October 17, 2016
Sexual Compatibility: How to Fulfill Each Other’s Needs
In this episode of Sex With Dr. Jess, Sexologist and Relationship Expert Dr. Jessica O’Reilly speaks about sexual compatibility and its importance to developing a healthy, happy relationship both in and out of the bedroom. She talks candidly about her exes and shares tips on improving your relationship and analyzing your compatibility.
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This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.
Sexual Compatibility: How to Fulfill Each Other’s Needs
0:00:00 – 0:00:25
Hello. My name is Jessica O’Reilly. I am a sex and relationship expert, and my focus is sexual compatibility because, without it, your relationship is doomed. I’m here to help you become sexually compatible because compatibility is something you cultivate. It’s not something you necessarily find you’ve got to work for it.
0:00:25 – 0:03:42
Now, today I want to talk about something that’s really bothering me – and that is Brangelina. They are in the news again from CNN to BBC. Everyone’s covering the story – and everyone seems outraged at the speculation that Brad Pitt has cheated once again. And we are hurling stones from every glass house on the planet. And I’m here to say stop it. Cut it out. Stop shaming Brad, and stop shaming Angelina with the suggestion that its karma. Since their relationship started with an affair, to begin with, you know… When you judge Brad and Angelina; when you make all your commentary; you’re not judging them. You’re not defending Jen. Your attacks are really an indication that you are insecure in your own relationship. You are judging yourself or your partner. You are definitely afraid that your partner will cheat on you, or maybe – you’re definitely afraid; – that you’ll cheat on your partner. Either way, you are afraid. And it’s your fear. It’s your fear that’s fueling this, I guess, so-called righteousness, and it’s because your relationship is vulnerable. Now, I want to preface this by saying that I don’t know if Brad cheated on Angelina. I don’t really care. Honestly. It’s not my relationship. It’s not a marriage of anyone close to me, and they’re not my clients. So, you know, if they were, I guess I’d be on a yacht somewhere in the set of France right now. But… I I have to admit, I don’t read TMZ, or press Hilton or People, or; any of the publications that tend to write about celebrity relationships. So I haven’t… I haven’t read all the evidence in the court of public opinion. I don’t even have an opinion; about whether or not he cheated. But I do want to emphasize that we don’t know for sure. I am more concerned, more interested in our reaction to the accusations, to the rumors than I am in substantiating or defying those rumors themselves. So despite the fact that we don’t know for sure, as far as I know, I don’t even think we know for certain; that Brad cheated on Jen with Angelina way back. I don’t know that that’s a fact anyhow, we’re all… despite the fact that we just don’t know, we’re all eager to judge. We’re eager to be the judge, the jury, the executioner. From a distance, you know I’m seeing all these comments online when I read Was, and I’ve seen this in many permutations says, “Good, it’s karma. Angelina did it first, and now it’s her time to suffer.” I can’t even get through that without laughing. Seriously? You want someone to suffer because they did something that probably 50% of us do at some point in our lifetime. So I guess we see it as she cheated, therefore; it’s her turn to get cheated on. And this just seems absurd to me.
0:03:42 – 0:05:07
It’s like going out and making a mistake, getting in an accident that was your own fault, and wrecking someone else’s car. And then ten years later I deserve to have my car wrecked. It was just this absurdity. The way I see it. I’ve also seen a ton of, I guess so-called team Jen tweets celebrating Brad’s alleged cheating. And this baffles my mind too. I don’t know how we can celebrate the demise of another’s relationship. I need a real relationship here. This… Brad and Angelina, I think they have kids. They clearly were in love at some point. They may still be. It looks like they were happy. This is absurd that we’re saying, oh, in the name of Jen, we’re celebrating their divorce. And to me, the explanation remains the same. We are celebrating their divorce because their marriage, which presumably began with an affair, threatens our personal, romantic, morally superior ideas about our own relationships. If their marriage, which started with infidelity alleged again, if they’re a fair base marriage, were to stand the test of time, we are so afraid to answer the question, what does that say about our own relationships?
