Let’s talk about sex, baby

Sex is an important aspect in most every marriage. It’s what differentiates your relationship with your spouse from all others. It’s powerful, chaotic, and wild. Full of all types of energy—spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. Everyone who ventures into the world of sex does so with some level of anxiousness, nervousness, excitement, and perhaps even fear.

Sex is also everywhere. Stand in line at the grocery store and see if you can avoid seeing the word sex on a magazine cover. I bet you can’t.

It seems that everyone is doing it.

Talking about sex however, is possibly one of the more difficult conversations in life. Having a conversation about sex with your children is one thing. But what about with your spouse?

Did you realize that for many people, it’s easier to talk about sex with friends than it is with their sexual partner? It’s because of the anxiety this most intimate subject and act creates.

Remember how nervous you were during your first sexual encounter? Filled with uncertainty, the exploration of the unknown, being vulnerable with someone else, sharing new parts of yourself with another person?

After a while, the nervousness subsides, confidence increases, but … routine takes over.

If you’re honest with me, you probably have a set amount of routines for sex. Like, you only have sex on Sundays, or it must be in the dark.

Sure, there’s times when the routine is altered and the playbook is thrown out the window (like on vacations), but it’s likely that any new routine designed will just replace one of the older ones.

Here me out: there’s nothing wrong with routine sex, especially when both of you enjoy it. But what happens when one of you wants to alter the plays a bit?

Photo by Ben

Are you more likely to simply try something new in the midst of the moment, or bring up the idea first to gauge how your spouse may feel about it? And what about when things are happening during sex that you don’t enjoy, get no pleasure in, or you’d like to never do again?

It’s usually hard to talk about intimate subjects because there’s a lot of risk involved with these conversations. But just because the topic is intimate and the person is someone you love, doesn’t mean you back down from bringing up the things that are important to you.

When it comes to talking with your spouse about sex, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

Timing is key.

It’s never a good idea to bring up the subject of sex while having sex (this is different than a follow-the-connection talking, which enhances the experience). If you want to discuss some unresolved aspect of your sexual relationship or a disappointment or frustration, don’t bring it up during sex, or right after a rejection or frustration. Both of you will likely be less open and objective about the conversation.

Also, avoid bring up the “touchy” subjects as you’re heading to bed.

Be honest.

If you’re going to address this subject, be upfront and honest. This may seem like common sense, but there are many people who resort to code words or only bring things up half-way.

Avoid placing blame and attacking.

It’s easy to address this topic with statements like, “Why do you always want to …” or “You always seem to initiate when I’m…” When a person feels attacked they’ll respond defensively; it’s part of our survival nature.

During personal discussions, take care of yourself. Talk about your experience, your thoughts, your feelings. While this will still impact your partner and may possibly hurt a bit, it increases the chance that you’ll be heard.

Ask questions.

Seek to hear their side of things, be clear on their perspective. This is especially good advice if you have a spouse who’s reluctant to have this conversation.

Listen intently throughout the conversation.

Slowing down to really listen can help keep the conversation calm and less emotionally-charged. The less reactive you can be, the more likely a good solution will result.

Fill the conversation with respect.

Avoid talking down to your spouse or assuming they know what you’re thinking. Also avoid interrupting them while they’re speaking.

Photo by takacsi75

As the conversation proceeds, you can also examine and discuss these sexual styles (everyone has these styles or moods at some point):

• Spiritual: The union of the mind, body, and soul during sexual encounters together. This connection comes from your deep appreciation of being with each other and is created by being more aware of the little moments in your life.

• Lusty: The flirty and wicked looks at one another, the quickies, and the pleasure of having sex simply for the physical pleasures of sex.

• Tender: The gentle, romantic, affectionate touch that involves massages, light touches, and catering to one another.

• Funny: Teasing and laughing with each other in bed. Having fun with one another.

• Angry: This is making love, even when you’re ticked off at each other (yes, it’s possible). This can be reparative and healing, provided the issues you’re angry about are still addressed.

