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How Keeping My Ego In Check Helped Elevate Our Sex Life.

Updated: Feb 26

Communication seems like such a simple concept. A person has feelings

about something, vocalizes it and/or exhibits certain behaviors to send a specific message to a person or group of people. Turns out, communication and effective communication are two completely different animals. I know, right?! This was totally shocking to me, too.

As I’ve recently come to realize, communication hasn’t actually been an issue for me. Effective communication, on the other hand, has been a shitstorm.  Whether it’s because I have issues with confrontation, or get frustrated feeling that I cannot verbalize my thoughts properly, or my diagnosed ADHD that makes it impossible to feel I can focus, the result is that I completely shut down. I’m a passive aggressive communicator, and Danielle is an aggressive/assertive communicator. This blend of opposite styles has created a lot of volatility for us when attempting to solve issues over the years. Never was this more evident than when Danielle decided we should go

deep into the subject of sex and female pleasure on the podcast.

When Danielle and I initially attempted to record the now famous episode, “Awakening the Sex Talk Demons,”  what was supposed to be a useful, calm conversation, became so explosive that we had to stop recording. During the first try, the conversation went in a direction I wasn’t expecting, and I instinctively started to protect my ego. What I thought was going to just be an episode about foreplay and orgasms, turned into what felt like me being blamed for entire generations of sexually unsatisfied, misunderstood, unfulfilled women. Obviously, no man wants to be associated with words like “unsatisfied” and “unfulfilled” when it comes to bedroom performance. Instead of really trying to hear what was being said, I became totally reactive. 

As a teenager who did a lot of making-out and experimenting, I grew defensive when hearing the results of polls that our Marriage and Martinis community had answered. Only 6% of the women said they had actually felt pleasure when making out as teenagers, and almost 90% said they had engaged in make-out sessions as teens more because they wanted to feel attention or “desired.” There was a lot of new, unnavigated territory for me in this one conversation. It felt like a garbage truck had dumped all of these statistics and facts on me, and I should just take this “unloading” and accept it. Most boys (myself included) never learn about female pleasure or the intricacies of female anatomy in school, or anywhere for that matter. In this situation, it truly felt like I was being judged and blamed.

After my initial freakout, I realized Danielle was trying to say that as guys, we were never taught about the details of pleasure for our female partners. When we’re young adults, we let our natural instincts and desire for our sexual pleasures find their way. In other words, we’re horny kids just experimenting and “learning” as we go. As guys, it takes anywhere from five to seven minutes typically to reach orgasm. We’re often so focused on making sure that we don’t take even less time, that we don’t consider that a female needs 13 to 20+ minutes to reach climax, or that sometimes, it might not happen at all. And most of us certainly don’t think about the fact that women may be faking an orgasm. And yet, over 80% of women admit to having faked it, multiple times. These were all concepts I had never reflected on before. I needed time to digest.

After taking a break and having time to process, I started to realize that this conversation was kind of a gift. In the episode, we jokingly made reference that, in order to have these conversations, I needed to be “wrapped in layers of bubble wrap” so my feelings weren’t hurt. At first, that was accurate, But I’ve since realized that as guys, we should embrace these opportunities. These dialogues demonstrate that our partner is invested in making our sex life a priority; that they’re willing to be completely vulnerable to make intimacy as amazing as it can be, for both of us. 

We often record our episodes being the “guinea pigs,” so that other couples will feel permission initiate their own conversations, after learning from Danielle and my mistakes and successes. The I will say that Danielle's tone and delivery of the information absolutely could have been better at the start of the conversation. I did not let her off the hook for that. It felt harsh and out of left field. We both now know there were steps we could have taken to make the whole situation more gentle and effective. Also, sometimes there's no escaping the fact that due to the ridiculously sensitive nature of certain topics, the interaction will probably be volatile before it can really be productive.

Putting ego aside, getting out of our comfort zone, and having a willingness to understand our partner’s true motives can feel impossible. But, honest discussions about what could change to elevate intimacy doesn’t mean that the sex before wasn’t good, or we were doing it all wrong. It might mean that we're stellar in some or most areas, but need to try something different in others. Once we can navigate the initial hurdles, it very well may lead to an emotional and physical connection beyond what you ever thought possible.

Because of these initial discussions, and the work and reciprocal effort that came after, Danielle and I now know each other’s needs in the bedroom on a completely different level. We feel comfortable communicating during sex, and this dynamic has changed everything regarding sex and intimacy. We continue to keep this communication open to see where it can take us next. Nothing is more motivating than knowing you’ve ACTUALLY given your partner a mind-blowing orgasm, because you’ve agreed that faking it is no longer on the table.

Before these conversations, I think Danielle would have said that we often have really good sex. I probably would have said the same thing. But the fact that now I’m damn sure Danielle wants to scream to the world that our sex now borders on "mind-blowing" (please, scream that to the world, Danielle), is worth all of the initial discomfort, arguing, and emotional exhaustion. Dudes, have the conversation. At first it might feel like torture and like your ego is being stomped on, but I promise you, you’ll be thanking me later.


Mark March 7th, 2024 in your calendar, because you DO NOT want to miss out on the chance for a VIRTUAL DATE NIGHT Marriage and Martinis' style! Danielle and I will be answering all your questions, leading couples in a game or two, and keeping everyone entertained for night of connection and laughter. TICKETS WILL GO FAST, so sign up, here!

Want to have these conversations with your partner in a way that's productive, gentle, and even fun? Get our wildly popular Date Night Questions book or ebook, and start connecting in a fresh, healthy, exciting way. Use code "RECONNECT" for 15% off the print version and "DATENIGHT" for 15% off of the ebook.

Subscribe to the Marriage and Martinis podcast on whatever platform you listen to hear more raw, relatable episodes from Adam and Danielle.

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