The Talk About Sex Toolkit: Dos and Don’ts for an Easy Conversation
Tread carefully! Remember sex is a highly charged topic AND the person you’re speaking to is someone you care about.
Outdated gender roles and damaging sexual stereotypes are still hanging around and could surface in your conversation.
Begin the conversation by offering a request rather than making a complaint. Requests are about the future and imply that you want to remain connected and work toward a desired solution. Complaints are about the past. They easily promote defensiveness and can shut things down.
Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. For example: “I love it when you…”, or “I would like it if next time we …” Rather than, “when you do __ it turns me off.”
Empower each other. Difficult conversations are difficult! Support, validate and echo back what you hear your partner say. By repeating back what you heard in your own words you show your respect while ensuring you understood what they were trying to convey to you.
Cherish each other! Provide positive feedback and honor when your partner steps outside their comfort zone to speak intimately with you.
That act alone is a statement of their affection and trust in you. When it happens, you are on your way!
Don’t talk about sex when you’re angry.
Don’t “yuck” your partner’s “yum.” In other words, avoid reacting negatively if the thing they find pleasurable is not so for you. Just listen, be curious and echo back what you heard them say. Accommodating your partner’s requests is a sign of your love and affection for them. If it is outside your comfort zone, talk about it. Explain why. By talking about it together you might find a middle ground acceptable to both of you.