The Sexual Avoidance Cycle Revisited: The Dangers of ‘Sexpectations’
Today we are going to revisit the Sexual Avoidance Cycle; more specifically, we are going to talk about the Disappointment Phase of the Cycle in order to pinpoint the harmful effects of expectations. That is, what happens when we have grand visions and plans for a sexual experience, and it falls below our expectation level?
As is common, we experience disappointment which can compound into further sexual complications in a relationship. This was discussed as well in episode #40 (another soapbox installment!).
Using this concept as a springboard for conversation, this episode will briefly cover a wide array of instances where sexual expectations (sexpectations) can sabotage our sex lives. In addition, porn (the usual suspect), makes another appearance. I will analyze, not from a moral standpoint, but a psychologically-reinforcing basis, the negative effect that porn has on creating unrealistic expectations.
I will also do a short ‘mythbusting’ segment where I scrutinize some of the more prevalent myths about sex. There’s a lot to cover in a short amount of time, but you can definitely expect a great show.
What is so Bad About [S]expectations?
should we avoid expectations like the plague when sex is involved? What is so harmful about these sexpectations? For one, putting a cap on expectations can help correct incorrect assumptions and predispositions towards sex; it can also lead to better spousal communication and connection. And with a minimal level of sexpectiations at the forefront of one’s sexual activities, sex can be a joyous occasion instead of a stressful, pressure-inducing obstacle to avoid. So, it is often a best practice to let things happen how they are going to happen in the bedroom. Expecting too much is harmful to everyone involved. For more, tune in!
Interrogate Your Social Environment
Never write off the power of social factors in determining your unique sexual makeup and preconceived expectations. The proverbial ‘nurture’ of the Nature/Nurture debate can be said to affect all of us, in seemingly unconscious ways; but nonetheless, it is a strong explicit and implicit determinant in how our expectations are formed. Maybe you have never thought about it before. Regardless, interrogating your social environment, both present and past is very important for understanding and thus unpacking some of your possibly misguided expectations. For more, listen in.
“No Two Kids Have the Same Parents”
Synonymous with our social environments, taking into account the unique perspectives and mentalities that each of us has towards sex is a must for untangling the complex web of your expectations. To properly manage what we expect, we should plan to gain as much understanding as possible.
Porn Isn’t Helping Your Sexpectations
Again, this isn’t a condemnation of pornography from a moral basis, but an analysis of the very disconnecting nature of pornography on the realistic expectations of sexually active individuals. Because pornography makes a caricature out of certain aspects of sex–penis and breast size, body shape, movements, duration, an emphasis on penetrative over other forms of sex, and a myriad of other fantastical elements–it is easy to let those elements seep into your own personal expectations. Especially if you are of the generation that grew up on porn and learned a lot about sexuality from the very unreal world of pornography. Tune in for more detail on this.
Desire Discrepancies, The Female Orgasm, and Other Sex Myths
There are many sexual myths in circulation due to misinformation and lack of a comprehensive sexual education. To start, a very prominent myth has to do with any uneven desires for sex in relationships. And no, there is nothing wrong in general with your relationship if the desires are a bit lopsided e.g. the woman wants sex more or the man has the larger libido. That is completely normal and doesn’t point to any specific facet of the relationship that has gone bad. Another myth covered is the fact that only 25% of women and below (the minority of women) can experience an orgasm through penetrative sex. Almost every other female needs some sort of external stimulus or clitoral stimulation. YET…the number one perpetuated myth in pornography is that every single woman is achieving orgasm through the traditional means of penetrative sex.
And lastly, other myths are brought up, including the very normal practice of masturbating while in a relationship. Please stop by and learn how to free yourself from expectations and some of the sexuality myths currently in circulation.
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Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman