Even in our day and age we are bombarded by images of women in lingerie on prime time television. We hear Salt-N-Pepa songs replay on the radio. Alyssa Milano often makes headlines for her activism surrounding breast feeding in public. In this context, it might be hard to imagine that anyone has difficulty discussing sex in his or her relationships. However, there is still significant stigma in our society around sexual issues, having them as well as discussing them. Unfortunately, it is very common for people to have trouble broaching these topics with their spouses or potential partners.
The reality is, if you want to have a happy and healthy relationship, you have to be able to talk about sex. This can include your own, as well as your spouse’s, sexual needs, desires, and dreams. The conversations could also involve sexual histories and what meaning sex has for each of you. Some people, for example, identify with sex as an important love language, or way that they communicate and receive affection as a sign of their love in the relationship.
What should always be discussed no matter what is safe sex, both concretely and emotionally. Make sure both of you have gotten an STD test prior to engaging in sexual intercourse for the first time. Use protection for STDs and birth control to prevent any unwanted pregnancies. Discuss what works best for each of your needs with regards to protection. Discuss what your limits during sex are, what you like, and anything you know you don’t like.
If you are struggling to talk about these issues with someone you love, there could be a variety of explanations. It is possible you grew up in a home that did not openly discuss sex and sexuality so the topics are uncomfortable for you. Or maybe you had an unsettling sexual encounter previously which has made talking about sex difficult for you. There could be a variety of other reasons. Whatever the cause, it is important to figure out what is blocking you from being able to discuss and address it. Relationships that aren’t able to talk about sex, often don’t last as long as ones that do. Make learning to deal with and talk about sex in your relationship a priority.
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