October 8th, 2010
10:47 AM ET

Thrill seekers vs. comfort creatures: Sexual compatibility

I have a confession: I may be a sex therapist, but my own sex life is pretty ordinary. Don’t get me wrong—my relationship with my wife is amazing. But if you think my line of work automatically means that we like to visit swingers' clubs or have mirrors on the ceiling of our bedroom, think again. Sexually speaking, my wife and I are both “comfort creatures,” and that suits us just fine.

We’re not alone. In my experience, there are two types of people when it comes to sex: comfort creatures and thrill seekers. The former tend to prefer to keep sex within the comfort of their own homes, with one partner, sticking to a few tried and true positions and routines. And as the name suggests, thrill seekers are just the opposite. They want new positions and toys, different partners or locations, and more sex. In general, a couple made up of two comfort creatures or two thrill seekers has it easy:  They’re on the same page, sexually.

But what happens when a comfort creature falls for a thrill seeker, or vice versa?

It’s more common than you think, but most couples don’t realize that they’re mismatched until much further along in their relationship. That’s because, in the beginning, you’ve both been hijacked by a potent neurochemical cocktail of “infatuation hormones” that’s responsible for your constant canoodling—and that masks any differences in the bedroom. You’re so busy getting busy that you probably won’t notice potential sexual incompatibility until your infatuation starts to wane.

These hormones can also mask other differences in a relationship, from how often you like to have sex to whether or not you enjoy public displays of affection. According to Psychology Today, one factor that may prove unifying or divisive to a couple is the degree to which their nervous systems are naturally inclined to pursue novel and stimulating experiences. Says Marvin Zuckerman, a psychologist at the University of Delaware: "A person's inherent need for sensation is not necessarily obvious in the early stages of a relationship, when love itself is a novelty and carries its own thrills– It's when the sex becomes routine that problems occur."

Sexual incompatibility can have a real impact on your relationship. Maybe you crave sex every day, but your partner is perfectly content with doing it once a month. Perhaps your significant other loves to talk about sex, while the very word makes you blush. Are you destined to break up?

Not necessarily. The brain is our biggest and most powerful sex organ, and it’s completely possible for sexually incompatible couples to have very compatible relationships. The key to success is communication: Talk with your partner about your sex life, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, and agree to make some compromises. Comfort creatures can venture out of their shells a bit, and thrill seekers can focus on the benefits within their existing relationship.

One fun way to do this? Take a tip from a recent study at the University of British Columbia and harness the power of fantasy. Researchers found that longtime couples were best able to rekindle romance by pretending they were strangers on a first date. So experiment with wigs and different outfits, assume an alias, and meet your partner at a local restaurant or bar for a rendezvous. You’ll get variety and safety—and a hot new way to compromise.

Ian Kerner is a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

soundoff (1,317 Responses)
  1. riverside collision provo

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody having similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 23, 2021 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Local Marketing Consultants


    May 23, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Alignment California


    May 23, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Internet Marketing Business

    I quite like reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


    May 23, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Bathroom Los Angeles

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    May 23, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. SEO Marketing Consultants

    After looking into a handful of the blog posts on your web page, I really appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website too and let me know what you think.


    May 23, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. poseidonhd

    Very shortly this web page will be famous amid all blogging
    visitors, due to it's good posts

    May 23, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. cyclosporine

    cyclosporine medication buy cyclosporine uk

    May 23, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. tausAffessy

    where to get tadalafil what is tadalafil lowest price cialis https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rv parts in san diego


    May 23, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Toilets Orange County

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It's the little changes that make the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 23, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. car sound system repair near me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own website now 😉


    May 24, 2021 at 02:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Internet Marketing Firm

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying these details.


    May 24, 2021 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. New Forklift Cylinders California


    May 25, 2021 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Content Marketing Boutique

    There's certainly a great deal to find out about this subject. I love all of the points you have made.


    May 25, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Used Forklift For Sale California


    May 25, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Used Forklift For Sale California

    Wonderful article! We will be linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 25, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Local Marketing Services

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the site is extremely good.


    May 25, 2021 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Content Marketing Consultant

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.


    May 25, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Content Marketing Boutique

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 25, 2021 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Video Marketing Companies Near Me

    I really like it when folks get together and share ideas. Great site, keep it up!


    May 25, 2021 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. tennis news

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    May 25, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rv repair shops near me


    May 25, 2021 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv cabinets and furniture

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this issue here on your site.


    May 26, 2021 at 00:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. brimonidine

    brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic buy combigan

    May 26, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv parts temecula


    May 26, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. trailer service near me


    May 26, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil brands https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – tadalafil cost in canada prescription tadalafil online cost of cialis lowest price cialis

    May 26, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. how to repair rv fiberglass exterior damage

    I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.


    May 26, 2021 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. the truck shop orange


    May 26, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Mercedes Sprinter 3.0 Intake Runner Repair

    I enjoy looking through an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!


    May 26, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. rv solar installation los angeles

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this web site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!


    May 26, 2021 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. tausAffessy

    https://tadalafilww.com/ cialis at canadian pharmacy tadalafil cost walmart side effects of tadalafil tadalafil goodrx

    May 26, 2021 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Rolando Ramsbottom


    May 27, 2021 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. oc vacuum


    May 27, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rv remodeling supplies

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having troubles with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 27, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. geico painting commercial

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful sites on the net. I'm going to highly recommend this website!


    May 27, 2021 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Used Forklift Maintenance Shop California


    May 27, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    May 27, 2021 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Paul Mohan

    You made some really good points there. I checked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 27, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Google Marketing Services

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks!


    May 28, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. box truck door repair near me

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 28, 2021 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Internet Marketing Agencies Near Me

    This is the perfect website for anyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that's been discussed for decades. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    May 28, 2021 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. motorhome rentals orange county

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post plus the rest of the website is also really good.


    May 28, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv slide out water damage repair

    I enjoy reading an article that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    May 28, 2021 at 07:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Social Media Marketing Market


    May 28, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Content Marketing Experts


    May 28, 2021 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rv alignment shops near me


    May 28, 2021 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. semi shop near me


    May 28, 2021 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. fiberglass dent repair

    Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 28, 2021 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

October 2010
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.