0:05:07 – 0:06-55
So if they’re a fair-based marriage were to last, I guess it says a few things that are very scary to many of us. And number one is that affairs can turn into real lasting love. That’s a scary thought, but guess what? They can. And number two, this is an interesting one that’s really marked by us versus them. If they’re a fair-based marriage less it says that cheaters can prosper, right? That’s scary to think, well, these two terribly rich, terribly good-looking, terribly successful, terribly famous, these two cheaters can prosper. And I guess that’s a scary thing to many of us. And I think there’s another piece to it too. Every time we see a relationship dissolve, we want to highlight how that relationship is different than our own. We want to label these people as others. When we see a divorce, we want to find the difference between that couple and my couple because I don’t want my couple to divorce. We want to label Brad as a cheater, a serial cheater. Now we want to label Angelina as a karma-deserving cheater who got what was coming to her because we want to distance ourselves from them as much as possible. We want to subconsciously remind ourselves that no no no, it couldn’t happen to us. Our partners aren’t Brad Pitt playboy cheaters. And I’m not like Angelina. I didn’t cheat to start this relationship. So phew I’m safe, I’m safe. My relationship is good. But guess what? You are wrong on all three counts.
0:06:56 – 0:12:19
Number one, affairs can turn into real, lasting love. Sure, they have some obstacles to overcome, but it’s likely that millions of relationships today have started with cheating, and they stood the test of time. Because I see into so many people’s relationships. You know, I have the, I guess, honor of being invited into the most intimate details of thousands of people’s relationships every year. I see a broad cross-section. And the reality is that relationships start in so many different ways, including cheating. And I know that you can look at it and say, well, look at this one example of Brad and Angelina. They didn’t work, and they started cheating. Or you might have a friend. But the thing is that’s just one or two or twelve experiences. I can tell you; about hundreds of couples that I’ve worked with whose relationship started as an affair. It can last. And that is very scary to many of us. Very very scary. It defies all of our romantic notions about finding the one when in fact, there is no one. There are maybe four or five or ten or 1000 if you scour the face of the earth with whom you could be happy for a long; long time. And the second part – that cheaters can prosper. That’s a reality. And thank goodness, I’m really glad; that cheaters can be happy because so many of us have cheated at some point in time. Okay? We lie about it. We lie to ourselves even. We lie. In research, it’s estimated – that about 25% of married couples admit to cheating. So 25%, and I think that number is a bit higher. And once you account for all the cheating we do in our nonmarital relationships, common law, dating long distance, this number increases to reflect cheating as the majority’s norm. We are cheaters, the majority of us. It’s not exceptional. It’s not the domain of terribly attractive people like Brad and Angelina. It’s not the domain of bad people. Good people cheat. I’m not saying it’s okay to cheat. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. I would never aspire to cheat. But guess what? You know Jennifer because everybody’s talking about Team Jennifer because we love to pit women against one another. Jennifer might have cheated at some point in her lifetime. Maybe that’s the reason she’s chosen to remain above the fray. And all of this media hoopla, brad is not special. Angelina is not special other than their ridiculously; good looks and their fame; and their fortune. But in terms of just being human, we all have the capacity to cheat. And cheaters deserve happy relationships, too. Brad deserves a happy relationship or happy relationships moving forward. You know, he may cheat again. He might do it again and again and again. He might decide that he doesn’t want a monogamous relationship. He may fall in love with another woman ten years from now. He may realize that he doesn’t want to be with one person forever and ever. And it may feel like he wants to stay with you forever at first. But maybe what he wants is meaningful, happy relationships that last as long as they last. Instead of committing to a lifetime. And that is his choice. Maybe that’s a better choice for him and for many of us. It’s our right. You do not have to commit for life. You often feel as though you want to when you’re in love when you’re enthralled. But maybe he’ll learn. I don’t know anything about Brad Pitt. I don’t know anything about his personality. I read an interview with him and Marlin James, probably my favorite author, the author of A Brief History of Seven Killings. And that grew my, I think, interest or admiration for Brad Pitt. But I don’t know anything about his personal life or his past. But maybe he wants to stay in a relationship as long as it makes him happy. And then if they hit a brick wall, maybe who moves on? I know that sucks, but that is his choice. And first of all, maybe Angelina wanted to break up for another reason. We don’t even know, right? We love to get into other people’s business. I do know why. It’s because of our own insecurities. We do not want to work on our own relationship. I don’t see any comments from my friends on Facebook about their own relationship – about insights into their own relationship, their own behavior. But there’s lots of commentary about Brad and Angelina and a bunch of other celebrities. We love to comment on other people so that we don’t have to look at ourselves. But back to Brad, maybe he’s not going to be with one person for the rest of his life. And I know the scary part of this is that you might feel the same. Your partner might feel the same. Maybe you want to start fresh every 15 years with someone new. I think the prospect sounds appealing on the surface to a lot of us. And now that doesn’t mean we’re going to leave our partners, but it means we should at least talk about it, talk about the feeling that you know what? Yes, sometimes I just want to wash my hands off the complexities of my current relationship.
