The key to having a healthy and satisfying sex life is to have open communication with your partner. I realize it can be a bit uncomfortable at first to talk about your sexual needs and fantasies, but trust me, building good communication skills around sex will only improve your sex life. To make sure you and your new partner are on the same page, here are three important conversations you should definitely have sooner than later.
Yes, talking about sex makes it better. Here’s how to do it:
Ideally, the following conversations would have come up already in your relationship, but everyone's comfort levels and communication styles are different. Here are some questions to ask:
1. What's your sexual status?
Whether it’s your first partner or 50th partner, knowing where someone is at in terms of STIs and testing is integral to creating a trusting and safe sexual space. Things like the last time you were tested and what your previous sexual experiences were are important things to talk about. If you feel uncomfortable at first, tell them. And if you notice your partner being hesitant, reassure them that this is a safe and trusting space. Just make sure you keep your judgement out of it—you want to create a space where everyone feels like they can be honest without prejudice.
2. How do you keep safe?
As important as whether you and your partner have been recently tested, protection during sex is also something that needs to be talked about. Yes, this isn’t always the sexiest topic, but keeping everyone safe from the risk of infection or an uninvited pregnancy is extremely important. Rather be safe than sorry, my friend. No one wants to pass or receive an unwanted infection.
3. What are your needs and fantasies?
Like Ludacris, we all need to know what our partner’s fantasies are. To start, be open about your fantasies and offer up your own sexual needs. This will help open up dialogue between you. Get on the same page, and figure out if you can satisfy their fantasies. (It’s good to be “GGG” but remember that you should speak up if anything goes beyond your comfort boundaries.) If it’s the case that your fantasies don’t necessarily line up, ask them how they plan to get those needs met and figure out what works together. Be open and clear about expectations.
Talking about sex is not a skill we all develop at the same time. Most of our sex ed experiences in high school are rife with awkward teachers and information that seems like it’s from the ‘50s. As a result talking about sex can be uncomfortable and many people try to avoid it. If you consider yourself among this group, keep in mind that the more you talk about sex with your new partner, the better you will understand them and the more your sex life will benefit.
Photo credit: Lauren D. Zbarsky