How to Talk About Sex With Your Partner

Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

Isn’t it a bit paradoxical that it’s actually easier to have sex than to talk about it? Paradoxical or not, however, that seems to be an issue in lots of marriages and long-term relationships. Couples often simply don’t know the answer to the question of how to talk about sex with your partner.

The problem is, talking about sex also makes you pretty vulnerable in front of your wife, your partner, or your girlfriend. It also presupposes you have a certain level of intimacy and understanding you can expect from your partner. Plus, a lot is at stake here: 

  • your self-confidence, 
  • your secret desires and fantasies (that may or may not be “approved” by the other person, 
  • the image of yourself you’ve built for your partner, etc.

But not all is lost, and deep down you know that as well. Which is also probably the reason why you’re here reading this. So, if you have ever asked yourself “how can I talk to my wife about sex” or “how can I talk about sex without being awkward”, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to try and convince you that it’s a trainable skill and help you do it right! 

In this article, we’ll cover some ways that might make this easier for you. I’ll give you some advice on how you should approach your thoughts on the matter. And, I’ll also talk about how you can communicate them to your significant other.

How to Talk About Sex With Your Partner 

While it might be pretty difficult, opening up can ultimately do you only good. And this is especially true when it comes to intimate relationships – whether it’s friendship, romantic relationships, and of course, marriage. 

Talking about sex will help you release all the pent up tensions you have in your love life. In the long run, it can also make you feel happier and more fulfilled in the bedroom. I mean, what’s bad in finding out how to better please one another? Best case scenario – everyone’s super content in the end. Worst case scenario – you need a bit more talking to do. 

It’s OK to Have Fantasies, Fetishes, and Desires

First things first – you’re not weird. There’s nothing creepy or weird about sexual fantasies. They’re just a part of your sexual persona and they’re gonna come up, one way or another. 

Sex is also about imagination. Fantasies can be a great way to rejuvenate your sex life and bring a bit of novelty in the sack. 

But, Think About Why and Which Fantasies and Desires You Want to Share

Of course, you probably won’t be able to act out all of the fantasies and desires you have in your mind. And that’s ok. 

I mean, you might get really turned on at the thought of having a threesome. But in real life, that might not always work out. And that’s also ok. The same goes for BDSM fantasies and BDSM play, being among the most common ones out there. 

The reason why you should think about why you want to share these thoughts has to do with the ultimate goal you want to reach. So, you can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Will I share these thoughts to connect with my partner on a deeper, more intimate level, without necessarily expecting to act them out? 
  • Or, on the contrary, do I want me and my partner to play out these fantasies and desires?
  • Or, do I just want to use them as foreplay – perhaps as material for dirty talk?

It’s perfectly fine if you don’t know the concrete answer to these questions when you’re going to approach your wife or your girlfriend. But having them formulated in your mind can be really helpful when the conversation ensues. First of all, it will make you more articulate and more self-confident. Also, it will help you understand more clearly what it is you want. And, by talking them out with your partner, you can figure out together what can and can’t be done. 

Okay, so now let’s see how to actually start the conversation around your sex life with your partner. 

Be Careful About Picking the Time and Place 

Anything delicate that needs to be discussed also requires good timing and a good location. 

I’d advise you set aside time to have this conversation. Somewhere in the evening is probably best. Once you’ve both had time to unwind from work, maybe have a glass of wine or two. Also, choose a place where you’re going to feel comfortable and relaxed. 

The location of this talk probably should be your own home. But, be careful about choosing time and place where your kids won’t come knocking at your door. If you happen to have little champs around the house, that is. 

Or, another option is to breach the subject somewhere outside, if you happen to have something planned out with your partner. This could be:

  • A restaurant (if you’re, let’s say, having a romantic dinner)
  • Somewhere where you can be alone and intimate, without other pressing concerns, like a weekend getaway or a short trip abroad just for the two of you.

Doing this talk before going to bed might not be the best idea, since by that time both of you will probably be rather tired from the day and not up for a deeper and more serious discussion. Same goes for the morning, when you’re too hectic and in a rush for work or daily chores. However, if both of you are just relaxing after a satisfying round of sex and you breach the subject spontaneously, that doesn’t count.

So choosing a neutral time when you’re both relaxed and free from daily responsibilities is best in my experience. 

Mind the Tone You’re Gonna Be Using

This goes both for the tone of your voice and the tone of your whole conversation. 

For example, it’s important that you don’t corner your partner or be too assertive when you’re starting to do the talk. Remember, you’re playing a no-blame game, and it should remain so until the end of the conversation. 

Just start by saying that you want to talk about stuff concerning your intimate sex life and that you want to share some of your thoughts with her, but also that you want to hear what she has to say about it all. 

When you’re initiating a delicate or tricky subject you should always start slow and create a sort of a safe-zone for your partner. 

Don’t make your partner feel cornered or blindsided by criticizing them or making them feel that it’s their fault things are the way they are or why you’re feeling a particular way (unfulfilled, etc.) 

