Healthy Sexual Function
Sometimes, in a relationship, we avoid certain topics because we don’t want to mention something that could ruin the relationship. It can be especially difficult to talk about sex and sexual issues; however, there are some important topics to discuss with a potential or current sexual partner(s).
How do I find the right words to use?
Finding words that you and your partner(s) are comfortable with is often a challenge. It is important for you and your partner(s) to use terms that you are comfortable with. It is also important to define ambiguous terms so that everyone is on the same page. For example the word abstinence, for some individuals, means no vaginal-penile intercourse but does include “outercourse” where someone engages in everything but penetration. For others, abstinence means no genital contact. If one partner was using abstinence in a sentence, such as “I think we should practice abstinence,” the meaning would be unclear unless they discussed the definition of abstinence. Additionally, having a clear understanding of terms is important for gaining consent.
How can I communicate intimate thoughts to my partner?
Discussing what is sensual or erotic to you is also important. When things are getting hot and heavy, saying what really turns you on or what you don’t like may be difficult. However, telling your partner what does and does not feel good will make the sexual experience more pleasurable for everyone.
Talking about what you find pleasurable may be easier during a time when you’re not physically involved because you are not distracted. Sometimes, describing what we like sexually may be difficult, so saying “Why don’t you try this? and I like it when…” Showing your partner may be the easiest and most comfortable way to communicate your sexual needs. You know your body better than anyone, so it just makes sense to communicate your sexual desires.
In today’s age of sexually transmitted infections, it is extremely important to communicate about the sexual histories. Although you may be uncomfortable discussing such experiences, being understanding and nonjudgmental can help ease the tension.
Communication is not always easy and sometimes it can be downright difficult. However, communication is an intimate aspect of any relationship, especially a sexual one.