0:12:20 – 0:16:12
Now, admittedly, you’re not Brad, and you’re not Angelina, so it’ll be harder to find a partner, and as you get older, even more so. You’re not a celebrity over whom everybody fonds. And I think that we want security. We want to think about when we’re 80, being with someone and having a partner or having partners. And that gets harder as you get older. And that’s why we do stick it out, perhaps when we’re not happy. But I hope that that lack of happiness is a fleeting moment something that doesn’t last for years; because staying in an unhappy relationship is bad for your health. But let’s… let’s get back to the lesson here. I’m not just here to tell you that your judgment of Brangelina is misplaced and misguided. And I’m not just here to tell you that you’re afraid or insecure or that the part of you that wants to reach for the karma card. When you hear about their divorce is really about your own relationship. I’m saying that, but that’s not all I’m saying. I want to talk about what you can do about it. How can you use this lesson, not their divorce? Their divorce is not a lesson to you, but your reaction to their divorce. That’s where the lesson lies. How can you use your reaction to their divorce to improve your relationship, to analyze what’s really at play here? And it’s fairly straightforward. First, you’ve got to identify your reactions to their divorce. News if you happen to care. If you don’t, this isn’t for you. But are you happy that they’re getting divorced? Do you feel a little bit smug about it? Are you like, yeah. I predicted that this part of you believe that they deserve to get a divorce, since, after all, they were a cheater and an accomplice way back when they met. Supposedly. Um.. figure out what you feel, and then this is the important part. Connect it to the insecurity you feel in your relationship so you can do something about it because you are insecure. I am insecure. Insecurity is normal. It’s natural. It’s universal. We are all insecure because insecurity helps us to identify what we’re afraid of losing, right? Insecurity comes with security. We love the feeling of insecurity uh of security. And I often hear criticisms, particularly of women, that sound something as simple as, oh, she’s just insecure. Like it’s a badge of dishonor, often rooted in absurd gender stereotypes as opposed to a universal experience. Insecurity is not a badge of dishonor. It is universal. Now, I’ll talk about myself a little. I can tell you that I’m happy in my marriage. I love my husband. I trust my husband. He makes me really happy. Very, very kind, very funny. But, you know, I have moments of insecurity. He is almost always surrounded by beautiful, smart women every single day. And when I think about it, practically, he has a huge amount of freedom because I don’t come home at night. I travel every week. I’m not here maybe half of the time. So I have my moments when I worry. And I’m sure he has his moments when he worries. I’m on the road with powerful people, working a lot with… with men, and I believe I have two choices when I feel insecure. Two good choices. I have lots of choices, but I have two good choices. I can use rational thought to assuage my own concerns, or I can ask him for reassurance. And I do both all the time. I don’t have to go into every detail every time I feel a little threatened. It can be as simple as me going to him and saying, hey, tell me you love me, and I have nothing to worry about. And he is happy to oblige. And it goes both ways.
