Communication is important in most areas of our life. Can you name one where good communication can’t make an incredible difference? When we are able to communicate clearly, things tend to go a lot smoother. We are able to feel understood, have an easier time getting our needs met, and able to form better connections with those around us.
We are often learning to communicate from primarily from our families. As we grow, we learn other social skills from our peers, our romantic partners, and examples shown to us in media such as movies and TV. Sadly these places are not always the best teachers of how to communicate properly and it’s even worse when it comes to sex and relationships.
Our Early Lessons in Sex & Communication
Most young children are heavily shielded from conversations about sex. It’s considered extremely taboo for children to hear or see anything sexual in nature. There is a fear that early exposure to sexuality will corrupt, confuse, or traumatize young children. Many people have had the experience of walking into a room and having adults hush up immediately. Sometimes we can tell just enough of what they are talking about to know the subject. This can create a sense of awe, secrecy, or shame that becomes associated with sex.
As people grow older, the conversation tends to remain taboo. People become easily embarrassed because they don’t have any good models or how to talk about sex. Their whole life they’ve been shown that it’s taboo and embarrassing. These feelings can be compounded by a lack of proper sex education. Not only have people demonstrated that it’s embarrassing but there can be a huge gap in understanding. People can be so uncomfortable that they don’t even feel comfortable with their own bodies.
Our early lessons in communication around sex have set us up for mediocre, or just plain bad, sex lives.
Bad (Or No) Communication Leads to Bad Sex
It’s a pretty common fantasy that our partners should just be able to read our minds and just know what we want. Some people don’t consider it sexy to have to ask. Others think that it will spoil the mood. The truth is that neither of these things is true. In fact, some people find talking about what they’re doing or going to do, incredibly sexy. It’s often referred to as dirty talk.
But what happens if we go with the silent approach?
Lots of things can arise when people fail to communicate. For starters, consent may not be obtained or if it is, boundaries may be crossed. Two people may not have the exact idea of what sex means. One person may consider anal sex fair game while the other was only thinking oral or vaginal. What if one person considers an aspect of BDSM as a normal part of sex? Talking can create clear boundaries.
Another common thing that can happen when there’s a failure to communicate is fake orgasms. Sometimes people feel a lot of pressure to please their partner. This can go both ways. The person who is performing a sex act on their partner is trying usually trying hard to please them. It can be discouraging and a blow to the ego if they aren’t hitting the mark. The person receiving that attention may also feel pressured to give their partner the satisfying knowledge that they are doing a good job. If the person isn’t comfortable communicating what they want, they may fake pleasure in order to move the activities along. Faking the orgasm not only betrays the trust of the partner but it also increases the chance they are going to go back to the same moves because they were lead to believe it’s what their partner wanted.
We end up with people losing interest and satisfaction in sex. Couples end up having less sex while it increases the dissatisfaction of their time together.
Communication in Sex Increases Our Sexual Pleasure
When we articulate what we want clearly, our partner has the chance to decide if they can and want to meet our needs. It’s an easy step to having more fulfilling and pleasurable sex. We are also teaching our partners to be better lovers for us. In many cases, it can be as simple as letting them know to remain focused on or move away from a certain spot, speed up or slow down, or hit us with some dirty talk.
Being open about communicating our sexual desires can open up some other doors as well. There is a whole wide realm of sexual experience and sensations that people may wish to explore but is not an automatic default for most people. When we can talk openly with our partner, we can talk about exploring some of those desires. It gives couples the chance to try some different things and explore their sexual fantasies. Not only will this lead to more satisfying sex but it can also deepen the bonds of intimacy in the relationship.
Practice Makes Perfect When Talking About Sex
If you’re not used to talking about your sexual desire, it can feel awkward when you first start doing it. The trick is to keep the conversation happening with your partner. Be supportive of each other and keep the conversation as light as possible. This will help encourage you to talk about it more. Practice makes perfect.
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