Communicating About Sex, Part 1

I find inspiration from blog topics in everyday life, through interactions with other people, from a blurb on the radio, from a news story on television or from a Tweet or facebook post. I asked my friend J.R. Mounts, the creator of Scairy Tales Noir, for suggestions on blog topics that would appeal to male readers. J.R. suggested I write about how men and women in relationships communicate with one another.

I mulled J.R.’s suggestions over in the car on my way to and from work this week, and I think he is on to a hot topic.


Men and women in relationships can say to one another, “Can you take out the garbage?” or “Is the dishwasher clean or dirty?” without much issue. We easily talk about the laundry, the dog or the cat, what to eat for dinner, what movie to watch on date night and what kinds of landscaping we prefer. But when it comes to what we want sexually, sometimes men and women simply clam up and just won’t talk about individual sexual interests with their partners.

This is a bit mind-boggling. The person we are most intimate with should be the one we confide in about our sexual desires and interests, but that is not always the case. How can men and women get past the clamming up reaction and communicate more freely with their partners about sex?


For starters, acknowledge that conversations about sex and sexual interests can be difficult in general. As humans, the majority of us seem to have internal emotional and mental wiring that makes us want to please people and to not be judged or criticized by others for our likes and dislikes. This may be one reason we clam up when talking about what makes us go “hmmm” in the bedroom.

If we have had a negative reaction from a previous partner during a sexual conversation, that memory of negativity could make it even more difficult to have another conversation about sexual desires and interests with a new partner. Always focus on the positive during sexual conversations. Starting the conversation out by acknowledging what a sexual partner does correctly during and, maybe even after, foreplay and sex. No one wants to hear, “I hate it when you…” Instead start sexual conversations with, “I really enjoy…” or “I love it when you…” or “I trust you and love you, so I want to share…”

When a man or woman is emotionally and mentally ready to plunge into a sexually-centered conversation with his or her partner, he or she needs to tell the partner the conversation is important to him or her and to encourage open-mindedness during the entire conversation. Questions from the partner should always be encouraged. Physical boundaries for both partners should always be respected because, let’s admit it, some people are just more vanilla than the next person.

Being vanilla does not mean repetition in the bedroom is the only way to go with a sexual relationship. Some vanillas just need to take things slowly when it comes to adding a new sexual element to the routine. Start out with the introduction of a blindfold to the bedroom fun or simply add a wedge or some lingerie to the mix to get things moving in a new direction.

Men are typically more visually turned on than women. If a woman is hesitant to wear lingerie due to how she feels about her own body and how she will look in lingerie, my suggestion to her is to take a good look at the floor in the bedroom. Then she should ask herself, “Will I feel okay wearing this lingerie?” If her answer is yes, she should wear the lingerie with confidence because it will just wind up on the floor anyway. Remember, a confident sexual partner is one of the sexiest parts about sex.

Introducing a new sex toy or asking for a new position to try may be a wee bit tricky for some people. With the introduction of a sex toy, my advice is to not spring the toy on a partner during foreplay or sex itself. This conversation will most likely go over better when both partners are fully dressed and not in a state of arousal. A great time for this conversation would be during a relaxing Sunday brunch.

Start with something like, “Sweetheart, I love having sex with you. Can we please talk about something that I want to try with you soon? I bought a We-vibe the other day, and I LOVE it! I think it would be a great toy for us to use together. What do you think?”

If a new vaginal-penile position is the desire, the partner wanting to try the new position can wait until his or her partner is fully aroused during sexual play. Move from the tried-and-true position into the new position, whispering sexily what is about to happen prior to the change. If the partner does not enjoy the new position, he or she can make suggestions as to how to improve on the new position for maximum enjoyment for both partners.

Communication, relaxation and lubrication is the key for successful anal play and anal sex. DO NOT SPRING ANAL SEX ON ANYONE as this could wreck a relationship, creating permanent and lasting emotional damage that may be irreparable because not everyone enjoys anal penetration, especially if it a surprise.

Successful anal stimulation is all about communication, relaxation and lubrication. If anal penetration of any kind is the goal, the couple needs to have a clothing-on conversation about anal and, if both parties agree to try it, go shopping together for the much-needed lubrication and condoms. Start out small with anal penetration, say a finger or two, and see where it goes. Not every person can graduate to full on penile-anal penetration.

If the partner is still hesitant about trying a new toy or a new position, pick a safe word (such as “red” or “blue”) that the partner can use to signal when he or she is feeling uncomfortable during sex. If he or she uses the safe word, the partners immediately stop whatever sexual act is taking place, and the partner who used the safe word needs to communicate what is wrong and how to improve the situation. Safe words allow for adventurous play between partners with the acknowledgement that the kinks of one person may not be the same for the next person, partners included.

Better sexual communication relies on trust between partners and the presence of intimacy. If two people trust one another to be faithful in their relationship, then discussing sexual needs and desires should not be a difficult task, especially if the conversation starts with, “I trust you.” If one person in a relationship is willing to start an open-minded conversation, perhaps the other person will add his or her own thoughts and suggestions to the ever-evolving sexual likes and dislikes conversation in their relationship.

Building intimacy is not easy, but it can be fun. Books, such as 52 Invitations to Grrreat Sex by Laura Corn, can help couples increase intimacy by challenging them to put some excitement back into their sex lives as they push their sexual boundaries together. Warning: some of the author’s suggestions, such as having a partner remove duct tape from freshly-shaved female genitalia, may not be for everyone. Partners using Corn’s books should agree to change those parts that may be uncomfortable to one or both partners or to just veto those “dates” and to select a new “date” from the book instead.

There are dozens of sexual education books available at the library and at discount book stores, such as Half Priced Books. Browse the shelves alone or with a partner and pick up some reading material on a topic that interests one or both partners. As the chosen book is read, partners can talk to one another about the book’s ideas and topics and ask one another how and why those topics are so interesting or appealing. This may spark some new sexual interest or maybe even ignite some sexual experimentation.

The only people who create change in the world are those who speak up. If someone wants to bring positive change to his or her sexual relationship, then he or she needs to take the plunge and talk openly, honestly and positively with his or her partner about sexual pleasures and desires.



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