Updated: Jul 6, 2021
WARNING: THIS FRIDAY FIVE CONTAINS MATURE CONTENT as well as personal accounts of sexual experiences that might be triggering to some people. Proceed only if this is a topic and level of openness with which you are comfortable.
5) Pleasurable Sex Shouldn’t Be A Crapshoot
I think one of the reasons I’ve made a point of being so open about sex on our podcast is because there was a time when I was afraid to talk about it, even with Adam. Actually, especially with Adam. Our communication was lacking, and that was no different when it came to intimacy. Sometimes we had really good sex, and sometimes, we definitely didn’t. It was all kind of luck and circumstance, because we never talked about what actually made us feel good and what we didn’t like. It was a lot of trial and error, and the "errors" left us feeling dissatisfied, annoyed and even sometimes physically and emotionally uncomfortable. I’m not blaming either of us. We just didn’t quite understand that you can and SHOULD discuss sex inside and outside of the bedroom.
One night around six years ago, this lack of communication caused an extremely upsetting scenario for me (you can listen to episode #38 for more about that), and that’s when I knew it was time to change the way we were relating to one another about intimacy. I didn’t want our physical experiences together to be a crapshoot, just hoping that the right erogenous zones were hit or that Adam didn’t decide to do something in bed that I didn’t like but hadn’t built up the courage to tell him (not his fault, I just wasn’t being open and honest). We deserve to be touched in the ways that bring us pleasure, and not have to just “deal with” the aspects of foreplay and intercourse we don’t enjoy simply because we would rather do it than have an uncomfortable conversation. We deserve for our partners to know, and vice versa, if there’s something that turns us off physically or emotionally. This absolutely takes time, courage, and support. But in the end, there’s a trust and bond that comes with this vulnerability and honesty. I think for so many of us, that is the ultimate goal, to truly understand our needs as a couple and as individuals. Hopefully, we’re willing to take some necessary steps to make that progress and better our connection on so many levels.
4) "Good Lovers Are Made, Not Born."
After doing this podcast for almost three years, Adam and I have spoken to so many sex therapists, experts, and couples about what it takes to have a truly fulfilling sex life. The statement we hear most from basically everyone? The better the communication, the better the sex. Each individual’s body and body parts are completely unique. Similar to our sense of taste when it comes to food, physical sensations are subjective. Our longings and desires also change over time. I am not the same sexual being with the same needs as when I got married, or even five years ago. But there is absolutely no way Adam will know and understand this if I don’t tell him. People aren’t just born better lovers. It’s not like we pick a genetically wired good or bad lover. Rather, it’s whether or not our partner is willing to do the work with us to become aware of which interactions will bring us the most pleasure. Is a partner willing to take directions and be redirected without feeling insulted? Is a partner willing to read books, listen to podcasts, and even see a therapist as a means to become more understanding of one another’s needs? There are so many resources out there to help truly transform a couples’ interactions. Partners just need to take the first step and use them.
3) The Benefits of Fantasy Disclosure
by Sara Rosen, The Kink Therapist
Talking to your partner about your sexual fantasies, kinks & fetishes can feel really scary! What if your partner thinks your kinks are weird!? Many of us carry around a great deal of shame and embarrassment when it comes to sexuality. What if our turn-ons don’t align with what we’ve been told is “normal?” The good news is that simply disclosing your fantasies to your partner can have tremendous benefits on your relationship. Fantasy disclosure can vastly improve your relationship, even if you never engage in that fantasy! When a partner is able to feel emotionally supported while being vulnerable, they tend to grow a deeper sense of connection and gratitude as a result of feeling accepted. To ensure that this is a successful conversation, first think about how you would want your partner to respond to something vulnerable that you were sharing about yourself. Even if your initial reaction happens to be shock or even disgust, reserve your judgment. The worst thing you can do is shame your partner for being vulnerable with you. If you can have open, honest and vulnerable conversations about sex, chances are you will be able to extend this skill to other aspects of your relationship. Putting aside your reaction for the moment, thank your partner for sharing an intimate part of themselves with you. Try asking them what their favorite part of this kink or fantasy is. When one partner opens up, this also gives way for the other partner to in turn share about themselves. And you never know, maybe the two of you have more in common than you think! At the end of the day, you can’t expect your partner to know what you like in bed if you don’t tell them, so what do you have to lose?
Make sure to listen to Sara Rosen’s episode with Marriage and Martinis for more insight and valuable tips and strategies. You can subscribe here to get the episode when it’s released. Follow Sara Rosen on instagram and Tik Tok and click here to book an appointment with her!
2) Resources for Better Sexual Communication
Here are some resources in which to indulge for more discussion and education about the importance of sexual communication between partners.
Esther Perel Mating In Captivity
Marriage and Martinis “Let’s Talk About Libido”
Marriage and Martinis “Kinks and Fetishes for Beginners”
Marriage and Martinis “The Disconnection Struggle Is Real,” With Sex Therapist Leah Carey
Sex With Emily “Hotter Deeper Sex”
Ester Perel “I Want To Feel Wanted”
1) Date Night Questions - These questions are about sex and sexual connection. Sometimes these conversations can be triggering for one or both partners. Please read the questions over and decide if this is a conversation that will be beneficial, and in what setting and at what time. Communication is so important and can lead to longlasting transformations in a relationship. But it’s also important for both partners to remain open, honest, and ready to truly do the work. These questions are meant to be asked by one partner and answered by the other, and then the roles should be switched. Remember to do your best to create a space and feeling of safety, understanding, and empathy
On a scale of 1 - 10, how would you say our communication about intimacy is currently?
What’s one specific thing concerning our intimacy that you think we do really well? (could involve romance, a physical act, something that connects us, etc.) What’s one thing we currently do that you really like?
What’s one thing concerning our intimacy that you would love us to work on and improve?
What are steps we could each take to start to improve this immediately?
People’s likes and dislikes change a lot over time, as we are ever-evolving beings, If we don’t keep one another informed about those shifts, there is absolutely no way for the other person to know. Is there something you would like me to know about something we currently do concerning intimacy with which you are not really comfortable?
Is there something that we are not currently doing or do sometimes that you would like to try, or of which you would like to do more? What is it?
Would you be willing to learn more about a certain sexual act or kink as a means to try it? That might mean reading about it, watching something, or listening to a podcast to start?
How do you think communicating more and being honest about intimacy might positively impact our relationship?
For more prompts and questions for open and honest communication, plus bonding challenges and strategies for discussion, get our Date Night Questions Experience ebook.