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Dating & Relationships

Talking About Sex

Happy valentines week lovers! This week may have some spicy moments in store for you, so let’s talk about sex!

Starting the Sex Talk

We really do not talk about sex enough. And by talk about sex, I don’t mean me talking at you about sex, although I will likely do that in one of these blogs in the future; what I do mean is that you do not talk about sex with the people you are having sex with or potentially going to have sex with, and if you do talk about sex, you are not probably not doing it enough, or not covering all the important stuff. So before you get into bed with another person, read the rest of this blog.

Talking About Sex

Having open and honest communication about sex is crucial for a healthy and satisfying relationship. However, starting these conversations can be challenging, especially for those who are anxious, have codependent tendencies, have difficulty asking for what they need, or who have never had these conversations before.

The great thing about 2023 is how many resources there are for improving your ability to communicate around sex. If you missed it, I covered my top 16 picks for love and dating content in 2023, out on YouTube now. One of my favorites on that list is the Masterclass with Emily Morse, Human Sexuality expert and host of podcast Sex with Emily, where she covers how to talk about sex.

Using Sex Resources

Emily says that pleasure is a birthright and that talking about sex and pleasure should be as normalized as talking about the weather, and I couldn’t agree more. Even though I fundamentally agree with her, I have to admit that talking about sex is still hard for me sometimes also. One little gem that Emily shares is this idea of “Timing, Turf, and Tone”. When setting up a conversation about sex, consider those three things. Considering timing, turf, and tone translates into NOT having conversations about sex while you are having sex, directly before or after sex, and definitely not in the bedroom. These conversations should be planned and agreed upon when both parties have time and energy to discuss openly, and in a space that is safe and neutral. Don’t plan to discuss sex while one or both parties are impaired by any sort of substance if you want honest and productive conversation.

How To Talk About Sex

Here are some tips for talking about sex: These tips are written specifically for committed relationships but can be just as useful for opening up conversations with casual or potential sexual partners.

  1. Make it a priority. Schedule time to talk about sex and make it a priority in your relationship. This can be done alone or during a couples therapy session. It can also be done as a prerequisite for a new potential partner.
  2. Be open-minded. Listen to your partner’s perspective and be open to new ideas and experiences. Avoid being critical or dismissive; remember that talking about sex is hard for them too. They may be scared or guarded which may lead to less than perfect communication skills. Compassion is key here.
  3. Use “I” statements and avoid absolutes like “always” or “never”. Speak from your own perspective and ask for what you want with a request. For example, instead of saying “You never initiate sex”, try “I would love it if you were the one that initiated sex more often. I would feel more desired. Would you be willing to try initiate more often?”
  4. Be specific. Instead of generalizing or making assumptions, be specific about your wants, needs, and desires. This will help your partner understand exactly what you’re looking for. This is a great time to practice advocating for yourself and being brave enough to own your desires with power.
  5. Be respectful. Remember that your partner is not a mind reader, so it’s important to be respectful and clear in your communication. Avoid ultimatums or making demands. Use curiosity as your primary energy. Get curious, work on not judging.
  6. Use humor. Lightening the mood with a little humor can make the conversation less intimidating and more enjoyable. Never use humor at the expense of your partner and use extreme discernment on humor placement. A little smile or giggle can go along way to make the topic feel less heavy.
  7. Be patient. Conversations about sex can be difficult and emotional, so it’s important to be patient and understanding. If your partner needs time to process or respond, give them the space they need.

What Sex Topics To Cover

Now that you have some tips for how to talk about sex with your partner, let’s dive into some specific topics you might want to discuss:

