Recent studies show that the personality trait of perfectionism is linked to poor physical health and an increased risk of death — in particular when it’s what psychologists call “socially prescribed perfectionism,” i.e. where you feel like other people expect you to be perfect (as opposed to “self-oriented perfectionism,” when you impose the high standards on yourself — apparently not quite such a health risk). Then again, is it possible to completely separate what you think others expect of you and what you expect of yourself? Where does one end and the other begin?
Anyway, we’re all for people easing back on themselves — especially if it helps them live longer — so we’re going to use this research as an opportunity to tell you ten ways that you can cut yourself some slack in your love life. Because as that old Chinese saying goes (or was it some business guru?), 80% is perfection.
- The male pursuit of the female orgasm. Men, the ladies in your life appreciate your efforts, but sometimes it’s just not going to happen. If she says it’s not, take her word for it.
- The female pursuit of the female orgasm. Ladies, sometimes you’ll get there, and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes you’ll need help (a toy, a hand, a fantasy) and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes the O will be mind-blowingly memorable and other times it’ll be less so. A lot less so. Remember, there is an unlimited supply of orgasms in this universe, so don’t be so perfectionist about each one.
- Your body. We appreciate the desire to be healthy and look good for your partner, but perfectionism in this realm is for Barbie and Ken. And they’re both fucking freaks.
- Your O-face. Try not to think about what you look or sound like during your orgasm, or else you’ll never climax again. Also, we guarantee that what looks like a constipated ape face to you is a total turn-on for your partner. Okay, we don’t guarantee that. But we 80% guarantee it, which is close enough to perfection, remember?
- Comparing yourself to your partner’s exes. They’re no more perfect than you are. In fact, they’re probably a lot less perfect than you are or else why would they be the ex and you the present tense partner?
- Penis size. When it comes to size, there might be such a thing as average (and, therefore, below average or above average) but there’s no such thing as perfection. Perfection, in the realm of the penis, is entirely subjective.
- Breasts. Boob jobs are symmetrical and they better be because people pay a lot of damn money for them. But mother nature’s breasteses are typically far from it. As designer jeans companies like to say, “Visual imperfections are a part of the personality of the product.”
- Positions. Don’t worry if you can’t get your leg as high as the one in the illustration, or if there isn’t a fancy name for the position you most often find yourself in. Pay attention to function, not form: does it actually feel good?
- Dirty talk. It’s okay to be repetitive, to get your tongue tied, to accidentally say something that would be more at home in a sex ed class. Even porn stars flub their lines sometimes.
- Bodily emissions. They happen. Move on. If you really want to maintain the mystery in your relationship, then consider yourselves lucky if you can shield each other from 80% of each other’s emissions. Aiming for more than that just can’t be good for your body.