How To Talk About Sex With Your Spouse

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Creative Commons License photo credit: HAMED MASOUMI

Sex is an important aspect of most every marriage. Your sexuality plays a major role in life. It influences how you dress, act, and interact with others around you. It’s everywhere.

Stand in line at your local grocery store and see if you can avoid seeing the word sex on a magazine cover. You’ll likely see it several times.

Talking about sex however, is possibly one of the more difficult conversations in life. Did you realize that for many people, it’s easier to talk about sex with friends than it is with your sexual partner? Why is that?

It’s tied to the anxiety these intimate subjects and acts create.

Do you remember how nervous you were during your first sexual encounter? Filled with uncertainty, the exploration of the unknown, being vulnerable with someone else, sharing new parts of yourself with another person.

After a while, the nervousness subsides, confidence increases, but routine takes over. If you’re honest, you probably have a set amount of sex routines. It’s always Sunday afternoon, must be in the dark, they do me then I do them.

I’m sure there are times when the routine is altered and the playbook is thrown out the window, but it’s likely that the new plays designed will simply replace some of the older ones.

There is nothing wrong with playbook sex, especially when both of you enjoy it. But what happens when one of you wants to alter the plays a bit?

It’s usually hard to bring up intimate subjects with those you care about. There’s a lot of risk involved with these conversations. Just because the topic is intimate and the person is someone you love, don’t back down from bringing up the things that are important to you.

When it comes to talking with your spouse about sex, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Timing is key. It’s not a good idea to bring up the subject of sex while having sex (this is different than a follow the connection talking which enhances the experience). If you want to discuss some unresolved aspect of your sexual relationship or a disappointment or frustration, during sex is not a good time for the discussion. Both of you will likely be less open and objective about the conversation. It’s also not a good idea to bring up touchy subjects at bedtime.
  2. Be honest. If you are going to address this subject, be upfront and honest. This may seem like common sense but there are many people who resort to code words or only bring things up half-way.
  3. Avoid placing blame and attacking. It’s easy to address this topic with statements like “Why do you always want to …” or “You always seem to initiate when I’m…” Anytime a person feels attacked they’ll respond defensively, it’s part of our survival nature. During personal discussions, take care of yourself. Talk about your experience, your thoughts, your feelings. While this will still impact your partner and may possibly hurt a bit, it increases the chances that you will be heard.
  4. Ask questions. Seek to hear their side of things, be clear on their perspective. This is especially good advice if you have a spouse who’s reluctant to have this conversation.
  5. Listen intently throughout the conversation. Slowing down to really listen can help keep the conversation calm, not less emotionally charge. But the less reactive you are, the more likely a good resolution will result.
  6. Fill the conversation with respect. Avoid talking down to your spouse and assuming they know what you’re thinking. Also avoid interrupting them while they’re speaking.

As the conversation proceeds, you should also examine and discuss these sexual styles (everyone has these styles or moods at some point):

  • Spiritual – The union of the mind, body and soul during sexual encounters together. This connection comes from your deep appreciation of being with each other and is created by being more aware of the little moments in your life.
  • Lusty – The flirty and wicked looks at one another, the quickies, and the pleasure of having sex simply for the sex.
  • Tender – The gentle, romantic, affectionate touch that involves massages, light touches, and catering to one another.
  • Funny – Teasing and laughing with each other in bed. Having fun with one another.
  • Angry – This is making love even when you’re ticked off at each other (yes it is possible). This can be reparative and healing, provided the issues you’re angry about are still addressed.
  • Fantasy - This probably needs little explanation. It’s the style of collaboration between the two of you – to create a bit of daring and experimentation. Could be role play, new positions, or risky locations.

We are designed as sexual beings, but don’t forget that one of the most sexual parts of our design – is our mind.

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