If you’ve been in a long-term sexually intimate relationship, you’ve likely had the experience of being in the mood…then realized that your partner, well, just isn’t🙁 While this can be hugely frustrating and can take a massive toll on your sex life, having mismatched libidos is more common in long-term relationships than you may think.
While we all know that effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship and fulfilling sex life—this is often easier said than done, particularly when it comes to bedroom-related matters!
We all want to be open and able to express what we enjoy sexually, but sometimes things can get rather tricky when we factor in our partner’s feelings.
And even if we have an honest relationship, bringing up how we’d like to change up our sex lives is no easy feat. Often, we worry that our suggestions will be interpreted negatively by our partners.
Of course, in an ideal world, we’d be able to communicate our needs to others without making them feel vulnerable or criticized, but that’s a tricky balance to strike with a subject as intimate as sex.
But talking about sex doesn’t have to be daunting—as long as you use kind and respectful wording, there’s no reason why discussing your sex life with your partner should be a problem.
If you both want an empowering, fulfilling sex life, it’s time to open up the conversation. Not sure how to broach the subject?
Here’s how to be assertive about your sexuality and ask for what you want without offending your partner.
Less worrying & more talking
While it is crucial to be considerate when addressing sensitive topics with your partner, unequal sexual desire is a super common issue for couples. The most important thing to remember is that it can be discussed and resolved.
There shouldn’t be any reason to be frightened or embarrassed to talk about sex with the person you’re having sex with!
Emily Morse, sexologist and host of the podcast Sex With Emily, agrees that it is imperative to express your wants and needs. “Relationships are full of compromises, and your sex life is no different,” she points out. “In fact, many couples aren’t on the same sex schedule, but there’s no reason you can’t let it be known that it’s important to you.”
Not addressing it will simply cause resentment to build, one of the most destructive factors to relationships. Who knows, your partner may reveal that they’ve been struggling with a problem that you were unaware of. The only way to find out is to bring it up in conversation!
Try having the convo face-to-face
No matter how awkward it may seem, delivery is essential. What does that mean? For starters, bring the subject up when neither of you is in a rush, busy or stressed. The ideal time would be when you’re both relaxed and happy. There’s a time and place for everything…pick yours wisely!
Watch your tone
A big part of your partner’s reaction will depend on how you communicate with them. The best approach to telling your partner what you want in bed is to be straightforward and precise but also complimentary.
You may want to avoid doing it immediately after sex when they are likely to feel vulnerable. Consider bringing it up in a natural way instead of making a major statement that might make them feel threatened. Then, be kind but forthright.
Ease into it with the positives
Even if you don’t remember much of the advice in this article, remember this: TRY NOT to put your partner on the defensive.
The best way to do this is to start on a positive note by sharing what you like about your sex life. In fact, recreating sexual memories may be just what the doctor prescribed to get your partner in the mood and make things much easier.
Speak for yourself
Again, we don’t want our partners to think we’re blaming them for anything, so try using “I” statements as an anti-defensive measure.
Rather than stating, ‘You never want to have sex’ or ‘Our sex life is stale’, explain why you both would benefit from having more sex or changing things up in the sack.
When your interests are aligned, you are more likely to achieve an outcome that you and your partner are fired up about, building a habit or routine based on this positive feedback loop.
Find out what they need
Another clever strategy is to ask about what your partner wants or needs in bed that they’re not currently receiving. By making suggestions and asking questions, the conversation becomes interactive.
And, if your spouse brings up something they’d want to try, your ideas will seem less like a lack of fulfillment and more like a shared desire to explore.
Make your desires clear
Since clarity is key when attempting to hash out relationship stuff, be as explicit as possible about the kind of sex you want to have (and how often!)
Remember that sex is such a significant element of our lives, and it’s important to feel fulfilled. If it’s not a regular topic of conversation, bringing it up may help your partner feel comfortable sharing their concerns.
Meet them halfway
Morse urges sex-thirsting couples to act with the spirit of empathy and cooperation. “Tell them how much you love feeling close and intimate with them and how you could work together to make sure you’re both getting your needs met.”
Remember that at the end of the day, no partner “gets to win”. You can only both win or both lose.
You deserve a happy, fulfilling sex life
You have the potential to reinvent a sex life that is both physically and emotionally satisfying if you are willing to engage in honest, sincere dialogue. Exploring how you feel most connected to your partner is crucial in boosting sexual and relationship happiness.
If the prospect of discussing sex openly with your partner causes you to blush, have no fear; it becomes easier with practice! Once you get used to it—sex-related talks will become way less stressful and more enjoyable for you and your partner.