Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Let's Talk About Sex

How getting curious with your partner can lead to greater intimacy.

Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
Source: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

Sex. What a loaded word. It's something most people get excited about and yet are often reticent to talk about. This can be related to family upbringing, peer socialization, religious constraints, a lack of honest and comprehensive sex education, conflicting media messaging, and myriad other reasons that leave many people feeling ashamed, muted, inhibited, and vulnerable. Yet these are the exact qualities that do not lead to a fulfilling sex life. So what can we do?

Feeling open and free are key ingredients to a more exciting sex life. As scary and hard as it may be, communicating with our partner about our desires, expectations, and fantasies is a surefire way to enhance intimacy.

We deepen any intimate experience when we take time to get curious and listen to another person. We also become more intimate through exploring questions and answers with sensitivity, curiosity, gentleness, and humor. This is true in a new relationship and in a long-term relationship, even when we are already convinced that we know all there is to know about our partner.

At its best, sex is a creative act. When it's wonderful, it has art and soul. The problem is that we live in a culture so mediated by formulaic, pornographic images that it takes a certain amount of going inward and also connecting with a partner through exploratory questions and acts to make it original, deep, and meaningful.

So, what might you ask a partner? Here are some ideas to get you started. Some of these may produce answers that evoke deep feelings, jealousy, and even more questions. But if you are with someone you trust and with whom you feel safe, these questions can be a good exercise in really hearing the other person's sexual history, wants, and needs.

And, if you happen to be going on a long road trip for the holidays and are in the car, just the two of you, this might be the best game you've ever played; it sure beats the license plate game.

  • What is your favorite place to be touched and kissed?
  • What is your least favorite place to be touched and kissed?
  • What's your favorite sexual experience that you've ever had with anyone? What made it so? Be as descriptive as possible using all five senses.
  • What sort of sexual experience do you crave that you've never had and how can we make that happen?
  • What has been your least favorite sexual experience that you've had and why?
  • Do you masturbate?
  • What would you think of masturbating in front of each other?
  • What's the most interesting place you've ever had sex and is there a place you might like to try?
  • Who and what do you think has influenced you the most in terms of being sexual? How do you think you learned to be sexual or to do what you do in bed?
  • Do you like sex that is fast or slow? Why?
  • Can you tell me what an orgasm feels like in your own body and what mine feel like for you to watch/hear/see/experience?
  • What would you think of playing around with a dildo or vibrator with me while we have sex?
  • What's your favorite aspect of having sex? Why?
  • Do you prefer intercourse, oral sex, manual stimulation, anal sex, or a mix of some of these?
  • What's your favorite position and why?
  • What's your least favorite position and why?
  • If you could only have sex in one position for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  • If there's one thing I could do to really excite and please you, what would it be?
  • Do you watch and like pornography or do you resist it? Why or why not?
  • People have travel bucket lists and life bucket lists, so what's on your sex bucket list?
  • What are some other questions you would like to ask me?
More from Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today
7 Min Read
Research suggests that watching porn is more likely to be harmless for LGBTQ individuals, nonmonogamous couples, and women than it is for others.
More from Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today
4 Min Read
Sexual orientation is about which sex you’re attracted to, not whether you prefer the same or opposite sex.