Around here, we often assert the importance of communicating with one's partner. We talk about how crucial it is to talk about sex or protection or boundaries or relationships or whatever else. But it's often really difficult to have these important conversations. Sometimes it's hard to even know how to start.
Research and good ole' common sense both tell us that one of the best ways to make these conversations easier is to practice them ahead of time. Indeed, practice does make perfect. For that reason, we're starting a new series of posts that should provide a safe space for you to "try out" some of these hard conversations and get feedback from other users. By sharing tactics, locations, and even wordings, we can learn from one another about what might work well in a given situation to help bring up the "big topics" and make discussion more productive.
The rules are simple. Tell us a little bit about your relationship (same-sex/opposite-sex, how long you've been together, what the general tone of your relationship is, etc.) and why you want to have this conversation right now. Then, try out the conversation. Be as specific as you possibly can about location and what you plan to say. If you'd like, you can even fill in what you think your partner's responses would be. Think about this like writing a script for your conversation.
For example: Relationship: Together for 2 months, heterosexual relationship, both of us are generally open to conversation, partner sometimes gets embarassed when I try to bring up sex. Location: Kitchen table at home, having a snack Conversation goal: We haven't been sexually active yet, but lately things have progressed physically. We may be sexually active soon, and I want to talk about boundaries before something happens that someone regrets. Conversation: Me: "Hey, lately I've been searching around on the internet and I found this really interesting site. One of their articles talked about how important it was to talk with your partner before becoming sexually active. Our relationship is really important to me and lately we seem to be becoming more physically intimate. I think it's time for us to talk about some of this so that we are both on the same page. I know it can be difficult and a bit uncomfortable, but I really want us to talk about this. What do you think?" Etc.
So, how do you talk about sex with your partner? How do you start the conversation? Where will the conversation occur? What will you actually say?
Feel free to contribute whether you have already had this conversation (it'd be great to see some "re-creations" of conversations that have worked for folks in the past) or if you are getting ready to have a conversation. Whether you are not currently sexually active, are talking about beginning to become sexually active for the first time with a partner, are thinking about engaging in a new activity, or just need to renegotiate some areas of your partnered sex life, post your proposed conversations.
Remember...the only rule is that you should be specific. Give us the dialogue (not just the shortened, "well, we'll talk about boundaries, and then condoms and everything will be fine" version) that you are thinking of using.
I remember the first time I brought up sex, we had been together for 8 months. We had started having oral sex a little before then, so I was starting to feel some pressure (created by myself- he never pressured me).
A very nervous me: "Look [boyfriend], there's something I need to talk to you about. I know we're becoming sexual, and I'm fine with that. I love you very much. But...I don't think we'll have intercourse for a while. I just, don't think I'm ready. There's so many things that could happen- I could get pregnant, you could look at me differently...I just think we should stay at the place we're at." Him: "You're right. We are young, and you could get pregnant. But nothing could ever change how I look at you. You would still be the same person. But I will NEVER pressure you into anything- I only want to do it when you want to."
Embarrassingly enough, this was done through e-mail We pretty much didn't discuss sex again until I told him I was ready at 15 months. I was nervous as hell when I first this up, but he was very calm and collected. After getting used to talking about sex with my friends and this website , I became very comfortable discussing it with my partner and anyone else, for that matter.
-------------------- "My grandmother never gave gifts- she was too busy being raped by cossacks." ~ Woody Allen Posts: 107 | From: United States | Registered: Mar 2006
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I feel kind of proud of me and my boyfriend, because I don't think we've ever been too embarassed to talk about anything sexual. We probably talk about sex at least once every phone call. Whether its just what we'll do next time we see each other, or just telling each other what we like, its never been a huge ordeal to just bring it up. I don't even have a big long coversation between us to post. There is no pressure. If I don't want to do something I just say so, same for him...As for talking about protection, we tried condoms and he told me he couldn't feel anything, so I got on birth control. A very smooth transaction. I think I take my relationship for granted sometimes because this just reminds me we're open about everything.
(um i just relized i'm on a differnt account..this is Shroomroom)
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