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05 April 2011

Sexual communication

Communication in any relationship is vital. Sexual communication even more so and often the hardest thing to do. Jonti Searll gives advice.

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Communication in any relationship is vital. Sexual communication even more so and often the hardest thing to do.

We are generally given no tools for this and end up doing things we don’t enjoy or are not getting what we want sexually because we don’t know how to ask for it. Often we feel embarrassed about expressing our desires for fear of what our partner will think or how they’ll respond. We also don’t want to hurt their feelings.

This lack of communication leads to dissatisfaction with sexuality, which in turn causes it’s own problems. It also creates a situation of general unhappiness about not being able to fully express yourself in life.

It’s important to understand that as fearful as you are of opening up sexually, your partner is probably just as nervous as you.

A useful technique
The following technique makes this communication much easier and allows you to guide a discussion without putting any pressure on your partner.

Asking your partner HOW something feels or what he/she likes or doesn’t enjoy puts pressure on them. Firstly they have to describe something that they may be embarrassed about. Secondly many people will not say something negative for fear of offending or upsetting their partner.

The simplest and best way to begin talking about something sexual is to ask questions that require your partner to answer YES or NO, nothing else. You can do this during lovemaking or afterwards. In fact, in a neutral time and place may be even safer.

Here’s an example of how this works.
Let’s use the issue of caressing your partner’s breasts.
'Do you like the way I touch your breasts?'
'Would you like me to stroke/kiss your breasts more?'
'Would you like me to stroke your breasts firmer, more gently, more on the sides etc?
'Would you like me to kiss your nipples softer?'

This allows you to learn lots about what your partner wants and how to please them in a very gentle way.

If you’re doing this during lovemaking then the format can be a little different. As you touch your partner you ask them for feedback. Let’s use the same example as before.

Kiss her nipple in a particular way and ask:
Does this feel good, would you like me to do this harder, softer, faster, slower?'

Each time you ask a question and do something different wait for her to answer. You can also allow your partner to guide you by using simple words, harder, softer, slower, faster, left, right, up or down. This way you’re able to avoid negative criticism about what they’re doing.

Criticism
Because sex is so important to us, as is the image of being a good lover, when we get told negatively what we’re doing wrong we tend to withdraw.

I’m afraid to say that men are very at fault here, thinking we know everything, particularly about sex. But here’s a fact, the only way we know if something feels good and pleasurable is to ask.

It’s important to respect your partner’s communication and guidance. This will build deep trust and safety between you.

This gentle approach opens the door to communicating about other areas of life as well. You’ll also find that after doing this a few times it will be easier to talk about sex in a more open and honest way. - (Jonti Searll, sensualist)

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