A couple’s intimacy improves with communication
Talking about your relationship and intimacy is the best way to resolve issues, and sexual matters are no different. Couples of every age can benefit from talking about sex and what is satisfying to them when it comes to sexual intimacy. Whether you are physically healthy or need help with the physical part of sex, the mind can be a powerful ally to you when it comes to communication. How so? Communication!
As a sex worker I have learned a great deal of information about men, women and sexuality. Learning about people and their sex lives, and intimacy has been an eye opener for my self as well. I always tell people that I meet in my line of work how sex is something we learn more about every encounter. The more we are accepting of our own bodies and learn what is enjoyable to us personally, the more we find satisfaction and fulfillment with partners.
Reading about and educating myself on a more scientifically perspective, I have found a couple interesting articles that I am sharing here for science purpose.
For males, Researchers suggested that sex with sexually-receptive female keeps stress levels under control. Sexually-experienced rats were less anxious than naive controls when tested on the novelty and it promotes neuronal growth and reduces anxiety.
For females a study from Emory University Health Sciences Center in Atlanta, suggested that Sex Hormone Metabolite Reduce Stress, Anxiety.
Disclaimer: The studies were tested on rats, not in humans, however, it sounds way to promising not to listen to it.
You can read below what I have consolidated, in addition, you will read comments from different people that are not in my line of work (sex work). I am describing their opinions as Male Opinion and Female Opinion for privacy purposes. Their input is to show that people do think differently and that my opinion is not the only one. It is my hope that other voices will help in shedding light in the subject.
Why should we talk about sex?
I completely understand that talking about sex can be awkward for many, with the end result being a lack of communication. You’re not alone—at one time or another we all have something we want to discuss with our partner but find it difficult.
Many men and women are shy (some might say conservative) and don’t think that sex is something that needs to be talked about out loud, but I can assure you that it’s not something we should feel embarrassed about! In fact, it’s the only way your partner will know what is going on and what to do when you are engaging in sex. Ideally a couple should cultivate the habit of talking about sex very early in their relationship. This way you create an environment of both freedom and creativity, where each of you has confidence that your partner will listen and not be offended or hurt. This allows you to try a different approaches, or better, an approach that you are comfortable with. It’s believed that being open about sex is the best way to avoid a monotonous routine in a relationship. Trying new things and experimenting keeps your relationship fresh and exciting.
I encourage you to try and start talking with your partner about your sexual life. If you don’t know how to start, I want to share some common questions and advice I share with couples based on my experience as a sex worker.
Male opinion – Another good reason to talk about sex is to “unlearn” some of the sexual ideas we pick up from the entertainment world: movies, TV shows, and porn. I was greatly surprised to read in the book She Comes First, by Ian Kerner, that if a woman is open to a finger being inserted into her vagina as part of oral sex, you should insert your finger slowly, shallowly, and keep it still, at least at first. I was amazed at the pleasure my partner derived from this simple and calm method of pleasure. This is contrary to a common picture portrayed in porn films, where multiple fingers are jabbing with all the energy and speed of a penis going at full throttle. To make a long story short, in my brief experience, Kerner is right, and porn is wrong! The take-home message is this: whatever you saw in porn, ask before trying it at home. BH
Female 1 opinion – Men are more willing and less shy to talk about discussing sexual matters and what they want in bed. I feel that women have a hard time starting a conversation about sex because they feel shy and awkward at times. However, when it comes specifically to feelings, men can find themselves in a grayer area- they might find discussing feelings difficult. S.
Female 2 opinion – Being open and talking about sex with your partner is, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects to communicating with your partner. My first marriage was good one;we were best friends who enjoyed hanging out and having fun. We never felt like we needed to talk about our sex life. We assumed the other was fulfilled…but it turned out neither was. We had never opened up and discussed what we liked, didn’t like, what our fantasies were and what scared us. Eventually, this dissatisfaction leaked into every aspect of our relationship until we were no longer best friends or lovers. After we divorced, I made sure to be open with my new partner. We discussed all of it, our fantasies and our fears, what we enjoyed and what we really didn’t care for. I have never been sorry! In times of stress, anger, disagreement and resentments, the bedroom is the one place that brings us back together. No one knows me more than my current husband, and no one has ever sated my every desire than my husband. K
When and how to talk about sex
There is a right place and a right time to talk about sex, especially if you want to communicate a message that is heard and understood. Choose a quiet time when you both are feeling good about each other. In the middle of an argument is not a good time to discuss sexual matters. As for the what message you want to communicate, putting someone’s sexual performance in a negative light is not a good way to start a conversation! …
Male opinion – If you find talking about sex difficult, try watching it. It may give you and your partner a less intimidating way to open up to sex conversations – you can talk about what happened on the TV before talking about what happens between the two of you in the bedroom.. The late 1990s HBO miniseries Sex and the City, winner of seven Emmy and eight Golden Globe awards, contains some of the most useful sex advice I’ve come across as a man. In the first place, it tells the story of sex from a woman’s perspective. Secondly, it very often put a simultaneously respectful, somber, and entertaining light on dramas that unfold every day in human relationships everywhere. If you binge-watched all 94 of the episodes (plus the full-length feature films), you would learn, among other things, how not to break up with your girlfriend (don’t do it on a sticky note); how to kiss (good kissing: her pussy is wet; bad kissing: her face is); people are really human (cheating going in both directions); and people can be incredibly strong and humane (Charlotte with her impotent first husband, Smith with a dallying Samantha). Your ears might perk up when Carrie narrates that her date “Had no idea what he was doing – he was masturbating with a woman.” Stop and ask your partner, “Babe, I don’t do that…do I?”
