We each have our own sex style.
And that style encourages us to have certain kinds of sexual pleasure while putting limits on other pleasures. Expanding our sex style palette ensures a much fuller sexual experience and deeper connections with our own emotions and sensations, as well as those of others.
Sex styles track the evolution of heart investment we make as pre-cursors of sex. The evolution through the styles engages us ever more fully in grownup sex and connection.
Discovering your current, preferred style opens the possibility of expanding into other styles—making sex all the richer, much more fun, plentiful, and rewarding. Discovering the style of your partner can also lead to wild times and the widest range of sexual enjoyment possible.
Find yourself in the styles listed below. Find your partner too. Then get curious, and read about the other styles. Find out how much more available and adorable you will be as you add different styles to your repertoire.
Sex Style One: Hookup.
People who are good at hooking up can have sex for the fun of it without strings attached. They may feel love, but offer no promise or commitment longer than a few hours, minutes, or days. Someone versed in hookups can turn sex on or off in a moment.
A hookup encounter had me entering my ex, with me leaning against her printer and her sitting on the edge of her computer desk. The bed was only 10 feet away—but as a hookup, she couldn’t wait until we we got there.
Sex with her was memorable, because it was so hot, and I didn’t know if I would ever see her or be with her again. That is the nature of hookup; they’re here one moment, and then—“poof!”—gone.
A hookup can happen in a dark parking lot or on a blind date, with breakfast included or not. There is no obligation in a hookup, just sexual entwining in the moment without truth or consequences.
Hookups offer healing and heat to wounded relationships. Hookups are engagement of the shallow heart without the confines that minds demand.
Stiff advocates of long-term relationships and commitment will speak of hookups with disdain. But, there is a longing behind their righteousness. The heat of a one-night stand or “quickie” provides easy sex, the dream of many a Puritan doing time within the structure of committed relationship.
A hookup, at its best, confirms the sexual desirability of the hookup advocate. At its worst, it takes the place of deeper long-term connection and leaves the hookup artist alone and lonely, unable to enjoy his or her own company.
Hookups are sometimes inspired by the desire for fast, easy, and hot sex. But when they are the only option, they become a hiding place from intimacy. Ideally, hookups fire us up and provide the foundation for more mature forms of connection and sex.
Hooking up is the gateway to all other styles of sex. It is more generic than the others, not in that it is ordinary, but it has fewer rules and restrictions than the other styles. The only real rule is “don’t take it seriously.” It is simply sex and doesn’t mean anything.
Someone versed in hookups isn’t waiting by the phone for a follow-up call, but realizes that the power of a hookup is that it offers sex devoid of obligation. Great urge-driven, fiery sex.
Sex Style Two: Sibling.
Sibling sex isn’t about having sex with your brother or sister (gross!). Rather, it is about being really close friends with someone before you have sex. Sibling sex confirms the deep-soul bond between two people.
It is friends with benefits. It isn’t a scavenger hunt for romance, but it often results in a strong marriage. Sibling sex arises naturally out of time spent together and shared interests. It isn’t red hot like hookup sex can be, but it seals an ongoing, often lifelong, bond of caring and closeness.
Sibling sex won’t whip up your desires or demand sex twice a night—or even once a month. It doesn’t confirm your desirability; it is a cherry on the top of an already rewarding connection.
Sibling sex doesn’t always spawn great sex, but complaining about a lack of passion is a waste of time. Siblings are a bit like fly paper—difficult to extract yourself from, even though you aren’t having a sexy time.
You may think you will wake up the desire in a sibling sex partner, but you are more likely to confide in him, trust him, and enjoy his company than you are to have hot sex with him. He walks too far from the wild side to have uninhibited sex, preferring the middle of the road without extremes or risk.
Sex is safe with a sibling-style partner. It won’t get out of hand, and infidelity is unthinkable. Long walks and longer talks overshadow occasional sex. Many a closeted gay man has found refuge in a sibling-sex marriage with a woman.
