Understanding the Concept of Sexual Currency

Hi Readers!

I recently read the book Mind the Gap by Dr Karen Gurney wherein she introduced me to the concept of sexual currency. I thought it would be of interest to my readers to learn more about this concept. This concept describes the way stimulating, non-genital touching within romantic relationships helps us relate to our partners as sexual beings. This plays a big part in relationship satisfaction. 

Dr. Gurney explains that sexual currency is the sex science terminology used to refer to the use of sex as a bargaining tool or the relative value of a person’s sexuality. 

In the early stages of a relationship, sexual currency is typically [at] extremely high levels. Couples spend large amounts of time kissing, making intense eye contact, hand-holding, complimenting, touching, giving affirmations about desire, flirting, being suggestive by looks, comments, texts and emails and being physically close. 

As Dr. Gurney explains, sexual currency differs from physical affection as the touches have an erotic feel. Sexual currency is about attraction and desire whereas physical affection can be had with family & friends, i.e. a hug. 

As relationships become more established, we generally settle into other, more sustainable ways to co-exist, as well as new habits. After the first flush of lust, the intensity of those early feelings subside to pave the way for less obsessive and maddening feelings. 
Sexual currency is about the culture of our relationship, and what’s good about culture is that it is fluid and shifting, depending on how the people within it act. If you are reading this and realizing that you and your partner only ever passionately kiss as part of sex, and never at any other time, or some other aspect of relating to each other mainly as flatmates or co-parents rings true, then the important thing is that you can create a change in this culture easily by starting to do something differently.

If you are seeking to restore, maintain or improve your sexual currency with your partner, you can find our workbook here

Be kind to one another,

Julia, Sexologist


For further reading click here. 

Guides and workbooks are available here.

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