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What Is Sexually 'Normal', Anyway?

Though the Kinsey Institute has multiple points around sexual averages of the American population at large, there are few places to find out about normality. Sometimes all we need is to hear we're normal. That everything is alright; having sex 3 times a week is a great amount of sex! That being dominated can be fun. But what about your normal? What is your normal and how do you make it better?

At GetLusty for Couples, we're all about ending boring sex. Because sometimes boring sex can become normal. So let's talk about that. What is normal? Do you want normal, anyway? Or do you want extraordinary? Amazing? Eric Amaranth is here to talk about normal. What is it and why it might not matter as much as we think.

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Define "normal"

Sex therapists, educators, and sex life coaches alike all get this question on a weekly basis. People have things in their sex lives that are hot for them, have desires to do things, look at how much sex they’re having and for how long etc. They wonder if where they are or what they’re doing is favorable compared to their neighbors’ sex lives or the collective in general. Sometimes the question pertains to physical characteristics. Anatomy questions aside, I answer: “We first have to define 'normal' and establish for one’s self a decision to have an extraordinary level of satisfaction with one’s sex life.”

Firstly, part of where people’s assumptions are derived is from how your doctor uses the word, “normal.” In this case, it denotes the lack of pathology/illness and proper function of some part of your body or mind. Abnormal. That’s something you hear in test results. We know what that means. Sometimes, but only in a minority of those times, you can use the terms normal and abnormal to categorize a sexual issue. Necrophilia, for example. Yes, definitely mentally abnormal in that doctor’s test sort of serious way. A penis with two heads. Not normal. However, I find in the majority of people’s sex lives, normal and abnormal take on opposite meanings.

One thing that’s very interesting is how often I found myself using the word “normal” during my sessions in reference to my clients’ questions, issues, and goals. A boring sex life? That’s normal. A guy who wants to get into someone’s pants for his pleasure alone and speedy release? Normal. Women who care more about what other women think about their bodies than how sexy their romantic partners think they are — normal. Women faking orgasms and for the same reasons every other woman does: normal. Men that expect great sexual feats from their wives or girlfriends when he’s not willing to reciprocate with learning what to do for her. Yeah, that’s normal.

I call them normal because the issues are so widespread in a great many people’s sex lives everywhere. In other words, to be expected. I can’t call something like a consistently and strongly orgasmic woman abnormal. I can’t call a couple who grow closer through their sex life together not normal. It’s obviously too negative. I call examples like these extraordinary. Everyone loves that word. Most of us want extraordinary things in our lives, but often those wonderful things are also technically not normal. Every time I tell this to clients it brightens their outlook and changes how they use the word “normal” instantly. Another viewpoint, I saw a graphic once that said: “Normal is a cycle on your dishwasher.”

"Normal" varies from person to person

Comparing your sex life to other people’s doesn’t propel a person forward. Crafting your sex life to your taste and customized design does. Start asking instead, “Am I extraordinary?” Then imagine what the extraordinary would be like for you. What would it look like, sound like, feel like? This is the very first step and some of the best free advice I can give to anyone who wants to improve her or his sex life.

Originally posted on Eric Amaranth's blog.

Eric Amaranth is a sex life coach who specializes in women’s and men’s sexuality, basic to advanced sex skills, and high-end sex education. Check out his website, Sex Life Coach NYC. Eric is not a psychology-based “sex therapist,” which is the term that the public uses to refer to every professional in his field, regardless of training background. After graduating from The College of William and Mary, he went on to become the ten-year protege of pioneering sex coach Betty Dodson, PhD.

Eric’s sex life coaching is made for adults. He has knowledge and methodology differences that set him apart from what psychology-based sex therapists have to offer. Eric works with clients from all over the world toward his ambitious goal that his brand of sex life coaching would one day significantly reduce the instances of divorce. Eric lives in New York City, in Manhattan, with his much-loved girlfriend. Find him on Twitter @Eric_Amaranth and subscribe to him on Facebook.
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