Janice Edman

            Relationship experts argue that the backbone of every relationship is a healthy compromise between the two partners. In fact, compromise is necessary in nearly every situation a couple will face, from the little things like what movie to rent, to the big questions, like where to spend holidays. In an article entitled “Compromise in Relationships,” author Jenn Malko claims that, “understanding compromise in relationships is like a painter mastering a tricky brush stroke or a racecar driver finding better tires for the race.” In other words, a relationship is difficult and requires a lot of work. Too often a couple will assume they have reached sexual perfection, when much compromise is still needed.  

            It’s perfectly natural that, in the bedroom, each partner will have a list of likes and dislikes. The sexual menu mirrors the hard-bound novels TGIFridays bases their selections on, including everything from chicken fingers (easily translated to a method of foreplay) to rump roast (easily translated to the perhaps largest source of compromise on the plate). So when in the bedroom should each partner take one for the team, and when is it time to call it a night?

            Couples who boast of incredible sex lives know that pleasing each other is often more important than personal satisfaction.  Returning the favor is almost always expected, and part of sexual etiquette ” as a “Sex and the City” character once declared, “I give head to get head.” But what happens when a new dish is introduced into the milieu, and someone develops a newfound food allergy?

            To be clear, no one should ever feel coerced or forced into doing something sexually he or she isn’t comfortable with. (And yes, “he” is applicable here ” one young stud in Norway sued a girl who gave him head when he was passed out ” and he won.) However, oftentimes a partner may feel apprehension or worry about a sexual act when, as long as the trust and respect are present, what may seem wrong can turn out to be very right. Case in point: I have a close friend who steadfastly refuses to have sex doggy-style with her boyfriend. She claims it’s because sex without eye contact seems degrading.  But there are many, many other sexual acts that require little to no eye contact ” so why is doggy style left off the plate? She should compromise and throw it into the mix every now and again, just like he should just chill for five minutes while she tries on a really cute shirt she just saw in the window of a store.

            On the other side, a person’s sexuality can be a very touchy subject not to be compromised. There are ways of getting almost anything you want when you have the right partner ” but certain exceptions must be accounted for. For example, another friend won’t go down on her boyfriend because she can’t ” literally. Call it an overactive gag reflex.  But in this situation there is nothing to compromise, because it’s not a personal choice for her. 

            In the end, relationships are basically a massive balancing act of two people’s separate wants and needs fusing together. But don’t ever let the act of compromise get too compromising ” sometimes, it’s just better not to go there at all.   

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