Part of the Better Sex Series
Wow, I really wish my partner knew this stuff.
It certainly helps to understand the accelerator and brake systems for our car and our partner’s car, but if we don’t know how to talk about these to each other, things can feel even more frustrating than they already do.
While it doesn’t take a mechanic to figure it out, sex can be one of the trickiest things to talk about in relationships. We feel really sensitive to what our partner says and it’s easy to unintentionally make our partner feel criticized, too. That’s why we need to start soft.
First, we need to compliment them on what they are doing right. Asking for change from our partner is rarely well-received if they feel like we aren’t even noticing all the great effort they’re already putting in. It can also help to remind them that things haven’t always felt the way they do right now – and that we have a similar shared goal.
I really loved it when we were having so much sex when we first got together and I know you’re bummed we aren’t doing it as often. You compliment how I look a lot and it’s nice to be reminded that you still find me attractive.
Next, we need to talk about how we feel and when we feel it. This helps our partner have a foundation to understand what we are experiencing.
I’ve noticed that lately I feel really turned on when our house is clean and you greet me with a kiss when I come home.
While we like to stay positive, we can also note feelings that we aren’t so happy with.
I feel used and unimportant when you try to initiate sex without any foreplay.
The last piece of the puzzle (to make it less of a puzzle for your partner) is to tell them what you need. Think of it as connecting the dots for them. No guessing game involved here – we’re just giving you all the answers.
I need you to do some of the things on my accelerator list to help turn me on and get my engine revving before you try to jump in the seat.
And last but certainly never least, remember that soft start? We can end soft, too. We want our request to be heard and respected, not ignored as another nag or complaint.
I know you already try to do so much to help me feel sexy and desired and I’m wondering if cleaning up the living room together and asking about my day would help me feel more in the mood.
Starting soft and describing our own experience can be a nice break from the typical conversation about sex. Want to know what not to say? Stay tuned for more articles in the Better Sex Series.
To read more about how to use a soft start up, check out these tips.
Having some trouble putting this into action? Schedule a session with Kelsey, a couples therapist, sex therapist, and specialist in sexual health.