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"How do I know if my partner is the right person for me sexually?"

Dear Ayal,

For the duration of my life I have not had that many lovers, however I feel as if they have all been decent. Granted some were better than others. My question is on what physical level do you know if a partner is truly pleasing you. If I were to have had more sexual experiences, and partners, would I find that there are some people who would repulse me sexually, and some who would bring me to a new understanding?


What I hear you asking in this question is whether or not you have had enough experience sexually to enable you to know what fits you. As with anything in life, I think the more we come to know who we are, the more we know what fits us. Certainly not everyone will attract or match us sexually - sometimes you can have a great lover, but he or she may be unsuitable for you emotionally, or lack other qualities you need and desire. Or someone can be unattractive to us physically, but have many other qualities we appreciate. There will be people who repulse us, and others who can offer us sexual experiences that, as you said, bring us "to new understandings." One thing I do know is that there can be as many sexual experiences as there are people on this planet. Everyone is different and will have a different chemical reaction with us. But I would not advocate making love with millions of people to learn what we like and what fits us!

Knowing ourselves takes time - it's a lifelong journey. In life, by choosing one road, one person, or relationship, it means that we have to let go of taking some other road. We can't take them all. Life just can't work that way. We'd burn up. So we have to make choices. Hopefully the choices we make come from a place of clarity. But often the only way to get to that clarity is by going through life and learning about ourselves as we go - as we make choices, and are willing to see ourselves clearly, we grow. From your question, you seem to be beginning that journey of discovery. There will be confusion. The most important thing is to come to know the deepest parts of yourself - to find out what is your real truth and who you really are - and what brings you true happiness.

There will never be the perfect road. But we can go deep on the road we do choose. It will show us who we are, both our good stuff, and the stuff we don't like so much about ourselves. And if we become wise, we will learn to separate who we really are from what our reactions and issues are. The reaction of feeling repulsed is a strong one and can teach you a lot about yourself. If you feel repulsed about someone or something, it is a sure bet that they represent something inside of yourself, a place where you feel insecure about yourself, or wounded in some way. People who repulse us represent some wound in us. Find out what that is, and you will have learned something very important about yourself. But of course, you don't have to sleep with someone who repulses you to find out what the issue is! Any experience you have will teach you something if you ask: "What am I to learn about myself through this experience?" And then you will know what road to take.

Making a commitment to a certain path, relationship, or person can be a scary thing, and many issues will come up for you when you do. It is really making a commitment to facing yourself - a commitment to your own growth. We can have many experiences, sexually, and many relationships. The key question always is: "am I running from something in myself? If I am, what is it?" It is good to have enough experience in life to know what fits you. But it is also easy to think there will one day be the perfect experience or person. I think we can and do learn what fits us by being willing to face ourselves and go deep through commitment. No one choice or person will ever give us everything. And even within one relationship, you will have times when a person repulses you, and times when you gain new understandings from them.

I have been married now for 8 years. It has taken us a lot of time to become good lovers for one another. We certainly have grown and come a long way from where we started out. What I finally learned is that it isn't just up to him to please me. It is up to me to state what I want, to be in love - within myself. For instance, depending upon what I have going on inside of myself, I will feel differently toward my husband at different times. Sometimes I look at him through eyes that see all his good qualities, and at those times I feel "in love" with him. Other times I can look at him and be repulsed and see only his unpleasant qualities. At those times, our love making will certainly not be as good as when I am feeling good about myself and have love to share with him. But it all comes down to how I am feeling inside of myself.

People who love one another can certainly learn to please each other sexually. As my husband and I have come to love and understand each other - and ourselves - better, our sex has gotten better. For something to be truly strong, like a sturdy tree, it takes time and slow, steady growth, working things out, communicating, being honest, learning about ourselves and others. Attraction is really all about bringing into our lives those people who will help us grow and see ourselves better. And as love grows, attraction does also.

Best wishes, Ayal

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