Do you have a sexual personality?

The words "sexual personality" tend to bring to mind images of the sex-related quizzes that fill the pages of magazines.

You know, the ones that advise you to experiment with whipped cream or sex positions more suited to a game of Twister than to your bedroom. But as a sex educator and the author of the Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms, I want to introduce you to the concept of real sexual personality — that is, certain personality traits that can affect how you react, both in streets and in the sheets. 

Unlike with those magazine quizzes, you won’t need to change your sexual personality to please your partner — I want you to embrace the qualities that make you unique! And by observing how these traits play out in your everyday life, you can discover how to make them work for your sex life, too.

There are many different “sexual personality” traits — some of the more common characteristics are intensity, persistence, sensitivity and adaptability. Let’s take a look at each of those traits and how you can harness the benefits in the bedroom.

Intensity. All kids cry, but did you shriek or lash out? Do even your closest friends call you “dramatic” or compare you to a trial lawyer? If so, you likely rate high on the scale for intensity. That means you tend to experience bigger, stronger emotions than other people. Sexually speaking, it makes sense that you’ll react more intensely to arousal, too — and that can mean bigger, stronger orgasms. Lucky you!

Persistence. Are you super-focused on whatever you’re doing? Do you need to finish one project before starting another? Do you feel compelled to finish a book or movie, even if you don’t enjoy it? Me, too. And while that might make life a little tougher for us in a world where multitasking and short attention spans rule, it can be a boon sexually, especially for women. Persistence lets women lock into their arousal without being sidetracked by stress, noises and other distractions.

Sensitivity. Can you smell odors that others can’t? Do commercials for starving children or neglected animals make you cry? Is a trip on the New York City subway sensory overload for you? Face it: You’re sensitive. And this can pay off during sex: Not only will you be tuned in to your partner’s arousal, but your heightened senses mean you’ll experience every smoldering stare, light caress and sexy smell that much better.

Adaptability. Do you roll with the punches? Do you view every change in life as an exciting opportunity? Being able to adapt to life means you can also adapt more easily during sex. While some people have trouble getting used to new partners, new positions and new types of stimulation, you’re better able to move between such changes with ease. This is a particular plus for women, who, in general, tend to require more time to adapt.

You can see how different personality traits that can have both pros and cons outside of bed can offer big benefits for your sex life. So remember: When it comes to sex, there is no “normal”—and working with what you’ve got can have its hot payoffs.

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