Sex Style Three: Boyfriend/Girlfriend.
Someone focused on boyfriend/girlfriend sex is caught in a high school time warp.
They don’t really care for their partner, but like to be seen together. They live separate lives, but are still an item—or married. They compete with each other, wanting to prove who is the better of the two. Sex is an immature battle of the minds without much physical participation.
In this style, how many times you make love (and for how long) comes into play. Sex is a numbers game, and it is important to be above average if possible. While the sex may seem good at times, at other times, it feels more like masturbation with a partner.
In a “boyfriend/girlfriend” situation, mature sex isn’t possible. Embarrassment prevails, and sex is more likely to be with the lights out in the bedroom on Saturday night, rather than against a tree in the park on a Tuesday afternoon—or anyplace, anytime, as the urge strikes.
Boyfriend/girlfriend sexual partners may know a lot about sex, but their knowledge comes from books and porn, not from personal experiences. They aren’t really present when having sex, but they are having it because they are supposed to.
The beauty of a boyfriend/girlfriend partner is that they are more of a hobby, leaving plenty of time for other exploits. Boyfriend/girlfriend relating is a distraction form real connection—a coy playground that is best enjoyed for awhile, until the drama is outgrown.
Sex Style Four: Business.
In the business sex style, there is a quid pro quo that must be met before sex is delivered. While this may sound like prostitution, it is the key element in many a relationship. Sex (and attention) can pivot on a major event as bringing home the paycheck or a trivial non-event as taking out the garbage.
A person in this sex style continually keeps score, making certain that they are receiving at least as much as they are giving. Imbalance—especially chronic ones—in intelligence, sexuality, income, affability, or openness drive the nature of a business relationship home.
Business sex is not ever really equal. One partner may depend upon being in the one-up, boss position, directing the actions of the other partner. Businesses and business sex style depend upon a hierarchy of power.
Sex in the business style often amounts to getting the job done, with covert or overt obligations and penalties for non-compliance.
Business sex style reveals the actual cost of sex. There are certain things that must not be done, like being rude, cheating, or ignoring the other person. And certain (often unspoken) responsibilities—like sex once a week or dinner out—are expected. Sex in the business style is a to-do list entry.
Sex Style Five: Lover.
The lover enjoys sex as a celebration of love. Sex is dessert after an already nourishing meal of love. There is no pressure upon sex to be good, bad, or indifferent, because love is already certain there is an openness to sex that doesn’t exist in any of the earlier styles.
Sex evolves unevenly through the styles, with one partner landing in lover, while another may be stuck—for years or a lifetime—in boyfriend/girlfriend, sibling, hookup, or business style.
The lover sex style offers sex as an unearned expression of the power of love. There is no neediness, little insecurity, and a willingness to make love slow or fast with the lights on or off.
Lover contains the fast heat of hookup, the security of sibling, the flirting of boyfriend/girlfriend, and the logistical evidence for connection that business offers. We earn lover status by mastering the other sexual styles.
Most romantic unions are between two people, and with five styles available, it is likely that those two people will approach sex with different styles.
Two hookups will have a hot night and share no obligation to ever connect again. A hookup-style person paired with a lover is such a mismatch that the lover will surely get his or her heart broken fast and badly.
Hookup and sibling styles together are likely to drag on with lots of projection, expectation for change, and little satisfaction for either partner.
In fact, the measure of evolution from hookup, to sibling, to boyfriend/girlfriend, to business, to lover is heart investment with various qualities of sex as the fruit of the union.
While it may seem like one style (often, lover) is better than the others, we can greatly enjoy each style—and, only in effortless movement between styles—find the best sex possible.
Ideally, discovery of the different sexual styles begins with the honest recognition of our own style, followed by an opening to the other styles. When we can include all five styles in our repertoire, we are sure to have the best sex possible.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Image: Flickr/Gabriel S. Delgado C.
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Travis May
Social editor: Callie Rushton