How to talk to your partner about sex

How to talk to your partner about sex

Sex. It’s a three letter word that incites a wondrous amount of emotions. Joy. Pleasure. Sadness. Fear.  It’s a topic that society says we dare not speak of for fear of censoring, insulting or disgusting people.  But sex happens, folks.  When it’s great, it is really great.  For some, there is nothing in the world quite like it. But what happens when it’s not? 

Here are some of the most common reasons why some people struggle with sex.

  • Media. Almost every adult TV show and movie highlights some aspect of sexuality as being amazing, and the people involved shown tend to be tall and thin.  Sexual insecurities can develop out of messages we receive from media that set the expectation exceedingly high - so high that it is impossible for some people to reach.
  • Trauma. People have pasts and sometimes those pasts are filled with trauma.  Both big T and little t trauma. Having trauma can affect your ability to enjoy sex due to pain, discomfort, flashbacks, fear or thoughts from the past that can disrupt even the strongest mind. 
  • Sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction does exist in four primary ways: desire, arousal, orgasm and pain.  In layman’s terms, you might not want it, you might not be turned on to have it, you might not climax or it might be painful.
  • Your partner. Is he loving, supportive and caring during the experience?  Does she react the way you want her to? If you answered no, this could also be part of the reason why sex isn’t enjoyable.

If any of these things are affecting you, it is important to talk to your partner about it. While communication can be challenging, here are a few good ways to open up the conversation.

  • Use “I” statements. Talk about how you’re feeling.  Say “I feel____” followed by how the situation made you feel.
  • Place blame only where/when it’s deserved.  Talk to your partner about the evolution of these feelings as much as you can. Identify if it is something that your partner is doing that is bothersome to you, or let your partner know if it has nothing to do with him. 
  • Hear the other perspective.  Tell your partner how you feel, but also make sure you hear her out.  Whether it is advice, perspective or even just empathetic listening, make sure you allow your partner the opportunity to be open with you.