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How to Effectively Approach a Conversation About Sex: Language, Emotions, and Core Principles

Psychiatrist, sexologist, psychotherapist
  • Published:
    21 September 2023
  • Updated:
    01 February 2024
Approach a Conversation About Sex

We have already discussed the importance of having conversations about sex and have chosen the appropriate time and place for them.

Let's continue to learn how to talk about sex with your partner correctly.

What Should You Be Aware of Before Initiating a Conversation?

To begin conversations about sex, you must have the appropriate vocabulary. Many people feel shy about saying out loud words like clitoris, orgasm, and penis.

How to Conquer Awkwardness and Begin Using Accurate Terminology?

Get used to the words that you feel shy to say out loud by practicing writing or mentally repeating them. These words start to differ from other body terms like “leg,” “elbow,” and “eye” the more you use them. Read and watch more on this topic. You can even watch porn with conversations to stop feeling shy about these words and learn to say them.

Key Terminology for Addressing Sexual Discrepancies

Here is a list of words to practice: sex, penis, shaft, scrotum, testicles, nipples, vulva, anus, anal, oral, blowjob, cunnilingus, anal opening, vagina, clitoris, labia major and minor, sperm, suck, lick, touch, enter, penetrate, fuck, cum, masturbate, jerk off, etc. Remember other words and phrases you feel shy to say and practice them.

Fundamental Guidelines for Productive Dialogue

Marshall Rosenberg formulated the principles of nonviolent communication, which also make it easy to construct conversations about sex. He suggests shifting the focus from accusations to empathy and understanding the interlocutor's needs. You need to follow only four rules.

Rule #1 - Observation

Record facts without judgment and generalization. For example, instead of saying, “We never have proper foreplay!” you can say, “I didn't get aroused properly before penetration today.”

Rule #2 - Acknowledging Emotions

Say, for example, “I'm hurting, sad, disappointed, and unsatisfied with this situation,” instead of “You left me disappointed.”

Rule #3 - Identifying the Root Need Behind the Emotion

It is important not to fall back into judgment. For example, the idea that you never come up with anything new in bed is based on the need for variety.

Rule #4 - Fulfilling the Need

Avoid generalizations and be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “You work too much, and we don't have enough sex because of it,” use a sentence like, “Let's talk about when we can spend some time together in bed.”

Remember the Importance of Your Tone of Voice

Your task is to solve the problem, not worsen it. It should not be parental: “Oh, is our mommy not interested in having sex for the first time?” or instructive-comparative: “Dear, John's wife pesters her husband three times a day.”

If you have identified a problem in your sex life, the initiative to solve it should come from you. Don't say things like, “Well, you're the husband (wife). I told you everything, now do whatever you want with it.” This is not acceptable!

If you don't know how to solve this problem and haven't talked about sex yet, you can ask a psychologist or me by clicking the “Question” button at the navigation bar.

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