We’ve already talked about the importance of compatibility and companionship in intimate partner selection but chemistry, although undervalued, is another factor that is equally important to the equation. Sexual chemistry is an undeniable attraction

So I’ll tell you a quick story: Once upon a time, a good girlfriend decided that she had the perfect guy in mind for me. I had gone through a pretty devastating breakup and after months and months and months of me lamenting over the toxic ex, all I wanted was to find a “good guy”. I didn’t care about looks or sex or anything other than compatibility, companionship, and commitment. So my friend hooked me up with her boyfriend’s best friend, a tall, chocolate brother from the east coast guy who was also looking for a good woman. We talked on the phone a few times (this was before Google or social media, back when phones still had cords – lol) and had deep and meaningful conversations so I was excited to meet him in person.

Sooo … we met at a restaurant and he arrived first. He was seated with his back to me. The waitress walked me to the table and when I saw him, I instantly knew that there was ZERO SEXUAL CHEMISTRY. I was not attracted to him. I felt no sparks. No pantie moisture. NOTHING. In fact, I was pissed that my friend thought I’d actually like this guy (even though she delivered exactly what I said I wanted: a good guy sans sex appeal). Of course, I was polite and continued on with the dinner because I really did enjoy the conversation. He was a poet and had a really sweet soul. He was kind and thoughtful. I had a really good time with him. After the date, I continued to see him, hoping that he would grow on me and that all of his positive qualities would outweigh the lack of sexual chemistry. It did not. Eventually, I ended things and felt like a shallow asshole (in my defense, I was in my twenties) but I realized that chemistry was more important than I originally thought.

I say all of that to say that everyone has their own formula for what makes a good partner. For some people, it might be 50% commitment, 25% compatibility, 15% companionship, and 10% chemistry. For someone else, it might be 25% of each. Be honest with yourself about what’s most important to YOU. Ok, here’s what you need to consider when thinking about sexual chemistry….

“You can’t force chemistry to exist where it doesn’t, the same way you can’t deny it when it does”

Sexual Chemistry

Sexual Attraction – Do you look at your partner and have a strong desire to make love? Do your vulva or nipples get the least bit excited when your partner engages you? Is there passion? Is there a connection? Is there a desire to touch or taste every part of his/her body? Yes, looks fade but there needs to be some baseline attraction to begin with.

Frequency of Sex – This is crucial. Of course, life circumstances (like stress, aging, or trauma) may change how often you want to have sex but communicating with your partner is key. I can’t tell you how many people say they want sex 7 days a week but are exhausted after Day 3. Don’t let your ego write a check your ass can’t cash – literally. Sidenote: In the beginning, when things are new and fresh, most couples fuck like jackrabbits but please understand that when the newness fades and you get into a comfortable groove, one or both of you may not want/need to make love as often. It’s ok. Just be real and stop pretending. I once had a client who used to ask her brother to invite her husband to workout after work in hopes that he’d be too tired to ask for sex when he returned home (she gave me permission to share this, by the way). If both people have different frequency levels, you have to find a happy medium that’s fulfilling for both.

Mental Stimulation (the beginning of foreplay) – People often forget that good sexual chemistry often begins in the mind, not the body. There is something to be said for a partner who can spark your imagination without ever touching you. It could be a look, a vibe, a conversation, a soul connection, or just the tenderness of feeling seen or heard.

“Chemistry is you touching my mind and it setting my body on fire”

Similar preferences around how adventurous (or conservative) you are – If one of you only likes missionary and the other wants to swing from the chandelier, you will definitely have to come to a happy medium that makes both of you comfortable. If your partner likes anal, and you don’t, you have to decide if that’s something you’re willing to compromise on. It is 100% ok to NOT want to compromise on things that make you uncomfortable. Just communicate and decide how important it is to you. I do not recommend doing something that makes you uncomfortable. This is why it’s important to communicate. Don’t feel compelled to pretend you like it just because the women in porn seem to love it. If you squirt and your partner hates it, he may not be the person for you. But talk about it. If you’re not comfortable having these types of conversations with your partner, you may not be ready to have sex.

PDA – Are you both on the same page about public displays of affection? I personally love hand-holding, hugs, and even kissing but I once had a partner who would squeeze my ass whenever other men were around, never mind that there may have been small children there. What are you comfortable with?

In my opinion, chemistry is not enough to sustain a relationship but it’s important to have the right amount to keep you intrigued and to keep the passion alive. What do you think? What percentage or priority level would you assign to all of the factors we’ve discussed (compatibility, companionship, chemistry)? Our final installment of this series will briefly discuss the importance of commitment.