Some people are of the view that you ruin sex by talking about it. They argue that sex is about action not words. They ascribe to the school of romance that says: “The silence surrounding sex is mystical. Love has a language of its own. You know what the other wants. Together you are swept away to ecstasy.” This is far from the truth. No matter how much you love someone, you won’t know automatically how to please him or her unless you are told or shown how to. That means you must learn to talk about the most delicate subject of sexual pleasure. Talking about sexual issues requires that you be able to ask without demanding, tell without criticising, and to do all of this without displaying embarrassment.
For people who love and care for each other, sex is not something to be embarrassed about, but something to be enjoyed and this enjoyment comes when there is respect for each other and deeper understanding of each other’s needs and wants. You keep your relationship alive by ensuring you are making positive changes at all times, as one of the killers of sexual enjoyment is boredom from doing the same thing over and over again. To be on the same wavelength with your sexual partner, you need to openly discuss sexual issues, even the touchiest ones, without any reservation. To overcome any inhibitions you may have about discussing sex with your partner you need to start by doing a few things.
Share. Exchange as much information as possible. You are trying to know each other in the most intimate way and the way to getting in sync is to know the other person and the other person to know you. Tell your lover about your own needs, desires, wishes, secrets, fears and fantasies. Make it clear that sharing information, for example your fantasies, is not the same as asking for action. Do not keep away anything from your sexual partner if you wish them to be fully compatible with you sexually.
Ask for information. Maybe you want to know how many partners a new lover has had or whether he or she intends to make a commitment to you. Or maybe you want to know if your spouse of 20 years has ever wanted to make love in more adventurous ways. Don’t assume you know the answers to your questions. Don’t be afraid of hearing answers that may not match your hopes. Ask, and be prepared to hear. Ask anything you are in doubt of or you don’t understand. The more information you have about your partner, the better sex you will be able to give and receive.
Ask for what you want. If you want to make love standing up in the bathroom, or on the couch, or using a different position, say so. Don’t expect your partner to guess what’s on your mind. He or she is not a mind reader. But also remember, a request is not a demand. Don’t ask expecting to get it right away or always. Make sure your tone of voice and body language convey the same message as your words. Keep the request simple and to the point. Don’t be vague. Don’t precede your request with a litany of sexual grievances. “You never satisfy me,” or “You always say you’re tired.” Putting your grievances when you are discussing ways and means of making sex better for both of you is starting on a negative footing and it does not work. Instead, it antagonizes your partner and makes them resistant to your requests. Ask your partner to clarify what he or she wants if you don’t fully understand. This is the only way to get it right. Ensure all your discussions are held with great respect for each other’s feelings.
Use positive rather than negative statements. Discussions often hit a blank wall if the language comes out as confrontational or negative. “I want to make love to you more often” is a positive statement. “You don’t give me enough sex” is a negative statement. Always state what you want in the positive and use loving and caring words. Don’t make your partner feel guilty because you come out as accusing him or her of misdeeds.
Use the following tips to stay positive:
*Say “no” without being rejecting. One partner may not want to participate in a sexual activity that the other avidly desires. Treat the difference as you would any other. He likes fish and she likes chicken. If you have different sexual preferences, does that make either one of you a pervert, a sex maniac, or a frigid person? No. You have the right to reject any sexual practices you don’t agree with or practices that may hurt you, your beliefs or your feelings, but do so without rejecting your partner. If, for example, your partner wants oral sex and you don’t want to do it, tell him though you love him very much, you would rather please him in other ways but not orally.
*Ask without being critical. If he or she does not perform foreplay the way you want it performed, the temptation to say, “don’t do it that way” is great. Don’t say it like that as it will put your partner off. Build on the positive aspects of your lover’s performance and augment those with the shared learning experiences you have had. Teach each other how to please each other. Focus on ways you can both improve your foreplay performance without being critical.
Use non-verbal ways to let your partner know what you want. Sometimes you don’t have to use words to let your partner know what you want. You can do it through actions. The following are some actions you can use:
Sigh softly when it feels good.
Moan when it feels even better.
Suddenly shift positions if the stimulation is becoming painful.
Gently move your partner’s hands to where you want them to be.
Show him or her how to stroke your genitals by stroking them yourself.
Move with greater urgency when the stimulation is right.
Couples who don’t discuss sex may find that making love is like groping in the dark without any idea where you are going or what you are going to find. This is likely to bring about performance anxiety as you may be trying too hard to please your partner or to feel good. Performance anxiety is one of the most common causes of minor sexual dysfunctions, such as premature ejaculation or failure to get or sustain an erection.
Though performance anxiety is more commonly associated with men, women also suffer from it. Some women, for example, may avoid performing oral sex or asking their partners to masturbate them because they fear doing it wrong or hurting their partner’s feelings, and not because they don’t enjoy the act or don’t want to please their partners in that way. These issues can be resolved through honest discussions of likes and dislikes and showing each other what you would like your partner do to you.
People who don’t discuss sex may also find that they have a lot of sex-based conflicts. They may argue a lot about how often to have sex and what kind of sex to have. Sometimes these conflicts are rooted in sexual differences and sometimes they have nothing to do with sex but the fact that the couple is not open to each other in all areas of their relationship. Other times the problem may be rooted elsewhere because communication has broken down in the relationship. A couple that has serious problems about how to spend money or raise children may put these issues in sexual terms. She may withhold sex because he spends too much money on his personal leisure or he may withhold sex because she undercuts his authority with the children.
Some couples handle their unresolved conflicts by leading double lives. They may emotionally divorce themselves from each other. One or both may have an affair, or they may drift into a sexless marriage with neither one of them seeking outside lovers. Resolving conflicts, whether they are sexual or non-sexual is essential in a healthy erotic relationship.
If you find you argue a lot about sex and other issues in your relationship, know that you need to open up lines of communication and don’t be afraid to handle even the most sensitive issues. Follow these steps to help you resolve your conflicts and enjoy a good healthy relationship with good sex to boot:
Do not link sex with non-sexual issues. Using sex as a reward or a bribe devalues the erotic experience and drives a wedge between partners.
Tackle one problem at a time. In a problem-solving discussion, only one problem should be discussed. Additional problems or discussions are to be avoided or redirected to another forum.
Define the problem clearly. A well-defined problem statement involves a description of the undesirable behaviour or unmet need, specifying the situation in which it occurs, and the nature of the distress accompanying it. A problem statement should be specific, feeling-oriented, responsible and brief.
Practice creative brainstorming. Generate a list of solution possibilities to problems without evaluating their merits. Hold brainstorming sessions with your partner to discuss these possibilities