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How to talk to your partner about sex

Strip away the distractions and we’re suddenly confronted with the low level stress that is driving us to distraction in the first place.

We’re being forced to stop seeking outside of ourselves and directed to start looking at what’s happening in our inner world. Our world of feelings, needs, emotions, desires.

If we believe we can’t change what’s missing in our relationships, it makes perfect sense to ignore it, deny its effects on us and justify inaction.

But, when it comes to relationships, living in denial and inaction has a price tag attached to it, and the price is intimacy.

What we lose in intimacy we gain in resentment and disconnection.

If you’re living and sleeping with someone you feel resentment toward and disconnected from I guarantee you, you’re living with stress that’s presenting itself in multiple ways in your day to days lives.

You may find yourself, losing patience easily, snapping at each other, withholding affection, and viewing your partner as more of an adversary than a teammate.

Another way you might be coping with a loss of intimacy is building a story that is perhaps more generous, such as you don’t want to pressure your partner. You don’t want to be selfish. You’ve been living without for so long, you’ve gotten used to it. Talking about sex and intimacy might rock the boat.

Living with either of these scenarios accomplishes one thing. You’re suppressing your needs and desires for intimacy and you’re disempowering yourself from creating change.

Let’s stop ignoring the elephant in our relationship and start talking about it. We can even thank the elephant for sticking around and reminding us that we’re ignoring our own sensual and sexual needs.

You might ask yourself, what are my sexual and sensual needs? What would it look like to have them met? How do I want to be seen and accepted in my sexuality?

Who am I as a sexual being and what do I actually want?

We all acknowledge that in order to keep anything alive in our life we need to give it attention. We need to continue learning and growing. We need to invest ourselves and bring energy to it. We do it in our work. We do it in our play. We do it with our health and fitness, but for some reason we believe that our sexuality is an exemption to this rule.

We start having sex as teens (usually), we learn how to do it with one or more partners, we get together with someone and settle down in a long-term relationship (usually) and agree to do the same kind of sex (usually) for years on end with the expectation that sex will remain interesting and fulfilling.

Thinking that good sex doesn’t require attention, communication and new learning is a MYTH taught to us by romance novels, movies and misinformed sex education.

So where to begin? Have a conversation about your desires with the 3 of you.

You, your partner and the elephant. Stop ignoring what’s not being spoken about and welcome a conversation about sex and sensuality.

When you approach this conversation from a loving place of listening, curiosity, open-hearted exploration and patience, you’ll be inviting in the intimacy you’ve lost along the way.

Keep reading for my 8 tips on how to talk to your partner about sex.

Talking to Your Partner About Sex
8 Ground Rules to Keep in Mind

If you’ve been silently suffering an unsatisfying sex life, the path to sexual fulfillment starts by learning to talk about sex and express your desires.

Now I’m fully aware that this can be a daunting task so let me offer you a few helping tips on how make it as smooth as possible.

Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or currently dating, learn to become as comfortable talking about sex as you would about where to go for lunch for instance.

For some people it’s been years of avoidance and coping with not getting what they want sexually, so approach this conversation with your partner keeping some things in mind.

1 – Ask for some time to sit down to talk about your intimate life when you’re NOT in bed.

Choose a relaxed time and place. I use the words intimate life because sex is more than just a physical act. It’s an act of intimacy, no matter what kind of sex you’re having. So inviting your partner to talk about your intimate life is saying you want to find connection. You want to feel their body close to yours. You want to feel the love that comes from sexual connection and experience each other again as sexual beings.

If things have been less than satisfactory for a while conversations about sex are often full of blame and guilt, spoken or unspoken.

You might feel them tense up at first or get defensive as they brace for the negative emotion that this subject may have brought up in the past.

Be patient and stay with them as they find they’re comfort with the conversation.

2 – Reassure your partner that you want to talk about your intimate life in a way that is open-hearted.

You want to hear their needs and be curious about solutions that work for both of you. Show them they can trust you to be honest.


3 – Acknowledge what you love about your partner.

Help them relax and feel appreciated. Express gratitude. Make a list of all the ways they make your life better so they’re fresh in your mind. How long has it been since you’ve spoken words of gratitude?


4 – Be specific when you ask for what you want more of.

Don’t presume your partner doesn’t like a certain activity if you’ve never actually talked about it. Don’t intuit what you think your partner wants, ask them directly and listen to their requests.


5 – Stay away from presumptions about what your partner may be feeling.

You’re not a mind reader, and what they may have expressed in the past doesn’t mean they feel that way now. Ask them to share their feelings so you hear it from them.


6 – Keep your side of the conversation about your feelings.

Rather than blaming or pointing a finger. If your partner has turned you down sexually for a while, confess how that makes you feel. “When you turn down my invitations it makes me feel rejected, alone, sad, abandoned etc. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your feelings. It invites them to do the same. Avoid statements that you know might trigger your partner. Before speaking, ask yourself, “is what I’m about to say going to create connection or disconnection?”


7 – Make eye contact and be present.

Take turns talking and then listening. Don’t defend yourself or interrupt. Repeat back what you heard them say. “So what I hear you say is that you feel like I only show affection when I want sex, is that right?” When they hear you say it back to them, your partner will feel heard and understood. It takes courage to open up about sex, so thank them for sharing and show your appreciation.


8 – Breathe and relax.

Lead with confidence and presence. If your energy is relaxed and grounded, they will follow your lead.

Share these ground rules with your partner. By agreeing to them you make space for conversations about sex that will leave you both feeling heard and accepted.

And if you need help talking about love, sex and desire, you can set up a free discovery call with me here:

Click here to schedule your FREE call today