You feel comfortable talking to your partner(s) about a lot of things. Finances, work stress, family drama, big feels—you name it. But when it comes to talking about sex? You feel embarrassed and don’t know where to start.
It’s hard to talk about sex.
It’s not something most of us were taught to do. Plus, because of The Sex Myth, this conversation feels more difficult and awkward than most. Even for us sex educators!
When I read My Life on the Swingset, I identified with some many of the author’s experiences, lessons, and realizations. During these juicy discoveries, I wondered if my beau experienced similar thoughts and feelings. When I eventually blurted out my question, I stumbled over my words and rambled a lot. He felt awkward and taken off-guard (we were walking out of the subway with 100 other people so you know…don’t do that).
Reading about sex makes it easier to talk about
Books and articles inspire new ideas. They give you an opening play in having this difficult conversation. They bridge the gap between “I want to talk about sex” and “I don’t know how to start!”
Try this to start talking about sex
I read about [sexy thing] What do you think about that?
It’s Simple. Direct. Plus, it gives some context and invites the other person into the conversation with you. All of this sets you up for a fabulous conversation.
This technique only has two rules:
- Use your own words. Talk however you’d talk to them about the chores, dinner, or finances. Use your own pet names and adjust the question as needed.
- Avoid yes/no questions like, “Do you want to try it?” Nothing shuts down a convo and leaves you feeling raw + vulnerable faster than a yes or no followed by silence.
Here are a few more examples:
- I read this really interesting article about anal sex. What do you think about anal?
- So in this book I’m reading, she talks about how women and men tend get turned on differently. A lot of it rang true to me. How do you feel about talking more about it?
- Susie shared this article about the g-spot and apparently there are five different ways to stimulate it. How do you feel about trying each one out together?
- OMG just saw this article about fantasies. I love the idea about sharing them with each other. What do you think?!
When it’s done, you’ll feel so relieved
The conversation probably not go perfectly at first. You might pull a me and choose the wrong time or maybe you’ll stumble over your words. Ultimately, though talking about sex has only positive impacts: more intimacy, openness, and exploration.
In the story above, despite my word vomit + initial awkwardness, the beau and I had a fabulous discussion. We learned so much about how the other person thinks about sex. Plus, that convo set the stage for future chats inspired by something one of us reads. I now send him articles about sex, feminism, intersectionality, emotional labour—you name it!—pretty regularly, highlighting the parts that stick out to me the most.
Having “the talk” is worth it
No matter how difficult it feels at first, you and your partner will learn so much about your relationship and each other.
Crave additional support talking about sex (and other Big Scary Topics)?
We combined the best evidence-based tools, practices, and techniques into The Sexy Conversation Starter Kit. This is a practical + accessible guide to help make all your Big Scary Talks easier—whether you want to introduce kink into a “normal” sexual relationship; get your lover to stop doing their signature move that just doesn’t work for you; discover your desires and communicate them; or, something else entirely.