Have you ever felt uncomfortable talking about sex with your partner, because you weren’t sure how to broach the subject to them?
There comes a time in every relationship where wordless communication about sex just doesn’t cut it anymore. If this feels like you, and you want more help with communication and relationships – read on.
Maybe you’ve had mismatched libidos for a long time and need to find a way of dealing with it.
Perhaps you’re struggling with getting an erection or finding sex painful.
Or maybe you just want to spice things up – and all the hinting you’ve been doing has been getting you nowhere!
Is your sex life in trouble? Read 7 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Sex Life
If you want to know how to talk about sex with your partner, you’re in the right place. Communication and relationships are two things I specialize in as a sex therapist. I know how daunting it can feel to broach the subject of sex, but I also know just how impactful it can be when you get it right!
Below are four important principles that will help you communicate about sex with your partner and have a better, more satisfying sex life and relationship.
1. Pick A Time
An important principle (that can also be applied to communication and relationships in general) is picking the right time to have the conversation.
If you have a lot of pent up feelings about your sex life or things you’ve wanted to bring up in the past but haven’t – chances are you might broach the subject at the wrong time.
“For example, a lot of couples fall into a pattern of only talking about difficult things while they’re already arguing about something else. They throw the subject of sex into the mix as a way of perhaps hurting the other, or signaling that they feel their partner is failing in other areas too.”
Other times they tend to talk about sex just after they’ve finished doing the deed. Offering critique about sexual performance or bringing up your unhappiness with your sex life might feel more natural when you’ve just had (or tried to have) sex. But by doing this you’re actually running the risk of creating conflict and bringing your partner down.
Learning we’re somehow inadequate in bed, just after we’ve finished off, doesn’t make for a great conversation.
Instead, you want to talk to your partner about sex at a time when emotions aren’t already running high or you or your significant other aren’t stressed out.
Your best bet might be during a few kiddie-free hours at the weekend, or perhaps after you’ve both been able to wind down after work.
2. Pick A Place
If sex is something you rarely discuss with your partner, you might also want to be extra cautious when thinking about where you have the conversation.
For a lot of us, the bedroom is sexually charged as it’s commonplace to have sex. Choosing a setting that isn’t charged with sex or emotion – a neutral one – is a good way of increasing the chances of a constructive discussion.
A more neutral setting might be your kitchen or living room (if that, too, isn’t somewhere you usually have sex, or try to!).
It’s also important to take into consideration whether or not the setting for the conversation should be public or private.
You might find, it feels more relaxed to talk about sex while going for a walk, as opposed to sitting at home at the kitchen table. But if you choose a public setting, it’s important to make sure your partner also feels comfortable in discussing such a private matter while you’re out and about. This could otherwise turn a perfectly good conversation into an argument!
3. Tell Your Partner How You Feel
When it comes to communication and relationships, and talking about sex specifically, it’s not uncommon to feel a little nervous or shy. After all – you’re talking about something that likely feels a little difficult for one of you at the moment.
The solution? Tell your partner about your nervousness! If the whole thing makes you turn red, they’re going to notice anyway.
Not only will your honesty be refreshing to your partner – but it’s also a great icebreaker, and allows them to understand where you’re coming from.
For example, if your libido is low, coming straight out and saying it instead of dancing around it is your best bet. It might sound something like this:
“I want to talk about something that’s important to me, but I want you to know it makes me feel kind of embarrassed. My sex drive has disappeared and I’m finding it difficult because I feel like it’s making you upset.”
When your partner knows how you feel about the conversation, they can help make it easier for you. In turn, they become more adept at meeting your emotional needs when they know what you’re feeling. A win-win for everyone!
Are you and your partner trying to make your sex life more exciting? Read 5 Simple Ways To Make Sex More Romantic
4. Communicate Preferences
Sex is a taboo subject, which often means we try and avoid going into detail when we talk about it.
“Being vague and imprecise is a way of distancing ourselves from the potential negative feelings that the subject arouses. It, however, does us no favors when we’re trying to move forward and reach conclusions about what we want to do with our sex lives. ”
Good sex life is characterized by a lot of different things – one of them is knowledge about each other’s sexual preferences.
If you want your partner to start doing something in particular (or stop doing something!), it’s important you let your partner know exactly what you have in mind.
This way, you’re ensuring your partner won’t become confused and worried and increases the chances of you getting what you desire.
“For example, if you say to your significant other: ”I would like to have sex more often.” It might be crystal clear what often means to you. But for your partner, it might cause an avalanche of all kinds of worrying ideas. ”
For example, he or she might think this means you want to:
- have sex at least three times a week,
- or you always want to have anal intercourse whenever you have sex,
- or that this somehow is an ultimatum and you’ll break up with them unless all of the above are taken care of immediately.
It’s the combination of a lack of information and being vague in your communication that kick-starts all of this.
“Try and think of communicating sexual wants and needs in very much the same way as you would communicate about food preferences. ”
Saying you’d like to eat tacos tonight gives your partner a hint about what you’d like. But it doesn’t also confer if you’d like hard shells or tortilla bread, home-made tomato salsa or guacamole, cheese or sour cream.
Communicating in a clear and concise way might sound something like this:
“I like when you spank me until I say stop.”
“I’d like our sex to be rougher.”
“I’d love you to say more things about my body and use the words ‘sexy’ and ‘beautiful’ during sex.”
As opposed to:
“I’d like you for you to talk dirty during sex.”
”I’d like to try a new position called ’x’. It looks like this: (show the position on your mobile phone).”
”I’d like to try a new position”.
In all of the above-mentioned examples, you’re talking straight and being clear about what you’d like. This way your partner doesn’t have to worry about you meaning something else, and you might just get what you want!
Do you agree that sex is an important part of a relationship? Read 7 Reasons Why Sex Is So Important In A Relationship?
Communication and relationships are tricky things – but by using the four principles outlined in this blog post, you’re sure to have a better conversation about sex with your partner – one that hopefully leads to a better sex life and a more fulfilling relationship.