How would you describe your couple sexual style?

According to Barry and Emily McCarthy, authors of Discovering Your Couple Sexual Style, there are specific unique expressions of sexuality that speak volumes about the quality of your sex life and relationship.

These are styles you want to know to realize the ultimate in mutually satisfying sex.

The harsh reality is that not all sex is good sex. Ask them to describe a specific sexual experience and happily married, sexually satisfied couples will actually say that it was equally satisfying less than 50 percent of the time. When it comes to other sexual encounters:

— 25 percent involve one partner (typically the male) viewing the sex positively, while the other feels that it was just OK;

— 15 percent are described as functional, but unremarkable;

— 5 – 15 percent are dissatisfying or dysfunctional.

To make sure you’re having amazing sex most of the time, you want to analyze your couple sexual style, which is based on components like emotional closeness, affection and eroticism. It can evolve as your interests, experiences and preferences change.

The four major couple styles described by the McCarthys are:

1. Complementary

For these couples, the best aphrodisiac is an involved, aroused partner. Each person is responsible for his or her own sexual response, while remaining intimate as a team. Each lover is free to initiate or refuse sex. Each is comfortable making requests, allowing for a great deal of variability.

The couple’s ability to share eroticism and the experience is what makes for increased satisfaction. A drawback, though, is that sex can become routine, with lovers taking each other for granted. This is the most common of the four styles.

2. Traditional

These couples are predictable and stable. They’re into keeping the peace, with a relationship marked by feeling valued, accepted and secure. These lovers tend to worry about sexual conflict, preferring traditional gender roles where sex is typically the man’s domain. Affection and emotional intimacy are guided by her.

The style is successful in lovers having clearly defined roles and sex roles. With such easy rules, they tend not to fight so much. They can suffer, though, from relationship inequality and a lack of sexual intimacy.

3. Soulmate

These lovers enjoy shared experiences and talking about the relationship. They spend a lot of time together; expressing their feelings and making each other’s needs a high priority. Both feel accepted, loved and desired without fear or judgment.

A negative is that they can worry too much about hurting the other. Any problems can become chronic.

4. Emotionally Expressive

These couples are full of strong emotion and drama. They freely share their passions. The most erotic of the styles, this union is marked by vitality, adventure, fun, excitement and openness. Lovers, however, may fight a bit, making for an unstable relationship.

To figure out your couple’s sexual style, the McCarthys offer an extensive survey. If you’re not happy with the results, rest assured your sexual style is not set in stone. It can be changed.

This involves:

— Resolving issues. When it comes to conflicts, 30 percent are resolvable, 50-60 percent are modifiable, and 10-20 percent can be accepted without controlling your view of your partner or union.

— Challenging sex myths you have.

— Developing realistic, but positive sexual expectations.

— Adopting a broad definition of sex, embracing it beyond intercourse to include the sensual.

— Communicating your sexual desires.

Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Lovemaking."