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Great sex requires communication. There is just no way around that. Getting what you want is simple: you must tell your partner what or how to please you. Often couples use negative feedback to direct their partners, leaving them feeling bad and turned off.

Being bossy is not sexy, unless otherwise specified. However, telling them what you do like is much sexier and more effective in getting the kind of sex you want. This exercise is the first step toward opening the lines of communication about sex with your partner.

Talking about sex is difficult for most of us. Until I started talking about sex for a living it was challenging for me. We are not taught to talk about sex and often sexual words have negative connotations around them. For many of us, we have never developed the vocabulary and skills needed to discuss sex. This becomes a problem.

Sex Appreciation Instruction:

  1. You will need 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted time together.
  2. First each of you must independently write down 5 things each of you enjoy currently about your sex life.
    • It can be anything from a technique, act, position, talk, or the way your partner looks. It really doesn’t matter as long as it is positive.
    • They don’t need need to be same nor does your partner have to like it, just as long as you enjoy it put it on the list.
    • You can do more then five but you both must agree to the same number and stick to it. No bonus ones!
  3. Decide who goes first and rotate turns until the list is complete.
  4. The first to go says “I appreciate …, because it makes me feel …”
  5. After each partner tells the other their item on the list, the one listening can only mirror what the other was saying by saying:” I hear that you appreciate when…, did I miss anything?”
  6. Then repeat the part your partner missed, until your partner mirrored the complete statement.
  7. Switch roles until all appreciations are done.

Things to keep in mind when doing this exercise:

  1. It maybe embarrassing and uncomfortable to say sexual words. That’s OK. Acknowledge those feelings and discuss them with your partner. Given time you will feel better and better saying sexual words.
  2. Under no circumstances are you to react in a negative way to what your partner appreciates. Being judgmental about what your partner likes, does nothing but make your partner feel inferior and embarrassed. These are not sexy feelings.
  3. When it comes to sex no one is obligated to do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing.  If it’s on your partner’s list all that means is that they appreciated it.
  4. Set a sexy mood as you would for a romantic sexual encounter.
  5. During this time assume positive regard and, if your partner says something upsetting, it was unintentional and they are trying to give you their best. I am not saying to not feel but just not to react negatively but rather to react with empathy about how difficult this may be for them to disclose.
  6. If you are the one receiving the appreciation just listen and avoid the impulse to respond or comment about what your partner appreciates. Just receive it in full.
  7. Make sure the appreciation is positive. Saying “I love it when you actually want to put out” may be an appreciation, but your partner will not feel appreciated.

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Nelson, T. (2008). Getting The Sex You Want: Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together. Quiver Books:  16-17.

David Fishman