Sex Talk and Communication
Sex talk is as important a topic as any. Communicating about sex in a healthy and open way is extremely important for practicing better, safer, more fulfilling sex. The biggest disappointments in your sex life would most likely arise from not communicating your needs and desires clearly. Just ask Morire.
Morire has been married for three (3) years and although she is still very much in love with her partner, she says the sex has become boring. On most nights, she doesn’t even bother initiating it to avoid disappointment and frustration. She wants more from sex but is scared to bring it up. It seems simple enough that two people in love can talk about anything – especially sex. But it’s not.
Lots of people have a hard time communicating about sex. Given that asking for what you want and setting boundaries is difficult enough without the dynamic of sex, it’s easy to see why. But that shouldn’t be the case.
If you feel safe and comfortable with your partner, here are some useful tips for conversation before coitus.
- Think about what you want from sex and your partner. Is there a fantasy you want to explore, a way you want to be touched or a specific act or position you want to try? Do you want to feel more connected to your partner? Is there something you want to stop doing?
- Talk to your partner. Choose a time when you have some privacy but aren’t in the middle of sex. Explain what you’re feeling and why. Just knowing that your partner is on the same page as you may give you the confidence to speak up in the moment. This also means you can approach the challenge together as a couple, rather than alone.
- If you can’t bring yourself to start the conversation in person, try texting.
- Brainstorm some ways that your partner can make you feel more comfortable. Maybe you can ask your partner to check in with you more during sex: “What are you in the mood for now?” “Do you want to…?” It may be easier to respond to questions at first than to speak up on your own.
- Remember that your partner has their own desires and boundaries. Just like your partner needs to respect your boundaries, you need to respect theirs.
The intimacy of sex makes it paramount that proper communication is established. Sex care, limits, and consent are lines that shouldn’t be blurred for any reason. If you’re reluctant to speak to your partner or you engage in sex that makes you feel unhealthy or unsafe, then ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel safe and comfortable with your partner?
- If you’ve asserted yourself in the past, were they responsive and understanding?
- Are you confident that your partner would listen, show respect, and respond non-judgmentally if you asserted yourself now?
- Does your partner ask before touching you, initiating sex, or trying something new?
- Do you feel safe saying no to sex?
- Does your partner make decisions that affect your health and safety—like whether to use condoms or other barrier methods—without your input?
- Do they clearly care about what you want in bed, and whether you’re enjoying yourself and experiencing pleasure?
- Do they pay attention to you during sex by checking in, and responding to non-verbal communication like your body language and facial expressions?
Sex talk emphasizes consent. Consent is necessary for sex of all kinds, all the time. Without consent, sex may be sexual assault. Keep in mind that silence is not consent—both partners should ask and check in with each other, always. Good communication is essential for safer sex and better sex life.