In our culture, sex is something we think about often, but rarely actually talk about.
According to a recent Ohio State University study, men think about sex about 18 times each day, while women think about sex 10 times a day. What the study didn’t indicate, however, was how many times couples — who between them think about sex 28 times every day — actually talk about sex with each other.
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Our culture uses sex to sell cars, beer, snack foods and even household cleaners, when sex should actually be used to bring our relationships closer and heighten our intimacy and enjoyment of our relationships.
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No, really. Don’t believe me? Watch a romantic comedy film. ANY romantic comedy. Here’s what you’ll see:
- Boy meets girl (usually Jennifer Aniston).
- Boy gets girl.
- Boy has massive misunderstanding with girl because they communicate like they’re talking on cell phones with spotty signals.
- Boy’s deadbeat, drunken, loser best friend concocts stupid plan to reunite boy with girl
- All hell breaks loose.
- Boy gets girl despite various stupid human tricks because — wait for it — HE TALKS TO HER HONESTLY.
- The End
So, let’s get over it and look at some ideas on what we all need to do in order to talk openly with our partners about sex.
- Expand Your Vocabulary – Words are a really key part of communication. The problem is that there are some words used in discussions about sex that aren’t really good “out-loud” words, and many of us never learned how to use them properly outside of when we yell at drivers who cut us off on the highway. But, if you’re going to really talk about what you want, you need to use all the words that both you and your partner understand. Pointing and gesturing isn’t enough.
- For Better or For Worse – Many times when people aren’t getting what they want out of sex, they focus on the things they don’t like about their partner’s style or actions. That’s never a good place to start. Instead, begin with the things you like, and accentuate the positive. “I like it when you do this. I’d like it if you did that more, and maybe you could add doing that and the other thing, too.” It’s better to gently guide your partner, instead of making demands. Laying in bed with your partner as they make love to you while flipping through the cable channels and mumbling, “No, a little to the left. No… not there yet… softer... no teeth! I’m not a chew toy… I wonder who’s on Leno tonight…” is probably not going to get you what you want, and it may leave your partner traumatized. Work from the things they do right, and you’ll be able to eliminate the things they don’t do right with a lot more ease and without hurting their feelings.
- Set the Mood – When you want to talk about sex, don’t do it as you’re cooking dinner, with the kids chasing the dog around the house.