Shall we talk about sexual intimacy?

First of all, this entry is not meant to judge whether you do or don’t talk about sexual intimacy. This entry is written to motivate you to reflect on yourself regarding this topic.

Why do you like or not like to talk about sexual intimacy?

Most people don’t talk openly about sexual intimacy with friends, family or even their partners. Even though research shows that people would like to express their sexual preferences. Some of the reasons can be:

* It feels too vulnerable to open up about these desires, needs, feelings or maybe people are scared to feel rejected.

* Don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings or create an argument.

* Maybe we’ll realise we both want something different.

* We haven’t learnt to talk about sexual intimacy in our upbringing or our culture.

* Someone could find it difficult to express what he/she wants/likes/needs.

* Learned that it is something you don’t talk about and should come naturally.

Is it something that we shouldn’t talk about and should come naturally?

Can we know exactly what someone wants or needs or feels or likes or expects if we have never spoken to the other person about it? In a lot of relationships we think we know this exactly, but research shows that a lot of the time we don’t know.

How can we know what someone’s favorite color is, or their favorite food is, or their favorite drink is? We know this because we communicate about our feelings, wishes, thoughts, needs, desires.

Talking about sexual intimacy is something we can learn to do. We can give it a try and open up to your partner about your sexual preferences and pleasures. When we give it a try; talk in a respectful manner to create a safe environment, be curious, also talk about what you like, give each other compliments, if you want something different try to formulate that as a wish or something you like instead of being critical. Say what you would like (desire/wish) instead of what you miss (blame). Talk with the “I”- message (desire/wish), not with the “you”-message (blaming). Plan in time if it is a difficult conversation.

Written by:
Flo Westendorp

Registered Clinical Psychologist
Extended Health Care Psychologist Certificate

MSc & BSc (Clinical Health Care Psychology)
SACAC Counselling

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