Sex is a natural part of life—it’s fun, it brings life, we think about it a lot and yet, most couples find it awkward to talk about their sexual relationship. Each person enters the relationship with certain expectations about how their sex life will play out and yet they find it awkward to talk about it with each other – it’s like they don’t even have the words for it.
So the first step toward an awesome sex life – talk about it!! And, if you are going to talk about sex you have to find the words for it! It may seem elementary but let’s start basic – what do you and your spouse call your different body parts? Some words may trigger intimacy for one person and yet be a turn-off to the other person. Share what words peak interest and which ones are a turn-off. It’s amazing how subtle changes in vocabulary can help improve intimacy.
Second, you gotta know how your body and your spouse’s body works! The prevalence of pornography has distorted satisfying sexual encounters. Some people have the mistaken idea that what is satisfying to them is satisfying to their spouse.
Even if a couple has been together for a long time I have found that if they will read one good book on sexual intimacy it will help them break through the awkwardness leading to great conversations and satisfying encounters!
One of my favorite examples is a couple that had been married 25 years and had raised beautiful children together. They were deeply committed to each other but the wife felt like their sex life could be better and her husband was not picking up on her hints. He was a proud man and came into counseling to support his wife. I recommended that he read a book on intimacy-at first he balked at the idea since they had been sleeping together for 25 years, but he read the book. The next time I saw them the glow on their faces was beautiful.
The husband admitted he hadn’t understood how his wife’s body experienced orgasm – once he understood he was more than happy to do things for his wife that put a smile on her face!
Third, learn how to express your interest/desire and your non-interest/desire in a loving way. Many of us romanticize the sexual relationship thinking that we are always going to want it at the same time but just like you might sometimes get physically hungry at different times it’s only going to be natural that you are going to sometimes be sexually interested at different times. In working with couples I have found sex is such a personal expression of love and vulnerability that a lot of hurt feelings can be avoided if you talk about 2 things important things:
First, how does each of you want to be approached when the other is in the mood…is it a wink, a text, a direct question or something else?
And second, Also, very, very important is – when you approach your spouse how do you want your spouse to tell you if they are Not in the mood? For example – Instead of saying, “Oh, my gosh no! What would give you the idea that I would want to do that?” would you prefer for them to say, “Now is not a good time but tonight would be great!”
Sometimes it feels a little weird to have these conversations but you are going to live your lives together forever – that’s a lot of sexual encounters in your future…. talking about a few things ahead of time is a really awesome loving way to set yourself up for lifelong great sex.