Although many experts believe that a majority of marriages today are in distress because of financial reasons, problems with sex and sexuality rank high, too. It seems easier to talk to a stranger online than to your own partner. In fact, the topic of sex is the number one problem discussed in online relationship forums.
These conversations can bring up a log of anxiety in you and cause you to avoid having them altogether. Know that there are some strategies to make these talks easier and you are likely to find it worth the effort.
Being able to talk about sex with your partner is important for sexual satisfaction. Research has found that couples who have strong sexual communication are actually more satisfied with their sex lives.
The Right Time to Talk About Sex Problems
Pick a neutral location. Do not talk about sexual problems in your bedroom or at bedtime. Pick a more “neutral” location. Make sure the kids are not in earshot!
Avoid post-sex talks. Do not talk about sex right after having sex. Again, pick a more “neutral” time as well.
Do not blindside your spouse. If you want to talk about sexual problems, let your spouse know (without placing blame) that you think the two of you need to have a talk about your sexual intimacy. Set up a time to have the talk.
How to Talk About Sex Problems
There are some steps you can take to help make conversations about sex easier for both of you:
Have a “soft start” to the conversation. Begin with your goal to feel closer and connected with your spouse. Avoid blaming. Skip criticisms and focus on things you can both do to make your sex life more fulfilling.
Focus on Intimacy
Remember that affection and intimacy are just as important as the frequency of sex.2 There are ways to build intimacy and feel more connected beyond intercourse, so be sure to talk about your needs for other types of affection as well.
Skip the Surprises
It is important that you are both on the same page, so you should always initiate those conversations first before springing any surprises on your partner. Talk about what you both might enjoy and fantasies you might have. If you do decide to introduce some of these into your relationship, research your options together.
Talk with one another about your expectations, your fears, your desires, your concerns, and be honest. It is critical to talk about your innermost feelings about this.
Do not be afraid to talk about what you like sexually and what you don’t like. Your comfort level is quite important to satisfying sex life.
Realize that you may have to have a few conversations and not just one long conversation. This is not a one-time conversation but should be an ongoing discussion and a normal part of your relationship. Research has found that talking to your partner about sex is linked to greater relationship satisfaction.
Know Your Sexual Style
Explore your “sexual styles” with one another. All couples have these styles or moods at some point in time during their married live.
Spiritual : This is a union of mind, body, and soul that reflects your deep appreciation of being with one another. It can be created by noticing the small moments in your lives.
Funny: This style is when you can laugh and tease one another in bed. It is about having fun together. There is a light and playful undertone.
Angry: This is making love even when you’re ticked off at each other. This style can be healing. However, be sure that your problems are eventually talked about and resolved.
Lusty: This style is wicked and flirty. You may be giving each other seductive looks or doing a “quickie.” This is also about the joy of having sex just for the sake of sex.
Tender: This style is the gentle, romantic, healing sex that involves massages, light touches, and ministering to one another. You both are into the sensations of sex and focus on giving each other pleasure.
Fantasy: The fantasy style is a collaboration between the two of you to be daring and to experiment a bit. Be careful about sharing your personal sexual fantasies with one another. If you do decide to share your fantasies with your spouse, the two of you need to set guidelines and honor each other’s limits.