"We can't keep talking about sex without talking about how we talk about sex."
On why we don't talk about sex:
"Very few people get great sex ed in the first place... very limited info on the facts of how bodies work... and then how to communicate what you like or don't like- that kind of vulnerability - very few of us have any skills training in."
"The vulnerability of asking for something that is meaningful to me is vulnerable. And the more meaningful it is the riskier it feels to ask."
"Often people don't come at the first sign of challenge. By the time they come to me, talking about sex is a problem. Every time they talk about it it's a fight... The only time they talk about it is when they fight and what happens then, in order to avoid a fight is people don't talk about it anymore."
One baseline recommendation from the podcast:
"Everybody needs to talk more about sex. And talk more with better boundaries. Like where or when is the best time to bring this up?"
On reading each other's minds:
"There's a romanticizing that happens around being able to read each other's minds and someone just knowing what we want without even saying it. That seems to be the gold standard. And that is why we don't have sexual communication."
On trust and sexual communication:
"There are very few things in a relationship more reinforcing of trust than me being vulnerable and it being received with warmth."
Action Steps from the Podcast
Create a before, during, and after communication practice for your sexual connection.
First try integrating conversations about your dreams, desires, fantasies, and positive sexual memories with your partner, without making an immediate request.
Then work on talking during your sexual activity by asking lots of questions requesting permission and consent so you get input on what works for your partner- and to heighten the experience of connection and intimacy for you.
Try to incorporate a yes-and approach to help sexual energy keep flowing between you and your partner. Instead of just saying no, try to re-direct the energy to what you want more of.
Finally, start practicing sharing a "highlights reel" with your partner soon after you are sexual or have sex where you share the things you liked that you just shared. The more specific, the better.
Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
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Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
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