Sex chat | Talking to your partner about sex
By now regular readers of Couple of Secrets know how strongly we feel about building a healthy sexual space in which your relationship can thrive. And talking to your partner about sex is the foundation of that space. That, however, does not always come easy. Between Aliki and I it worked from day one, but we both know, from previous personal experience, that this is not always the case.
Here’s our experience on talking to your partner about sex:
1. Start early
You don’t have to blurt out that you’re into SM on the first date, but try to establish a conversation about sex early in the relationship. It ensures that sex doesn’t become a “do-it-but-don’t-talk-about-it” activity. It also provides an opportunity for getting to know each other on this aspect early and identify any incompatibility in time.
2. Take the first step
Don’t wait for your partner to start. Opening up first is a sign of trust, it encourages your partner to reciprocate. Be conscious that your partner may not be there yet, but don’t stifle yourself. After all, if you are envisaging a long relationship with him or her, or already are in one, you want to be able to talk about what matters to you.
3. Ask questions and be ready to listen
“That’s a nice fantasy. Where would you imagine us doing that?”; “That could be exciting! Tell me, how would you want it?”. In coaxing out more details out of your partner you will be validating his or her fantasy, you will be taking it a step closer to the reality and you will be improving communication. But listening is also vital. When your partner opens up sexual fantasies (s)he is pouring out a very intimate part of themselves. This is not trivial. The last thing (s)he wants is to be ignored, either because you are thinking about something else or because you are more interested in what you have to say.
4. Never, ever berate a fantasy or an opinion
Your partner might just have said that (s)he fantasises about sex with three men and a clown and you are less than thrilled. That is fine. But resist the urge to smirk or, worse, lash out by saying something like “Urgh! What a pervert!”. I was on the receiving end of that comment once and it hurt so much that it was the first crack that ended a long relationship. Sharing a sexual space does not mean, of course, giving in to each other’s fantasies, but it’s good to find a nice way to set those limits.
5. Talk intimacy while intimate
For Aliki and I, there’s no better place to open up about sex than in bed, naked and in each other’s arms. Talking to your partner about sex does not have to be a formal affair around a table, although if that works for you that’s fine. We also find it sexy to talk about our fantasies at a restaurant or in any other place where we cannot have sex. It whets the appetite!
6. Talking to your partner about sex should be like any another conversation
Talk about your sexual space just as you would talk about your daily life: regularly and without shyness of details. If you don’t talk frequently with your partner about who’s gonna buy the groceries, pick up the kids or pay the insurance, nothing much will be done. In our experience with sex it works the same.
7. Let it be a power-neutral talk
Keeping you sexual space power-neutral facilitates opening up. Trying to browbeat your partner into accepting your fantasy will normally not get you far. And even if you get what you want, you will lack the satisfaction you get from knowing that your partner embraced the fantasy willingly.
8. Be adventurous
It is normal for one person to be intrigued by the fantasy of another. Aliki and I very often find ourselves drawn into each other’s fantasies. It may take us some sessions of talking and fantasising together before one of us plucks up the courage to take the plunge. But it is good to challenge yourself! There’s no need to be afraid as long as you…
9. Remain yourself
Don’t say yes to your partner’s fantasies if for you they cross your red lines. There is no right or wrong in these matters. There is only what you are ready and willing to do, together, at that point in time. And since this is a common sexual space, no one should feel under pressure to go beyond what he or she is prepared to do.
10. It is never too late to start talking to your partner about sex
You might be in a long relationship and yet you and your partner still don’t share your sexual fantasies openly. Don’t despair and don’t give up. The fact that your relationship has been going strong means that it is solid and you can build on it. Open up to your partner like you would do on other things. And if you find it hard, ask for professional help. At a recent sex party, we met a couple who opened up after 20 years together, and they were by far the naughtiest in the room!