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Why it's important to talk about your sexual desires (even if it feels a bit awkward)

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Clearly expressing what you need, when it comes to sex, seems difficult. We don’t want to hurt our partner’s feelings. But there are simple ways for improving your communication about it, says marriage counselor Esther Perel.

When did you last have an open and honest conversation about your sexual desires and needs? It might well be a while ago. Perhaps you never have. We all know communication is the key to good sex, but somehow, we find it hard to talk about it. Because it feels awkward, because we don’t know where to start, because we don’t want them to think they’re doing it wrong. Or because we simply haven’t learned to express what we like. Marriage counselor Esther Perel has helped hundreds of couples to improve their relationship and their sex lives. She thinks it doesn’t have to be complicated.

What turns you on?

At mindbodygreen.com, Perel writes how men and women receive contradictory messages regarding sexuality. Women often hear they should be more assertive in the bedroom, and express what they like. But it’s easier said than done. Perel says women want to talk about it, they just don’t know how to.

Focus on your own pleasure

Women are natural pleasers. They put other people’s needs first. And in the bedroom, that’s a problem: it’s a place where you shouldn’t worry about others all the time, and focus on your own pleasure. According to Perel, many women worry that they take too much time to climax. When their partner orgasms, they give up their own pleasure. That’s a shame, because to most men, there’s nothing more thrilling than seeing a woman genuinely enjoy sex.

Talking about it honestly and openly

It may seem to make sense to talk about what you like during sex. According to Perel, it’s better to talk about it outside the bedroom. That way, it’s easier to express how you value your partner. Couples with a satisfying sex life, dare to be honest about their sexuality and talk about it freely. Perel thinks all couples should make this a habit.

Subtle, but clear

However, it is possible to point things out during sex – as long as you do it in a non-verbal way. Don’t be afraid to manoeuvre your partner in a certain position. That way you show them what you like, without words that might be interpreted as an offense or that might change the vibe. Intimate sex with someone you love is one of the most beautiful experiences. A moment of ultimate connection. Allow yourself that connection and start talking. You will thank yourself for it.

Photo: Larm Rmah