Whether you’re in a brand new relationship, have been together for years, are just hook-up buddies, or anywhere in between – communication is a key part of having a thriving sex life.
Talking about sex can be a lot easier said than done, especially if you have emotional blocks, have experienced any form of sexual abuse, or carry shame or embarrassment around your body.
While you by no means have to disclose these topics to your partner, if you feel comfortable doing so, you may find it liberating and trust-building.
But with these sometimes uncomfortable conversations, comes clarity. Communication is vital to creating a healthy sex life.
Something to keep in mind is that it doesn’t have to be serious. While some topics may be of a more serious nature, there are ways of approaching sexual conversations in a sexy, lighthearted, and playful way.
On the other hand, some moments do call for a more solemn tone, and that’s totally ok too! Letting these conversations ebb and flow gives them space to take on whatever tone is needed for you to get your message across.
Conversations around sex are an ever-evolving matter. You’re never going to reach one particular destination, even with the same partner.
As you evolve and grow as a person, so might your sexual needs and desires. This is why these topics may need to be revisited again and again, or new topics may come up.
This is awesome!
It can be so fulfilling to track and see where you have bloomed and expanded, and what areas still need to be nurtured.
Even if you feel like you’ve discussed the same topic again and again, if you feel a need to address it, give yourself the space to do so, or you’ll just be holding that inside.
What Do We Talk About?
If having conversations about sex with your partner is newer for you, it can be helpful to know what to discuss.
Here are a few key topics to dive into…
If you are just starting to have sex with a new person, or practice non-monogamy, it’s important to talk about sexually transmitted infections.
Although most of us learned about STIs in high school health class, knowledge about how they work and how to navigate them still seems limited. People get STIs, it’s a part of being a sexually active human. Much of the time, the stigma of them is much worse than the reality.
Getting tested regularly, and honestly sharing your results with your sexual partner means being a responsible, respectful human.
There’s a lot of unknowns when letting a new person explore your body. It can feel vulnerable, exhilarating, and really exciting. At the same time, if there are places on your body that you know don’t feel good to be touched, or that are triggering for you – it’s important to let your partner know.
This may not just mean certain places, but specific ways of being touched that don’t feel right.
No matter how strong their intuition is, your partner is not a mind reader, and they most likely won’t know that something doesn’t feel right unless you tell them.
Of course, you may not know until you’re in the moment, and even then, it can change day to day. This is totally normal, just make sure to let your partner know!
On the other hand, there might be places on your body, or ways of being touched, that you absolutely love. Vocalize that!
Human erogenous zones can be incredibly complex. Some people get worked up from the sensation of fingertips running up and down their arms. Others can’t get enough of a sensual head scratch.
For some people, anal play is where it’s at. Tell your partner what your zones are, and how you like them explored – while still leaving plenty of room for exploration.
Fantasies and Desires
As sexual beings with active imaginations, we may have some wild fantasies and desires.
Sex is a creative act, so talk to your partner about how you want to express that creativity. Are there certain places you’ve always wanted to have sex? Do you dream about threesomes (or moresomes)? Looking to explore the world of kink?
Even if you don’t actually try out these fantasies, just talking about them can be exhilarating and sexy. Tell your partner what’s been on your mind, what you think about when you’re having solo sex, and ask them about their fantasies. Hot!
Having these conversations can be tough, but like most things, they get easier with time. The more you and your partner/s practice communication around sex, the deeper and more complex your sex life becomes. Which will most likely lead to more confidence, trust, and overall pleasure.
Above all else, try to approach these conversations with an open mind, patience, and understanding.
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.