How to Talk to Your Partner about Sex
Sexual communication is often one of
the more challenging aspects of a relationship. However, people are not always equipped
with the vocabulary they need to express themselves.
There are three common roadblocks to healthy communication
about sex. Often, people are have a hard time navigating formal terms and
sexual slang. But you shouldn’t laugh if your partner uses a term that seems
silly to you; to them, it may be the easiest way to discuss a potentially uncomfortable
Negative or shameful feelings about sex may also contribute
to a lack of communication. You may enjoy a more fulfilling sex life if you feel
less guilty about what turns you on sexually.
A third sexual communication roadblock is fear of hurting
someone else’s feelings. If a person believes that they are a good lover, they may
react negatively to a critique or suggestion.
A Widespread Problem
Reluctance to discuss sex openly is not limited to sexual
partners. Often, healthcare practitioners are reluctant to discuss their
patients’ sexual concerns. This is viewed as an impediment to comprehensive
Without the tools for communication about sex, people may
engage in sexual activities they don’t really enjoy. Sexual satisfaction
depends on your ability to express what arouses or interests you and what
doesn’t. Often people feel embarrassed about expressing their desires for fear
of what their partners will think or how they’ll respond. For example, one
study determined that up to a quarter of men and half of women fake orgasm on
occasion. Sometimes this is an excuse to end the encounter, or a way to avoid
hurting the other partner’s feelings.
tend to assume their partners know what they like in the bedroom. Often, to
please a partner, people give no feedback about their experience during sexual
relations. The partner is left believing that whatever he or she has been doing
is pleasing, and keeps doing it. This can result in sex that is repetitive,
mundane, or boring.
Communication Is a Turn On
of the best ways to make sexual communication easier is to take the
conversation out of the bedroom. Here are some guidelines to get you started.
sure both people are ready to discuss their needs.
your partner what you need to feel safe. This could be anything from no
laughing at suggestions to a requirement that the kids be asleep.
your partner about, and show appreciation for, behaviors and actions you enjoy.
differences in sexual interests. You do not need to agree to do any particular
activity, but neither should you dismiss your partner’s stated preferences out
what your partner is saying. This is just repeating what you heard your partner
say. “I hear that you would like to try…”
also can increase your sexual pleasure by learning how to have a conversation
in the bedroom. Here are some guidelines.
you touch your partner, ask for feedback. Each time you ask a question and do
something different, wait for your partner to answer. You can also allow your
partner to guide you. This way you’re able to avoid negative criticism about
what you’re doing.
Finally, it is important to respect
your partner’s communication and guidance. This will help build trust between
you. As your sexual communication skills improve, so will the overall quality
of the relationship.