Listen to “78: [Soapbox] Sexual Satisfaction Scale with Jessa Zimmerman”

Because there have been so many great guests and conversations on the show, it has been awhile since we’ve done a soapbox episode. In this soapbox, Jessa talks about measuring sexual satisfaction in a way that is meaningful to you. 

While host Jessa was doing her continued education (as sex therapists are required to do), she discovered a tool called a self-anchored ladder. This ladder can be used to create a sexual satisfaction ranking from 1-10, but it’s unique to each individual and anchored in the things that are important to you.  

This episode focuses on the self-anchored ladder, and specifically on what sexual satisfaction means to you personally. And the ultimate goal is to compare your self-anchored ladder with your partner and then collaborate to integrate the most meaningful aspects of sex for both of you. 

Determining What Makes Sex Satisfying For You 

You can find out the most satisfying aspects of sex through creating your ladder. This is a scale that ranges from 1-10 and which is made by you. This is in direct opposition to other scales that are assembled with general descriptors, and which are usually only indirectly related to your personal makeup or what you look for in sex.  

Jessa talks about how to create your scale, though a blank template is available using the link below. There are then 3 columns for the self-anchored ladder: the low, middle, and high satisfaction details. And in as many words as you can, you define what would make your sexual satisfaction fall in the low, middle or high end of your scale. 

A good way of clarifying this and getting warmed up is to first think about your favorite meals or dining experiences. What constitutes or makes the most enjoyable experience for you personally? The low, middle, or high?  And then after that warmup, do the same thing for sex! 

Pause the Recording! 

Make sure you fill out the low, middle, and high sections separate from your partner. There should be no conversations or discussions with them at this point, so you can each identify the variables that impact your satisfaction level. 

Now, look at what you filled in and search for patterns. Did you use similar words or phrases? Are there any shared themes across the different sections of the scale? Are you talking about frequency of sex? Certain behaviors or activities? Emotional or relational aspects? An emphasis on orgasms?  

Just analyzing your inputs can help you understand the driving forces that equate to sexual satisfaction for you. 

Another Way to Examine Your Scale 

A very important metric for determining your sexual satisfaction is your previous sexual history. Maybe you haven’t had a sexual encounter yet, or maybe you have very specific remembrances that drive your present satisfactions. The point being that your past can really inform your desires and evaluations. 

Looking towards the future is key, as well. As you glance over your scale, make sure you are considering how your self-anchored ladder applies to your future. This can also bring the limits of your imagination to the surface. If you are looking towards the future but have limiting doubts about whether you can achieve full sexual satisfaction, just recognizing those limiting thoughts can have a profound impact on your life. 

Also, are you more satisfied now then you have ever been? If not, what do you think has currently changed? And determining the amount of satisfaction you think you deserve is very important as well. 

Compare the Descriptors and the Ranking With Your Partner 

You may find in comparing your scales just how different you and your partner are. Some may focus more on orgasm and others on emotional aspects of sex. And coming together and collaborating can be an eye-opening experience where contrasts are revealed and adjustments are made that lead to truly satisfying sex.  

The collaboration can lead into a full investment in your sex life, with your partner(s). Jessa strongly advises you to try the self-anchored ladder! Please share if this helped you out in any way.  

Important Links: 

Self-Anchored Ladder:  

Satisfaction Scale Questions:  

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz –
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you:
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner:
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner:

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