• Fantasy: An explanation… It’s the style of collaboration between the two of you, to create a bit of daring and experimentation. This could be role play, new positions, or risky locations.

Every one of us is designed as a sexual being.

And when you can talk about sex with your spouse you’ll have a greater chance of engaging your most powerful sexual organ… your mind.

How have you handled this effectively in your relationship?

top photo source

Corey writes regularly about marriage and relationships on his site, Simple Marriage, which is full of laid back information sure to improve your relationships.You can also catch his radio show - Sexy Marriage Radio, a weekly show filled with straightforward and practical information that will help your marriage.

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  1. One of the top reasons why we married each other: We are sexually compatible all the way. It always pays to say what you like and you don’t like. And NEVER EVER fake or pretend. Works all the time. 🙂

  2. I so appreciate a post that talks openly about talking openly about sex. My husband and I have found that the more open and honest we are, the better it gets.

  3. thank you for the frank topic, today- as you say, sex is everywhere but seldom in an open conversation. How effective are we?- I’m say pretty good but it can still be a tricky subject especially when bringing up things you’d like to change. But the key for us is mutual self respect, a deep appreciation of one another and a playful and not-take-ourselves-to-seriously attitude.
    It means that we can talk about the experience in a playful, flirty way after to the fact to show appreciation and reinforce what we’re enjoying. And sometimes after, we will explore some things we might like to change. Anything that may sound critical is left for a later discussion and broached as you describe, by explaining it from the 1st person perspective rather than an critique of what the other may be doing wrong.

  4. Well done post…you did a great job at covering the obvious and not so obvious.
    It comes down to remembering our bodies are not our own as scripture states. Meaning we should never withold sex for selfish reasons. Men for the most part are taergeted in scociety with sexual images everywhere. So I make this a priortiy in our marriage and cater to his needs. He doesn’t need to look elsewhere when he is content at home. And frankly I am benefitting all the more from it!

    • I dislike the implication that the wife is somehow responsible for a husband’s infidelity if she doesn’t cater to his sexual wants/needs. The giving should flow both ways.

  5. This is a great post tackling a sensitive subject- I think if a couple is willing to talk about it, they are halfway there

  6. Wonderful topic. My husband and I have been married for 21 years and are still learning to communicate sexually. I do find that the older I get the easier it is to broach sticky subjects, partly because I have become a lot more comfortable with who I am. Just recently I was able to discuss a desire of mine that has taken years for me to gather up courage to talk about. I approached it from the stand point that “This is what I have been longing for and I am wondering what I could do to make it easier for you” My husband was then able to tell me why the certain act was hard for him to do. In a way I was disappointed that he felt the way he did but now I know and won’t be longing for him to do something that he just isn’t comfortable with. It takes respect and lots of love to be able to discuss these things with out getting hurt feelings but it can be done.
    I have a hard time with the fact that I am getting older and my hormones are playing havoc with my sexuallity. Often sex will hurt a bit or there just is no response at all from my body and I end up in tears because I so wanted everything to work. My mind is willing but my body is not. This has created huge new challenges but even this we can talk over. You could sometime do a post for the forty somethings and how to overcome these life changes. Keep up the good posts

  7. Sex is so rarely talked about the good way, it’s debased and devalued. It’s made so far from its original intention. And yet, it’s the most important thing in a marriage. It’s only the only that is just between husband and wife. We don’t get to share that with anyone else, and because of that we need to talk about it. We need to have open and honest discussions. I always appreciate frank, honest talk about sex because it is that big of a deal in marriage, thanks for opening the door on that.

    And now I will most likely have that song in my head all. Day. Long. Thank you early 90’s and Salt-N-Pepa.

  8. Hedy Hynes says:

    If you can avoid seeing the word sex on a magazine cover.


  9. I have to say that I find the opposite to be true when it comes to talking about sex. I can talk about sex with my husband openly and honestly even during the moment. However when it comes to other people not so much. I just don’t feel that those things should be shared with anyone, but my husband and he really appreciates and respects that. I guess we are the exception to the rule.

  10. I am so impressed to see this post, great work done!

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