This time of year, we take the time to clean-up from the winter. Warmer clothes get packed away, the house gets aired, the garden furniture comes out of storage and the washing can finally go back on the line. At work we think about how the rest of the year looks, asking how 4 months has already gone by so fast! However, do you ever take the time to spring clean your relationship and sex life? To dust down the cobwebs and pay attention to that very important area of your life that quite often doesn’t get the time or attention it deserves. If you are in a committed relationship, the chances are that there will definitely be room for improvement, but where do you start and how? My advice;
Talk, Talk, Talk (and remember to listen)
Working with individuals and couples for many years now, it is clear to me that the majority of people can talk to their partners about work, money, the family, household stuff etc. but can rarely discuss their sex life. Surely talking about sex would be more fun? Why do we avoid it these conversations? Some couples are together years without ever talking about sex, yet they have sex!
It is a tricky and personal subject and quite often feels fraught with danger, especially when the couple involved have different levels of desire and different wants and needs. There is sometimes a misunderstanding that Sex Talk needs to be crude, smutty, or dirty. That you need to sit down and tell your partner your deepest and darkest fantasies. You may worry that it will open up unpleasant feelings, and inadequacies. What if your partner laughs, or thinks your silly or weird? Worse still, what if what you suggest is criticised or rejected? It’s much easier to not talk about it.
However hard it is, being able to talk about their relationship and their sex life is what the majority of couples are missing.
Opening up a line of communication with a promise to be open and listen, will give each of you support and comfort. You can then feel able to talk about any issues and desires. So how do you start a conversation? When is the right time?
There is no hard and fast rule that works for everyone. It is all about you as a couple, but here are a few ideas that might help you start:
1. The blunt approach
Sometimes it is best to just ‘rip off the plaster’ and say what you mean. Straightforward and clear, that you would like a conversation about your relationship. Of course, consider where you are, who is around you and whether it’s a good time first before you make the suggestion to talk. If your partner agrees, then there will be no better time than the present.
2. Walk and Talk
Removing yourself from your everyday environment is a great way to talk to your partner. Take a walk, with no destination in mind, and talk.
3. Phone and Sexting
One of my clients recently told me that she has the best conversations with her husband on the nights that they are away from each other. Talking on the phone gives a sense of anonymity, and an escape route if it becomes too much. Could this be the way forward for you? It might simply be the way you start the conversation, telling them that when they are home, you’d like to talk about your relationship. Texting is also a great way to raise the subject, and a ‘Sext’ every now and then keeps the passion alive!
Educate yourself; about yourself and your partner
We are taught basic biology at school, how our brains work to keep us alive, how our organs work and their importance. Throughout our lives we are constantly bombarded with messages on looking after ourselves, getting exercise, eating well. The question I want to ask is – when was the last time you learnt something about sexual health? If the answer is when you were at school, then there is much to learn.
School sex education concentrates on the reproduction system and how babies are made, how to avoid getting pregnant, how to avoid sexually transmitted infections, periods and consent. All very important, but where were the messages about pleasure? What we know about sex is changing year on year with advances in research and changing social and cultural attitudes. Our bodies change with age and illness and women’s bodies go through many changes with their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. There is always much to learn. We never know it all.
Sex is a really broad subject, and something that I will be expanding on over the coming months in my content. Including how our sexual organs work, how we get pleasure and how our minds can control our enjoyment of sex.