Here’s a saying I learned long ago: “When you compare yourself to someone else, you will always come out less than.” So why in the world, when musing about our own sex lives, would we compare ourselves to others–or even to the sex we used to have?

I compare myself quite often–not intending to but doing it anyway. An example: I have a few close male friends that I talk about my sex life with. We rarely trade notes on the bedroom failures which every one has at times. We brag about when we actually do have sex or how hot it was. At times, I think, “I haven’t had sex for two weeks. Shit.” And by comparison, I hear my friend J has had steamy sex with his petite, curvy wife twice that week. Of course, I start feeling sorry for myself. Let’s reword that: I get super  depressed about my own sex life.

Don’t get me wrong. DH and I are still having sex. But we are having less sex than we used to. Our sex schedule has been limited by our lagging libidos and DH’s health. During the years when DH wanted to have sex often and in every position, I had small children and just wanted to sleep. But over time, our roles flip-flopped. Now, I want to have sex and he wants to sleep. Still, we have managed to have a satisfying sex life. However, I do compare our now to our past and I miss the smorgasbord of sex we used to have–hot and fast sex, car sex, watching porn sex, outdoor sex, and sex in every room.

Do these fond memories of the past sexual encounters do me any good? Not really, other than inspiration for future recreation. There are new boundaries to break and new kinks to explore. As a couple, each of us bears 55% of the responsibility for creating and initiating our sex life. Instead of “I miss what was,” it is healthier for me to say, “What’s next?”

I have not mentioned that despite inevitable occasional sexual hiccups, our sex is of a higher quality than before, and that is worth a hell of a lot. I’ll take enjoyable sex over frequent “duty sex.”

I have never found the “don’t compare yourself” adage to be wrong. It applies to your kids, your work, your body and even your sex life. Each couple’s sex life is unique and although you may guess at a couple’s relationship, you will never really know. When I say a couple looks happy or sexy, DH reminds me that is only what we see on the outside and that may not be their reality. Besides, it’s only between the two of them. Like advice columnist Ann Landers always said, “MYOB (Mind Your Own Business).”

We cannot explain our sensual journey to anyone in any way that makes logical sense, but it makes perfect sense to us. If there is room for adventure and lust to be had, it’s up to us to find it, try it, relish it. And in the meantime, I need to stop comparing.