Though Not Always Easy, Talking About Sex Is Worth the Effort

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Recent studies show that open communication with your partner about your sexual likes and dislikes can greatly increase your relationship satisfaction.

shy couple on a bench

Photo: Kinsey Institute Collection postcard

Most of us are shy when it comes to sex talk

Benefits to Open Communication

Recent studies published in 2011 and 2012 have shown that open communication about sex increases satisfaction not only in the sexual relationship, but the overall relationship as well. It has been shown through a variety of questionnaires given to different couples that discussion about preferences, dislikes, fantasies and fears makes it easier for partners to gain the knowledge about their partner necessary to foster sexual satisfaction. When your partner is told exactly what you want, he or she can make changes or improvements which will lead to more satisfaction in your sexual relationship.

In addition to providing knowledge, open and honest discussion of a couple’s sexual relationship also creates a deeper sense of intimacy within the couple. Talking about such a personal topic can make communication about other aspects of the relationship seem much less intimidating and therefore facilitate conversations that will increase overall relationship satisfaction.

Sometimes it’s Not Easy

Some may feel that sharing details about their sexuality is easier said than done. The american culture, along with many others, considers a person’s sexuality to be a private matter that is rarely shared with others. Because sexuality is often covered up, the thought of sharing things such as sexual likes, dislikes, fears and fantasies with another can be very anxiety-producing. These fears can be quite understandable because sharing such personal information could make you feel rejected or embarrassed about your sexual needs and desires. However, if you allow the possibility of a negative outcome prevent you from sharing with your partner, the anxiety will more than likely continue to preoccupy you and take you out of potentially passionate moments in the future.

How Do I Do It?

The first thing to remember when trying to openly discuss your wants and needs is that the initial discussion does not have to be lengthy. It can be as simple as mentioning to your partner that something that they did felt particularly good. You can also make suggestions to your partner about things you would like to try in the future. If you did not particularly enjoy something, suggest to your partner (in a positive way!) something that he or she can do differently next time.

If talking to your partner seems a little to intimidating, nonverbal communication is perfectly acceptable and may seem safer or less threatening when compared to starting a conversation. Nonverbal communication has been shown to be most effective during sex, and can be as simple as a moan or moving a certain way to indicate enjoyment. Another way to show your partner what you like is to show how you like to be touched. During sex, you can provide a guiding hand to show them your erogenous areas. If you want to go a little farther than that, you can also demonstrate to your partner particular ways that you like to be touched during sex. But when in doubt, it’s always better to ask!

 

 

 

 

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