Expressing your sexual desires in a relationship takes a lot of confidence and delicacy, but discussing what you find alluring, scary or a little too adventurous is what keeps it healthy and honest. Whether you’re nervous about your partner’s reaction, or have assumed they simply aren’t into the same things that you are, the only way to truly find out is to have the conversation.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating for a while or if it’s a new relationship, I’ve put together some expert tips on how to communicate your needs. The aim is to strengthen the connection between you and your lover and help you feel heard in your partnership.
Admit your desires to yourself
A lot of people have trouble communicating their sexual needs because they’re simply not being honest with themselves about what those needs are. It’s absolutely natural and healthy to want to experiment in the bedroom and try new things, this is exactly how to get a clearer picture of what’s important to you as part of an intimate sexual relationship.
If something appeals to you, or is of interest to you, then it’s necessary that the first action you take is to get comfortable with the idea on your own. This doesn’t mean working out the finer details or making any definite plans, it simply means becoming familiar with your feelings, to the extent that you can share them clearly with your partner when the time is right.
Whilst you don’t need to have the entire experience mapped out, clarity about what you want sexually, and even perhaps what you’re hoping to feel or gain, can help your lover to understand what your motives are.
Don’t be embarrassed
If you’re in a relationship where there is mutual respect, love and compassion, ask yourself why you think any of this might change once you convey your sexual desires. It’s easy to feel as though you’ll be judged, or that your lover’s opinion of you will change just because you mention something new. However, as risqué as your requests may be, we want you to think about your situation in terms of the rest of your life.
If you’re in a long term relationship, are you prepared to accept a future where you repress your needs and possibly miss out on discovering new aspects of your sexuality and sensuality? Being too embarrassed to speak up can stem from a belief that what you desire is wrong. If this is true for you, remember that mature, healthy relationships, no matter how different you and your partner are sexually, shouldn’t shut down communication in any way. Reflect on the status of your relationship and whether there are other more pressing issues around communication which need to be dealt with. If you don’t think there are, then give your partner the benefit of the doubt that they will make an effort to understand what you have to say.
Create a forum
There is the possibility that if you’re finding it hard to communicate new activities you want to experience sexually, your partner may also have one or two fantasies they’re keeping to themselves. A great way to open up the discussion is to create an intimate, relaxed and prearranged forum for it.
Creating a forum is essentially about making space. So, set a date, time and place and be sure ahead of the occasion that you’re both aware some totally honest and adult conversations are going to take place. This may sound like a pretty intense way to do it but it by no means has to be. It’s easy, and we encourage you, to make it fun. Take any pressure out of the equation by both of you writing down your thoughts and placing them in a jar to be read aloud by the other. If this goes well, incorporate it as a regular activity in your lives.
Always remember to listen as intently as you would expect to be heard yourself. This is not all about you, so with this in mind, take the time to reassure your lover if they too are wary or holding back.
A mistake occasionally made by people who aren’t having the sort of sex life they want is they begin to blame or criticise their lover. This can only result in negativity and if you want to get more adventurous and experimental in the bedroom, making your partner upset or insecure is the wrong way to go about it.
Be careful when expressing yourself to avoid statements that begin similar to ‘you make me…’ or ‘you’re not…’ What we definitely don’t want to do is slip down accusatory lane, the idea is to keep you both feeling comfortable and connected not angry and offended.
In the same way, try not to take it personally if your partner mentions feelings about your current sex life that you didn’t know or weren’t expecting. Their opinion should be as valid as your own perspective on the situation and the ultimate aim is to get both your needs met.
Be prepared for rejection
We’ve saved this one for last because it’s not fun but is definitely a reality. Everyone has the right to their sexual preferences and personal comfort level when it comes to sex. This means that you have to be understanding if your partner listens to you, thinks about what you’re asking, then decides it’s not something they’re currently interested in.
To have you sexual desires rejected can be tough, but be mindful that it isn’t always a reflection of you or what you’re asking for. It’s just as easily a reflection of your partner and where they’re at on their own journey with their body and mind. Don’t get resentful, just weigh up how strong the desire is and what other positive options there are for you both to move forwards.