Everyone has different levels of comfort when it comes to talking about sex. When you’re in a new relationship, it’s one of those topics that is difficult to approach because you don’t know the other person’s comfort level.
Arguably, sex is one of the most important things you and your partner should be on the same page about – for safety and pleasure. So let’s take a look at the steps you can take to have an open, productive conversation about sex with a new partner.
Start The Conversation Early
The sex talk should happen before any sex happens. If you don’t discuss STIs, preferences, and comfort before things start heating up, either the mood gets ruined or someone may be put in an uncomfortable situation. Try to broach the topic over dinner or coffee – when minds are clear and distractions are limited.
If one person isn’t ready to talk about sex, that’s ok! Try again another time. However, if they’re not prepared to talk about it, it’s not the right time to be having sex either.
Have An Open Mind
Avoid going into any discussion about sex with preconceived notions. Sex isn’t one-size-fits-all.
If someone is being vulnerable with you, listen instead of judging. Avoid laughing or mocking your partner’s fantasies. This includes using positive language instead of critical language.
It’s important to remember that just because someone is sharing a fantasy with you, that does not mean you have to participate in that fantasy. This is just the start of a larger conversation.
Being honest with your expectations of sex is also very important. Do not move your boundaries to make others feel more comfortable. Be clear about what pleasure means to you.
Depending on your comfort level, certain questions can be a great jumping-off point or a way to get your partner to open up more. Here are a few questions to get the conversation going:
- What method of contraceptive should we use (if any)?
- Are we exclusively sleeping together, or are we still allowed to sleep with others?
- What do you like in bed?
- What don’t you like in bed?
- Are there any boundaries you are not interested in crossing?
- What is your STI status? Do you get checked regularly?
The sex talk can be complicated, so take it at a pace that makes sense for your relationship.
As a couple, you are exploring a new world together. Being honest and vulnerable is the best path to having a fulfilling sex life. The more honesty and openness from both sides of the relationship, the better your sex life will be!
If you would like support in having these conversations, the Center for Holistic Mental Health and Sexual Therapy is here to help. We can nurture the communication skills needed for a robust, honest conversation that leads to a better sex life. Schedule an appointment today to get started.