Here’s what’s “normal”: adults have sex primarily whenthey’re tired. This shapes the quality, content, and frequency of theexperience. Most adults save their “prime time” for things thatare either more important (raising their kids, working after hours,maintaining their health, handling crises) or more reliably satisfying(watching TV, going out, sharing hobbies, playing around on Facebook).Not having much energy is one aspect of “normal sex” thatmost people don’t want. But many adults seem to believethat most sex will inevitably take place when they’re not at theirbest, without considering the consequences of this kind of sex life -- thatit may become routine, not involve much time, lose its playfulness,and that using contraception or a lubricant may seem like too muchtrouble.If we think of “normal” as common,typical, and accepted as “the way things are,” this is what“normal sex” actually looks like:• Awkwardnessand self-consciousness are common.• Communication islimited.• Neither partner laughs or smiles much.• One or both partners are obsessively concerned aboutperformance.• One or both are unsure what theirpartner likes.• One or both tolerate what they dislike, hopingthat it will stop soon.• Masturbation is keptsecret.• There’s difficulty using birth control withoutembarrassment or conflict.• Desire requires a perfectenvironment.• Sex is sometimes physically painful.• He believes that “her orgasm problem reflects on me.”• She believes that “his erection problem reflects onme.”Also, whether young or old, gay or straight, male orfemale, when American adults have sex, they frequently:• Are self-conscious or self-critical about their body• Don’t feel as close to their partner as they’d like• Don’t feel confident that they’re going to have a goodtime (which is why they don’t do it more frequently)• Are concerned about performance -- either their own or theirpartner’s• Feel inhibited about communicating what theywant, don’t want, feel, or don’t feelHealth problems are also frequently part of “normal” sex -- becausenormal people have health problems.So,are you starting to look pretty “normal”? Are you starting torealize this might not be the right goal?I want to changethings for you -- and not by improving your “sexual function.”This book isn’t literary Viagra. It’s more like literary brainsurgery (sorry, no tummy tuck, boob job, or hair implants, just brainsurgery).The awkwardness and emotional isolationdescribed above are what most people get when they try to have“normal” sex. And that’s why your vision of sexmatters. So let’s spend the rest of the chapter exploring whyit’s not important to be sexually “normal” and why, infact, pursuing “normal” sex is often destructive.Of course, by “normal” sex most people don’t meanthe reality I’ve just described, but a romanticized vision of perfectperformance, perfect environment, and nothing too novel orpsychologically challenging. The only thing normal about that kindof sex is the fact that so many people aspire to it, and so fewpeople have it. (And here’s a secret every sex therapistknows: even when people get this kind of sex, they’re notnecessarily satisfied with it.)So if, like so manyother people, you’ve been pursuing the wrongthing(“normal” sex), you need a new way to think about sex. Althoughmost people assume it’s logical to have a performanceorientation (how many times per week, how many minutes beforeorgasm), that’s only one way to look at sex. And it’s exactlythewrong way.Excerpted from SEXUALINTELLIGENCE: What We Really Want from Sex and How to Get It by Marty Klein,reprinted with permission from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Continue Reading ]More...[/url]