Sex is one of the most difficult topics for couples to discuss. Yet, good sexual communication will not only enhance your love life, it will enhance your relationship! Having trouble talking about sex? You aren’t alone.
Common Obstacles: The belief that talking about sex is vulgar. Vulgarity is in the eye of the beholder. Isn’t it time to let go of this outdated Victorian belief? Thinking your partner should know what you want. People vary widely on sexual preferences, including positions and locations for sexual intimacy, so ask your partner what they prefer.
The belief that love is enough for a great sex life. Love and sexual skill aren’t necessarily related. Take the time and effort to communicate with your partner about what you both want.
Some people are better communicators than others. Although it is true that some people are born communicators, it’s never too late to learn.
Start by talking about talking: Tell your partner it’s difficult for you to talk about sex; i.e. “I have always found it awkward to talk about sex but I value our intimate life together enough to want to try.” Gently probe your partner for their willingness to discuss sex. Tell your partner it’s OK to point out ways you can be a more effective lover.
General tips: Pick a time when you are both rested and have both sufficient time and privacy. And you don’t need to restrict your conversations to the bedroom; some couples are more relaxed cuddled on the couch or sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee. Lastly, restrict your conversation to what is going on currently, not the sexual act that your partner performed 2 months ago.
Listening: Part of good communication is good listening skills, and communicating about sex is no different! Here are some tips:
Active listening: Don’t just hear what your partner is saying, respond to it. This includes paraphrasing, or putting into your own words what you heard your partner say. This not only shows your partner you are listening, but gives your partner an opportunity to correct any misunderstandings.
Listen to learn: Be open to what your partner has to say, be sure you understand it correctly, and ask questions if needed. Use positive reinforcement: Even if you disagree with what your partner is saying, tell him/her that you value them.
During The Act: Become aware of non-verbal feedback, both by providing it and paying attention to your partners’. If you like something your partner is doing, show it by moaning or moving your body in such a way to show excitement. Don’t forget to look at facial expressions; does the person look like they are in pain or enjoying things?
Gently guiding your partner’s hand. Discuss this first and get permission, but a really effective way to be in touch sexual preferences is by taking your partners hand and guiding it. For example, women may show their partner how they like their breasts or clitoris to be caressed, and men might show their partner how they like their penis caressed.
Use signals. Discuss this ahead of time, and agree upon non-verbal signals that indicate preferences. You may have one to signal pleasure, and other that signals “please try something else.”
Number One Tip: Do not fake orgasms! Ever! Faking orgasms are the ultimate sexual lie and will erode your sexual relationship. If you know it isn’t going to happen for you, and you are OK with it, it is far better to be honest and explain that you don’t always have to have an orgasm to feel intimate and close with your partner.