“Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about sex.”
Salt N Pepa provide great wisdom in this chorus that so many couples forget to do in their relationships. Though sex happens (or doesn’t happen) between couples doesn’t mean sex is always talked about between them. I am sure you have heard that communication is extremely important in relationships. The same is true for your sex life. However, sometimes talking about such an intimate topic can feel silly, inappropriate, embarrassing, scary and simply feel unnecessary. Why is that? It can be due to many different variables, such as messages that were taught to you growing up, experiences that led you to believe these things, even culturally coming from a community that taught you it was improper or rude, among others. Nonetheless, talking about sex with your partner is actually very important to the overall satisfaction of your sex life. How do you know what your partner wants? If they are enjoying the process? If they would like to try something new? If they are turned off by something or turned on by something? There are also the underlying questions of “ What if I ask them to do something and they reject me, or think I am totally crazy?” Sometimes asking the hard questions can take you to a new level of intimacy and trust with your partner.
How does one even go about talking about sex? Try and set aside time to talk about it. This could be on a date night or even over dinner (without kids). Think about some items that have been stewing in your mind that you would like to bring up. Talk about these issues by using “I” statements. For example, say you would like more of a certain behavior to happen. You might say “I really enjoy it when you provide _______. I wonder if you would mind if we spend more time on that in the future?” or different example in how to lead into sex might be “I love that you want to have sex with me, I wonder if when you want to initiate sex you could kiss me, or rub my back instead of just asking if I want to have sex. I think that would feel less aggressive to me and help me feel more affection.” What’s happening is you’re communicating not only your wants and desires but also fine tuning what you like and could live without.
Occasionally even verbalizing these statements can still provide lots of anxiety. It’s okay to work yourself up to talking about these items. Try starting with sitting at a table and writing notes back and forth to each other about this topic. Writing can at times feel non-threatening. Eventually you want to be able to then transition into talking about your sexual behaviors. What is important to note is that if you don’t talk about the behavior, it will probably stay the same.
Another way to talk about sex is what some people like to call “pillow talk.” This is while you are in bed talking about the day, or even cuddle time after sex. Talking about what you liked and didn’t care for after the sexual session could be helpful for the next sexual interaction. Even talking about if providing that feedback during sex would be helpful. For instance, if you like or don’t like what the other one is doing, then verbalize that at that time. What we don’t want to happen is that the time you are having sex becomes very analytical and looses that natural intimate connection. No one wants to feel overly criticized during sex.
There can definitely be an ebb and flow to learning what fits best for your relationship. Try and process why you might be avoiding talking about sex. Sometimes even talking to a trained professional, such as a sex therapist, might be a great place to start if you are finding sex difficult to talk about.
These suggestions are to help guide you in your journey to living a more fulfilling sexual life. If you are experiencing any sexual difficulties or concerns, I encourage you to seek help. If you have any questions or comments about what you read, feel free to e-mail me at Emma@Emma-Schmidt.com