make the two sexually incompatible? For all they know, they may have the best sex of their lives, but because neither is willing to meet in the middle they'll never know.

But what exactly does "sexually compatible" mean? Psychology Today describes the term as "the extent to which a couple perceives they share sexual beliefs, preferences, desires and needs with their partner." However, this same study ends by saying that if two people perceive that they're sexually compatible then that's enough to make them think they are without actual proof. (Granted if they have sex later and it sucks, then they can both agree they were wrong.)

This should be a surprise to no one. Some people have a "type" that they regularly pursue in relationships only to find out that their physical "type" doesn't meet the personality requirements they're looking for. A condom may "look" like it's going to make the sex bad unless you look at the other possibilities -- other forms of touching, rubbing, seeing him/her naked, kissing, hugging, etc. For women especially foreplay can be as enjoyable as actual intercourse. If you're skeptical of that, ask your average woman how she would feel about having sex with no foreplay ever again. There are countless articles about women not making it to orgasm for that reason alone. Men's Health even gives 10 tips, and none of them are just to randomly start pounding on her.

So the next time you decide to be intimate with someone, consider being as optimistic about compatibility as you are about the idea of getting laid. And if all else fails, at least be safe.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago dating, wedding and relationship entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Relationships channel at the top of this page.

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