Five Questions to Ask Your Partner About Sex

Avoid a sexual control struggle before marriage

Posted Apr 04, 2016

It amazes me how little partners know about each other’s sexual preferences before they marry. Some mates are too embarrassed to ask such personal details, even if marriage is on the table. Others fear they are being too intrusive and will turn their mates off. And many do not want to know the answers. These people prefer to move ahead with their plans no matter what the future consequences might be.

Some information will naturally reveal itself during the dating process. But the sexual life of a relationship can take a dramatic turn soon after a couple live together or marry, leaving at least one partner baffled. How many times have you heard about the gal or guy whose sexual drive suddenly disappears on the wedding night? It leaves the partner who is still interested in a sexual relationship with a series of questions: Did my partner lose interest in me? Am I no longer attractive? Is there an affair? Will I soon be left or abandoned? Contrary to popular belief, it may also leave the sexually distancing mate wondering what happened.

Having seen enough couples confused as to why their sex lives have dramatically changed for the worse, I’ve decided to offer a list of some of the “non-obvious” sexually-related questions to ask a prospective mate. While these issues may be difficult to tackle, it is better to have done so before a commitment has been made. Some partners may answer dishonestly, but you’d be surprised how many will tell the truth. Here goes:

1. Do you like sex?

This question might seem obvious to you, but I’m not concerned about a “yes” or “no.” Beware the partner who shrugs and responds with one of the following: “Yeah, it’s okay,” or “I don’t mind it,” or “I could take it or leave it.” These types of responses are often a sign of ambivalence at best. Don’t go into denial. If there is a weak link in a relationship it will only be exploited the moment something goes awry even if it does so in a totally different context. For example, if your partner was conflicted about sex from the beginning of your relationship, as soon as there is a disagreement about finances or the in-laws, his or her sex drive may turn out to be the representing symptom. Remember, a preexisting problem tends to get worse without treatment.   

2. Do you have any sexual functioning problems that I'm unaware of?

Everybody’s got problems. Sexual functioning issues oftentimes represent something deeper that may be very hard to uncover even with professional help. For example, the prevailing notion regarding orgasm disorder is that it has to do with a reluctance to “let go,” or to be “vulnerable.”  While this may be true, the important question is: Why? Is there an intimacy issue, a commitment problem, or a problem with attraction? Are negative sexual messages from your partner’s family of origin evoking sexual guilt or inhibiting pleasure? Is past sexual abuse a factor? Regardless, it might be a good idea to get to the bottom of any sexual disorders before marrying.    

3. How often do you like to have sex?

During the dating process people tend to show their most accommodating side. After a commitment is made their true wants and needs are eventually revealed. What is the truth? People also tend to be more sexually engaged in the beginning of a relationship, but harmful dynamics are often latent. Nevertheless, many people disagree on how much sex to have, and this discrepancy can serve as the context for a damaging control struggle; it may also be fodder for extramarital affairs. Try to iron this issue out before marriage. It may keep your partner away from your sexy neighbor.

4. What are your sexual fantasies?

I have met couples who have been married for 25-years plus and still don’t know one another’s sexual fantasies. This isn’t necessarily great for a couple’s sex life. “Trust” is the major component in discussing fantasies. It has to be there for your partner to be open and vulnerable with you. Your partner has to trust that you will not ridicule or consider them to be a pervert. Your partner has to trust that you are not going to insist that they immediately act on their revealed fantasies, if ever. And you both have to feel that together you form a “safe, committed unit.” Knowing your partner’s sexual fantasies may give you an indication of how to better please him or her; it may also help you to decide whether you want to get more deeply involved in the relationship. For example, if a fetish is a factor, is it one you can tolerate?

5. Can you talk about some of your past sexual experiences?

This may be a very touchy subject, particularly if abuse was involved. But at the very least, getting to know how your partner dealt with sex in previous relationships might give you a glimpse into the future. For example, I saw a man who had lost his sexual desire for three consecutive wives. Why? I also saw a woman who cheated on every man she dated going back to high school. Hmmm. In other words, look for patterns before you commit. While it is true that you may be that “special person” who breaks the mold, more than likely…you’re not.

Summary

The most important issue to consider when it comes to your sex life, is whether or not you are in sync with your partner’s sexual desires. Whether you desire sex once a year or five times a day is not necessarily the point I’m trying to make in this article. Rather, it’s all about the match-up. The previous questions were constructed toward this end. Last, it is vital that you ask if there is anything you are doing that your partner might want you to improve upon. Consider that your behavior might also be a contributor to present and future sexual discordance.