Learning How To Talk About Sex With Your Partner
Starting with your sex and intimacy values
By Corinne Farago
“We haven’t had sex in months. This is not what I signed up for, when we got together five years ago.”
These words from a past client, ring in my head now and then, when I think about couples who are dissatisfied with their sex lives.
You can feel in this sentiment, the utter frustration he felt when it came to his unmet expectations.
Over those five years, his experience of their sex life changed, or more than likely, the conversation about sexual compatibility never occurred. This is often the case in new relationships when things are novel and exciting.
He wasn’t experiencing what was important to him, or in other words he and his partner didn’t share the same sex and intimacy values.
I asked him, “Have you and your partner ever explicitly discussed what’s important to each of you when it comes to sex and intimacy? What do you both value in your experience together?”
Have YOU ever talked with your partner about what’s important to you in your sexual and intimate life together?
When you know the answer to these questions, you can explore how to get your values met.
If your values differ (which many do), how do you accommodate those differences?
Talking about sex is one of the most difficult conversations a couple can have. I’d like to offer you a framework you can use to guide your exploration, and hopefully make it a little bit easier.
1 – Identify Your Sex and Intimacy Values
Below are just some of the values that could be part of your preferred experience of sex and intimacy. I’m sure you could add to it (feel free to add any additional values that are important to you).
Which ones stand out to you?
Maybe you want them all (I do 😉), but for this exercise, choose your top 5 and write them down.
- Physical Affection – Cuddling, hugging, PDA, hand holding etc.
- Presence (present moment attentiveness, listening with interest, )
- Passion (letting go into desire, taking and being taken)
- Sensuality (touching for pleasure, massage, sensation exploration)
- Spontaneity (unplanned sexy time, initiating through surprise or opportunity)
- Planned sex (setting a day and time, putting it on the schedule, prioritizing sex)
- Playfulness ( humor, laughter, lightness, games, letting your inner child out to play)
- Depth (going deep, expressing emotions, feeling deeply)
- Sacredness (connecting to something greater in your union, bringing in spirit as part of your experience, rituals that give meaning to your sexuality)
- Kink (exploring limits, fetishes, power exchange, role play, different sexual personas)
- Quantity (wanting sex often, regularity, more is better)
- Quality (making sex special, going for the gold, wanting the best each time)
- Tenderness (loving care, kindness, protection)
- Boldness (directness, asking for what you want)
- Confidence – Stepping into your sexiness; feeling sure of who you are
- Surrendered – Being led; handing over control; trusting; submitting)
- Loving – To feel loved completely, adored, devoted
- Orgasms – Pleasure based, making orgasm a priority, exploring different types of orgasms
- Exploration and Adventure – Trying new things, being open to new things, novelty
- Dominant – Taking charge, leading, empowered
2 – Rank your values in order
Your next task is to rank your top five sex and intimacy values in order from highest to lowest.
3 – Get clear on what you need
Once you have your five top values, start to consider the ways in which your partner does/can support those values in your sex life.
Give yourself some time with this. Sharing your values is important, but considering how to get your values met, is the real conversation.
Ask your partner to choose their top five values, on their own, by following the steps above.
4 – Share your lists with each other
Here are some examples of how you could share your values, and how your partner could support you in giving you the kind of experience that’s important to YOU:
- Value: Confidence
“When you admire my body, I feel confident and sexy.”
- Value: Planned Sex
“When you express how important sex is to you, it inspires me to plan for it, and put it in our schedule.”
- Value: Exploration and Adventure
“When you propose new experiences, it heightens my sense of exploration and adventure.”
Include as much detail as possible about how your partner can support your top five values, and how you can support theirs.
Remember to avoid any blaming or complaining language, such as “you always…” or “you never…”
There’s no looking back, there’s only moving forward. Talk as team players in making your sex and love life great for both of you. That requires, kindness, curiosity and acceptance.
This exercise will guide you both to a deeper understanding of each other’s values, how to support those values, and how to meet each other’s needs, sexually and intimately.
Talking about sex, and our sexual beliefs, is part of the sex coaching process.
It’s a sex therapy method that helps partners feel understood and accepted in their imperfections, and have the confidence to step into their full sexual selves, with pleasure.
You can schedule a complimentary 15 minute Discovery Call by clicking below
(Mail about sex will often get sent to promotions or junk. Move me to your inbox so we can continue to stay in touch regularly. 😊)
Nurturing Your Inner Child for Self-Compassion & Relationship Bliss.
We are, walking, talking memory machines. We draw information from old memories and apply it to our present-day decisions. Every pleasure we’re drawn to, every pain we avoid, every relationship dynamic or conflict is drawing from these memories to guide us in how we react to experiences, physically and emotionally, in the present moment. Interestingly, the memories that most impact our adult emotional state took place long ago, when challenging childhood experiences began to form our strategies for surviving in a dangerous world.
Rekindling Emotional and Physical Intimacy Through Tantra
Tantra/Slow Sex is an antidote to porn-driven sexual style so often represented in adult entertainment. Making love in the Tantric way means to be fully present with your sex partner. It asks us to bring our full attention to each moment. In Tantric lovemaking, there is no goal to be reached, and no race toward orgasm. Instead, there is complete attention to each touch, each breath and each sensation. The ancient practice of Tantra is in many respects the foundation of what we now commonly refer to as mindfulness. Tantric love-making is mindful sex.
Breaking the Cycle of Defensive Behavior in Your Relationship
We learned very young how to deflect, defend, and deny in order to save us from perceived danger. It all made sense at the time, but now as adults in relationships, that same defensiveness shuts down constructive communication with a defended word, or even just a look. As adults in relationships our defensiveness is just as transparent as our younger selves. Our vocabulary may have grown but the strategy is still pretty simple. Deflect and defend from attack.
How to Identify and Avoid Criticism in Relationships
One of the fundamental requirements of building intimacy in a relationship is safety. We want the feeling that our partner has our back, understands and supports us, and wants the best for us. When a couple allows criticism to seep into their communication, they have become domesticated adversaries. They are either bracing themselves for the next painful exchange, or they’re healing from yesterday’s wounds.
Leave A Comment