  1. Sexual desires and preferences. Discuss what you both enjoy in bed, what you would like to try, and what you are not comfortable with. Remember that everyone has different desires and preferences, so it’s important to listen to your partner and respect their boundaries.
  2. Sexual fantasies. Sharing your sexual fantasies with your partner can bring you closer and increase intimacy. It’s important to remember that not all fantasies need to be acted upon, but simply discussing them can be a turn on. Avoid taking any fantasy your partner shares personally. Fantasies are just that, deviations from reality and not about the current state of your relationship.
  3. Turn-ons and turn-offs. Talking about what turns you on and what turns you off can help you both feel more comfortable and confident in bed. This is so important. If there is a thing that your partner is doing, or a thing that a past partner did, that kills the mood for you, trust me, your current or future partner WANTS to know about it because it will help them navigate with you much better.
  4. Boundaries. Discussing your boundaries is important for a healthy sexual relationship. This can include physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, and time boundaries. These are more difficult to define and will likely take you some time and experience to get clear on, but at least start the conversation now.
  5. Frequency and timing. Discussing the frequency and timing of sex can help ensure that both partners are satisfied. It’s important to remember that everyone has different needs and desires, so find a balance that works for both of you. Frequency ebs and flows for everyone. You will have times of higher and lower libido, and that is totally normal. Recognizing this, when it happens, and how to communicate it will be really beneficial for you and anyone you are engaging in regular sex with.
  6. Communication during sex. Talking about how you like to communicate during sex can improve your sexual experiences. For example, do you prefer verbal or nonverbal cues? Do you like your partner to give you feedback? What do you like them to say. Do you like when they use your name or say specific words and phrases? Are there words or phrases you do not like to hear?
  7. Protection. Discussing the preference for using protection during sex is important for both physical and emotional safety. This can include discussing methods of contraception and STI protection, as well as discussing any past experiences with STIs or pregnancy.

This is a pretty intimate list of disclosures! I am not saying that you cover this amount of detail with every potential partner. Part of having healthy boundaries means knowing who to disclose to, so make that decision for yourself wisely.

Normalize the Conversation On Sex

Before we wrap up, I also want to give you a set of specific questions that you can use in your conversations about sex as well as my tip on normalizing the practice of talking about sex.

First, start by getting comfortable thinking through your wants, needs, and desires for yourself. Write the answers to these following questions out as if you were doing a journaling exercise.

Next, have the conversation about sex with a trusted friend if you are single or not ready to dive into these questions with your partner yet. Use these questions as prompts on what to discuss and practice giving and receiving answers. Maybe even do it in a group setting at a girls night, or if you are really feeling spicy,… in a co-ed group of emotionally mature people for a very eye opening conversational experience. Defiantly have a consent talk with your partner before hand if you are planning to have conversations about sex with co-eds to make sure you preserve the standards of your relationship.

Finally: use these questions as prompts for a spicy date night where you and your partner get to know each other better and deepen your intimacy, or get rally brave and use them to vet a new potential partner!

What Sex Questions To Ask

Here are the questions, in no particular order.. maybe you will want to writ this down, or you can also head to my blog for the written version of this content. Keep in mind, these questions get down to some core beliefs a person may have, so this may be a deep, long, hard conversation… and some of us really like that kind of thing

  • What do you believe the function of sex to be?
  • What does sex do for you?
  • What role does love play in sex for you?
  • What do you feel like when you go long periods without sex?
  • Do you have a self pleasure practice? if so what is it? If no, why not?
  • What is the most influential text (book, video, other content) on the topic of sex you have learned from and what did you learn? How did it change you?
  • What has been your best sexual experience?
  • What has been your worst sexual experience?
  • What is something you previously felt shame for but now are feeling better about?
  • If you were giving a masterclass on how please you, what information would you cover?
  • What in your sexuality or sexual journey are you the most proud of yourself for?
  • What is your preferred way to orgasm? With yourself? With a partner?
  • What are your no-go’s in the bedroom?
  • What are you afraid of trying in the bedroom?
  • What puts you in the mood?
  • What turns you off?
  • What is your relationship with porn?

The Benefits Of Talking About Sex

Talking about sex, owning your wants and needs, and normalizing conversations around sex are all ways to show up confidently and securely. By being open-minded, respectful, and specific in your communication, you can improve your sexual relationship and increase intimacy and pleasure. By understanding your wants and needs, you can go into a new partnership or sexual experience with more clarity.

More Resources

if you are struggling to talk openly about sex, you may need a little help accessing your voice or working through a trauma block.. both things I can help you with if you contact me through my web contact form to get a coaching session started! That is!

And if you are craving a little more sexy content to help you communicate your desires, I have curated this list of my favorite sex and compatibility quizzes:

Creating a sexual menu using the yes, no, maybe guide from Sex with Emily

Sexual Compatibility Tests From Gottman Institute : Gottman Connect

Sexual Devient Kink Archetypes Test:

Erotic Blueprint Quiz- From Love, Sex, and Goop