If you’re struggling to communicate your sexual desires to your partner, these tips will help you.
Honest sexual communication between a couple is fundamental. It benefits the sex life of both partners, but it also positively impacts their dynamic. The relationship will benefit.
It often happens people don’t voice their sexual desires. This can be something new they wish to try — a sex toy, a position; a fantasy or a kink — , or to communicate they aren’t completely happy in their sexuality.
This study, conducted with 1008 adult women, showed that more than half (55,4%) “wanted to communicate with a partner regarding sex but decided not to.” The reasons for their omission were: “not wanting to hurt a partner’s feelings, not feeling comfortable going into detail, and embarrassment”.
Additionally, the study found a relevant fact:
Greater self-reported sexual satisfaction was associated with more comfortable sexual communication.
From personal experience — I never talked about my sexual desires and curiosities with my partners — , I know how much the lack of sexual communication impacts your sexuality.
All my adulthood I felt like I was missing something in sex; I wasn’t completely satisfied. But I kept silencing my frustrations.
After I became single again, I decided to change that. I had to pursue my desires. For that, I had to communicate.
I had to let go of fears and embarrassments. Since I started doing it, I learned immensely about myself as a woman and a sexual being.
Talking openly about my pleasures, desires and sexual curiosities was the best thing I could do for myself. I can now claim I’m a sexually fully satisfied woman.
Before I present my suggestions on how to make a sex conversation easier, let me share the primary reasons people don’t talk about their sexual desires:
3 Reasons for people let their sexual desires unspoken
Each person will have their own reasons not to talk about their sexual desires, curiosities or dissatisfactions.
But there are a few that are common to many people:
1. You’re ashamed to ask for what you want
Talking about sex can be difficult, especially if you grew surrounded by tabus and oppressions.
Not rarely, I heard and read people saying that their parents taught them masturbation is disgusting.
What you learned when growing up will stay with you; often stopping you from embracing your desires.
But those who were raised in a sex-positive environment, and have no “ghosts” to fight with, can also struggle to talk about sex.
Sex is a sensitive subject, with the ability to make the most extrovert person into a shy one.
Until we openly talk about it, often we think our kinks or sexual preferences are obscene or unnatural.
Those with sexual preferences outside the normative sometimes fear being perceived as deviant or weird.
Talking about sex can be awkward and even terrifying. You become afraid or shamed to ask for what you desire.
2. You don’t know how to describe what you want
This was the major reason for my silence. I knew I wanted more from sex, but I didn’t know what.
How can one ask for something they don’t know what it is?
I missed so much in my sexual life! All because I never had the courage to talk and explore my preferences.
Perhaps if I had told my ex-husband something like “I’m craving a different type of intensity in sex” I would have opened the door for full pleasure.
My advice for you is: even if you don’t know what you want, say that to your partner.
It You don’t have to have all figured out; you can discover new things together. It can be so much fun!
But be aware that communication works both ways. Consider what you want, but also what your partner wants and doesn’t want.
Be a good talker, but even a better listener.
3. You don’t know how to bring up the conversation
Being a sensitive topic, you might fear hurting your partner’s feelings.
When voicing your desires, they might interpret it as you wanting better; that they don’t sexually satisfy you.
It’s a reasonable fear to have, and an understandable reading of your message. That’s why it’s important to be precise.
It’s not about the quality of sex, but diversity. And if it’s about quality, there are ways to express your dissatisfaction without hurting your partner’s ego.
The importance of asking for what you want in sex
Even in long-term relationships, where you know each other profoundly, you don’t have the ability to mind reading.
Unless you tell them, your partner won’t guess your sexual desires.
It’s important to consider that over time, we change; our preferences shift.
Something your partner did and sent you over the roof in pleasure, now you feel it as an average sensation. Or things you tried before and didn’t enjoy that much, are now very attractive.
How is your partner supposed to know about these things if you don’t tell them?
Sex isn’t static. It’s a pleasurable world to discover, with countless sensations to feel, and games to explore.
But you’ll only enjoy sex in its full potential if you embrace honest communication.
Being open in a relationship strengths your emotional connection.
How to ask for what you sexually desire
The communication style you have with your partner should be holistic; it shouldn’t exclude any topics.
To reach that level of trust and vulnerability, you both must show respect and have a non-judgmental attitude towards each other.
When you’re talking with someone, you give away much more than the meaning of your words. Your facial expressions and body language have a significant contribution to the conversation.
You communicate with all your body.
When talking with your partner, consider both your verbal and non-verbal language.
We all have different communication styles. When in a relationship, you’ll know what triggers your partner’s anxiety or distress. Take it into account when talking about your sexual dissatisfaction.
Sexual honesty is very important in a relationship.
When you love someone, you want the best for them. Your partner wishes for you to be sexually fully satisfied, the same way you want them to be.
And that’s only possible with effective communication.
Sexual honesty is very important in a relationship, where one understands the other’s needs and, together, are willing to find ways to fulfil them.
The conversation(s) you’ll have about your sex life won’t be about “you did this wrong”, or “you should do this, instead”. It will be you two, together, working on how to improve your sex life.
