Communication is an overused and misunderstood word. We generally think it means saying what we want someone else to hear and expecting them to understand the message. Actually, communication that promotes intimacy involves far more than just spoken words, and when we add a sexual component to our message, communication can get complicated indeed.
In the early stages of courtship, sex seems perfect. It is abundant and satisfying, fed by those powerful endorphins. Our conversations revolve around getting-to-know-you fascinations and murmurs of appreciation.
We rarely stumble into areas of difficulty until limerence wanes or until we need to negotiate a difference. This can prove either smooth or rocky, depending on good will, our communication skills, and the subject area. Negotiating housekeeping standards is easier than discussing disparate desires, for instance. It is always more thorny when it’s about sex.
As a society we do not talk openly about sex, and we protect ourselves on such a personal level. The parameters of “acceptable” sex are so narrow that asking for something we want that our partner may view negatively can make us feel unacceptable and could lead to our rejection. With that big a risk, most of us remain silent and hope our partner suggests the activity we crave.
The undesirable effect of this self-protection is that our lover reads our silence and inaction as conservative behaviour and responds to it in kind. Before long, we are both locked in a bland set of sexual activities that gets the job done but lacks creativity and vulnerability. Such couples refer to their sex lives as efficient but not hot. Eventually, desire suffers.
One way this type of unimaginative sex is played out is when sex becomes simply intercourse. Lost is the languorous playtime involving caressing, pillow talk, kissing and laughter.
Another is ‘duty sex,’ a close relative of ‘mercy sex.’ You know what they are if you’ve ever given—or received—them. Then there’s twelve-minute sex, and that’s only after a glass of wine. It’s nice, but it’s sure no movie love scene.
Do you both wish for better quality lovemaking but just don’t know how to recapture the magic?
Plan your next few lovemaking sessions to include your three favourite forms of sex play—except intercourse. Have your mate choose, too, and alternate. Do I hear wails of complaint about not getting off? Include orgasm-producing activities in your list, or mutually (or individually) masturbate to conclude your sessions.
If you find that suggesting such an exercise is way outside your comfort zone, it is an indication that you two are locked in a rigid sexual routine and are sharing little sexual communication.
Ask yourself when you can last remember sharing a sexual conversation. Initiate one now. Start small. Perhaps tell your lover three things you appreciate about how you have sex together and ask him or her to respond in kind. Next, ask for three things your partner would like more of. You can see how the questions, and the activities, can grow.
Now, as you begin to open up to each other, tell your lover how much you appreciate knowing this information and how it helps you to be a better lover. Add how you would like sharing your own fantasies, hard as that may be, because it allows you to be sexually visible and vulnerable. And it helps your sex together get better and better. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.
By the time you get to this point, you and your lover will have established a new rhythm to your sexual communication. You can now talk to your partner in new ways because you have learned to take small risks and check their consequences. Because we all love being paid attention to and respond positively to it, we gain better communication–and better sex–immediately.
This is no magic potion: “Take a pill, do an exercise. Save your marriage.” You both need to be onboard. Your relationship needs to be happy and solid. This will not work if you have desire problems, or if you are angry or out of love. However, if you are best friends and still hot for each other, but have just sort of lost touch with the erotic element in your relationship, these tips will help bring it back. Have fun.