Female 1 opinion – We spoke about our sex lives when we were feeling closer and happy. I always thought when we were happy was the best time to discuss about it. After sex was a good time to talk about new things we have just tried. S.
Female 2 opinion – I have always found watching others talking about sex or having sex always instigates a conversation between me and my partner. That’s also when I will open up about my own insecurities, “Do I make a weird face when I orgasm? Do you know I never do that because I am insanely insecure about my ass? Would you like it if I said things like that?”, etc. Those are the times that we both get reassurance, new ideas and put to bed any insecurities me or my partner may have about our bodies. K
Be open about everything (yes, everything!)
I suggest you to talk about everything. Don’t leave anything out. I know I used to expect that my partner could read my mind—I believed he had a crystal ball and could supernaturally find out what I liked. Needless to say, that didn’t work…until I met someone who made me vocalize what I wanted and liked. He would stop everything, sit up in bed and said “Please, tell me what you want me to do. I want to please you, but you need to show me how.” To make a long story short, it worked!
Male opinion – This is so true. It may not be easy (at least at first), but it’s very important. It doesn’t mean you have to plan every detail of your sex play, but it is vital to never assume you know exactly how to pleasure your partner without asking him/her.
Female 1 opinion – I feel more mature and open to ask about communication what I enjoy in bed. I am not vocal in the sense of dirty talking, but I am vocal in that I say what I like and what is not pleasing to me.
Female 2 opinion – No two people communicate in the same way nor do they divulge everything instinctively. For me and partner, it starts out in a joking way. A “what if I did THAT..”. We’ll both laugh as we give each other a hypothetical question and go from there. Starting the conversation in a fun, light way, it puts our defenses to the side and it becomes about us having fun discussing the fun we could be having. K
During Sex and Intimacy
Express yourself: say what you like, give directions, and be prepared to take directions. When you voice your inner self, your partner will know more of what you like and if he/she is heading in the right direction. It shouldn’t feel like you are being used or ashamed for doing it. The great thing about being open sexually with your partner is that feelings of insecurity can be gone. Don’t be afraid to let your partner know where you do want to be touched. Show him/her that the area you directed her/him is where it feels bets. At the same time, whomever is being shown where to touch shouldn’t feel bad about not knowing exactly where to touch. It’s not personal.
Male opinion – It’s difficult for me to express what I like during sex, but part of it has to do with the fact that I’m just not accustomed to asking for things that I want from other people—asking someone to please me in a certain way feels strange. Secondly, it can be difficult to think straight during sex! The delicious rush of sensations, sights, and the heat of passion can leave my brain with little room thinking about the bigger picture. Personally, I’m more of an emotional lover – the kinds of things I would ask my partner to do include teasing me during foreplay and whispering tender and torrid things in my ear.
Female 1 opinion – Some talking and expressing is good during sex, but too much talk is not good either. I think sometimes guidance is better than talking. For me it works more if I can show him with my hands how to place his hands elsewhere on my body in a way that feels better. Hence what I said above about not enjoying dirty talk.
Female 2 opinion – I have always been a very open person, sex was always an open topic growing up. It was never a shameful, “dirty” subject,but my partner grew up differently. Though it was neither shameful or dirty, he grew up in a home where you just didn’t talk about those things. Initially, when we first entered into a relationship, we played the kid’s game, “hot or cold”. One would lay or sit, close their eyes and answer hot or cold when the other was touching them. Soon, we began to play this game in text, then in person, and so on. It helped open each other up to communication in a “friendly zone”. Plus, it was an excellent way to pass the time in between work meetings! K
Giving feedback: don’t do hard work at noon in the desert
When you want to discuss something with your partner that knowing then, he/she might see as negative criticism, it’s best not to bring it up right after sex—that tends to be too sensitive a time to talk about something that is not going the way you want. I recommend you wait for a different time to talk, otherwise feelings will get hurt and the message will not come across as it should, especially if one of you in the relationship is more sexual than the other.