0:16:13 – 0:18:57
What’s most important in all of this and in using Brangelina as a springboard to look at your own relationship? What’s most important is that I admit to my vulnerability. I admit to my insecurity. I admit to my jealousy. I don’t hide it in the back of my underwear drawer with the good pills and let it come out. I’m kidding. In my judgment of others, at least I try not to. Okay. I’m not saying I’m perfect. But in naming my vulnerability, in admitting that I’m insecure, it makes my relationship stronger. And so many of us have been brought up to ignore negative emotions, to deny them altogether. I’ll hear people who say, I’ve never felt insecure. I never feel jealousy. Nonsense. That’s like saying you never feel sadness. All right? You need the range of emotions. And the more you admit that you feel vulnerable, the happier you’re going to be. Because you can address these not-so-great emotions head-on. If you don’t name them, you can’t address them. They just keep… they keep building in the back of your underwear drawer. You have, like, the junk drawer in your house, and you put one thing in there and another, and you just start ignoring until the junk drawer is full. That’s what you’re doing with these vulnerabilities, and they’re going to get worse. Eventually. That junk drawer is going to overflow. So it is time to name your vulnerability. If you find yourself secretly or publicly celebrating the demise of the Brangelina dynasty, you have a vulnerability that is going on address, and it’s time to identify. It time to call it out. Maybe you’re afraid your partner will cheat. Maybe you’re worried because the sex isn’t as hot as you’d like it to be. Maybe you don’t feel as close to your partner as you want to. Maybe you feel terrible about your body and just the glance of Angelina reminds you that you haven’t addressed these feelings. Maybe you’re mad at your partner because they don’t do anything to cultivate passion. Maybe you feel guilty that you never initiate sex. Maybe you’ve let your parenting duties overrun your role as a lover. Maybe… Maybe there are an infinite number of possibilities, and it’s time to figure out what’s holding you back. What’s really making you judge Brangelina? What personal insecurity are you converting into moral judgment because you don’t care about Brad or Angelina or Jen? You don’t.
0:18:58 – 0:22:04
Oh and while we’re at it, can we stop hitting these two women against one another? You can be happy for both of them, are sad for both of them. It’s so absurd to me that millions of us are creating hashtag team Jen, memes, and Tweets. But she says nothing. If she has nothing to say, why do you? Why do you care? Maybe because Jen is, I don’t know, happily married. Maybe she was just happy in life. Maybe she addresses the insecurities and personal vulnerabilities in her life and in her marriage so she doesn’t feel the need to comment on others. And now it’s time for you to do the same. Your commentary on Brangelina is likely a stronger reflection of your own relationship than theirs, and I would hope so because you don’t know anything about theirs. So cut it out. Forget them. Work on yourself. Talk to your partner. Admit that you’re afraid. We all are. Handing off commitment to one person for the rest of your life is scary. So call it what it is and address that fear head-on. Tell them what you’re afraid of. Tell them what you need to assuaged your fears. This is a bit of a bigger topic, but think about what you need from them. And also think about what you can do to self-soothe when you feel insecure because you don’t want to run to them every time you feel a twinge of insecurity. You can manage at least half of it on your own, but you need to also train your partner on how you want to receive support when you feel vulnerable when you feel insecure, and come to them openly. Not lashing out, not withdrawing, not pouting, not attacking others when you come to them openly and say, you know, this is how I’m feeling. I need some reassurance. How do you want to be reassured? What words do you need to hear? What gestures make you feel safe and secure? You need to train your partner because we all speak different languages. And uh… you know if your partner laughs at your insecurity or dismisses it, you’ve got a problem. You need to fix it. And if they do dismiss your insecurity or laugh it off or say, oh, you’re just jealous, oh not constructive at all, and it’s probably a reflection of their own insecurity. So it goes both ways. You need to create this dynamic in your relationship where insecurity is something you embrace and then tackle. And once you do, everything will change. You won’t care about Brangelina. You won’t shrink away when you’re around couples who still have the spark. You know, maybe you’ve been together longer and you feel a little jealous. You won’t feel as threatened by different types of couples either. And you won’t judge people who have affairs because you’ll start to admit that we are all vulnerable, we are all imperfect, and we’re all just doing our best with what we have.
0:22:05 – 0:22:53
So there you have it. It’s time for you to take responsibility in your own relationship. Find those insecurities, take them back. Take them out of the back of that underwear, hang them out to dry, and address them with your park. You have been listening to Sex with Jess. Today’s show was brought to you by Vigor Man by Greenish. Vigor man is Halal Kosher Veggie certified Gluten and Dairy Free. It’s a supplement approved to support the physiological and psychological components of male sexual health, so please check them out. Thank you to bigger men, and thank you so much for tuning in folks. I hope to see you and hear from you next week, we’ll be looking at the latest sex and relationship research and how you can apply it to have a happy, hot, lasting relationship.