Communication is a critical element that can make or break a relationship.
Aside from trust, love and respect, communication is often forgotten as an important factor in building a strong and lasting romantic relationship. For some couples, talking about their feelings in general is already hard without bringing in the delicate matter of sex. However, it is important to know that being able to talk openly about sex is important, especially if either one of you is feeling slightly uncomfortable about your sex life.
Some good guidelines to keep in mind is to make sure that you do not talk about sex, right after doing the deed — unless you have only good things to say! You should also pick a place, outside the bedroom, to have your talk. You could try the dining room, the living room or even somewhere outside the house where you can have some privacy like a quiet corner in an out-of-the-way cafe.
Here are a few talking points to get the conversation flowing. Once you’ve tackled these topics, it will you give you both a sense of comfort and confidence that you are both on the same page when it comes to sex.
Talking point #1: Your sexual histories
It is important for your partner to know your sexual history. This is especially true if you’re both planning to get married. It is best for both of you to go for a health check. This should include a blood test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Only current blood tests should be taken into account. A person needs to be clear of an STI within the past six months, otherwise, he or she may already be infected and transmitting it to their current sexual partner!
Talking about your sexual history is also a good way to dispel worries about your partner’s past. Some people may lose confidence because they think their partner has had more sexual experience than they have had.
Talking point #2: Your wants and needs
Does he go too fast? Is she too demanding? Keep in mind that nobody is psychic so if you find that there’s something your partner does or says during sex that makes you uncomfortable, let them know. Tell your partner what actually turns you on because sometimes, it is possible for a person to perform ‘go-to’ methods that may not work for everyone.
For older couples, there is the possibility of falling back on ‘convenient’ sex. Convenient refers to sex that is predictable where both parties do the same things over and over again. One or both people in the relationship may feel like sex life has become stale so it is important to confide in your partner and tell him or her that the relationship needs to be refreshed. To spice up sessions in bed, try incorporating massage oils and lotions, textured condoms, feathers and even sex toys. Be willing to experiment with your partner because you may just find a new method or style that both of you enjoy!
Talking point #3: Your exclusivity
Make sure both of you agree on the exclusivity of your relationship. If you believe that you’re in a committed relationship with your partner, ensure that you tell your partner this. Speak frankly and ensure that he or she knows you’re both only supposed to date only each other. Jealousy can drive a dangerous wedge between two people so it’s best to make your intentions clear from the beginning. If both partners agree to be in an open relationship and date other people, then make sure you both go for STI testing every six months to be safe.
Talking point #4: Your timing
Some people prefer sex in the morning and some prefer it at night. There’s also the factor of frequency which refers to how often they’re up for sex. There are people who have high sex drives and are able to have sex multiple times a day but there are also people who have lower libidos and may only crave sex once a month. If one partner in a couple has a high sex drive and the other has a low sex drive, it is important to find a balance. Rejection of sex by one partner, due to a low sex drive, may be damaging especially if the couple has not discussed the issue. This can cause an irreparable rift between them.
One possible solution is to schedule times to have sex according to each other’s preference. This’ll help you enjoy your partner more without doubts clouding your mind and impacting your performance.
Talking point #5: Being in the family way
For couples who are married, the ‘family planning’ talk is absolutely critical. Having children is a huge responsibility. Conversely, couples who are unmarried or not ready for children need to settle on a form of birth control that works for both partners. For example, people who are allergic to latex will have to look for an alternative such as polyurethane condoms or hormonal contraception.
The most important thing about contraception is education and knowing what works for you and your sexual partner. Spermicides may sound like a good idea but according to WebMD, it can contribute to urinary tract infection by killing the good bacteria in a woman’s vagina. Additionally, hormonal contraception may not be suitable for some women because they may suffer from depression, acne and bloating.
As for couples who are planning to have children, it is very important to talk about related issues like the number of children and financial stability. For couples who find that talking about sex with their partner is something that’s difficult to do, it is best to see a marriage therapist who will be able to prompt and help a couple communicate better with each other. For information on contraception, a primary care doctor will be able to answer questions and it is advisable for both partners to be present during the consultation so they’ll fully understand the changes that are to be expected and how to deal with possible side effects.
All in all, a healthy sexual relationship takes lots of hard work, patience and communication. Being willing to try, seeking help when needed and being supportive of each other seem to be easy things to do but they require dedication and commitment to the relationship. However, all your hard work will be worth it in the end because these are the things that will create a stronger, deeper and lasting connection with your partner.