Sex is incredibly difficult to discuss, despite the vast range of words to choose from and the huge number of sexual images that surrounds us. However in any good relationship you’ll need to be able to talk about it.
With good communication people can create the four ingredients of good sex, which build on the initial chemistry of attraction:
- Expressing affection
- Finding mutual vocabulary
- Communicating likes and dislikes
- Negotiating and compromising
Communication between partners also means stating things in ways that neither of you find embarrassing, distasteful or silly. If they share a vocabulary, openness and trust, when the partner is asked to do something specific or to stop it, they won’t feel self-conscious. It also gives each other a clear idea of which things they are not prepared to engage in.
Sexual communication tends to be one of the hardest things to do yet it is vital in any relationship. Often people feel embarrassed about expressing their desire for fear of what their partner will think or how they’ll respond. They also don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings.
This lack of communication leads to dissatisfaction with sexuality, which in turn causes its own problems. It also creates a situation of general unhappiness about not being able to fully express yourself in life.
Because sex is so important to us, as the image of being a good lover, when we get told negatively what we’re doing wrong we tend to withdraw.
It is important for people to respect their partner’s communication. This will build deep trust and safety between couples. Sexual communication may also help open the doors in communicating in other areas of life as well.
A majority of parent wants their children to know about sex and birth control and a majority of children want to learn about these same topics from their parents. Embarrassment and fear on both sides keep these two groups from talking to each other.
Research shows some interesting facts:
- Teens don’t talk to their parents about sex because they are worried about their parent’s reactions.
- Most mothers of sexually active teenagers mistakenly believe that their children are still virgins.
- Adolescents who reported feeling connected to parents and family is more likely than other teens to delay sexual intercourse.
- When mothers discussed condom use before teens initiated sexual intercourse, youths were three times more likely in using condoms after becoming sexually active.
- Researches have not found that sex education increases the risk of early sexual activity.
- When parents and children openly talk about drugs and sex, children have better self-control and develop more negative perceptions.
- When teens do not discuss sexuality issues with their parents, they are more likely to “follow the crowd.” This is especially dangerous if peers do not encourage responsible sexual behavior.
Healthy sexuality also depends on good communication between a health provider and patient, and between partners within a sexual relationship. The intimate nature of sexuality poses special challenges to health providers in discussing it with their patients. It is important for the health provider facts about sexual problems to both partners.
The health provided should inform them that:
- Such problems are common among men and women.
- Having a sexual problem does not mean that someone is weak or abnormal.
- It is healthy to discuss sexual concerns to learn new ways to be sexually fulfilling.
To improve communication, both partners must recognize the need for change and be ready to do something about it.
By Meeka O'Brien