Angela Leong
Written & Posted by Angela LeongRegistered Clinical Counsellor, Founder of AEM

Harmonizing Desires: Exploring Complementary Sexual Styles in Relationships

04 May, 2022
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Barry McCarthy and his wife Emily talk about their own complementary sexual styles in their book Contemporary Male Sexuality, which you can read about.

But, the kind of complementary sexual styles I’m talking about is where your psychological strengths and weaknesses complement each other, to which you experience as “chemistry”.

For instance, let’s say a woman has seen one too many examples of toxic behavior coming from men who boast their male prowess, use it to mock and jeer at women who become attracted to their maleness (misogyny), and said woman has become cold, distant and unapproachable in her sexual and romantic quests. (At the extreme end, perhaps even repressive of her sexuality to the extent of vaginismus). Deep inside she may have attraction for others but she keeps her cards close to her chest.

The complementary sexual style here is one who feels energized by the reserved other in question. Especially if the reserved other leaves a trail of cookie crumbs, just enough for the other to project a world of sexual and romantic bliss.

One’s weakness (fear of being mocked by men) is complemented by the other’s strength (enthusiastic pursuit behaviors). It’s a lethally effective combination for pro-longed chemistry.

If the affection is genuinely returned, they can have lengthy successful relationships, and if it’s not, and it’s mostly projection, then over time it will surely fizzle out.

Although, let’s not forget about the folks who border the edges of anti-social personality disorder in the name of pursuit that is in no way returned. But that’s rare.

Et vous? What about you? Can you name a self-reinforcing complementary sexual style? Basically anything can be eroticized, so get creative here!

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