Millennial Voices

Let’s Talk About Sex: 15 S’poreans On Whether Sexual Compatibility Is Important In A Relationship

Sex and Sexual Compatibility

As conservative as our society is, millennials are no longer the generation that practices abstinence until marriage. In fact, those who still do abstain are the odd ones out who get teased.

Whether it’s statistics from an Institute of Policy Studies that ‘1 in every 2 Singapore residents do not feel that pre-marital sex is bad’ or just the general reactions during sex talks among our social circles – it’s no longer a surprise when you find out that your couple friends are having sex, in fact it’s almost expected.

We hear a lot about sex from Western culture, but what about Singaporeans? Curious to find out how fellow locals feel about sex, I spoke to 15 Singaporean millennials.

How important is sex in a relationship and is sexual compatibility a deal breaker? Here’s what I found.

How Important Is Sex In A Relationship?

As expected, 11 of 15 Singaporeans (73%) surveyed find sex to be quite important to very important. Not surprising at all, considering all the messages I have grown up being exposed to from Hollywood TV shows and rom-com films to celebrity gossip news.

The main reasons behind those who see sex as a significant part of a relationship are that sex is an unspoken way to express love, affection, and intimacy that’s more than just friendship. Then, there’s some that consider it important as it’s part of their love language.

One of them shared, sex is “a cornerstone of every relationship. It’s the biggest way of showing each other affection and love, apart from the day-to-day small gestures.”

Sex and Sexual Compatibility

GIF Credit: GIPHY

Sex is also a way for some of them to keep the flame alive and for one married millennial, “without sex, it feels like something is missing in the relationship. Sex makes me feel a whole other level of intimacy and closeness with my partner.”

For the four from the other camp, one has chosen to abstain from sex due to religious beliefs while the rest reasoned that there are other factors that define a relationship, like personality or being able to appreciate quality time with each other.

What About Sexual Compatibility, Is It A Deal Breaker?

Even though more than 70% voted that sex is important in a relationship, only 6 of 15 (40%) felt that sexual compatibility is a deal breaker – a result I am surprised at, which I will share why further down.

The two main reasons behind sexual compatibility being a deal breaker for these millennials are the conflict of values and the difficulty in compromising on sexual preferences.

Essentially, if one has certain beliefs or values on sex, especially on abstaining due to religion, the other will have to ‘reciprocate’. It will be a big problem if a couple’s personal beliefs and values don’t align. Also, it’s very hard to compromise on something like sexual desire, “you don’t want to have sex with someone who goes left when you go right, or if someone expects sex everyday but the other don’t want to.”

As for the majority (60%) that voted sexual compatibility as not a deal breaker, they reasoned that it boils down to communication and being mature enough to come to a common understanding. For them, a couple can make the choice on sexual compatibility being an issue or not, “as long as both parties are open to trying, experimenting, or coming to an agreement to compromise for each other. Otherwise, it could lead to repressed sexual emotions or even cheating.

Just like personality quirks, two also said that it is about respecting your partner’s sexual desires and needs – “when you know they are doing something they don’t really like in bed just for you, it makes you treasure the other person more.”

I Disagree With The Results

Contrary to the results of the survey, I personally don’t find sex to be particularly important in a relationship. I do see how such intimacy can help with keeping things exciting, but I value many other parts that constitutes a relationship, like warm hugs, deep conversations, or just the plain, old commitment to stick with each other through thick or thin.

Or perhaps, you can say that I have a way lower sex drive than others. After all, sex is really a personal preference, as with how some people have sexual kinks while others don’t.

I am, however, very surprised at how only 40% (6/15) of those surveyed consider sexual compatibility a deal breaker because I have always thought that a person’s sexual preferences is an innate drive that is very hard to compromise or even change.

For one, differing sexual expectations can put unhealthy amounts of stress on the relationship. I once dated a guy who wanted sex a lot, while I was unsure if I was ready to lose my virginity. As a result of pressure, the guilt I felt from not making him happy as a girlfriend, and the intention of shutting his constant ‘just try only la’ up once and for all, I succumbed.

Sex and Sexual Compatibility

GIF Credit: GIPHY

My giving in, however, gave him the chance to ask for us to do it more. But as anyone would know, the more you ask for something from someone who doesn’t want it, the more the person won’t want to do it. He’d even put on porn for us to watch just so it may get me aroused. The situation got so bad that it became a natural tendency for me to shut off the moment he started kissing me – I even felt grossed out.  

As one wise guy I surveyed shared, “everything leading to sex and sex itself put you in a position where you are not only physically but mentally vulnerable to your other half. The whole act as a couple shows the amount of trust you have with them not to hurt you, but an act of affirmation that this is between you two.”

Thus, having the same level of understanding on sex and intimacy is something I feel extremely important.

I’m not a strong believer in my faith but I know people who choose to follow the values that they were taught in their religion. Whether it’s the belief that sex is something sacred only reserved for the one they marry or that it’s just considered sinful to engage in pre-marital sex, such beliefs can create a lot of problems for a couple.

Take for example a free-thinker friend of mine, Nathan*, who once dated a Mormon girl. Among many other strict rules in the religion, Mormons are not allowed to engage in intimate touching and kissing outside of a heterosexual marriage, let alone pre-marital sex. They naturally broke many of those ‘rules’ and while she couldn’t deny enjoying what they did, she’d feel guilty about it. As for Nathan, he’d always have to wonder where to draw the line, always treading on thin line and hoping that they won’t get into any kind of trouble. That’s not a healthy way to date.

Then, there’s media and peer influence. A couple needs to be fully clear and accepting of each other sexual preferences (or how often to have sex). Otherwise, it is very easy to be swayed by society or be pressured into being ‘normal’ like the rest.

Sex Is Just One Part Of A Relationship

Regardless, a relationship is a lot more than just sex.

For some, sex is something that they absolutely cannot do without while others see it as a non-essential relationship activity. To say that sex should be important in all relationships or sexual compatibility should be a deal breaker is akin to trying to force someone into a religion.

Also, if you’re limiting yourself to finding the one person you have the best sexual chemistry with, you could end up an old spinster trying to find the perfect one. Ultimately, if a couple really commit to love and treasure each other, they would want to make things work together, even if it means compromising on their own sexual preferences to make sure their partner is happy.

So, how important is sex to you and is it a deal breaker? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Also read: Is Marrying Young Only For The Rash and Reckless?

Most Popular

To Top