Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's not rocket science

It seems like several of my friends - male and female - have complained to me recently about the quality or quantity of their sex lives.

When they do, I always ask the same question: "Have you talked to your partner about that?"

And I'm constantly surprised at how often the answer is, "No".

Newsflash: Sex is not rocket science. If you are in a long-term relationship and having "bad" sex: You are probably at least 50 percent to blame.

No, seriously. Own it, dude.

Because I'm a helper and a giver, I'm going to share a little (not-so) secret with you. So gather round and listen very carefully boys and girls, because this is the truest truism about sex that has ever been written:

Communication is almost always the key to better sex.

What? Don't give me that look! I told you it wasn't rocket science. It's bloody freaking simple: Communicate. Cooperate. Enjoy.

I know. Duh, right?

But, still, so many people don't do it!

I know that I have a tendency to be pretty blunt and up-front - yeah, it's maybe not my most endearing trait. But, I just prefer to come right out and say what I think in most situations and on most subjects.

And that includes OMG s-e-x. I'm pretty open on the subject - within certain social limits, of course. I mean, I don't run around bringing up the subject with strangers (Heh, unless this post counts?) or my boss or my grandmother or anything like that.

But with my friends - and certainly with my husband! - there's very little that is off-limits.

If I don't want to talk about a subject: I'll tell you. But if I do want to talk about it, I'm going to just talk about it straight. I'm not going to - if you'll excuse the expression - beat around the bush.

So, I have a really hard time understanding my friends - and, yes, it's mostly (but not entirely) women - who will talk to ME about their sex life, but NOT to their significant other.

Seriously? You're doing it with him, but you can't talk to him about it?! What's that about?

So, these women (and men, too) are unsatisfied or unhappy or bored with their sex lives, and their SOs are either totally clueless, or, worse, they know something's not right, but not exactly what or how to "fix" it.

Geez, people. Do you expect your partner to be a mind-reader?

Despite what Playboy, porn and romance novels would have you believe - there are very few "naturals" at this sort of thing.

Guys: Girls don't really learn the tips and tricks of how to please a man at college sleepovers in between naked pillow fights. You're going to need to let her know what you like and what you don't.

Ladies: Your man studied long hours just to figure out how to get your bra off. Cut him some slack and be willing to help him out with the activities that have a higher degree of difficulty, huh?

Sex is a team sport and coaching is not only allowed - it's mandatory. And, don't forget, practice makes perfect.

Of course, not all communication is verbal. And you don't have to sit down and have an intervention to make small changes. A well-timed moan, a guiding hand, a shift of position, or other non-verbal coaching can go a long way to letting your partner know what you like or don't like. As can being more open to his or her non-verbal cues, too.

And after? Praise the good parts. You might be surprised how well a simple "Wow, Babe, I really loved it when you ... " can inspire a repeat performance.

Best case scenario: Don't wait for a "problem" to talk about sex with your partner. Even if you are perfectly happy, it's still a good idea to communicate about these things. Hey, there's always room for improvement, right?

But, if - heavens forbid - your partner is not rockin' your socks off in the bedroom (or on the floor, or in the shower, or on the kitchen counter, or in the backyard ... whatever), please for-the-love-of-Pete: TELL him or her!

Odds are good that (s)he'll want to know. And will be happy to hear what (s)he can do to make things better for you both. And, hopefully, will be eager to share his/her ideas on the subject, too. Because, trust me, you're not perfect, either.

Even if you don't know for sure what you want or need, that's fine. Talk about that and explore new ideas together.

Yeah, okay: You probably do need to be a little less blunt and a little more ... diplomatic ... than I have a tendency to be. So as not to damage any egos. But, I can almost guarantee that just talking about it will help kick up the heat all by itself for most couples.

Thus endeth the sermon.

But, hey, that's just my opinion on the subject. Ladies? Gentlemen? Any dissenting opinions or supporting evidence on the subject?


Youngblood4ever said...

Since it was a sermon- AMEN! Really, in the last year I have been more open with FiM and our sex (after 10 years) has been SOOOOOO much better. I am sure you are thinking TMI, but really, talking about it has really helped us. Thanks for putting this out there!

Another Suburban Mom said...

I completely agree with you. Good communication is important.

Hubman and I communicate CONSTANTLY in and out of the bedroom and it has really paid off for us.

Of course a weekend away without work and the kids can also be a good way to jump start things.

Anonymous said...

SO SO TRUE!! I had my husband on this blog with me the other day...just to see what I'm doing and saying... hehehehe

I totally am up with you on this one because seriously.. after a couple of months of marriage... we found ~ TA DAH! talking about what makes us happy and what doesn't in those "blissful" moments make them happen often! Now there really is no room for complaints but when it doesn't work as well... we just say it, fix it, and move on to fun stuff!!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I think communicating is KEY also... but I do have to say that sometimes having to tell your guy every little thing and step to take... SUCKS and takes the surprise out of it.

But I understand it is necessary! :)

Amber Lynae said...

I will add my AMEN. I also agree with Shelle that the loss of surprise can make things seem less exciting. But teach my man what I like so he can get it on his own is worth it.

JustRandi said...

I'll add my amen here, and add what an eye opener it was for me when I finally learned to talk to my husband about this.

I thought he would feel criticized, but instead, he was thrilled that I had even thought about it. He had resigned himself to thinking that I just didn't care about our sex life.

I'll just say, things seriously heated up after that. It's great.

Danielle said...

I gripe more about our lack of communication then sex. What does that tell ya! Definitley a corralation.

Youngblood4ever said...

Shelle- that's true, having to tell them everything can take away the surprise and fun, but if your guy is like mine he will take the ideas you tell him and expand. There is still surprise. And more often than not you don't really have to repeat yourself. This isn't like taking out the trash- really. It's sex. The language of men. The one and only time they will ALWAYS remember. They want to remember so they can get more, more often.

ZenMom said...

Youngblood: My TMI tolerance level is pretty high. Share away. :)

ASM: Oh, so true! I love those rare and special weekends!

Anonymous: Yep. Contrary to popular belief, the brain is THE major sex organ!

Shelle: Communication is two-way - if you are talking and he is *really* listening, then he should be learning along the way too - about you and about what makes you happy. And vice versa! :)

Amber, JustRandi and Danielle: Exactly! I have yet to find anyone to tell me that communication made their love life WORSE.

T said...

Hells to the yeah. I COMPLETELY agree.

Personally, I like to talk about sex anyway...


lifechick said...

I think how you communicate about sex can be as important as what you say. For example, if something your partner's doing isn't floating your boat quite like it should, still address the situation in a positive way. i.e. "Honey, you know what would turn me on even more?" as opposed to, "Babe, this isn't doing it for me".