Relationships are often a great inequality in many ways; dividing the tasks up causes stress and someone always feels like they’re doing more. Sex, though it does bring people together and promotes emotional bonding and love, can also be a cause of discord when one person demands too much from the other. Things like fetishes, positions, wants and needs can clash, causing feelings of resentment and even degradation or insult. There are a few ways in which we, men and women, demand too much from our partners in sex and cause these bad feelings; fortunately, there are ways to fix them too.The Going Downtown QuestionOral sex feels very good for many people; for other people, both on the giving and receiving end, it’s a source of shame. However, those who don’t like doing it or getting it, rarely say so; either because they are embarrassed or because they don’t want to hurt their partners’ feelings. The question of oral sex therefore becomes one of resentment and embarrassment for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable with it. The best way to deal with the Going Downtown question is to talk about it when you’re not in the heat of the moment. Discuss any fears or worries and let them out in the open. For example, many women find it hard to believe that their partner likes going down on them because, frankly, it seems icky down there for women-but many men love it. Women may also find it hard to go down on men because of a gross factor or worry that they won’t do it right. The only way to get this out there is to discuss it rationally and calmly; you’ll be surprised at what your partner really wants from you.Toys and RoleplayingToys and roleplaying are good tools for spicing up a relationship, but many people feel strange and uncomfortable using them. Toys can cause discomfort and embarrassment, while roleplaying is seen as embarrassing, childish, and even as some form of cheating for some people. Many people outright refuse to use them, leaving the other partner feeling as though they have been shunned, are considered to be strange, and even they can be embarrassed by their partner’s obvious dislike for their likings. The best way to deal with this problem again is to talk about it, but also to reach a compromise. If one partner is honestly not turned on by toys or roleplaying, then it’s not doing its job anyway and perhaps should be regulated to masturbation or daydreaming. However, if you really want to bring this into the relationship, then start off slowly, gently, and easily and understand if your partner balks at it. As the unwilling partner, you should try to be open-minded; you never know-you may end up liking it after all.FetishesFetishes are weird things that people like anyway and can cause a great deal of discomfort on both ends. Some fetishes are fairly tame, such as liking to have toes played with or being stared at by a rubber duck or something along those lines. Other things are much less common, such as inflation fetishes, bondage, and one partner pretending to be a baby. Regardless of what kind of fetish is being discussed, it has to be handled delicately as even the person with the fetish is likely aware of how strange they are. With some fetishes, it’s easier to just grit your teeth and deal with it, but others one partner may not want to deal with and should be respected on both sides. The best thing to do is be open with your fetishes right from the beginning so that both partners can decide if it’s a deal breaker or not and how best to handle it.Threesomes, foursomes etc. and SwingingHuman males are not very monogamous; they’re just not built that way and most men are raised with the idea of being monogamous as a cultural safeguard rather than something genetic. This disposition towards bigamy bursts out for many in the form of multiple partners at once and swinging. (Obviously not all men or women think this way; for the sake of this example, we’re generalizing). Multiple partners and swinging can cause discomfort for both the one seeking it and the one hearing about it. The one seeking it can feel embarrassed, angry at him or herself, and unworthy of love; while the one hearing about it can feel embarrassed or like he or she isn’t fulfilling something that the partner needs. Multiple partners and swinging is best handled openly and honestly and if you both decide to go for it, either go with a friend or a complete stranger depending on how you think you’d feel after it. If one partner just can’t bring him or herself to do it, then the other one should stick to fantasies until such a time as their partner feels more comfortable with the idea, should that day ever come. Again though, an open mind can net you some interesting results, but don’t feel like you have to be a doormat.PornographyPorn is very, very common and relatively harmless except in three cases where it can be very damaging:1. One partner becomes addicted to it and refuses to have anything to do with his or her partner because he or she doesn’t live up to the standards set by these movies or pictures. It also become problematic when the addict is spending an intolerable amount of money and time on it. 2. One partner expects the other partner to do things for him or her that he or she saw in a porno that the other partner can’t or won’t do, causing stress and anger. 3. One partner feels ashamed of him or herself for not living up to the porno ideal and can’t stand to watch it.Porn has to be dealt with on a very personal level, but here are some things to keep in mind:1. The appearance of people you see in a porn ISN’T REAL by any stretch. Thanks to the power of computers and art programs, people can be smoothed over, made larger and more beautiful and are able to do things that they couldn’t normally do. What you see on the television screen or computer screen has been Photo-shopped and airbrushed to death, so don’t get too swept away.2. Porn is not an accurate depiction of love or even sex. It has been written and choreographed to look a certain way and to appeal to a wide market. At the end of the day though, it’s no more real than any movie.3. Your partner is the real person who loves you and lusts after you.If you or your partner is having trouble separating reality from porn and becomes addicted, the best way to handle it is through counseling and to not get torn up, angry, or guilt ridden over it. If you’re simply embarrassed or feel like you’re lacking somehow and your partner is turning to porn because of it, bring up your fears rationally and openly. Your partner may not have realized how much it bothered you and will stop if you ask him or her to.These are some of the most common sexual hurdles that couples have to face together and surmount. They are all best resolved through discussion and compromise, though occasionally counseling may be necessary. Remember, we all have different wants and needs and in order to stay sexually balanced and equal, we have to respect those needs.