Sharing our bodies isn’t the only thing that can make us feel vulnerable. Sharing desires also feels scary, but it's one of the best ways to increase intimacy and connection.
When you can step up and do the scary thing first, it makes it easier for the other person to share. This is true for everything from having a safer sex talk on a first date to sharing a sexual fantasy after twenty years together.
Here are some ways you can practice opening up:
For more sensitive topics, find time alone to answer the following questions:
Go ahead and write out your answers. Take your time to try to get at the root of what you want to share.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to share, find a good time to talk to your partner. Keep in mind that some people become insecure when their partner suggests something they want to change in a sexual relationship.
Start by complimenting your partner and letting them know how much you enjoy your sex life with them. Then bring up the change you'd like to make by using your 3 answers above:
Once you've tackled any big conversations, it becomes easier to share smaller bits of feedback in the moment. For instance, with sex, practice sharing how you like to be touched.
Masturbation can be a great starting point to consider what you need. For instance, do you like less pressure or more? Do you like a slower caress or faster? It may change as arousal increases.
When you practice giving feedback, consider how you say it. Try combining positive and constructive feedback together by using 'AND' instead of 'BUT'.
For instance, instead of saying X feels good, BUT change Y. Try removing the word BUT to avoid minimizing the positive feedback. Try this instead:
"You are hitting the right spot AND more pressure feels good."
You can also word it as a question. Just be sure to leave out the BUT:
"Your tongue feels so good. Could you go a little bit slower?"
While it can take some time to develop the habit, getting used to opening up can strengthen your relationship and your sex life.