We know it’s challenging to talk about sex…
So if this is you, you’re not alone.
Yet if you want a better sex life, finding a way to talk about it is absolutely essential.
That’s why we’re introducing this 3 part series ‘Talking About Sex’ from our book Coming Together available here over this long weekend to give you the tips and tools to get this conversation started.
We’d rather sex just…happened
Even in this supposedly open era, few couples feel comfortable talking about what’s happening in their bedrooms, even with each other. In our culture, sex purely for pleasure and intimacy is a pretty recent invention, so it makes sense that we’re still learning how to talk about it.
It’s confusing too that in Western culture, sex is used to market everything from alcohol to shampoo, yet we can’t talk about it honestly with the people we actually do it with. It’s hard to talk about something we can feel ashamed, scared, rejected, frustrated, insecure or sad about.
This is because there’s no one right way for sex to look.
Despite what porn and the romance industry might try to tell you.
It’s totally up to you (and your partner, of course) to decide for yourselves what to do with sex and talking about it is the first step.
Actively embracing your sexuality – and your partner’s – in ways that offer you a place of pleasurable intimacy, freedom, power and fulfilment will keep both you and your relationship energised for decades and talking about it is the first step.
Tips to help THAT conversation
Know that yes, a real conversation about sex may be uncomfortable, embarrassing, icky and scary, but take some deep breaths, get present and grounded, and gently jump in.
- Pick a time and place with some space and privacy, but not during sex.
- Remember that sex is a co creation of your experience and your lovers. You’re responsible for your own pleasure and feelings of connection (or lack of them), you’re not responsible for your partner’s experience. Just as they are not responsible for yours. Remembering this brings ownership of your part in the experience and the freedom to create more of what you desire.
- Simply owning your fear and embarrassment is a good start. Have no doubt that your partner will be just as scared and embarrassed as you (even if they’d rather die than admit it), you make this OK by admitting your own.
- Be willing to share first and take a level of risk that feels doable for you and your partner. Just discuss a little at a time, if this is easier.
- Begin with a compliment.
Never underestimate the power of appreciation in this vulnerable place.
- Seek to explore, understand, be curious and non-judgemental.
- Keep the conversation as light as possible. There may be moments of challenge but you can also enjoy it.
- Speak more about what you DO want than about what you don’t.
Absolutely avoid trying to get your partner to better meet your needs through criticism!
- Criticism invites shame in this vulnerable place and a negative response invites a negative reaction from your lover, even if their intentions are positive. Imagine how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end.
- It’s not easy, but don’t take your partner’s comments or desires personally. Remember that your partner’s comments are ultimately saying more about them not you. Breathe into what you feel and stay present.
Going about this the right way can mean that simply having a conversation about sex can itself be a fulfilling sexual experience.
What is sex for you?
Starting with a look at the bigger picture of sex may help because it’s less confronting. Explore your beliefs about what lies behind sex for you.
Make it your intention to share your desires clearly and to really understand your lover’s, rather than to focus on outcomes here.
See any differences you find as things you can explore together to bring more depth and variety to your love life rather than things that will draw you apart.
Do you see sex as one or more of these:
- A source of love and connection?
- Relief of stress and tension?
- Unconditional giving and receiving?
- Seeking excitement and pleasure, being on your edge?
- Fantasy fulfilment?
- Fulfilment of a spiritual hunger to merge and be at one with all that is?
- Maintenance sex, enjoying what works, keeping it easy without lots of effort?
- An inner exploration where you learn something new about yourself?
- A healing of unmet intimacy needs, sexual shame or conditioning?
Discuss what you each mean by your answers, and try to get as specific as you can to help your partner understand where you’re coming from. Try not to force any outcomes, just make it an exploration of where you’re both at. Have the mindset that taking a step back to see things more clearly may take you forward in ways beyond your wildest imagination
If you would like support to talk about sex in with your partner call Annette or Graeme in 1800 TANTRA or email here