Why is talking about sex such a big deal? Much of this comes from our own limiting beliefs. These are thought pattens that undermine our self-esteem and create negativity. I’ve outlined a few below. As you read them, note which ones resonate with you. Feel free to add your own.
- I should be able to read my partner’s* mind. If I can’t then I have failed.
- Sex should always be spontaneous and not planned. Otherwise it isn’t “good sex”.
- If I have to work at something then it indicates there is a problem. And anyway, “work” means Boring.
- I have been raised to fear my deepest cravings, including sexual desires, wants and needs. Therefore, I should deny them all and not discuss anything.
Choose one of the above and spend time thinking about why these thoughts are there for you, and how you can address or reframe them. This isn’t about rejecting your limiting beliefs, it is about drawing them in, examining them, and using them to promote positive change.
What is a good approach to starting a conversation about sex?
The best sex comes from great communication. And remember, desire changes all the time so stay curious about yourself and your partner. Evulve has sections on menopause, pregnancy, and discomfort free sex.
- Choose an intention on how you want to approach the conversation. Tie it in with how you want your partner to feel at the end of the conversation.
- Set your own boundaries on what you are comfortable talking about. And, crucially, let your partner know.
- Focus on talking about yourself, your own thoughts and feelings.
- Listen to Hear, not to Respond.
- Repeat back what your partner has said, to check your understanding.
- Allow time for the conversation, value it, and be aware that humans process information at different rates.
Activities to promote communication
Think of new activities to do with your partner. This means you get to see them in a different light, learn more about them, and unlock deeper conversations. For example,
- Listen to a podcast on kink together.
- Attend an online or IRL workshop e.g., rope workshop, check out Brighton Rope, they do inclusive fun workshops.
- Both set up a new email address for the sole purpose of sending sexy messages. You can also use it to send website links of new sex toys and accessories. Maybe even try using an app controlled sex toy.
- Read an educational book, and write notes in it, so when your partner reads it they get a sense of what is standing out for you.
- Look at photos of lingerie and talk about what turns you on.
All these activities are playful. Play has enormous potential to unlock us, heal us, promote vulnerability, and allow us to be un-selfconscious.
Tips on navigating a “maybe”
Sexual practices can be described as a Yes, Maybe, No, depending on whether it is something you want to explore or not. Sometimes our partners want to try something that is a Maybe for us.
Be open to explore where your Maybe comes from. Did you try it before with a previous partner, or with your current partner and didn’t like it? Do you know for sure this will still be the case? Are there elements you can adapt that make it more attractive and palatable? Comfort zones are there to be stretched and can lead to a surprisingly new and hot addition to your sexual repertoire. Always keep consent and safety at the forefront. For example, check out these Ohnut Soft Buffer Rings.
Explore your thoughts around Giving and Receiving. Does one work more for you, do you switch, what situations work best for you? Would changing the giving/receiving dynamic work for you if you want to try that Maybe again? Can you do a Maybe for yourself first, and see how you feel? Such as this power bullet.
And focus on the journey, not the goal. Being outcome-focused can set up unnecessary pressure. Go get that amazing sex you totally deserve!
Visit @evulvesexshop on Instagram for the IG Live “Sex Talk” conversation with Ali.
*Partner describes romantic partner, play partner, poly lover, ethically non-monogamous connection and all other relationship designs relevant to you. You can also conceptualise Partner as relating to your experience with yourself.
Ali Hendry (she/her) is a certified holistic relationship coach. She is the relationship columnist for DIVA Magazine, and presenter on Channel 5’s Lesbian Guide to Straight Sex. For a free 30-minute session to explore if coaching is for you: www.alihendry.co.uk/contact Check out her tips on TikTok @alihendrycoaching.
Founder: ah coaching