Talking about sex is weird and awkward and for many people having sex is much easier than talking about it. Most couples assume that as adults they know what to do and do not really need to talk about it. Plus, there is this pervasive idea that talking about sex and associated issues is not only not sexy but also decreases the sexiness of the moment. All these coupled with the taboo around sex serve to keep people from communicating effectively about their sexual needs and desires. This compromises the level of intimacy and opens the door for sexual dissatisfaction. Here’s a brief guide on how to broach the subject of sexual dissatisfaction with your partner.
Before approaching your partner
Clarify the issue for yourself
Before approaching your partner and raising the issue with them, you need to be clear about what you perceive the issue or issues to be. Think about it, write it down just to clarify it for yourself. This will help you understand it better as you take into account any historical factors or your own emotional state or bodily perceptions and more that may be playing into it. Taking this time to understand it better for yourself will also help you communicate this highly sensitive matter better with your partner.
Don’t surprise your partner with it
Don’t just spring it on your partner. Let them know ahead of time that you want to have a conversation and what the agenda is. For example, you could say, “I would love to talk about how we might increase our sexual frequency comfortably for both of us. Could we go out for coffee next Saturday morning and talk about it?”
Consider time and place
This is a highly sensitive matter and you want to pick a time and place that works for both you and your partner. Choose a time when you are both relaxed and not stressed out from anything. Don’t have the conversation just before you are about to knock boots or on a Wednesday night after a long workday. Have the conversation in a safe, neutral place or maybe on an evening walk just not in the bedroom to avoid associating the bedroom with this difficult discussion. Carve out a special time when you will not be interrupted and at a neutral place.
During the conversation
Stay on topic
As a couple, you definitely have a lot of issues that need your attention and need you to communicate about. This is not the time to let other matters bleed into this discussion. Stay on topic.
Make suggestions rather than complaints
Comment about the positive aspects of your sex life first with a specific example. Then suggest what you want in bed, be specific here. For example, “I really love it when we laugh in bed together. Other times, I long for more intensity. I would like more … I think it’d be hot if you …” Then open the discussion to their viewpoint, “what do you love and what do you wish was different?”
Go deeper about your expectations and desires
People’s sexual desire and performance are affected by a lot of things. Talk about the time of day you feel sexual. Talk about the frequency of sex you’d prefer. Do you like sexual initiation to begin with touch or words? In your mind, does seduction belong to one gender? What moods, rhythms, and acts during sex turn you on? Listen to each other’s responses and find a compromise that works for both of you. Be open and honest about your inner desires trusting that your partner wants you to be sexually satisfied and happy.
Express confidence in both you and your partner
Assure your partner that you are sexually attracted to them and that you are confident in your ability as a couple to continue to sexually satisfy each other more and more. Sexual dissatisfaction is common and perhaps even expected in the beginning before a couple gets to know each other better and communicates more. The two of you are normal. View this as an opportunity to strengthen your intimacy and increase your sexual satisfaction rather than an indictment on your sexual prowess or lack thereof.
Eventually, you guys will knock boots after that conversation. Reward progress and offer positive feedback. Keep the communication lines open during sex, vocalizing when they do something you talked about that really does it for you. After sex, do a fun, relaxed perhaps even playful post-match analysis, talking about what was great and what you guys could do next time to make it even greater. Lots of compliments along accompanying any suggestions are the key.
Go have that difficult conversation, then go forth and have fun. You’ve earned it! 🙂