If you and your partner have been together for anywhere between five days to five years, talking about sex can still make us uncomfortable. Knowing how to talk about sex with your partner can make all the difference in helping you diffuse the discomfort. These conversations are worth having despite the squeamish feeling you may have associated with them. It is worth learning how to talk about sex in a relationship so you can, and will, have the fulfilling connection you deserve, and talking about sex is a key component to catering to the different types of intimacy.
Own your discomfort.
To begin, let’s call out the first elephant in the room- and believe it or not, it isn’t the sex. It’s your discomfort in talking about sex. When many people were raised, they weren’t clearly educated about sex, let alone how to talk about sex with your partner. Because of this, our entire culture has created a code language to talk about it. Sex became “doing the deed” and penises and vaginas became “private parts”. The result of this code language? Some people still hold real fear about talking about sex in clear terms.
The good news about that is that they can be managed just like our fears about anything else. If you can master your fear of trying broccoli or going on a roller coaster, you can also conquer your fears concerning talking about sex with your partner. Just like any other fear, exposure and a confident “I can do it” attitude will move you forward without great strife.
Write it out first.
Because of this societal code-switching to pleasantries and euphemisms, it may take some rehearsing for you to clearly say what you need. Writing out what you want to talk about with your partner is a great way to practice using the words and phrases that allow for the clearest communication. When you’re ready to talk, instead of wondering how to talk about sex with your partner, you’ll have rehearsed words in front of you to help guide your way.
If your partner shares your concerns about how to talk about sex in a relationship, consider encouraging your partner to do the same. You both may benefit from the extra processing that takes place while writing it down. This keeps the conversation flowing, prevents those awkward pauses, and gives you plenty of topics surrounding sex to fully engage in.
Create a nice place to talk about it.
Candles, ambiance, music… setting the scene for hot sex is nice, but it can also help facilitate better conversations about the tricky topic as well!
People have more fruitful intimate conversations in places they feel the most comfortable. After all, you and your partner will be divulging some real vulnerable information. It’s a fact that lower lights and a comfortable setting better facilitate discussion- and this is especially true for women. Take the time to set up the environment of your speaking space in a manner that is conducive to calmness and relaxation.
Another interesting idea for how to talk about sex in a relationship? Try going for a walk or a drive. Sure, you won’t have the privacy of your bedroom, but this offers other perks. Sometimes people find talking side by side someone less threatening than a more face-to-face interview-style sex talk. Plus, it gets your body moving and out of the house, which can help to get those creative juices flowing.
Get meta with it.
This trick can solve so many potential conflicts in a relationship, even if they aren’t about sex. When you’re learning how to talk about sex with your partner, it’s ok to talk about your sex talk. Consider phrases like, “I get uncomfortable with talks like this, thanks for letting me think for a second before I respond.” and such. Talking about the conversation allows you to share your feelings without the potential for your partner to get confused. Extended silences and bulging eyes or other non-verbal cues of your discomfort could register as a lot of other things if you’re not clear that it’s the conversation itself that is the challenge for you. They will assume what you are thinking, and instead, you should simply tell them.
If you end up with a disagreement somewhere, be honest with that, too, instead of trying to continue the conversation. For example, if your partner says, “I wish you’d give me more blow jobs”, instead of quickly firing a retort that says, “I wish you went down on me more too”, take a breath. Think of how what they requested made you feel. And then share your reflection. “I got scared when you said you needed more blow jobs. I heard that I wasn’t good enough for you.” is an honest response that gets you closer to common ground. And then, you will better work to fix the issues that arise.
Being clear and direct is the best way to minimize disagreements and share exactly what you need to with your partner during your sex talk. When you’re looking at how to talk about sex with your partner, you’ll see that being direct is best. Use anatomical terminology for sex parts, say exactly what you want or don’t want in the bedroom, and make it clear for them to understand. Clarity takes confidence, so take a deep breath and say what you mean.
This is especially true if you’re trying to manage how to talk about sex in a new relationship. Your partner may be especially unclear about what you need or desire in the bedroom in these more recent relationships. Avoid generic terms like “getting down” or “sexy time”- they leave a lot to the imagination and are prone to creating confusion. Instead use terms that allow little room for confusion- “cunnilingus”, “penis,” and “clitoral orgasm” are clear and help your partner understand exactly what you want and desire.
Check to make sure everyone is heard.
This is key if you’re looking about how to talk about sex in a relationship, but it’s also a great tip beyond these sex conversations. Periodically stop and ask your partner if they’ve heard what you’ve said. In fact, it’s ok to ask the question, “Would you mind telling me what you just heard?” Checking in with your partner to see if they heard you is the ultimate gauge of whether you shared an effective communication with them. There are probably tons of things going through your head when you’re trying to talk about sex, and the same is true for them. It’s a tricky subject for so many. Periodically stopping the conversation to allow everyone to hear is key.
If you’re looking for how to talk about sex in a relationship, remember that it’s also important to think about how to hear during the sex talk. With such a loaded topic and the potential for some discomfort, there could be real reasons why people are struggling to hear one another. While your partner is talking, make sure to make eye contact if possible. Take a break from forming your next thought in your head to just listen to what they have to say. That may mean your conversation moves slower, but if it means that everyone feels heard and validated, it’s worth it.
So be brave and have those challenging conversations! It may be hard learning how to talk about sex with your partner or how to talk about sex in a new relationship, but it is absolutely worth it so that you get what you need from your romantic and sexual relationships. Don’t leave your pleasure up to chance. With these tips about how to talk about sex with your partner, you should be able to clearly get your point across and stay conflict free.