If you ever ask yourself this question, you need to read this.
Don’t be ashamed, believe it or not, everybody has asked the same question at some point. Despite the current openness about sex, discussing sexual behaviours is still considered a private matter for many.
Often lost is what is considered “normal” and what makes a healthy sexual relationship.
Martin Dragan, a trained clinical sexologist with a PhD in human sexuality, said “there’s no such a thing as normal when it comes to sex.”
The reason is simple, everyone has their preferences regarding sex.
“Our idea of what is normal is so subjective, what’s normal for us is not necessarily normal for someone else depending on culture, or micro-social influences,” said Dragan.
Putting it simply, “the kind of thing that makes you feel good, that’s probably normal,” said Dragan.
Flavia Dos Santos, a psychologist and specialist on addictive behaviours and clinical sexology, agrees.
“We do not have a standard or manual for sexuality,” she said. “We don’t have it because it’s something so open that you cannot define it.”
Dos Santos and Dragan both agree that consent comes first.
“In sexuality, as long as you have two people with the same level of power, who both consent and are having pleasure, they can write their own manual,” said Dos Santos.
But if there’s no such thing as “normal” sex, how do I know I’m in a healthy sexual relationship?
Again the answer is simple, “if it’s weird to you why do you have to do it?” asked Dragan.
The rule, not the exception, must always be to negotiate the type of sex you want and consent to.
“To have a healthy sexuality is to do only things that you really want to do. Things that you really feel are adding something to you, that they are going to be part of you and you have pleasure doing it,” said Dos Santos. “But doing things just to please the other person, or just to comply, or just to hold a boyfriend or a girlfriend is not healthy at all.”
Dos Santos said that you might like doing something, but you have to negotiate with your partners and you can’t force them to do what you like.
“I might be a sadomasochist, and I might find someone that shares the same pleasure that I do, but I have to negotiate the rules with the person,” she said. “But if I fall in love or want to have sex with someone who is not on the same page, I have to negotiate.”