In the kink community, we like to use scene negotiation forms, worksheets, and checklists. I generally make a pot of tea, and then we have tea while discussing the paperwork. This is because there is a lot to consider when you are about to have a kinky threesome with two of the participants gagged and a role play scenario playing out. Vanilla sex is less complicated. Because of this, you may not need paperwork in order to let your partner know what you need.
Things to keep in mind:
1. Use positive language.
Of course this applies to all communication, but it is particularly important when talking about sex, because it is a very sensitive topic for people.
Example of poor communication: “When my ex Mandy used to lick my asshole it was amazing and I want you to do it just like her.”
Why is this an example of poor communication?
Well, for starters, we’re referring to an ex by name, and that can make it more hurtful, as though you are comparing your partner to someone else. It is often less hurtful to say something like: “In the past, I have enjoyed X.”
Now, another way this is hurtful is that the person speaking is throwing the idea in their partner’s face. We shouldn’t do that when raising new ideas or fantasies. Instead we should try to bring up the idea in a more gentle way, such as “Have you ever given any thought to X?”
Finally, let’s remember that we need to give our partner room to say no if something isn’t okay with them. People can be uncomfortable with various things due to past trauma like rape, previous negative experience with the specific thing, and many other factors. If we introduce a new idea, we need to be willing to receive a “no,” and we need to leave room to hear it.
2. Set the right mood.
When there is paperwork, you need light. Hence I try to use my living room as the place to sit, with cozy warm drinks and comfortable furniture.
However, if you are not doing a kink scene negotiation, then you probably don’t need a handout to talk about it. If that is the case, then I recommend having conversations about sex in the dark, in bed. If possible, it helps to be physically touching in some way, although I can understand that when you feel the need to emotionally pull back, you may also feel the need to physically pull back. We can’t always control those involuntary things that are brain makes our body do. However, maintain physical contact if you can, because it helps. Touch is comforting.
I also recommend music, which is something I use. I don’t necessarily use relaxing music, because often I am trying to create a sexy mood and I personally don’t find relaxing music sexy. You may feel differently. It doesn’t matter what you select as long as it’s something that you and your partner both like. It fills in awkward pauses and provides a helpful distraction.
3. Bring all your love and acceptance.
It is wonderful if you can get some or even most of the things that you want from your partner. However, since people are all very different, you will probably never get every single thing you need from one person.
Therefore, you may ask for some things and get a no. Perhaps your partner doesn’t like role-play. Maybe they don’t feel comfortable with spanking. It could be that anal sex just isn’t their thing.
And when you run into a thing that you would like and you ask your partner, it can be easy to feel like you deserve this thing because you got up the courage to ask. This is natural, but it is also wrong. You need to overcome that feeling.
Yes, it takes courage to ask for things.
However, your partner still has a right to say no.
So when you are talking about things you want, remember that you won’t get all of them. Maybe you really want to go to a sex club and switch partners with another couple. But, maybe your partner is not comfortable having sex with strangers and needs to get to know someone first. Well, just because you want to go to a sex club and have sex with a stranger, doesn’t mean that you get to if you want to stay in the relationship. You both have to be okay with it.
When possible, try to find a compromise. In the example above, you wanted to swap partners at a sex club. However, your significant other didn’t feel comfortable with that because they won’t sleep with strangers. So, you can compromise by getting to know a couple first, and then taking then to a sex club and swapping partners. If you’re all into role-play you can even pretend you have never met once you get there.
The keys to remember are:
1. Get comfortable with the idea of talking about sex.
2. Figure out what you want first.
3. Use positive language, set up a cozy environment, and be prepared to hear “no.”
4. Never stop communicating with your partner, and re-negotiate your sexual interests at least once a year because tastes change over time.
Note: I am sure all of you wonderful people know this already, but I will remind you anyway. Please make sure that you take time to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and think about them before you talk to them. People can be very sensitive about sex.