Five Ways to Communicate About Sex
Sex: Ways to speak up without necessarily speaking
Posted August 28, 2013
Here are 5 ways of letting you partner know what you sexually like and don’t.
Talk. The obvious but also obviously not the easiest. Courage needed here. A good way to do this is by having a post-coital pillow-talk debriefing if the mood seems right, but keep it positive (I really like that you did this; next time you can…) no criticisms. Better is planning a short meeting / discussion at convenient time (no kids barging in, no end of work-day exhaustion) that gives time for both of you to prepare and feel a bit less awkward or naturally defensive. The rules here are for you both to just state in monologue fashion what you like and don’t ( “Here are 3 things that really turn me on”). Again no critiques about the other’s performance. Pretend you are at a business meeting at work. Keep it low key, factual. Questions are allowed but only for clarification (not sure what you meant by "be more gentle"), not defense ("I didn’t do that", "You didn’t…"). Take turns. This is truly a case where it’s all in details – I like it when you touch me here. Keep it short, keep it clear, be absolutely specific.
Write. A variation of the meeting and talking is writing. Both of you write down what you want to say and exchange letters. Like the meeting keep it simple and short but absolutely clear. Follow up with verbal or written clarifying questions (Did you mean this? Say more about that).
Watch. We’re talking porn here, not for arousal or entertainment but education. Find something with activities that are similar to your interests. Try amateur ones that feel a bit more real rather than pros . Watch together and point out what like or don’t like, or watch separately and, like the reading, then ask the other to watch a particular segment. Follow up with brief discussion (So what did you think? Is this something we could try?)
There you have it. You may find that one of you favors one approach over another, or you may try several. That’s fine – the goal here is communication. Finally, don’t forget to talk about the communicating itself – “Thanks for your letter, that was helpful;” “Talking was good on Saturday, but I was really tired and I’d like to talk about this more when I’m less tired,” etc.
As stated at the top, these conversations initially can feel awkward and outside your comfort zone – that’s a good sign that you are moving towards intimacy. But in the bigger picture, that’s what relationships are ultimately about – being honest and brave enough to say what needs to said, to not walk on eggshells, being sensitive while helping the other person learn what you need most.