A guide to help you, or you and your partner, improve your sexual communication.
A great relationship does not automatically equal great sex. Maintaining great sex in a relationship is a skill that is learned and practiced with intention. It’s hard to have good sex without being able to talk about it or communicate before, during, and after. Communication is the best way to transform your knowledge of what brings you pleasure into real, shared experiences.
A term coined by Ian Kerner, a sex script is the sequence of interactions (physical, emotional, psychological) that underlie the last time sexual partners had sex. Most sexual partners, particularly long-term couples, have a kind of default sex script. Often these scripts reinforce sexual problems rather than help them.
Sex is more than just a sequence of behaviours. There needs to be mind-based arousal, not just physical arousal. This means having an erotic thread between sexual events (like regular non-sexual touching, sharing of fantasies, or doing activities that make you feel close to your partner). With sex, as with many things in life, having the willingness to engage is the most important part of the process. Committing to showing up to be sexual with your partner is key.
What is Erotic Intelligence? The Center for Erotic Intelligence defines eroticism as “the ability to balance your beliefs, desires, feelings, and reality with the chaos around you at any given moment,” and says that erotic intelligence is less about knowing positions and more about “knowing who you are.”
Having ongoing, regular conversations about sex, in between sexual encounters, is foreplay. Communication builds excitement, anticipation and connection and can be one of those highly pleasurable experiences that goes a long way to turn someone on while also establishing trust, vulnerability and understanding.
Start building anticipation and creating opportunities for closeness through prioritising regular moments of intimacy, rather than scheduling sex. Plan date nights or nights where you talk about sex. Listen to podcasts in the car or on the couch together. Get curious about your sexual partner preferences and reflect on your own in asking one another questions or hearing new perspectives.