How to make love: 5 difficult sex conversations couples should have

The topic of sex can be challenging since it requires intense vulnerability from both partners.

Couples who discuss tricky topics, like what's going down in the bedroom, are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who ignore difficult subjects.

Not talking about your sexual needs with your partner can only create a self-perpetuating cycle of rejection and unhappiness. It may take courage to bring up these difficult discussions, but after you get through the initial awkwardness, it could be a game-changing experience for your intimacy.

Before you get beneath the sheets (and maybe even after), experts say you should have these sex conversations with your partner.

While it can be awkward, these difficult sex conversations are must-haves for any couple in a relationship:

  • Consent

Even in a committed, loving relationship, you should talk about your consent styles. Ensuring you and your partner are completely in sync on sexual activity creates trust and safety

Ask your partners if they need consistent consent or consensual non-consent.

Consistent consent is where you need to constantly ask your lover about where you touch them or vice versa. Consensual non-consent is where you have permitted your lover to do what they want and you have the voice to say ‘no’ if there's something that you don't enjoy that they're doing.

  • Initiation

Not everyone thinks to initiate sex. If one person is the only one initiating, it can become a point of resentment. Not to mention, potentially be a blow to the other person’s confidence. The initiating person can start to get reluctant or may even stop initiating sex if he or she gets rejected enough times.

To prevent or deal with these kinds of issues, it is in the couple's best interest to have a loving and candid conversation about each partner's thoughts and feelings about this and come up with a mutually acceptable plan.

  • Turn-ons and turn-offs

Many people struggle to be specific about what they enjoy in the bedroom and what they don’t since it’s a sensitive topic and sometimes difficult to explain. However, like many things in life, desires change over time, and what got you in the mood five years ago may not be the same today. The truth is you don’t really know what each other truly desires and is into until you ask and probe.

It is hence, important to sit and have a thorough conversation about this topic.

  • Frequency

Research has shown that two people rarely have matching libidos, making the topic of frequency a big one. Though you may not get all of the action you desire and your partner have to pony up for more, most can find common ground.

If it turns out there is quite a difference between how often each person wants sex, meeting in the middle may be the fairest and most emotionally healthy solution so that neither partner feels deprived or pressured.

Compromising like this allows room for both partners to feel heard, represented, and respected about this significant part of their relationship.

  • Past trauma

Experts suggest that the most vital sex conversation to have it’s the one about your past traumas. this is because any type of trauma leaves a scar of sorts, regardless of its emotional or physical. Past and present traumas have a significant impact on relationship dynamics.

You or your partner may have experienced a stressful upbringing, where sex had a negative connotation, and it’s something you struggle to find exciting and adventurous today. Or, you could have been abused in the past, creating another hurdle to overcome. Regardless of the situation, creating a safe space makes it easier to talk about these experiences. Wait until you feel you can 100 percent trust your partner, then sit down and tell them there are things about your past that you’d like to share with them. Be specific about how this may have affected your sexual preferences.


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