And perhaps your partner will surprise you. When talking about your sexual pleasures, your partner might also have something new to share.
What to consider for “the” conversation
Once you decided to discuss your sexuality with your partner, it’s helpful to think about when and how you’ll bring it up.
You can do it spontaneously, but my suggestion is you take time to mature the conversation and also not taking your partner by surprise.
You should know what you’d like to happen, so you can plan the steps that will take you there.
Here are some things you should consider:
1. Prepare your partner
If you start a conversation about your sexual discontentment or your unfulfilled desires, without giving a heads-up to your partner, be prepared for them to refuse it.
They might not be in the mood, they could be tired, or something else.
Even if your partner accepts to have the conversation, things can go badly. Because they were caught by surprise, they might be reactive, in an alert state.
To prevent negative reactions, tell your partner you’d like to talk about your sex lives; that you’d like to share some thoughts about it. Suggest a date and time, like “tomorrow after dinner.”
Be relaxed and positive, you don’t want your partner worried or nervous about it. Reassure them it’s nothing to be concerned about; you simply want to talk about how to bring a new dynamic to sex.
2. Where to have the conversation
Conversations about sex should occur outside the bedroom, and with a clear mind.
This means they shouldn’t happen after having sex, when your hormones are still rushing high.
Significant conversations should happen when you have the time and availability for them. And if they’re sex-related, they should happen in a sexually neutral venue, like your kitchen or living room.
You should also make all the arrangements to ensure you’ll be alone and won’t be disturbed.
3. Use a conversation starter
If you’re struggling to introduce the topic, use a conversation starter, like talking about a tv show or a YouTube video related to your point. Show it to your partner and ask for their opinion.
It’s important to build up the conversation.
If you want to try a specific sex toy, suggest browsing an online sex shop together, letting them know of your preferences or curiosities.
Take an interest in your partner’s interest as well; be receptive to their opinions and suggestions.
4. Focus on the positive
Having a clear idea of what you want to discuss, will make it easier for you to present the eventual negatives in a gentle and constructive way.
Avoid using expressions like “I don’t like when you do [insert dissatisfaction]”, or saying “you never do [whatever it is], or accusations like “why can’t you make me orgasm?”.
This kind of language will make your partner feel sexually incompetent. You will hurt their feelings, and the conversation will not end well.
A positive approach is more likely to trigger a positive response.
Complement your reasoning with examples of things you like your partner do.
Here’s an example of a positive approach to let your partner know how you feel: “I love when you do […], but I would love to try doing […]”
5. Be specific
If you want to try a new sex toy or to make a fantasy come true, it will help if you’re specific about your desires.
If, like me, you aren’t sure about what you desire, it can be tricky. However, you will still have an idea of what it is: is it intensity? Would you like to try rough(er) sex? The opposite?
Be honest with your partner and try to be as specific as you can about your needs.
By saying “I’d like to try something new”, you’re giving empty information. Your partner will still be clueless about your desires.
Try to frame your sexual needs: is it a position, a toy, a technique?
Once I dated a guy that never satisfied me when going down on me. His technique was terrible. But I never told him.
I distracted him every time he wanted to go down on me. This was the worst I could have done. I deprived myself of something I love so much.
If I had guided him on how I like to receive cunnilingus (definitely not having a tongue drilling my vulva), I would have been happier.
But back to you: whatever it is you desire, be specific so your partner understands what you’re asking from them.
6. Avoid blaming your partner and using “you” statements
The goal of your sex conversation is not to find a guilty party or to shame your partner. The goal is to improve your sexual satisfaction.
For that to happen, you must let them know how you feel and what you want from the conversation.
You’ll only achieve your goals if you make your partner an ally. Don’t alienate them.
You should also make your partner feel that whatever happens, your relationship is a sum of two people. The best way to do it is to avoid using the “you” noun. Focus on the topic and on yourself, use “I”, instead of “you”.
By doing so, you’re removing a lot of pressure from your partner. You’ll make them feel it’s not all about them. Even if it’s something they could change, phrase it as “I’d like to try [specify what and how]”.
For example, if you’re not happy about the time your partner spends on foreplay, instead of saying “you never take time for foreplay”, say “I really love our foreplay. Can we make it last a bit longer?”
If you want to try something new or lead your partner into changing the way they do something, say “I think it would turn me on so much if instead of us doing […] we could do [be specific].”
Phrasing your thoughts by focusing on yourself instead of on your partner will prevent them from becoming defensive.
You’ll be setting a smooth and positive tone, guilt-free.
Sex can be a daunting topic, especially if you wish to address your partner on something you’re not fully happy about.
However, discussing your sexual needs and wishes is as vital as any other needs and concerns.
Your honesty and vulnerabilities will bring you closer to your partner. You’ll both be reassured that no topic is forbidden, that if there are dissatisfactions, you’ll voice them.
If you fear talking with your partner about sex, do it slowly, at your own pace. This skill and at-ease will become more natural and it will improve.
And you being honest and frontal about your needs, will make your partner wanting to do the same. The result will be both of your sex lives improving, and your overall relationship too.
© 2021 Emma London. All Rights Reserved