Talking about sex can be embarrassing. But if you can’t talk about sex with someone are you really ready to do something so intimate and personal with them?
Without the tools for communication people may have sex that they don’t really enjoy. An enjoyable sex life depends on being able to say what turns you on and what doesn’t. Often people feel embarrassed about expressing this for fear of what their partners will think or feel, or what they might say to other people. For example, studies have found that up to a quarter of men and half of women fake orgasm sometimes. Faking an orgasm may be an excuse to end sex, or a way to avoid hurting the other partner’s feelings or saving face.
Sex that happens without any chatting before it can also be unsafe. You may not have chatted about contraception or have really checked out if you or the other person consent to the same thing.
Building up the courage to talk about your own and your partner’s sexual pleasure can result in better, safer sex all round.
Here are some tips you could try:
- Make sure the conversation happens when you aren’t actually having sex. Having a conversation about sexual behaviour is usually easier when both partners are clothed and just hanging out together. People generally will feel less vulnerable, emotionally and physically, for what can sometimes be an awkward or difficult conversation.
- But it’s okay to tell someone if you like or don’t like them doing something at the time they’re doing it.You could say “that feels nice” or “that’s a bit uncomfortable.” You could move their hands, but don’t force them to touch you if they don’t want to.
- Use “I” statements. Statements that begin with “I think” or “I believe” let a partner know that you’re speaking for yourself and how you feel and that your conversation is about expressing your thoughts —not about accusing or attacking. Be sure that your language and thoughts are clear. You might want to work out what you want to say in your own head first before you talk to your partner.
- Practice. Like anything else, good communication isn’t something that everyone is automatically great at. Learning how to communicate effectively and in a way that each partner feels valued and respected can take some time. It gets easier!
- Keep your chats (and your sexual behaviour) private between you and your partner. Your pals can be a good source of advice, but you don’t have to tell them everything. However if you’re worried about your partners behaviour, or feel like you’re being forced to do anything, tell someone.
- Relax. This all sounds pretty serious. But the truth is that communication can be easier when you both feel relaxed. It’s okay to laugh and joke about sex, just be mindful that this won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.