Male opinion – Learning how to receive feedback from someone, whether your supervisor or your intimate partner, is one of the most freeing and empowering things you can do for yourself. One of our natural human tendencies is to deny or deflect things what we perceive as negative criticism of ourselves—in fact, it’s likely you will experience it almost as a reflex. It’s up to us to see feedback not as something to hide from but as an opportunity.
Female 1 opinion – I don’t think there is ever a good time or proper time for feedback. It can be awkward. I just think it’s more about how we give feedback, not when we give it. Proper wording is more important than timing as no one is completely ready to hear sex is not being entirely satisfying for our parter.
Female 2 opinion – When my partner and I discuss the things we don’t like, we remind each other constantly that it’s not a criticism, but a manner of learning what the other person likes. If my partner tells me something he doesn’t like or doesn’t enjoy the way I am doing something, I’ll ask him to teach me. This allows him to be the teacher and for me to learn him better. It’s also a very sexy game that benefits both of us! K
Be direct, but not hurtful
Sexual discussions can make us vulnerable and overwhelm certain individuals that are not ready to address it.
When the subject is sex, use words that are direct, but not hurtful. When you talk about what you like, be sure to remain open to hearing what your partner has to say. Try to find common ground. When you do, focus on that. Remember that some people need baby steps to progress in some sexual activities as well as the activities it self.
Never start a conversation by pointing out issues. For example, don’t simply blurt out what is wrong with your sex life or what your partner lacks or does wrong for you. Start talking about what you both like, what your partner does that you enjoy, and as the conversation progresses, talk about fantasies and be open to listening to his/her opinion about it. Every conversation about sex should be done in a positive manner.
If your idea of a great oral experience is your lady on her knees looking up, but she thinks it’s too degrading, it’s time to be creative. Find a way [to create the feelings of your fantasy with her] without her feeling negative about herself. The same thing goes for men. If she tells you that she wants to sit on your face and cum that way, but that is not really your thing, try to find a way that both will enjoy, but start living the experiences together.
Male opinion – The adage “short and sweet” is a good rule of thumb for giving feedback in the bedroom. If your partner is emotionally sensitive, reassure him/her with words of encouragement. You might also try phrases like, “It means a lot to me when you listen and want to please me.” Men want to please their partners and be thought of as good providers. Even more importantly, however, men need their partners’ respect. It doesn’t mean we’re always right. It may simply mean that we’re not as strong as we think we are. A partner’s loving forbearance will go a long way towards helping us be better lovers.
Female 1 opinion – Being direct without kindness will not get a point across. I think it’s more about the words one use. Being sensitive and caring with what you say to your partner will be more productive than straight out pointing what she/he doesn’t do. I admit that sometimes I have been guilty of not listen to my partner needs or because I become self conscious or because I sense he was not being truthful with me about his real desires.
Female 2 opinion – I am a firm believer of being straight-forward in a kind and considerate manner. A lot can be lost in translation with passive comments , but the same can be said for bulldozing your partner with the truth. Remember, this is a person you care about. Talk to them in the same manner you would want to receive the information should the roles be reversed. K
Be open to listening, learning, and exploring outside of your comfort zone
I have learned a great deal of information by reading about things that I might want to do sexually, but mostly, I try to listen to the “silent voice” of my partner—body language doesn’t lie! Pay attention to your partner’s tone of voice and his/her breathing. You will know based on these cues when you are giving them great pleasure. If you are uncertain, communicate! Ask him/her if a certain move you are doing feels good. You can be more specific and ask if you should do more to the right or to the left, or apply more or less pressure. Remember, we can be told hundreds of times what great lovers we are, but things are always different the first or several times with a new person. If you are in a long-term relationship, why not change a few things around or explore new ideas to revive the heat of passion?
If you feel more brave, read a book on sex together and try pleasing each other in ways that sound fun to both of you. Why not develop a list of fun new things to try each month? I know that sometimes life gets in the way–kids need help with homework, the house needs to be cleaned, and so on, but I guarantee that if you find time for each other to explore and play in the bedroom, your life will be full of giggles between you and your partner and you will have more smiles to give to others.
Male opinion – I believe a key life concept is that although people may be endowed with different gifts and talents, a little work is always within your grasp. Although miracles might not happen, nothing at all happens without work. And very often, work, done consistently and with purpose and effort, will get you a long way.
Female 1 opinion – Not everyone is totally comfortable talking about sex. When my parter pay attention to my actions, it will usually tell him all he need to know.
Finally, deciding to talk to your partner about your sexual activities together can change your lives. You might think it’s too late, have all kinds of feeling running through you and thoughts through your mind, but you never know. All we can do is try and see if it works. Remind yourself what made you felt in love and be together. Change little things in your routine such as going to bed together, fall asleep together, keep kids and pets outside your bedroom.
Taking the first step is the best thing you can do to see changes happening.