You feel comfortable talking to your partner about what upsets you, what you want, and what you need. But you struggle to talk about sex with them. Maybe you want to share a fantasy, give some feedback, or express dissatisfaction. Regardless, you feel embarrassed and wonder, “If our sex life is good enough, why rock the boat?”
It’s hard to talk about sex.
It’s not something you learned how to do1 Plus, because of The Sex Myth, this conversation feels more difficult and awkward than most. Even for me!
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!”
I read about [sexy thing] What do you think about that?
Simple. Direct. Plus it gives them some context and invites them into the conversation with you. All setting 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’s 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 may not go perfectly. Expect to feel awkward, stumble on your words, and eventually file the experience under, “Stories to laugh about later.” But think of all the positive impacts talking about sex has on your relationship: 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 (and feminism) 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.