‘The Good Enough Sex Model’ (Metz and MaCarthy 2007) – a review and summary

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Quick summary: I am offering a review of – Michael E. Metz; Barry W. McCarthy. The “Good-Enough Sex” model for couple sexual satisfaction. Sexual and Relationship Therapy; August 2007; Volume 22 No. 3 Pages 351 – 362 – this is by far my favorite article of the subject of human sexuality… I am very thankful to the authors for putting this wonderful piece together. I use the information from this article all the time with my clients… If you want to help your self or your clients to have more sexual satisfaction within a relationship I would highly recommend you attain this article.

the Good enough sex model can be found on Dr. Metz’s website at http://www.michaelmetzphd.com/ – you will also find other information and publications.

This is an exceptional article which gives a very clear and organized presentation of a multi dimensional sex therapy treatment called the Good Enough Sex Model. The model suggests that sex therapist have historically looked at sexual dysfunction from a limited perspective (just medical or just psychoanalytic etc). This Model proposes that psycho biosocial approach be utilized. The model uses “cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and relation factors to promote cohesion, cooperation, and intimacy” (Metz and MaCarthy 2007). The model helps people to lessen focus on performance while increasing awareness of pleasure, happiness, and emotional intimacy.

Cognitive approaches are used to aid individuals in developing a commitment to sexual health, a responsibility for growth, a willingness for behavioral suggestions, and to promote realistic expectations about sex (Metz and MaCarthy 2007).

Emotional approaches involve accepting and expressing honest feeling about sex and body image (Metz and MaCarthy 2007).  .

Behavioral interventions are used to teach physical relaxation (which is believed to be of paramount importance), sensual self-entrancement and arousal (Metz and MaCarthy 2007). 

Relational methods are used to increase cooperation, emotional empathy and to allow open dialog about couples’ issues such as forgiving each other for past sexual disappointment (Metz and MaCarthy 2007).

The model then lists twelve essential principles of the Good Enough Sex Model. I will give you a summary of the author’s basic idea’s… again, the author came up with all this useful information.

  • Sex is a positive part of life which can benefit things like intimacy, self-confidence, and trust etc.

 

  • Relationships satisfaction and sexual satisfaction are very related… in this way a couple can work together to increase satisfaction.

 

  • Realistic expectations about sex greatly helps sexual satisfaction – this is a huge part of the article. The authors try and normalize the truth that sex is good sometimes, not good sometimes and great sometimes.

 

  • Healthy behaviors that encourage good physical health are of paramount importance for good sexual health.

 

  • Relaxation and the ability to self-sooth (anxiety) or to calm your physiology is very helpful in relation to both pleasure (reaching orgasm) and function (ED, longevity)

 

  • Focusing on and valuing flexibility in relation to sexual experiences is a great way to avoid sexual dysfunction –The authors suggest that you focus on the positive sexual experiences while accepting that the less than positive experiences are perfectly normal. The authors suggest ways of removing performance pressure, fears of failure, and worries about rejection.

 

  • The Authors suggest that couples talk openly about all the different purposes of sex (romance, emotional intimacy, play etc). Couples can benefit from using sex for multiple purposes (if sex is purely for romance in your relationship they might suggest adding play or emotional intimacy).

 

  • The article then talks about arousal and how there are different ways of creating arousal.

 

  • Any differences that arise from culture, gender, etc are given respect.

 

  • The authors suggest that sex be looked at developmentally… is grows and changes as life grows and changes… these changes can be celebrated.

 

  • Sexuality can be personalized… the authors suggest that you allow yourself to hold acceptance for the meaning that you place on the experience.

 

Michael E. Metz; Barry W. McCarthy. The “Good-Enough Sex” model for couple sexual satisfaction. Sexual and Relationship Therapy; August 2007; Volume 22 No. 3 Pages 351 – 362

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.
William Hambleton Bishop
William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

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