Tips for Talking With Your Partner

Long-Term Relationships

Igniting passion is an integral part of keeping yourself and your intimate relationship healthy and happy. This can be accomplished through many ways including daily flirting, intimate bonding behaviors, scheduling private time, and utilizing sexual assistance devices. Couples who experience new things together, both in and out of the bedroom, find new ways to connect and have more fun in their daily lives.

Many couples use assistance devices to enhance sexual health, creativity, and pleasure in the bedroom. However, introducing a new device within an existing relationship can be intimidating and difficult for some people.

Talking About Your Wants and Desires

It can be a difficult task to open up to your intimate partners about your erotic desires. It makes people feel vulnerable and fearful of being judged, criticized, or rejected. To start, agree to be open-minded and non-judgmental and then take turns sharing sexual fantasies. Express what the goal of the fantasy is and how you want to feel before, during and afterward. Also make sure to share any fears or concerns you might have. After sharing, you can then begin a dialogue about possibly making some (or parts of) the fantasies come true. Your partner should never pressure you into to doing something that makes you uncomfortable. If you feel you are being pressured or coerced into doing something you do not want to do, communicate this with your partner or seek professional help.

Another way to share how you want to be touched, loved, or stroked is to share your masturbation practices with your partner. This can be accomplished in a few different ways.

  • Assisted masturbation – masturbation with your partner’s hand on top of yours so they can feel rhythm, pressure, and technique. Think of it as a teaching tool to help you and your partner learn about your body better.
  • Mutual masturbation – Both you and your partner take turns touching yourself and each other while talking about what feels good and turns you on.

When a partner shares an erotic fantasy they are showing a very vulnerable side of themselves. It is very important to be receptive even if the shared fantasy does not sound interesting to you. Here are some ideas on how to respond to a partner who shares an erotic desire:

Saying, “Yes”:

  • “That sounds like something that would be really fun. Can you tell me more about what it might look like?”
  • “I’m very interested in doing that with you. How would that all play out?”

Saying, “Maybe”:

  • “I like your idea but I’m not sure about some of the details. Do you think we can talk about it more and figure out a way to make it work for us?”
  • “I think I might like something like that, but I’m a little concerned about some parts of it. Can we get some more information on it before we try it?”

Saying no or that you aren’t interested:

  • “I’m not really interested in doing that, but I’m glad you shared it with me.”
  • “That sounds interesting, but I don’t think that would turn me on very much.”
  • “Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, but that doesn’t sound like very much fun to me. What other ideas do you have?”

Communicating Your Boundaries and Limits

In order to have a great sexual relationship it is not only your responsibility to communicate your desires with your significant other, but also to communicate your boundaries and limits. This should be accomplished through adult communication free of blame, criticism, and guilt-tripping. Much of this communication should happen outside of the bedroom, but sometimes you may need to set limits in the bedroom if you begin to feel uncomfortable. This can be accomplished by using safe-words. This is an uncommon word (purple, monkey, banana, etc.) that can be said in the middle of sex play that signifies that everything must stop and somebody needs to be taken care of. It may be a good idea to practice using your safe-word with your partner a few times.

Sometimes we are not always aware that something will make us feel uncomfortable or cause a flashback from something in our past. In order to fully let go and enjoy our pleasure, we need to be able to trust that our partner will be non-judgmental and take care of us in a time of need. To prepare for situations like this, set up a care plan with your partner for when someone uses a safe-word. A care-plan is meant to provide a plan of action to help take care of the person, which uses the safe word, in the specific way they wish. It may be helpful to write down a care-plan for each of you and keep it in your nightstand. Even if you never have to use the care-plan, it can make people feel more comfortable knowing that it is there.

“The stage for hot and nasty play is based on a platform of mutual care and respect.”
– Easton & Hardy (2001). The New Bottoming Book.

Introducing Sex Toys to Your Partner

Many people may want to surprise their partner with a new toy in the bedroom. Even though this may be fun for some, it is not advisable if this is a new endeavor or you are introducing a device somewhat outside the norm of you or your partner’s traditional sexual experiences.

Communicating with your partner in advance about desires, needs, and boundaries are recommended for any sexual activity. This includes the use of sexual assistance devices. Open communication will build confidence, trust, and intimate connection so the two of you can better enjoy your intimacy experiences.

There are many ways to help introduce new things into the bedroom such as:

  • Agree to have an open and honest talk that is free of judgment and criticism.
  • Attend a local sexuality education class together
  • Shop an online sexual assistance platform together
  • Read an erotic novel together
  • Visit a local sex toy store together
  • Read a sexual education book together
  • Watch a sexual education video together