Love it, or hate it. You must have heard of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy which is about to make its way to a cinema near you.
You might also know of how people who enjoy BDSM (bondage and discipline; sadomasochism; dominance and submission) were up in arms over how 50 Shades inaccurately portrayed their lifestyle.
As a sexologist, I find it unfortunate that 50 Shades lost out on its opportunity to more positively enlighten the public about BDSM, but alas, it was written to entertain and not to educate.
Here are five things about sexual communication which might be useful to you:
1. Apply Consent.
Couples who have been together for some time say that they can gauge the ‘mood’ or even the response of their partners—most of the time. This is not fail proof. Unless you are a psychic or mind-reader, communication is indeed the key to a better sexual life.
Agree to speak your truth, and always ask if in doubt. Discuss how important it is to remain curious, so that both of you feel safe to open up further. In choose honesty and vulnerability as the higher way, it is important to call each other out on any mental games or bullying playing out. Life can be simple. Unless of course, it’s about playing out games in the bedroom with mutual consent.
2. Lay out Boundaries.
Have you had things being done to you sexually that you wish you had said something about as it was happening? Or have you realised only too late what was happening only after it happened? Did you vow to yourself you never want it happen again?
Boundaries are about things we know we do not want to do, and we don’t necessarily have to have done them in order to be sure that we really don’t want them. It is our duty of self-care to speak up—what we allow, what we want, what we do not want. Care more about yourself. Care less about pleasuring your partners only. And definitely do not give away your power to somebody you do not trust. Test them. Trust needs to be earned and can only be built only time.
3. Come Up with Code Words.
A code word is a word or a phrase designed to convey a predetermined meaning to a receptive audience, while remaining inconspicuous to the uninitiated. Take for instance: Red, Yellow and Green. Green is for Go; Yellow can be for Slow Down; and Red for Stop.
You may also use code words to indicate arousal (getting there), plateau (don’t stop), or orgasm (release). Or perhaps they can be used to state your level of readiness for penetrative sex or indicate anxiety. Code words help take emotional charge out of your words, and allow you to be even more effective in communicating in the bedroom.
4. Use Scale
You can use a scale of one to 10 to obtain more specific answers to your questions. The nature of the questions can vary quite a bit: How tired are you feeling? How horny are you? How much would you like to have sex now?
If you are at a ten and your partner a four on your level of friskiness, then you can agree on a sexual activity both of you are willing to experience. You may use this to rank pleasure and compare experiences, for instance: “On a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest, what do you think of this (technique/ position/ etc.)?” and “How would you rank today’s (experience/ orgasm/ etc.) compared to the last time?”
5. Adopt Non-verbal Cues
Giving sexual feedback does not need to be only verbal. A nod or shake of your shake is often sufficient. But if you have a tendency to shake your head when you are in a state of ecstasy, your “no” might be mistaken as “please continue”.
Besides pre-established code words, one can adopt non-verbal cues especially if one is inhibited in some way. For instance, you may be wearing a mouth gag, or a full-face mask and have difficulties speaking. Cues could include tapping your right foot on the mat, shaking your shoulders, lifting your left arm, or all of the above!
While it is true that the more you communicate, the more you learn and understand about what makes your partners tick, authentic vulnerability leading to open sexual communication of our sexual feelings and thoughts takes time. Consequently, this increases your chances of having many wonderful sexual experiences.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Dr. Martha Tara Lee
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Mike Mozart at Flickr