How to: Talk About Sex
Posted: 05/28/2012 Filed under: Awesome Things, Behavior, Dating, LGBTQ, Sex | Tags: adventures, advice, behavior, boys, dating, girls, humor, kinks and fetishes, links, love, sex
Hey! HEY YOU GUYS! So remember that one time I wrote about kinks, and about how some people give crappy advice to people when they come up?
My girlfriend and I went out to eat the other day, and I picked up a copy of The Onion. In the back, they run Dan Savage’s column, Savage Love, and as I was reading this particular issue, I noticed that people seem to 1. have a disturbing love for this book, 50 Shades of Grey, and 2. apparently have no idea how to talk to partners about sex. Savage’s response to one of these women actually made me pretty annoyed, and almost angry.
And then, as if things could not get any more timely, a close friend of mine said that he and his partner were having some issues in the bedroom. I did the, “Well, did you talk about it?” line of questions, and he kept balking, talking about how he did not want to hurt his partner’s feelings, how he didn’t want to cause trouble in the relationship, blah blah et cetera.
Talking about sex is a lot like talking about kinks. The biggest difference is that usually, sex is not quite so shame-ridden as kinks can be. There’s a larger number of people having sex in general, versus however many people might share a kink. With a difference in numbers and with “everybody doing it”, you’d think it would be a hell of a lot easier to talk to one’s partner about sexytimes, right?
Well…. No. It’s not. And it’s not easy because of the reasons my friend brought up. Hurting someone’s feelings probably is going to make you less likely to get sex from them, at least in the immediate future. This isn’t necessarily a fact, but if you make someone feel bad, like, say, where sexual prowess is concerned, it doesn’t seem likely that that person will turn around and go, “Okay well how about we fix that RIGHT NOW?!” (however if you do have a partner like that, you have won at life)
Telling someone they’re not doing sex with you right is really difficult. There isn’t a way to sugarcoat it, but there are a few ways to make it less awful for everyone. You can always go with the direct approach. Being as straightforward as possible and saying, “Look, this is something I have noticed in the bedroom and here is how I want it to change, can we work something out?” leaves practically no room for losing. A similar way of getting your point across is by, in the heat of the moment, saying something like, “Hey, you know what would be hot? If we ___________”, and then you let them know what you want. This works especially well if it’s asking for a tweak in a sexy routine, e.g. who gets to be on top?
Another thing that works pretty well is a nonverbal approach. If it’s a matter of one partner not getting off (and this being a problem), take some more direct control, if you know what I’m saying. Move the other person’s hand to where you want it, and see where things go. If they don’t go the way you want, either try again or talk it out.
Now, these tactics are all contingent on one thing – your partner agreeing with your suggested change. If this does not happen, then a few things need to happen: you have to figure out how important this change is to you, you have to be absolutely certain your partner understands this is an important thing, and/or you have to start reconsidering your relationship with this person.
But wait – why did I bring up Dan Savage? Because his advice sucked. And why did his advice suck? Because, if you go and read the third letter of the link above, he suggested that a 43-year-old housewife use a time machine to solve her problems. I know this has a little more to do with kinks and fetishes, but a lot of Savage’s advice to women seems to be to DTMFA (dump the motherfucker already), especially if they are writing to him about their sex lives.
This is kind of unacceptable. It’s funny that he has no problem talking to some cops about semi-public (male) masturbation, but when a woman wants some advice on bringing her husband into her experiment with BDSM, he dropped the ball. The answer is not to go back in time and not dump the weird kinky guy she may or may not have dated twenty years ago. The answer is to talk it out. Bring up reasons she wants to try it. Say things about how hot BDSM might be, give the husband an out and say, “Let’s just try it a couple of times and see if we like it.”
The one thing I want you all to take away from this is to not be afraid. The absolute worst-case scenario of getting dumped because you want to improve your sex life with that person probably will turn out to not be a worst-case scenario. And who knows? Your partner might even surprise you, agree, or say, “I’m SO glad you brought this up! I was wondering about this!”
Don’t be afraid to talk about sex!!!!