“Let’s talk about sex!” – Whether you are unhappy with your sex life or your partner’s performance in bed, whether you worry about your sexual health, need to speak about contraception or plan to have a child or whether there is a lack of sex in your relationship, talking about sex with your partner is very important and much needed sometimes.
The goal is often to have a more fulfilling sex life – the talking through to achieve this goal is not always easy.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you are talking to your partner about sex:
- Not everyone is comfortable talking about sex.
For many people, sex is still a delicate topic or even a taboo. Inform your partner beforehand that you wish to speak about your sex life and choose a quiet atmosphere you both feel comfortable in.
When in an intercultural relationship, you might have to consider your partners cultural background before speaking about sex: In some cultures, it is inappropriate to discuss sexual interactions in certain ways.
Be tentative and patient with your partner when addressing the topic. They might possibly have a different level of sexual experiences than you. If opening the conversation seems difficult, you might try to address your relationship and interactions in general and take it from there.
- Safe sex is better sex.
For sex to be good and fulfilling, one needs to relax. Often, we have many questions in our heads before having sex, especially with a new partner. Speaking openly about safer sex precautions, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and birth control will put both your minds at rest. Your partner is likely to appreciate that you are taking care of your sexual health and theirs alike.
- You could possibly hurt your partners feelings.
Try not to mention all the things you don’t enjoy about having sex with your partner or all the things they could improve. You can focus on what you like and enjoy first, then make suggestions instead of complaining.
Let them know what you wish for more, what would satisfy you better. Sometimes actions speak louder than words – You can show them what you like instead of describing it to help them understand your wants and needs better. Everyone is different and hurting your partner with pure criticism and negativism will be counterproductive.
Don’t overwhelm your partner: Address and discuss one suggestion for improvement at a time, not everything in one conversation.
4 Feedback is not necessarily criticism.
When speaking to your partner about sex, make sure you don’t take their feedback personally. For giving feedback, you might receive unexpected feedback in return – Take it as an ongoing lesson in optimizing your sex life together. Just because your partner criticises you, it doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy having sex with you or don’t love you.
5 Compromising is key.
For both partners to be satisfied, you need to acknowledge that not everyone likes the same sexual practices – be open about your desires, wishes, fantasies and possible fetishes. You might like things your partner does not like at all and vice versa. That’s okay if you keep the communication open, both accept ‘no’ as an answer, stay curious, share respective interests with each other and make compromises.
Talking to your partner about sex regularly is important to get the pleasure you want and give them the pleasure they want. According to research, couples who discuss their sex life openly are more satisfied and emotional close: win-win!
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Franziska Richter is a transcultural counsellor with Willingness Team, offering counselling sessions to individuals and couples. She is particularly interested in sexuality, relationship issues, trauma and general mental health.