Relationships Boiled Down To Two Things

1. Sexual Compatibility

2. Companionship

Pretty simple, right?

My past two relationships, both of which lasted over a year, helped me crystallize what differentiates a good relationship from a bad one.

I’ll briefly describe my last two LTR’s and then put some structure to my relationship model.

MEGAN: We had perfect sexual compatibility (10 out of 10) but a scorched earth companionship (2 out of 10). Imagine a really overly dramatic, absurd high school type relationship full of bullshit and immaturity, and that’s what it was. How good was the sex? It was so good, I gave her no less than 5 orgasms per session, and sometimes up to 20 for special occasions. Sounds retarded, but true. She was highly orgasmic and when we screwed, paint melted off the walls. I yearn for the connection we had. If the companionship had been, say, merely average (at a 5), I’d still be with her.

SARAH: We had a perfect companionship (10 out of 10) and sub-par sex (4 out of 10 usually, 7 out of 10 on special occasions). The companionship was remarkable, great day-to-day interactions, awesome convo, compatible humor, strong friendship, brilliant shared experiences, thorough enjoyment of each others company. The sex was mediocre at best. We simply didn’t have access to each other’s fantasies and our styles weren’t compatible.

Ironic that the back-to-back LTR’s were polar opposites of each other. I think there’s some karmic stuff going on there.

My Model Of Relationships

Sexual Compatibility: I’ve developed a specific sex style and I look for a complementary partner. Just to summarize a few points, I like to be the aggressor, I get aroused by her arousal, I’m into physical, athletic sex, and I’m into a high level of dirty talk and creating fantasizes through dialogue. I take it to heart that much of sexual attraction takes place mentally and emotionally.

This sounds like standard stuff, right? Not so fast. I’ve found that your style in the bedroom is everything. For instance, if you’re a dude and you need to be pegged to get off and your female partner is a submissive and gets turned off by the notion of pegging, that’s not going to work. Those two probably shouldn’t have a sex. There’s a vast range of sexual styles, and thus compatibility levels, and you ignore this at your peril.

Right now sexual compatibility slightly edges companionship at this stage of my life. 

Companionship: I define companionship as the day-to-day interaction, shared experiences, dialogue, shared emotions, and overall friendship. Shared experiences are basically cool things that you do together (vacations, going places, playing sports together, parties, hanging with friends). Shared emotions are literally the emotions you give one another over the course of the relationship. I make my gf feel sexy. She makes me feel like “the man”. I excite her. She makes me feel handsome. We make each other laugh. Etc. We give each other dozens or even hundreds of emotions over the course of a week, and the bulk of those emotions ought to be positive and conducive for the maintaining of a relationship.

I think things like interests, hobbies, and even values to a certain extant are overrated in a relationship. Who cares if we don’t like the same bands? We can always find a concert we enjoy together. Doesn’t matter if I’m liberal and she’s conservative. Those things are malleable.

What I’m Looking For Now

Using those two factors, I can create a profile for a successful relationship.

For me, I’m looking for a 9-10 on sex compatibility and a 6-7 (at least) in companionship. The numbers for companionship are above average, not spectacular, but enough to give the relationship sustainability. At the moment, I’m willing to settle for a “good” companionship if the sex is excellent.

Why the settle on companionship? At this stage of my life, I get my companionship needs met through friends, family, and lovers. Simply put, I don’t need an everyday companion or a *perfect* companion. As I grow older, I imagine this will change, but there’s no urgency there for me now. This is intensely personal and something I had to come to grips with as I negotiated social pressures and made realizations about my self.

Interestingly, I’ve found that’s it’s much harder to find an excellent companion (9-10) than it is to find an excellent sexual partner (9-10). My gut feeling is that 3 or 4 out of 10 hot chicks I could have amazing sex with, while only 1 in 30 I could have a fantastic companionship with. The companionship numbers may actually be lower, as low as 1 out of 100, if I upped my standards a bit. (Wow, that means only 1 out of 250 chicks where the sex and companionship is excellent. Terrible odds).

How do these two factors work out for you? Am I missing anything?

Other Takeaways

Notice I didn’t say anything about physical appearance. I’ve realized that sexual compatibility trumps a few degrees of looks. If she’s a little chubby, that’s totally fine if the sex+companionship is there. Someone who says they wouldn’t date a person with sub-par physical appearance is succumbing to social pressures. Ladies, I’m talking to you and your dreams of dating a tall, handsome guy. Guys, I’m talking to you when you say nothing less than a super model.

Don’t care about financials, I’m pretty flexible there. I would date someone who was unemployed as long as she was a good companion and excellent in the sack.

What about kids or smoking? I file those under companionship. If she wants kids and I don’t, obviously that has a drastic effect on the companionship, because we’ll be conflicting in the emotion department all the time. I could date a smoker.

What about social standing? Her social standing means nothing to me. If she has a higher social standing than me, I look like the man (“Dude, Lance picked up a CEO!”), and if she has lesser (say she’s a hot 22-year-old college student) I still look like the man. For dudes, this is super malleable. Chicks feel a lot more pressure here. Sorry ladies, it blows but that’s the game.

What about love? Clearly, love is an important emotion for both sexual compatibility and companionship and hopefully the emotion is flowing from both areas. I loved Megan, loved Sarah, and was in love with every other girlfriend I had. Love is incredibly malleable and ephemeral and that’s a topic for another post.

  • Inferno

    I have had tons of sex partners and maybe a dozen that actually fit my personal sexual style to the point of being a 9 or 10 on the scale.
    Married two of them.
    Sexual style is very important.
    Just good sex becomes bad sex after a while because the blend doesn’t happen.

    As for day to day stuff… just not pissing eachother off all the time is enough for me.
    The problem is that when lust is high people get along well. It’s only a year plus into a relationship that things really start to turn if the sex styles mix well.

  • LA Dating

    I think those two qualifications sums up whether or not you will be successful with the one you are dating. The problem is, some people just look for the sexual part and never worry about the compatability portion :)

  • Honey

    It’s pretty clear that Lance and I have different sexual preferences, but Jake and I are 8+ in both categories (sexual compatibility and companionship), most of the time higher.

  • Hammer

    I don’t know how you can separate attractiveness from sexual compatibility. Not to say that it’s everything, certainly it’s not. But I’ve found that if my girl isn’t up to a certain level of attractiveness, I will break my neck turning my head to check out the hot chick on the street as she walks past, and I’ll think about her an hour later when my girl is sucking me off in the bushes of park. I’m a superficial ass, sorry ladies. That said, losing weight is pretty fucking easy, so if it’s just a couple of extra pounds she needs to drop, I’d probably give her a chance to do that if she was really that high quality in other areas.

  • Lance

    Hammer, attractiveness is tied to sexual compatibility, no doubt. I think what you’re referring to is physical beauty, which is malleable to a certain degree and still important, but not as much. It’s just like the guy who’s a 5. You get that guy in the gym, get him some cool threads and a tan, and all of sudden he’s a 7. Chicks are the same way. I’m willing to overlook a few things physically if we’re great in the sack together.

  • JYD

    JYD, one of Eathan’s contributors. Just finshed my take on sexual compatibility. You can find it in my blog at
    Look forward to the round table discussions. Have a good one.

  • Marco Lee

    Nice Realization Lance.

    I also agree on your sexual compatibility and companionship preference, but you also discussed some issues on takeaways and I think that is also some of the big issues people discuss with themselves inside or going for a relationship.