The key is to make your partner feel included in the conversation from the very start, to make them feel like their perspective and say is just as strong, present, and valid as yours.

Here’s a list of possible convo starters you can use:

  • “I want you so much and I’ve been fantasizing about…”
  • “I love having sex with you and, if you’re up for it, maybe we can try ___ and/or ___.”
  • “___ [the last time you had sex] was really great – I wonder if we can try out __ next time.”
  • “I could never feel safe discussing this with anyone else/You’re the only person I can talk to about this.” 
  • “I had this dream the other night… and you were in it. (this way you can talk about your dream/fantasy without initially being too direct)”
  • “I was reading this book/watching this film… maybe we can read it/see it together one of these days. (this can be a great introduction into the topic/fantasy you want to discuss)”

Here’s a list of some big no-nos:

  • You’re not adventurous enough for me;
  • I feel like we always have boring, routine sex;
  • Why don’t you ever want to try something new?

Don’t Put Pressure on Your Partner When it Comes to the Execution of the Talk 

Whatever it is that you want to share with your wife or partner – fantasy, fetish, BDSM play, some other type of sexual novelty, any kind of new idea or activity you want to introduce into your love life, it can’t happen right away. 

If your partner has a harder time than you talking about your love life, change may take more time than anticipated. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t discourage you. You’ll just have to be patient and give them some more time to reflect on what you’ve just shared and be there open-minded and open-hearted for any questions or dilemmas they might have. 

Seeing you being vulnerable in front of them might also make it easier for your partner to share stuff with you. That’s why sometimes you may also be surprised to find out that your partner has the same or a similar fantasy in mind, or that they’ve been wanting to do the talk as well for a while now, but couldn’t make the move. 

Make sure that you’re clear with your partner that you don’t expect them to act out on the fantasies right away, or ever if it turns out they’re truly uncomfortable with them. Tell them it’s ok to think about it for a while if they need to. 

What to Say To Relieve the Pressure Off Your Partner:

  • “First of all, I want to say how much you mean to me/how much I love you. I really appreciate the time we spend together and whenever I think about trying new things, I always imagine us doing it together and I want to share it with you.” 
  • “I love what we have together and what I want to share with you I could never share with anyone else.”
  • “I always want to share my thoughts and desires with you… I love it when we try new things…”

Don’t Forget About Intimacy

Stressing the need for intimacy between you and your partner is never enough in a relationship, especially when it comes to a long-term one, or marriage. 

Feeling intimately connected with your partner can pave the way towards good sex life, although it’s not always a token of fair weather, meaning it doesn’t always mean that intimacy automatically spells good (and frequents) sex. Things are a tad more complicated than that. 

But intimacy also means not being afraid of your partner and feeling free to open up when it comes to the difficult and delicate stuff, such as talking about sex. So building upon intimacy is definitely connected to how you communicate with your partner, what you share and don’t share, and all of that, of course, reflects on your love life as well.  

Don’t Be Discouraged If You Need More Than One Conversation

When it comes to the topic of sex, rarely does a one-time conversation really do it. A lot of the times both sides simply need more time to process things and a series of conversations for things to sink in. 

Sure, it’s great if you can talk everything out in one long conversation and then magically improve your sex life in just a couple of days. But most of the time it doesn’t really work that way.

Besides, talking about sex, intimacy, desire, and needs should definitely be on the Regulars menu when it comes to your relationship communication. 

Talking often will allow you to update your partner regularly about your desires. Look at it as a way of constantly briefing them on your emotional states and physical needs. Ask them to do the same, as well. Ask them to keep you updated so you don’t need to second-guess yourself whenever you try to suggest something new. 

Don’t Try To Surprise Your Partner 

Surprises are great in general, but there are exceptions. Sex and surprises don’t always go that well. 

So, before you try to introduce novelty such as sex toys or sex positions in your love life, you should definitely first consult with your partner. Sex can be a slippery ground when it shows up unannounced – people can feel hurt, intimidated, even violated if they feel like they have no say in the direction your sex life is taking. 

You should always talk about what you like and dislike, what fantasies you enjoy. That way, both of you can participate in the process of introducing novelty in your sex life. 

Final Thoughts 

So, as you saw so far, even though it may seem tricky, difficult, embarrassing, and for some people even downright taboo, talking about sex with your partner actually comes down to a couple of important points and steps. 

First of all, you need to be good communicators. That’s a must for any healthy relationship, especially if you’re in it for the long haul. If you’re experiencing a rupture in the way you communicate about sex, then it probably also means you’re experiencing a rupture in your sex life as well. And this can be an indication that there are possibly other issues in your marriage/relationship as well.  

But good communication also means you’re attentive to your partner. It means tending to their needs, their comfort zones and safe spaces. All of this can make the whole sex talk approach much, much easier. 

Finally, you shouldn’t be afraid to share what you have on your mind. Sex should be about having fun, but also about mutual respect, trust, leisure. There’s nothing better than the feeling of being yourself in front of your partner.

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