Starting a conversation that’s outside of your comfort zone can be hard enough in itself, but starting a conversation about changing things in the bedroom with your partner is a whole other ball game, believe me, I’ve been there, and the one thing I had wished I did first was to find some helpful ways to go about it.
Yes, I’ve been there, attempting to explore with my husband ways in which we could uncover, recreate and, hopefully, regain that “bow-chica-bow-wow” we had before kids.
For my husband this came naturally, he was open and willing to the conversation topic and already had ideas and suggestions. Whilst my heart palpitated, he just look comfortable and collected during the conversation. This was lucky for me cause not everyone is as open and willing to having this discussion, it can be a bit of a sensitive subject for others.
But for me, I had no idea what to say, how to say it, what to be mindful of. You see I’m someone who does not do well in situations that I have not prepared for or researched about. When I’m facing the unknown I prepare myself beforehand, otherwise, I go blank, I fumble, I freak out, I get stressed and then….. I cry.
Yup, my stress hormones have a direct link to my tear ducts. Thanks, body. Now, to say that the conversation with my husband went smoothly for me is a big fat lie, and to be honest I would be kidding myself if I thought it was going to be a smooth, happy, open, joyful conversation. We were addressing some deep stuff here, confidence, self-esteem, belief systems, roles, our relationship, expectations all of that. Still, I would have liked to have been ‘informed’ if you will of some tips and ideas as to how to navigate such a conversation. I just feel that having done so I would have felt confident in ensuring that I went about it the best way for me and for my husband, and communicated what I needed to.
So, with the hope that I can help at least one person who intends to have a similar conversation with their partner I have poured over numerous articles, from more renowned legitimate sources, that provide guidance and strategies to help guide you when you to want to address your sex life with your partner.
- Prep work – Before requesting to have the conversation with your partner prep yourself by knowing what your sexual style is. Have a moment to ask yourself what your preferences, expectations, fears, desires, concerns, and boundaries are. Have you ever even asked yourself what they are, well, now’s the time.
- Timing – Now timing can be curtail when discussing something that may sensitive to the other person. First, pick a time of day that allows for no distractions and isn’t 5 mins before someone’s usual bedtime. Also, take note of how your partner is traveling, don’t bring up the conversation if they appear anxious, stressed, depressed, angry, and so forth. And lastly, DON’T bring the conversation up right before or during sex. Big no-no. One suggestion was to even book in a time with your partner that suits you both and telling them what it is you would like to talk about.
- Delivery – Start slow when beginning the conversation, ease in, and don’t just word vomit all over them. Ensure that you keep it in the “I”, this means statements such as “I’ve been feeling lately …..”. “I” statements help to stop anyone from feeling attacked or blamed and provides an opportunity to express thoughts and emotions. Also, try and be respectful, talk to them how you would want to be spoken to. Remember you are on the same team.
- Ask Questions – The idea is to connect, explore and discover where you are both at so that you can work towards a goal together. Share the space and ask questions so that you can begin to understand where they are and how they feel.
- Content – Ensure that, somewhere within everything you talk about, you both discuss your expectations, fears, desires, concerns, and boundaries. Writing these down before hand can ensure you get to express and share everything you needed to.
- Keep the lines open – Don’t just have a one-off conversation and then nothing after that. This will lead you right back to where you were. Make effort to have this discussion often, check in with them now and then to ensure that what you both agreed on is still what you both want. Check-in on how your partner is traveling with the new direction you both are taking.
- Don’t avoid – Avoidance of issues in relationships was flagged as a contributing factor for relationship breakdown. If your anything like me it may be uncomfortable at first and awkward but the more you have these conversations the better you will get and as a result you will begin to feel more empowered and confident within yourself.
And lastly, a great quote I read during this little research adventure was the following “A great lover is made, not born”. This couldn’t be any truer. Relationships take work, ongoing work, both of you will change over time which is an awesome experience we are gifted but it means that your preferences will also change so communicate and make a conscious effort to grow and learn with each other.