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Your Guide to Sex Talk

We’re not talking about ‘Dirty Talk’, we’re talking about how to talk to your partner about your sex life, lack of, or changing sensations that affect the practicalities of everything from first base through fourth! Talking about sex is a tricky topic, and, even for the most liberated person, bringing up that your partner might not be doing it for you isn't exactly easy. Looking for even more of a challenge? Telling your long-term partner that, all of a sudden, the stuff they used to do isn't working anymore.

How Do We Communicate About Intimacy?
As we age, both our mindset and our body changes; that thing that you used to enjoy, might now be pretty painful. Your new idea of romantic intimacy might be less lingerie-ripped-off and more sensuous massage. Even in the most open and stable relationship, it can be hard to discuss this because you are changing the dynamic, which can be scary. Additionally, when we bring up sex, we also are bringing up a lot of things that sex represents, like love, intimacy, connection, and... the dreaded ego.

Whilst it is great to understand the psychology behind why we struggle to talk about topics such as sex, these five practical tips will help you to actually make positive changes to your sex life, allowing you to enjoy that facet of your sexuality for years to come.

Five Sex Talk Tips:

  1. If you're in pain or discomfort seek help. If penetration has begun to hurt (or always has), if you are constantly itchy, or feeling stinging or tearing, or if you are experiencing general vaginal discomfort, go to your doctor. Rule out STI's, and if need be, see a specialist. Failing that, advocate for yourself, be it with research or talking to trusted friends. Many women (82%) suffer from vaginal discomfort post-menopause, and it can dramatically affect your sex life, on a physical, mental, and emotional level.
  2. If you are not in pain (or were), and are simply becoming aware of changes to your body, it can be beneficial to enjoy some time enjoying your sexuality solo. Plus, if you have been in pain and are now working through this with things like Silky Peach, vaginal dilators can be a great way to reintroduce penetration to the vagina, and rediscover your body. With or without toys, self discovery allows you to discover your pleasure and pain points in a controlled setting that doesn't put the onus of your pleasure on another person.
  3. Ask them what they like and if they've been feeling any different. Even if you think you know, opening the conversation with their needs can be a good way to massage egos, and may allow them to open up about concerns. A good way to do this is to broach the topic as, 'I want to show you how much I appreciate you...what can I do for you that will really make you feel good?' This is a simple set-up that removes pressure. Another model can be, “I want us to be able to have a sexually satisfying relationship for decades to come, and I notice that the way my body responds is shifting as I age. Maybe yours has too. Can I share some things I've noticed about my body lately?"
  4. What is sexuality and intimacy to you? For most people, sex and intimacy isn’t just a good ol’ missionary penetrative sex. It encompasses a range of behaviors, activities, and feelings. It is worth exploring not only what we see as being sexual or intimate (baths, doing new things, massages, cuddling), but also what turns us on. Remember, what turns you on isn’t necessarily what you want to do - you can be turned on by the thought of, or by watching, an act you don’t want to actually do. Discover this for yourself, then talk about it with your partner; it may be that you find things that you both want to try, be it a couples massage or something a little more NSFW. A good template for this is, “I’ve been thinking a lot about what turns me on recently, I’d love to know what turns you on, then I’ll share mine.” This gives them time to think about it and lets them know where your mind is.
  5. Gameify it. There are a ton of products on the market right now, like dice, cards, and even this date-night book. Whilst some of these are a little goofy, they still open up opportunities to discuss likes, dislikes, changes, and more. Sure, maybe you both hate drizzling chocolate over one another, but it can be fun, funny, and can open up new ideas and communication channels figuring that out!

Ultimately, the key aspect to talking to your partner is being able to let go of expectations, and let the dialogue flow. Communication relies on listening, honesty, and vulnerability, all of things that can be practiced and developed to ensure that you and your partner are living your best lives (and enjoying your best sex!).