There are several keys to enhancing your sex life. Whenever I approach the topic of sex with my clients I either get people who are excited to finally have the opportunity to talk about their sex lives or people who are extremely uncomfortable with the topic altogether.
One of the main similarities that I see between both groups of people is that before I brought up the subject, neither was really talking about sex or their current sexual satisfaction with their partner. You would think with how sexualized society is these days that more people would feel comfortable communicating about sex with their partner but for some reason this isn’t the case. We can talk about sex with our friends, are bombarded by sex on TV, movies and media, even listen to songs about sex on the radio but, the moment we get into the bedroom we stop communicating about sex altogether. Why is that?
Why We Don’t Talk About Sex:
- Fears and Vulnerability
In order to talk about sex you have to be very vulnerable with your partner. It’s not easy to speak up about something as intimate as sex because you are quite literally in one of the most vulnerable positions you can be in; then talking about it, makes you that much more vulnerable.
You first have to feel like the relationship is a safe place to be able to communicate your likes and dislikes openly. You need to know that your partner will not get angry or feel shut down when you open up about how something they’re doing just doesn’t feel good. However, our fear that communicating something negative could potentially ruin the mood is enough for us to not say anything at all. This silence is reinforced because our partner continues to believe that everything is great, while we remain unsatisfied.
- Too Much Time Has Passed
When we start out in relationships we are completely infatuated and enmeshed with the other person. The honeymoon phase feels so nice and we don’t want to rock the boat so we let a lot of things slide in the relationship and in the bedroom. However, if you wait too long to say anything it can be that much more uncomfortable to bring it up later. Even though it may seem like too much time has passed, it’s never too late to start communicating about your needs. How else is your partner going to know?
- Distance in the Relationship
Sometimes what holds us back from communicating about sex is the fact that we really aren’t communicating to our partner about anything. If we’re feeling distant and detached from out partner emotionally we probably won’t want to connect physically. However, if we decide to connect physically despite being emotionally detached and full of resentment any communication about sex will probably be pretty negative (e.g., “no, that’s the wrong spot!; I told you do it this way!; Seriously? You’re done already?”).
- Fake it ‘Til you Make It
It can be scary to start communicating about sex if you never have before. But, if you’re in a relationship then there is no reason to be afraid to approach the topic. If both of you are uncomfortable talking about sex one of you is going to have to bite the bullet and just start the conversation. I find that it often takes just one person to be comfortable enough to bring up the subject for the other person to feel comfortable enough to engage in the conversation too. Even if you have to fake being comfortable at first it won’t take long before it becomes the new normal for you both.
- Talk Before, During and After
The first step to begin communicating about sex is to just start talking to your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t. Remember, communication is sexy, too! But, don’t just talk about it during the act, communicate before and after as well. Make your sexual intimacy a regular part of the things you and your partner communicate about.
Starting the discussion before can be a great way to get you both in the mood and also make sure that the love-making starts off on the right foot. Communicating during sex allows both of you to be in sync and discuss your needs in the moment to ensure both of you are satisfied when it is all done and over with. Finally, talk after sex about how the experience was. This can be the time when both of you discuss what you most enjoyed, whether or not you were fully satisfied and if you weren’t able to during the love-making then talk about anything that could be done differently or added next time to enhance the experience.
- Be Positive, Not Negative
Talking about sex should be a positive experience, not a negative one. If you or your partner are only communicating to each other about what doesn’t feel good or what your partner could do differently than chances are you both aren’t going to leave the experience feeling confident. Nothing but negative feedback is more likely than not going to lead to a partner feeling frustrated and inadequate in their abilities to satisfy their significant other.
You want to make sure that you are empowering your partner to feel sure of themselves and confident in their abilities to take care of you during sex. Positive communication involves telling your partner what things they are doing that feel good and what doesn’t feel good in a more constructive way.
- “No! That doesn’t feel good.”
- “What are you doing?!”
- “I’m not feeling this”
- “That feels okay, but this would feel better.”
- “Here let’s try this instead”
- “Let’s try a different position”
- Non-verbal Communication
The best way and often easiest way to tell your partner what you want is to show them. Using a combination of verbal and non-verbal messages is a great way to communicate.
- It is especially useful to show your partner how to do something instead of just telling them what to do.
- Using your body to communicate that something feels good is another great way to show your partner you approve of what they are doing.
If you or your partner are struggling with any sexual issues we would love to help you master these keys to enhancing your sex life.
Author’s Note: Jasleen moved and is no longer working with Healing Hearts of Indy. You can choose another therapist by going to the ‘Meet The Team’ tab on the home page or by calling (317)218-3038.