Healthy Sexual Communication to Make Sex Lives Better

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It can be scary, and awkward, to talk about anything related to sex with your partner. However, doing so may lead to a more satisfying relationship and better sexual experiences together. 

 

First, let’s take a look at three reasons why it’s so hard to discuss personal intimate topics with the person you’re having sex with. 

 

3 Reasons it can be hard to talk about sexual topics with the one you love:

#1 – You don’t want to hurt your lover’s feelings.

#2 – You don’t want your partner to judge your sexual desires.

#3 – You fear embarrassment and/or rejection. 

  

For some of the patients I speak with, they don’t want to add anything else to their current bedroom frustrations and feel communication may make things worse.

 

Just know that if you can’t take this step of talking about sexual topics with your partner, nothing will ever change—or improve! 

 

I’m going to share a few questions to help get your intimate conversations started, but first, let me relay why communication with your partner is a good thing.  

 

Why is communication so important for a good sex life?

This is a topic I’m asked about a lot. Especially by people who yearn to have a solid relationship. 


They don’t want to ask the “wrong” question and, in their minds, ruin their chances of a long-lasting relationship. I always tell my patients that if asking a question that is important to you will put a relationship at risk, then perhaps you’re not with the right partner. 


Good communication can show each partner that they are safe with each other, which can help strengthen the trust needed to completely let emotional and sexual guards down in bed. The better the communication of likes, dislikes and fantasies is, the more exploration can be shared in a comfortable atmosphere. 


The better communication is between sexual partners, the better sexual experiences become. 


What are some questions you can ask your partner that can help you improve your sex life? 

Often, the simplest questions are the best questions. 


One good question to ask is if your partner has any fantasies that they would like to share with you? The answer can lead to a great discussion of new sexual experiences and sex toys to try. 


Another simple but effective question is–what turns you on? You may “think” you know what excites your partner, but many people are surprised when they find out what really gets them hot. 


I also suggest asking your lover what is something sexual that they have always wanted to try? Even if what they desire is not acted upon immediately, this opens communication to explore different sexual positions or types of sex play that can expand partner pleasure options. It’s also smart to remember that compromises can be considered if a sexual request is something that makes one of you uncomfortable trying. 


With all these sexually related questions, I ask my patients to listen to the answers of their partners openly and sincerely. Many people are busy formulating their own response instead of just being still and mindful while listening to their partners. Concentrating on being a mindful listener can enhance feelings of connection for both partners. 


For new relationships, I ask my patients to create a list of questions surrounding what is important to them and want they want in their dream relationship. Then use these questions to start conversations that can lead to greater mutual understanding both in and out of the bedroom. 


What about direct sexual communication during sex? 

Yes, you should tell your partner that sex feels good, that you would like a faster rhythm, that a hair tug makes your orgasms better, and the feel of sexy lace makes your heart race.


Communicating with your partner, or even sharing dirty talk, during sex play can take your sex life to the next level–making it hotter and more satisfying. By sharing how aroused you are with your partner, their self-esteem benefits, making them more apt to try something new with you. 


Creating an environment of open, beneficial communication can build confidence and enhance sexual experiences. 


The foundation of a good emotional intimate relationship is communication. Let your partner know that you are going to share something with them, and you trust them to just listen and not judge. Encourage your partner to share something as well. This can be a fond memory that you have never shared, or a fantasy or desire that you may not understand yourself but would appreciate discussing. 

 

Healthy communication can be built one step at a time and can lead to strong emotional intimacy between partners. 

 

But what if this communication has harmed your partner’s confidence in bed? 

Talking about sexual topics may affect bedroom confidence. But there are a few ways to help your partner regain, or increase, their sexual confidence. 


For women, most respond to their partner’s reactions to them. So verbally tell her how much she makes you crave and desire her. If this is something difficult to say, write a quick note or text to let her know that she affects you in a powerful way. Be positive and specific if possible. Her hair makes your heart pulse quicker. Her curves make you hard just thinking about them. 


Confidence in itself is sexy. Knowing your body and what gives it pleasure makes a person confident, which in turn is sexy. I suggest encouraging your partner to explore their own bodies and what feels good to them. Taking time to enjoy self-love is a great way to learn about your own body so it can naturally lead to better sex and more confidence. 


A little sex education can also boost confidence. The more you know about your partner’s body–where is the clitoris located and what is a frenulum–the better. Give your partner a mind-blowing orgasm and your confidence will skyrocket! 


Learn to use caution with your communication!

Sadly, things are often said that can have a negative effect on your partner’s sexual confidence. When discussing preferences, never state blame. Make it a bonding discussion and focus on your own wants, needs, and desires. For example, if you wish your partner had a larger penis, explore positions that can enhance depth instead of placing blame. It’s healthier to focus on sexy solutions.


Every body is unique. Never place fault or criticize your partner’s body. Remember that age-old saying-‘If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all’. Be positive with your compliments to your partner, their body, and their sexual performance. 


Comparisons can also cause lack of confidence. Please refrain from comparing your current partner to any of your past partners. Live in the now and appreciate the partner that is making sexy memories with you at this moment. 


The ultimate communication question: How do you know when it’s the right time to tell your partner you love them? 


When is it appropriate to say I love you to a partner in a new relationship? This is a common question from my own patients.  


This is a tough call because neither partner ever wants to put their intimate feelings out there so visibly because of their fear of rejection. And this is a perfectly reasonable feeling to have.


I always suggest listening to intuition. A person will know it’s the right time to say ‘I love you’ when they feel the love so strongly that it courses through their veins and it feels impossible to not put the feeling into words. When a relationship reaches this point and it’s obvious that the love is intense and shared, it will feel safe to share those three important little words. 


Often a person doesn’t want to scare their partner off with those weighty words. Having a great conversation about where a relationship is heading is a wonderful way to determine if both partners are on the path towards love together. 


My best advice is to trust your heart. When the time is right, a person’s heart will know to say, ‘I love you’. 


How is communication with your partner? Are there certain intimate questions that have made your sex life better? I would love to hear from you! Have a question about sex or sex toys? Let me know! I am here to help.


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Disclaimer: This website is informational & not intended for medical advice or psychiatric services. For Emergencies, please dial 9-1-1.

Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.