Why do we often find it so difficult to talk about sex with our intimate partners?
Most of us were never taught to do so, and have never had an example to follow. Parents generally don’t model this skill to their children. It’s usually not a part of sex education class. The characters we see in literature and film almost always have amazing sex without any discussion or planning. Our friends don’t tell us how they approach their partners with this topic. Talking about sex with our partners is a cultural taboo.
Furthermore, revealing your sexual wants and desires to your partner can be scary. Many people find it embarrassing to share such intimate feelings; and if your partner’s reaction is not positive, you are likely to feel ashamed or even humiliated. You may even fear that if you share your needs, your partner will leave you if he or she does not want to meet them, or is unable to do so.
So, why make the effort to talk about sex? Here are a few reasons:
- Talking about sex can be a great way to have better sex. Just as it is easier to reach a new destination with a map, it is easier to improve your sex life by talking with your partner about where you both might want to go.
- Revealing aspects of yourself that you have held back, out of fear or discomfort, has the potential to deepen intimacy, because you are letting your partner know you better. You might find that increased intimacy results in a more passionate and connected relationship.
While talking about sex with your partner may seem difficult or impossible to you right now, doing so is an ability you can develop.
The first step: Learning to calm yourself when you are in unfamiliar territory.
Being able to do so will help you to:
- Go forward despite your fear
- Talk without falling apart
- Ask questions thoughtfully
- Be responsive in ways that deepen your connection to your partner
- Use humor to make this topic sexy and even fun.
This is a great, life-altering skill to learn. When you know that you can survive feeling anxious, and that you don’t have to run or shut down when you feel anxious, you can take risks toward achieving all sorts of positive change in your life and in your relationships.
Interested in getting better at tough conversations, about sex and about other topics? Feel free to reach out to me. I’ll be glad to help you work toward being a more resilient person.