Let’s face it, not everyone is comfortable talking about sex. Many people shudder at the thought of discussing sex with others, even in an age of growing openness and sexual expression. In the old school era of closeted sexual desires, many were taught to keep conversation around sex private. While it is alright to be reserved or shy about the subject, if you are sexually active then it is one conversation you need to have. Not only will it keep you safe, but talking openly about sex makes it more enjoyable for yourself and your partner(s). Here are three conversations that will get you out of your comfort zone and ready to discuss sex:
Discuss Sex with your Doctor
If you’re not comfortable talking about sex, the first and most important way to ease into the conversation is discussing sex with your doctor. It is common practice to not disclose or lie about their sexual encounters because of embarrassment or fear of judgment. Just remember that your doctor is not there to judge you. They want to know your sexual history to keep you healthy. It is important to disclose to your doctor your comfort with sex, high-risk situations you may encounter, and even bodily reactions to sex as they will have recommendations for prevention, testing, and treatment. This is such a great first conversation to have because it gives you knowledge and confidence in your sexual health to navigate more emotional conversations.
Start by scheduling a doctor’s appointment and taking the initiative. Express your need to be more comfortable and honest about your sex life and discuss any discomforts you may have. Schedule a follow-up appointment depending on the urgency of the matter.
Discuss Sex with your Friends
The most natural conversation about sex will probably be with your friends. Your friends will give you honest opinions and, often, they are going through similar sexual lessons as you. Creating a dialogue will make you closer while making future conversations less tense.
Here’s a suggestion for those wondering how to start a dialogue: choose a girls or guys night where you stay in and binge old favorite shows you loved. The catch: pick a show where sex is the main topic. Shows like “Sex and the City” for women or “Entourage” for men are great options. By watching the show, you have a natural starting point for conversations about sex and a space to create the dialogue you’ve struggled with. At the end of the night, you’ve taken one step at being open and comfortable with your friends to make strides into deeper conversations.
Discussing Sex with Your Partner
While talking about sex with your partner may feel awkward, it can open an experience of pleasure. Your partner doesn’t know your pleasure points, can’t always sense what feels good or bad for you, or how frequently you crave sex. Similarly, you do not magically know what makes your partner tick. Start a conversation early on about what you require and what you are willing or able to provide. If you feel comfortable, disclose your sexual history and have them do the same.
Need help initiating that conversation? While getting to know your significant other, start with easy questions like “What makes sex enjoyable for you?” and “How can we talk about sex comfortably in our relationship?” This will start a conversation for not only safe sex, but meaningful and pleasurable sex. Alternatively, you can be straightforward and talk about your last testing experience to get a sense of how recently they’ve been tested. Don’t let your fear of the awkward stop you from putting your sexual health first.
If you’re still feeling awkward about the conversation of sex after all of these points, know that it’s okay. It’s natural to feel shy or hesitant about trying something new. Try focusing on one discussion at a time and motivating yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Move at your preferred pace and disregard those who rush your process.