Although many experts believe that a majority of marriages today are in distress because of financial reasons, problems with sex and sexuality rank high, too. In fact, the topic of sex is the number one problem discussed in online relationship forums. It seems easier to talk to a stranger online than to your own partner! These conversations can bring up a log of anxiety in you and cause you to avoid having them altogether.
Know that there are some strategies to make these talks easier and you are likely to find it worth the effort.
When Is the Right Time to Talk About Sex Problems?
- Do not talk about sexual problems in your bedroom or at bedtime. Pick a more "neutral" location. Make sure the kids are not in earshot!
- Do not talk about sex right after having sex. Again, pick a more "neutral" time as well.
- Do not blindside your spouse. If you want to talk about sexual problems, let your spouse know (without placing blame) that you think the two of you need to have a talk about your sexual intimacy. Set up a time to have the talk.
How to Talk About Sex Problems
- Have a "soft start" to the conversation. Begin with your goal to feel closer and connected with your spouse. Avoid blaming.
- If you do not want to create more problems in your sex life, don't purchase any sex advice books or sex toys without discussing the issue with your spouse first.
- Talk with one another about your expectations, your fears, your desires, your concerns, and be honest! It is critical to talk about your innermost feelings about this.
- Do not be afraid to talk about what you like sexually and what you don't like. Your comfort level is quite important to a satisfying sex life.
- Realize that you may have to have a few conversations and not just one long conversation.
- Explore with one another your "sexual styles." All couples have these styles or moods at some point in time during their married lives:
- Spiritual: This is a union of mind, body and soul that reflects your deep appreciation of being with one another. It can be created by noticing the small moments in your lives.
- Funny: This style is when you can laugh and tease one another in bed. It is about having fun together. There is a light and playful undertone.
- Angry: This is making love even when you're ticked off at each other. This style can be healing. However, be sure that your problems are eventually talked about and resolved.
- Lusty: This style is wicked and flirty. You may be giving each other seductive looks or doing a "quickie." This is also about the joy of having sex just for the sake of sex.
- Tender: This style is the gentle, romantic, healing sex that involves massages, light touches, and ministering to one another. You both are into the sensations of sex and focus on giving each other pleasure.
- Fantasy: The fantasy style is a collaboration between the two of you to be daring and to experiment a bit. Be careful about sharing your personal sexual fantasies with one another. If you do decide to share your fantasies with your spouse, the two of you need to set guidelines and honor each other's limits.
It has been said that "Good lovers are made, not born." If you truly want your sexual relationship to be all that it can be, you should take time to talk with one another. Communication is the key to great sex. This conversation is necessary for all couples—whether you are newlyweds or older, long-married couples. Having a healthy sex life is a great gift and a gift to be enjoyed and nurtured. It is what makes a marriage special—more than just a platonic relationship.
*Article updated by Marni Feuerman
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