Intimate relationships are built on communication.
And any form of prolonged sexual engagement with someone is an intimate relationship. This means that without honest communication, you are doing your relationship a disservice.
Over the years, I have found that these five conversations clear up a lot of the misunderstandings and pave over the potential potholes for a sexual relationship. These conversations can be exciting and funny, but also difficult.
No matter what, they will bring you closer to your partner and make your relationship more secure.
1. The Dos and Don’ts Conversation.
I’ve met a lot of people who tell me: “My partner doesn’t do X, Y, and Z. It sucks.” To which I always wonder: If X, Y, and Z, are important to you, why are you with that person?
The reasoning is usually as follows:
1. They think they can change the person’s mind.
2. They didn’t ask the person before getting into a serious relationship.
3. It sucks, but they’re fine with it because they do other stuff.
If number three works for you, then go for it. If it’s number two you find yourself in, this is problematic and is why this conversation needs to happen at the beginning of a relationship.
A relationship is not entirely made up of sex, but sexual dissatisfaction is like a cancer that can grow and grow as time goes on and sneak up and kill the intimacy between you unexpectedly. There are many, many manuals and articles and videos out there with buckets of information about different sexual acts and how to do them safely and pleasurably. I would say that discussing the possibility of exploring these resources is a good place to start this conversation over.
If you fall into the number one camp, this is the most dangerous place to be. You can always help someone, but to have someone place their trust and intimacy with you while you dishonestly try to manipulate them into changing into something you want is unhealthy and unfair to your partner.
2. The Desires Conversation.
The things you love to do in sex shouldn’t be treated like little nuggets of gold your partner has to unearth over time. If you tell them in advance, they could be spending all of that time learning to do them better.
I have found that people refrain from expressing their desires for two main reasons:
1. They are concerned their partner will judge them.
2. They want to test their partner to see if they are good enough to find them.
If number two is your game, then it’s your game. Personally, I do not think it is fair to your partner and it will erode their confidence if they feel as though you aren’t enjoying yourself.
Which brings me to point one: if they’re judging you, then they probably don’t care whether or not you enjoy yourself in sex. This defeats the purpose of sex. (No, sex is not for making babies, that is a myth passed down by prudish monks.)
The great thing about having this conversation early is that it tells you a lot about your partner, the main thing being: do they care about your pleasure?
If not, the sooner you know the better.
3. The Expectations Conversation.
There is a lot of hemming and hawing in the world of “What are we?” And this is the conversation that should never be had only once. If you both agree on a relationship, then congratulations, have fun. But if not, if an agreement for a more casual arrangement is made, it is important to revisit this from time to time.
Sex can complicate emotions for both men and women and make people feel possessive or grow a more serious affection. Also, it can grow stale for one person. Holding on to these feelings without expressing them to your partner will unfairly prolong something that needs to end.
4. The Porn Conversation.
We still live in a time when there are people who do not think watching porn is appropriate. If you are someone who loves porn, do not be with a person like this.
By doing that, you are shoving a great big lie-wedge right into the beginning of your time together. On the other hand, if your partner watching porn bothers you, say this upfront. Do not wait for three months into the relationship to say: “You don’t watch porn, do you?” You have now put your partner into a position where they feel like they have to lie in order to preserve the relationship.
Knock it off.
If you both do watch porn or both hate porn, hurray! Happy days for you.
5. The Traumas Conversation.
With all the fun you can have with sex, it can also be used as a weapon that hurts many people around the world. This kind of hurt isn’t the kind that just goes away. It stays with a person and it is important to be patient and understanding with someone’s traumas or hang-ups over a bad past sexual experience.
This is not about digging up bad memories, or digging around for details, or thinking you can somehow solve this for someone. People will be as open as they want to be when they want to be open. But, it is important to know if there are certain things you should not do.
This conversation should be had because one person should not unknowingly be hurting another, and no one should ever allow themselves to be hurt (not in the kink sense) for the pleasure of someone else.
While all five of these conversations are important in their own right, they are part of a larger universal truth: love and sex thrive in open and honest communication between partners. Without it, we are no better than monkeys.