How To Have An Open Conversation Around Sexual Needs And Expectations In A Relationship

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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Talking about sexual needs and expectations can be tackled with the simple step of communicating with your partner, but it is not that easy. Sex and sexual needs are topics that are often scrutinized, criticized, and looked upon with shame. The stigma attached to it makes it hard, especially for women, to communicate their needs and desires. You can start doing so by communicating, of course, but there are some ways you can go about this. You could try to explore with your partner and ask them about what they like and are comfortable with before executing anything. Slowly, you will learn about each other s interests, comfort levels, and other important aspects. This may also lead to you both finding activities that you both like and are comfortable doing together.  

Some Other Things You Must Discuss Are 

  • Changing moods 
  • Your desires 
  • Lack of sexual desires 
  • Potential family planning
  • Discussing safe sex 

Some Common Challenges You Might Face In Doing So 

  • Not knowing how to start 
  • Being insecure 
  • Lack of acceptance 
  • Lack of listening skills
  • Mutual Insecurity 

Things To Consider To Have An Open Conversation 

While doing these discussions, it is important to consider these points to tackle the above challenges and have an effective and fruitful discussion 

  • Value Each Other And Their Opinions

Since sex and the topics surrounding it are mostly sensitive for people, valuing people is important because you may end up hurting someone s self-confidence. Valuing the person is as important as valuing their opinions and accepting them  

  • Speak Respectfully. 

Having a disrespectful or complaining tone will lead to anything but a fruitful and effective discussion. Speaking respectfully goes hand in hand with valuing the other individual. One must have an accepting attitude when heading into such discussions 

  • Choosing The Right Time And Location 

It is also important to choose the right time and location. A location that is convenient for both, and discussing ‘lacking’ just after having sex might not be the best time. An appropriate time would be when you both are emotionally stable 

  • Willingness to compromise

It is rather unreasonable to look for a ‘perfect’ sexually compatible partner where you give and receive everything without any compromises. There may be instances where your wants are not met, and vice versa. It is essential to still respect and value what the other person is comfortable with 

Importance Of Open Conversation In A Relationship?

Supporting free and open communication in partnerships has numerous benefits. Firstly it allows to develop trust between the partners through which you can have frank communication without hiding anything. Secondly, effective communication plays a crucial role in resolving disputes constructively. It involves actively listening to the partner s perspective, even if it differs from one s own, and finding mutually beneficial solutions to problems. Thirdly, in a relationship, it is important to work as a team and collectively solve problems and daily life circumstances. By expressing ideas and emotions openly and being receptive to each other s input, they can make informed and satisfying choices. 

Moreover, communication promotes closeness and intimacy in the relationship By sharing feelings, thoughts, and experiences, partners can deepen their understanding of each other. Additionally, open communication contributes to a sense of fun and enjoyment in the relationship. It is way through which you can have playful banter and enjoy spending time together 

The absence of open communication regarding one s desires could lead to an unhappy sex life and ultimately an unhappy relationship. While sexual intimacy is not all of what a relationship is, it is definitely an important aspect. Hence, adequate time must be given to build sexual compatibility, because the chances of that being the case from the very beginning are very low. It takes a lot of time, acceptance, and effort to reach a point where you both feel comfortable enough to talk about everything that you like, dislike, or desire in an open, healthy, and respectful manner. 

Learning about these subjects can be done through various sources, such as books, articles, forums, and even therapy. Sometimes, it is difficult for people to discuss and sort out these issues by themselves, so the involvement of a therapist becomes necessary. People often fail to choose the right time, tone, and environment to have such discussions, which ultimately leads to arguments and no solution at the end. A therapist allows the people involved to go in a solution-oriented direction and navigate differences in order for the clients to lead a better life overall.

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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