Our culture has created a wealth of taboo subjects and masturbation is merely one of them. Whether wanting to discuss living out a fantasy together, trying a new sex position, experimenting with anal sex for the first time, or asking about getting tested for STDs, how does one broach the topic without sounding like you are unhappy with the present state of your relationship or without fearing rejection of your ideas?
In our last article “Masturbation, My Favorite Pastime”, we mention open communication and we say this often--open, honest communication drives intimacy. While it should be easy to discuss sex with your partner, it isn’t always so simple. Even couples who have been together a long time can find it difficult to bring up new topics since people’s needs change over time.
How do you bring up that saucy subject? Here are some tips to remember before you start the discussion:
1.Have a Goal: First be clear on your own goals for the topic and how you feel. Do some self-reflection to understand what it is you really want, need, or desire and know where you might want to end up before you begin. Stay focused on the topic. Don’t allow other issues to creep into the conversation.
2.Find the Right Place and Time: Try to wait until you are at home or somewhere private. If necessary, make a date or appointment to talk about it.Talking about sex in a public place may make your partner feel uncomfortable. It is better to do it somewhere that you can make eye contact and give it your full attention. In the car while driving is not a good time or place for this.Don’t start the conversation if it’s time for the kids to take a bath, or your partner just stepped into the house from a long day at work.Stress and exhaustion could lead you down a negative result when all you wanted was a clear, frank discussion about your wants and needs.
3.Use Neutral Language: Don’t use any confrontational language or finger pointing. Be sure any topic you bring up is in the nature of exploration and state up front that you are trying to make your wants, needs, and desires heard and that you will feel better in your relationship if you are allowed the opportunity.
4.Explain What You Want (and/or Don’t Want). Be specific. If you aren’t exactly sure what you want, now would be a good time to go through a yes, no, maybe list. What is that? Your new best friend. Check out one Austin’s That Other Paper. Ask your partner to fill out the chart as well. It is a quick way to determine what your playing field really is. Everyone is different in terms of what turns them on and what turns them off. The better you become at communicating these things to each other, the easier it is for them to help you fulfill them. Remember to respect what is a turn off to them.
5.Above All – Listen. Once the conversation is started, it is important that you listen with respect and wait before responding. Often a miscommunication arises when one thinks they understand and jump in to explain and that makes people get defensive. Wait. Listen. Relax. And if you have chosen the right time, refrained from defensive or accusatory language, the discussion should go better.
What would you think if I wanted to _____?
How often do you think about sex?
How would you feel if you found me watching porn without you? Turned on? Upset?
Tell me about a sexual fantasy you haven’t told me about before.
What was has been our hottest sexual experience together?
What is the most erotic thing two people can do together?
I feel like our sex life could be more exciting if we could try _________. How do you feel about that?