20 May 2015
Talking about sex can be a challenge, whether you're getting together with someone new or you’ve been partners for years.
But good communication can really enhance your sexual wellbeing. By sharing your sexual likes, dislikes and expectations you can make choices together and learn more about how to please each other. Much better than hoping a partner is a mind-reader!
Try these tips to get the conversation flowing.
Don't be shy
If you've never broached the subject of sex it can be natural to worry about how your partner will react. They might feel as embarrassed or awkward as you – but the only way to conquer your embarrassment is to make talking about sex a normal part of your relationship. It can be as simple as asking them how they feel about sex. Sex crops up on TV all the time and this can also be a great way to start a conversation.
Even if there’s something bothering you it can be good to start a conversation with something positive, such as telling your partner something they’ve done that you like. If you only mention things you don’t like, this could knock your partner’s confidence and make them feel defensive and unwilling to talk.
It's all about good timing
Don't talk naked. It might seem more natural to talk about sex just before or after you've had it, but talking to your partner in the heat of the moment, especially if you want to negotiate condom use or talk about something that's bothering you, will put pressure on them and you. That’s not to say you can’t tell them “I like that” during sex – in fact we’d encourage you to! – but you can talk in more detail about your likes and dislikes at another time.
A healthy relationship is one where partners feel listened to and respected. Ask your partner what their favourite thing about sex is, what they'd like to do more of, or if there's anything they'd like to try. That doesn't mean that you have to act on their suggestions if you don't feel comfortable with them but you might discover something you both want to try (or you both dislike but thought the other one liked!).
Don't have one talk about sex and assume you're done. Your sexual needs can change as your life circumstances change, you get older or you change partners. Even if you're having great sex, make time to talk regularly. It might be something as simple as saying you enjoy sex with your partner, or you'd like to try out a new brand of condom. The more you talk about sex the easier it gets.
Remember all relationships are different and, just by talking, you may discover new pleasures that you’d never even thought of before. Don’t put pressure on a partner to try and recreate successes you’ve had in the past; by being open and honest with each other you can find your own unique path to sexual satisfaction.