The beginning of a new relationship is usually akin to walking on eggshells as couples struggle to put their best foot forward. For this reason, most people shy away from talking about sensitive topics like their probable sex life. While it may seem proper to steer clear of such topics, here are seven topics you and your partner should cover before you hit the sheets so as to minimise chances of an awkward moment in bed.
Good communication is paramount to a good relationship, yet matters that relate to sex often seem difficult to communicate with one’s partner even in long-term relationships. This is despite the fact that sex and sexuality are filtered into our lives in various forms such as through advertisements. As people get to know each other in the beginning of a new relationship, knowing each other’s sexual desires, preferences and sexual past is very important. It helps the relationship start off on the right footing when it comes to bedroom matters and most importantly, people are aware of what they are getting themselves into, which will help to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
Due to differences in beliefs or how people are raised, there exists a variety of views on any given topic that relates to sex and it is important to establish what your partner’s sexual inclinations are through an honest conversation as opposed to an interrogation. It should also be done in a comfortable environment and not before sex as it will create pressure to deliver what your partner wants or after sex as it may come off as criticism. Here are seven topics, which every new couple should discuss in depth before getting intimate.
1. Sexual history and future plans
It is important to know the sexual history of a new partner such as the number of partners they have had, their genders and any history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Do not leave it to someone you have recently met to look out for your best interests – that’s your job. In case your partner has a history of STDs, it’s important to get tested together and start the relationship without fears of contracting a disease. You should also discuss with your partner your future plans concerning family planning so that if the subject of children comes up and one person desires to start a family, they will not feel shortchanged and there will be no assigning of blame as it would have been discussed prior.
2. Sexual secrets
In order to have a good relationship, couples should be open with each other about secrets that may interfere with their sex life or the relationship as a whole. An example is if a person has gone through some form of sexual trauma or abuse in their lives such as rape and may still be apprehensive when it comes to sex. In such a case, the couple can seek counselling services from a professional. Other people may also find certain sex acts revolting but may do it to please their partner yet sex should be enjoyable to both. It is prudent to make your partner aware of your discomfort so as to ensure that you either avoid such acts, find a middle ground or are left to gradually warm up to the idea.
3. Preferred time to have sex
Your partner may be an early riser and you may be a night owl, which would require you to discuss some sort of compromise when it comes to your preferred time for sex. While some people subscribe to the thinking that spontaneous sex is the best, your partner could be of the opposite opinion. This is because sometimes people need a heads-up so that they can either take the necessary precautions like protection or they may need time to groom themselves before some bedroom action. This does not necessarily mean that you have to come up with a schedule or sex calendar, the goal is simply to come to a compromise, which suits both of you.
4. Sexual fetishes, desires and preferences
When people think of sex, most of the time they visualise vaginal sex yet sexual likes and dislikes run on a spectrum: from oral sex to role-play to foot or leather fetishes to bondage or submission in bed. There are things you absolutely love in bed, others you would not even consider while others are a grey area. But what happens when your partner asks for something that seems out of the ordinary to you or something you have never even heard of? In order to avoid awkwardness, it is important to discuss such intimate needs beforehand to clarify on boundaries.
One partner may also prefer to have less sex and may have an issue coping with a partner who has a higher libido unless they have discussed the issue before being intimate. It helps to avoid resentment in the relationship. Sex toys are also another issue, which should be discussed. Many consider it distasteful, yet they can turn up the heat in the bedroom. Other things to consider would be your preferred sexual positions, bedroom setting or bedroom mannerisms that make sex comfortable and pleasurable for both of you.
5. Sexual health
This topic is broader than just STIs. It also covers other health conditions that any of you could have that can affect your sex life in a way. Examples of these conditions are erectile dysfunction or Peyronie’s disease (the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis that causes curved, painful erections) for men, or for women vaginismus, which is a common condition that affects women where the vaginal muscles spasm involuntarily due to fear of being hurt. There is also dyspareunia, which refers to difficult or painful sexual intercourse. These conditions have to be treated in order for sex to be pleasurable.
There are also certain conditions, which can make sex very uncomfortable such as endometriosis – a serious medical problem that affects some women and sometimes it may make sex out of the question.
6. Safe sex and contraception
As a new couple about to get intimate, you should discuss contraceptive options for both of you unless the plan is parenthood. If you want to hold off having children for a while, it is important that you talk to a professional as a couple to advise you on the available contraceptive options for the duration you want to hold off having kids. Even after taking measures to avoid getting pregnant, you should talk about safe sex and also take precautionary measures such as using condoms.
Does your lover have another lover? This is an important question to bring up during your sex discussion. If you are planning on having a monogamous relationship, it is best to discuss with your partner and ensure you are on the same page regarding your exclusivity. This is because not everyone’s view of the word commitment is the same. Never assume exclusivity when in a new relationship. Find out whether your partner could still be intimate with someone else as it reduces confusion and helps to avoid embarrassing situations in future.
It is also important to note that although these topics are standard for new couples, they do not encompass the entire scope of sexual topics, but they are a great place to start. They are also beneficial to couples that have been together for a long period but their sex life has been underwhelming. These topics are sure to come in handy when you decide to address the situation. The one thing to keep in mind is that both of you should aim for a compromise that makes you happy and your sex life healthy and satisfactory.