Sex is one of the most difficult topics to talk about openly, and there are plenty of people out there who have never had a single honest conversation with a partner about their intimate relationship. If you’re a total sexual communication beginner, here are some straightforward steps to help you get started.
Start Small with a Few Basic Words
Start with the most basic of basics. Write a list of all the words that feel embarrassing to you (“penis”, “vagina”, “fingering”). Pick one to start with, then say it to yourself inside your head. Repeat it over and over and over until it starts to feel boring. (“Penis penis penis penis penis vagina vagina vagina!”) Then say it out loud, repeating again until it starts to feel ridiculously straightforward. Next, try looking at yourself in a mirror as you say the words. Being in front of a mirror feels vulnerable for most people, so this will mimic some of the vulnerability you might feel actually talking to another person. Take as long as you need working your way through your list.
Move on to Sentences
At this point, you can also start trying out full sentences. If you’re having a hard time stringing your words together, here’s some inspiration:
Make requests, like “I want you to touch my breasts.”
Give feedback, like “fuck me harder.”
Bring up things you could do in bed, like “what would you think of trying anal?”
Look up erotic fiction and read it out loud
It’s fine to be silly or playful, and the sentences don’t even have to be things you would normally say. The point is to keep practicing and getting more comfortable talking about sexual topics.
Pick the Right Time to Bring It Up
The next step is to start talking to your partner, if you currently have one. The hardest time to talk about sex is right before or right after the act itself, so try to avoid those times. Try initiating a conversation when the two of you are hanging out, not doing anything in particular. It also helps if you’re both relaxed and in relatively good moods.
Talk About Talking
Start by telling your partner what it’s like for you to even attempt this conversation. Say something along the lines of “I want to talk about our sex life. It’s nothing bad, I just want to challenge myself to talk about it openly, because I’ve never done it before. It’s really embarrassing for me to even bring this up, so do you think you can try to be extra supportive?” You can even text or email that to your partner beforehand, to minimize your embarrassment even more. If your partner has a heads-up about the fact that you’re struggling, they’ll be much more likely to be supportive (unless they’ve got a streak of masochism).
Pick Easy Topics
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to discuss your entire sex life in one go. Instead, pick one single topic to bring up or question to ask. I recommend picking something that’s positive and doesn’t have a specific goal in mind. Here are a few suggestions:
“What do you like most about our sex life?” “What is one of your favorite sexual memories with me?” “When do you feel the most turned on?”
Once you get more comfortable asking these kinds of open-ended questions, you’ll feel more confident about bringing up the trickier stuff.
Cheer Yourself On!
Acknowledge every little step you take, and congratulate yourself for being brave. You’re doing something that many people never allow themselves to do!