Intimacy is a crucial component of a healthy relationship. Being able to share your pleasures and desires with someone that you love and trust is a beautiful experience. That said, it’s not always easy. Many people have difficulty communicating openly with their partner. It may not have anything to do with trust. It’s just that we’re conditioned to feel uncomfortable talking about sex, and these taboos can present themselves even with a loving partner.
What Does Open Communication Look Like?
Simply put, open communication is being able to talk to your partner about your sexual needs and listening to them when they talk about theirs. Our society tends to look at sexual pleasure from a male-centric point of view, but the best sex occurs when both partners have their needs met. This is one of the best ways to improve your sex life, and studies have shown that couples who communicate openly have better sex lives. Whether you’re having difficulty talking about your needs and desires, or experiencing anxiety over performance, confiding in a loving partner can be a great asset.
Breaking Down Insecurities And Stigmas
Let’s face it, sex is one of the most heavily stigmatized aspects of our lives. Many men worry about their size, and it’s so common that it’s the basis for endless jokes and memes. However, the reality is that most women aren’t bothered by size, and a recent poll shows that 88% of women value communication skills over being good in bed.
Women have to contend with unrealistic beauty standards and a media landscape that encourages a ‘never enough’ mentality. Similar to men, women often overestimate how much their partner cares about elements of their appearance. Your stomach doesn’t need to be perfectly flat, stretch marks are normal, and a good partner will love you for who you are.
Some people will have other issues that need to be addressed. Women can experience a lack or decrease in natural lubrication for a variety of reasons. There are topical treatments as well as medications that can treat this. One of the most common performance issues with men is difficulty maintaining an erection. Again, this can have many causes, and sometimes lifestyle changes can make all the difference. If that isn’t working, talking to your doctor about a medication like viagra can be a very effective option.
Whether you’re suffering from common insecurities, stigmas, or sexual dysfunctions, the best way to meet these challenges is to tackle them head-on.
How Can I Communicate More Effectively With My Partner?
If you’re having trouble communicating your needs and desires, that’s okay—you certainly aren’t alone. It can be tough having these conversations, especially with loved ones. The good news is that we can help!
We often have unrealistic expectations of what sex should be due to popular culture, media, and pornography. In reality, sex doesn’t always go smoothly, and we need to start the conversation with realistic expectations.
When talking to your partner about your needs and desires, it’s best to use affirming language. Use words like “I” and then express what you find fulfilling. Be careful not to put too much of the burden on the other person, take ownership of your sexuality, and express yourself clearly. You also shouldn’t expect to be able to communicate everything through one conversation. A healthy sex life requires an ongoing conversation, and you should talk with your partner every time you’re intimate together. Pick a time when you’re both feeling relaxed and comfortable, as this can help avoid any risk of ‘killing the moment.’
When it comes to communication in the moment, sometimes a simple ‘yes’ or ‘right there’ can work wonders. Simple communicators like ‘harder’ or ‘softer’ can be a great way to get the point across, especially if talking about sex doesn’t come naturally to you or your partner.
Be An Active Listener
If you have the confidence to share your needs and desires with your partner, that’s great! However, you need to play an active role in hearing their wishes as well. Encourage them to tell you what they like and don’t like, avoid using statements that use ‘you’ and pay attention to what they tell you. One of the best ways to encourage intimacy and trust is to show you’re listening by doing. If someone says they like to be touched in a certain place and way, doing that shows them you’ve heard them, and everyone wants to be heard.
Talking about sex doesn’t have to be difficult or uncomfortable. Having realistic expectations, listening to your partner, and articulating your own needs can do wonders for your relationship. Not only do couples that communicate well have healthier relationships overall, but they also tend to have more fulfilling sex lives.
Talk to your partner about intimacy, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find!