Welcome to another Sexy Saturday. Last week I wrote about sexual self-care as the main key to maintaining good sexual health and wellness. I offered a few tips to help you practice sexual self-care. The first and last tip was about practicing open and honest communication with sexual partners. As a Sexologist at UC Berkeley – you may have heard of it – you can imagine I am in a unique position to observe students sexual communication skills. Let’s just say they’re lacking a bit – until now. This week I’m going to dive a little deeper into communication as sexual self-care. Instead of continuing to explain why this is important, this article is all about how to practice good communication.
Before delving into the how-to portion, I want to recognize that there may be obstacles to sexual communication. Such obstacles include but are certainly not limited to you and your partner having differing feelings on sex talk; irrational beliefs that your partners should know what you desire. Really? Is your partner psychic? If not, then there is no way for them to read your mind and know what you want – not without communicating your wants and desires in some way. Additional blocks to sexual communication include having a different frame of reference than your partner that may be due to cultural differences. On the UC Berkeley campus, it is entirely possible that you and your partner may also have somewhat of a language barrier as well. Last but not least if you or your partners are feeling some type of way, your emotions may interfere with your ability to effectively communicate.
A great way to get started talking about this is to openly recognize and discuss the difficulties of talking about sex with your partner. I suggest that you select a neutral a time and place to discuss the issue. If the two of you have a place that you both enjoy and feel comfortable I suggest going there. When you arrive request permission to bring up the topic of sexual communication. You can say something like “Hey, we haven’t talked much about our sexual wants and desires. I’d really like to do that. Is this something we can talk about now?” You may have a much sexier way of asking your partner for permission.
After your partner grants permission, it is important that you take the time to learn about your partner’s needs as well as make your own requests. With regard to learning about your partner, it is a good idea to listen to what your partner says and ask questions every now and then. If your partner says something that resonates with you, let them know. Self-disclosure often aids in the development of intimacy. When it comes to making requests for the things you want and desire it is often best to be specific and use “I” statements. You will also want to validate your partner and the discussion by providing information in a positive way. For example, “I really like when you kiss me. I know it would feel incredible if you kissed my inner thighs when you give me oral. Can we try that?”
During sexual experiences be sure to communicate and let your partner know when he or she is doing something correctly or that you’d like more of. The point here is to accentuate the positive. Use verbal cues. If you are the partner trying something new or requested ask for feedback. Be open to receiving and making suggestions. It would be naïve of me to think that everyone is comfortable using verbal cues during sexual experiences. Nonverbal cues can be super helpful and hot as well. Take turns pleasing each other. Don’t be afraid to lead your partner by guiding their hand or placing your hands on their hips to help control movement. Use signals to indicate pleasure such as moaning, smiling, or saying something like, “baby, this feels so good,” “don’t stop, please” or “keep doing what you’re doing.”
Okay, that should be enough to get you on the track to practicing open and honest communication with your current and/or future partner(s). Communication is not only lubrication as I’ve said many times before, but also a great tool to have when practicing sexual self-care. Check back next week, when I write about delivering and receiving criticism, because let’s face it – at some point you’ll have to deal with conflict. How you do so will have important implications for the relationship. Until next time…
Keep it safe and sexy,
Ms. Robin, the Sex Goddess
Have a topic or question you’d like me to address in a future Sexy Saturdays article? Send it to me at RMills@sexucation.org.