How to Talk about Sex

Do you want to know how to talk about sex with your partner? Do you also wonder why it’s so hard to talk about sex?

Here are some of the reasons sex can be so hard to talk about:

Discomfort with sexual topics and pleasure - Despite living in a modern society, most of us don’t grow up with positive sexual messages or open communication about sex.  Many of us develop the idea that sex and pleasure are taboo and therefore talking about it will be awkward.  We can internalize the following messages about sex:

 ·         “Sex is dirty.”  

·         “It’s selfish to want more pleasure.”  

·         “Sexual thoughts should be kept private.”  

·         “There are some sexual things that should not be talked about.”    

·         “If I ask questions about sex, s/he will think less of me.”   

·         “S/he will think I’m weird/dirty/bad if I share a particular fantasy.”  

·         “I’ve been hurt by sex in the past”

 Feeling like it’s a personal attack- It’s almost impossible when our partner raises a complaint or even something they want to be different in the area of romance and sex, not to take it personally.  Many people feel like it means they are inadequate somehow or are not loved for who they are unconditionally.  Remember, if your partner is bringing something up about sex, it means s/he wants a deeper, more satisfying connection with you!  Try to stay open-minded and remember that you both want a happier, healthier relationship and sex life. 


Strategies for How to Talk About Sex

·         Use the Telephone -  Remember when you were first dating and you could talk for hours on the phone? And maybe you even engaged in a little phone sex?  Use talking on the phone while you’re traveling (or even before one of you comes home from the office) to talk about topics such as what you’d like to do with each other.  Say things like, “I’ve been missing you a lot lately and I’ve been thinking a lot about us doing….” 

·         During or right after sex – It’s best to only talk about things you really like about what you’re doing or just did.  This can be very reinforcing for things you want to have happen in future lovemaking.  Say things, “Oh my god that felt so good when you…”  or  “I love it when you touch me there or that way…”  Obviously during sex, if something is painful or very uncomfortable, then say something like, “Oh, I think we need to try something else. That’s not comfortable. Can we…?”

·         If you need to bring up a complaint, start with something positive first – “Honey, I love the way we X and Y.  I would like it if we could [do more of, less of or do something differently].”  If it’s something that really turns you off during sex, be positive but then also be direct and clear.  Say something like “This turns me on. This doesn’t.”

·         Use erotica to help with sharing fantasies – It can be really fun to share an erotic story or picture with your partner about something you’ve been fantasizing about.  Do this only when you’ve got practice on how to talk about sex and are increasingly comfortable with each other. 

·         Create positive/safe space for sharing— When it comes to sharing particular fantasies or asking for something different from your partner, it can help to declare something like: “Anything that’s said is okay for next few minutes. It doesn’t mean we have to do it. It just means we’re sharing with each other.”

Hopefully by following learning how to talk about sex, you two can enjoy a more satisfying, open sex life! 


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