In her sex tips book published in 1894, Ruth Smythers recommends that wives “…should lie as still as possible. Bodily motion could be interpreted as sexual excitement by the optimistic husband. Sex, when it cannot be prevented, should be practiced only in total darkness.”
Smythers goes on to decree, “A WISE wife will make it her goal never to allow her husband to see her unclothed body, and never allow him to display his unclothed body to her.”
What really went on behind closed doors in the late 1800s and early 1900s may have been different, but the dominant code of conduct was for married men and women to only have sex for procreation. And it was certainly not something to discuss or even admit to (except to set up strict rules about)!
Sex gets talked about a lot more in the 21st century. Some might even say that sexual images and double entendre pervade just about every facet of current day western culture. We see subtle sexuality almost everywhere we turn, so you’d think we’d be talking about it with the one we love and are most intimate with, right?
Still today, with billboards, music, tips and tricks in magazine articles and even slipped into children’s shows, sex is ever-present AND most of us are uncomfortable communicating about it with our partner.
Most of us assume a lot.
You hope that your partner will figure out what it is you really like when making love. You cross fingers and guess that your partner is satisfied with how often and how you’re having sex with one another. Most of all you worry about how attractive you are, how skilled you are and how to keep your partner (and you) satisfied.
There are so many doubts, fears and confusion that can build up around the topic of sex in your love relationship or marriage and, if you’re like the vast majority of people, you avoid talking about it. It’s kind of embarrassing and you aren’t sure you even want to know if you aren’t doing a “good job” in the bedroom!
When you don’t talk about sex with your partner, you’re missing out. Yes, it’s uncomfortable and you might not like hearing what your partner has to say, but when you find the courage and the right words, communication about sex can be easy and will bring you and the one you love closer than ever before.
Remember these 4 tips as you talk about sex with your love…
#1: Set the stage.
Don’t approach your partner with a “we-have-to-talk” tone of voice or attitude. It’s important that you both be relaxed and able to listen when you talk about a topic like sex, which might feel vulnerable and sensitive.
Be clear about your intention for this conversation and make sure that your intention is to improve on what you already have going on instead of being critical or blaming. When you convey your intention and make sure you both can focus on one another, the talk is more likely to be open and connecting.
#2: Be honest.
Give yourself permission to tell your truth. It’s not going to help either of you enjoy lovemaking more if you hedge or fib. Lying about having an orgasm or any other part of your sexual intimacy will only erode trust and push your partner away.
You can say how you truly feel without being hurtful or critical. Use words like, “For me…” and “It’s my experience….” and be specific. Generalizing statements are usually not true all of the time and they don’t help your partner know what you’d like to be different.
#3: Talk about what you like.
The more you identify specific things about your lovemaking that you do like, the better. This gives your partner valuable information. Be appreciative as you tell him or her, “I love it when you touch me there” and “It feels so good when you do that.” If you feel embarrassed, take a deep breath and remember why you’re having this conversation– to move closer together and to ensure that you both are loving being intimate with one another.
#4: Get curious.
As strongly as you might believe that your partner is completely satisfied with your lovemaking habits, find out. Ask him or her “What do you really like about our lovemaking?” Get curious about “What would you like more of when we are intimate?” You can even get adventurous and ask, “What is something you’ve been wanting to do with me?”
This is a time for you to learn what really turns your partner on and maybe also what turns him or her off. You can also make requests that your partner not do certain things when you two are making love, but be sure to follow up with a suggestion for what you’d like instead.
Remember, sex is meant to be a pleasurable way for you two to share and celebrate your love for one another!