Real quick... before we go there
Before we get started… Can you truly honor someone else if you do not honor yourself first? Keep in mind that if you are not right with you, your sex life will not be nearly as fun. If you are struggling with it, maybe check out my last blogging on intimacy with yourself.
I cannot be the only person who thinks about the Salt-N-Pepa song, “Let’s Talk About Sex” when the topic comes up! The opening lyrics are perfect:
“Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be”
TALK ABOUT IT!!! I’m always blown away by how much we joke about it, talk about it with our friends and imply it in the media but seem to freeze like dear in headlights when it’s time to discuss sex with our partners or potential partners.
Wait.. You mean TALK about IT?
I don’t want to minimize how awkward or difficult it can be to both open up and be vulnerable and to hear what the other person has to say without getting hurt/upset. Sadly, in the absence of information, we make assumptions and those assumptions are not typically flattering. It has been my experience that (with some notable exceptions) getting it out and talking about it usually makes it worse. Even in the ‘notable exceptions’ things may really hurt in the short run but got better over time.
When I was looking around for research and interesting things to include today, I found a lot of 'kiss more' and 'look your partner in the eye' and 'don't forget the foreplay.' All of that is good, constructive and true but it's also only part of the equation. Those are the things you can see and time, what about all the things you can't see like trust, stress, self esteem? All of that impacts your sex life too.
Think back to the last time you had one of those days where absolutely nothing went right. You woke up grumpy, got a flat tire, the jerk at work was in rare form and you couldn't get anything done then you sat in traffic for an extra 30 minutes because someone was texting instead of paying attention to what they were doing on the road. Are you all hot and bothered? My guess is you aren't and when you got home that day, you probably didn't look at your partner, whisper something sweet and sexy in his/her ear then give them a passionate kiss.
But that was just one bad day!
John Gottman, PhD made a really good point in a training that I attended when he was talking about conflict and I think it bares true for amorous feelings too.... To paraphrase, he said that statistically speaking that you and your partner are probably both ready to have a difficult/tense conversation about 8 percent of the time. His point was partially that there will be times that you are ready but your partner is not and vise versa so there is a small window when those times perfectly overlap. It would make sense that you are horny and ready to go at time when your partner is not and the opposite is true too.
Going back to assumptions....
If my partner and I are not talking about trust, stress and all the other things that can be barriers to all the hot, steamy, sexy time we want to have in our relationship, it's easy to assume that it is me or our relationship.
ASS + U + ME = assume
So here is a formula for working through the stuff you can't see/measure:
- Get right with you! What do you want/need for feel turn on? If you can't name it, you can't tell your partner.
- Don't assume! If you aren't getting the lovin' you want, maybe it's because your partner is struggling with something you don't even know is a factor.
- Talk about it! Don't bring it up when you are trying to usher your partner into the bedroom. Bring it up when there is no pressure and you both have the opportunity to talk about what what the barriers to getting it may have been.