Relationship Issues Humans are designed to love. We believe that intimate engagement between partners is the golden road to personal growth and development. We are committed to helping you achieve peace and life satisfaction in your relationships
Communicating Honestly About Sex
Being honest about our needs, wants, desires and sexual proclivities remains an incredibly risky business when getting to know someone, and even with long-term, close relationships and marital partnerships. Most of us seem to be to be hardwired with a deep sense of reticence about exposing this part of our self. Contributing to this feeling of risk and vulnerability are the traditional power structures in our society and culture, poor sexual education and persistent myths and stereotypes about sexuality and sexual performance.
For most men and women, perhaps most misunderstood is the role and meaning of orgasm in sex. The implications as to whether one orgasms or not greatly contributes to performance anxiety, such that women feel they need to “fake it” to please the man in the bedroom and men feel they need to give an orgasm to the woman in order to fulfill the requirements of a successful act of sex, like reaching the finish line at the end of the race. The focus on orgasm misses the very real, full body pleasure and intimate pleasure of the experience. This results in dissatisfying experiences for both.
Initiating conversation about your likes and dislikes is a great first step. Simply asking what you like and what you dislike is a great starting point. Additionally, one might ask if there are sexual things that you or your partner might like more than others and why and whether there are things that are a turn-on that you have not tried or would like to. If you want more intimacy with your partner, but you seem to be on different pages, these questions may help generate a conversation like the one above:
What is going on for you right now?
What is holding you back?
What can we do to change this together?
Is there anything you need from me so we can proceed in a direction that gives both of us what we are looking for?
What is going on for you sexually?
It has been said that our brain is our largest sex organ. We have many thoughts and fantasies that are erotically stimulating but we do not share because of shyness or fear of judgments. Dr. Paul Standal finds that sharing your thoughts and fantasies can lead to greater sexual satisfaction and can be an opening in and of themselves. Sharing these parts of ourselves as risky business, since there is always the potentially deeper shame that exposing our “dark side” will bring judgment or that sharing ourselves will make us unlovable, not desired or not chosen. In other words, will you be accepted, loved or desired if you show your partner the real you? Not only does this include our sexual preferences, but our history: sexually transmitted disease, addictions, past physical or sexual abuse and legal issues, such as being jailed, just to name a few sensitive areas.
Here are some ideas to consider:
Use your intuition and consider the other person. How mature is he or she? How will he or she take news that takes away the easy ride of the romantic story?
Talk about the process itself. Ask your date how they decide when and what to share. Have they ever said anything they regretted? Do they wish at times they had been more forthcoming?
You will soon realize your partner’s reaction, whether repulsed or curious to engage further. To Dr. Standal, this is a blessing in disguise, since you really do not want to continue to pursue a relationship with someone who cannot accept who you are. The other part of this is that we are so engrossed with our own fears about our history, we forget that everyone has this unrevealed part of themselves, and every prospective partner has secrets.
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