Each Wednesday, I answer one of your burning questions on the blog. This week Natalie asks:
Hello Dawn, I love your podcast!!
I recently found it, and I have listened to almost all of them. You are really easy to listen to and you give a lot of great advice!
I am a married 23 year old lesbian. My partner and I have been married for almost 3 years. It has been amazing being married to my best friend.
My partner and I have a pretty good sex life, but we don’t communicate very well during sex. I never know what she likes or not. We like to watch lesbian porn together. I also watch straight and other kinds of porn by myself, but she doesn’t know that. We recently bought a magic wand and I LOVE IT!!! But I orgasm really fast and my wife doesn’t get a chance to cum because she is too worried about pleasing me.
So, I guess I’m just asking for help on how to communicate and how I should approach certain things?
I’m so glad you wrote to me, because this is one of the most frequent questions I get here at Sex Gets Real. (In fact, I loved it so much, I also rolled around in it on the podcast with Karen BK Chan.)
Not communicating about sex is super common. In fact, almost all of us struggle with this at some point, and it takes practice to get better at it.
The great news for you is it sounds like you two have a beautiful foundation that’s perfect for practicing and being brave together.
So, how do you communicate about sex without it being a big scary thing? Here are my tips for getting started.
Talking about sex takes courage and requires vulnerability. That means taking risks, feeling a little awkward or embarrassed, and doing it anyway.
Talking about sex also takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes – but the real secret is that even for folks who talk about sex professionally, there are still certain topics where even the “experts” feel insecure, inadequate, or scared. That’s where that courage comes in handy. Sometimes you just have to leap and see what happens.
Like any skill, your first few attempts will probably be a little rough around the edges. That’s OK! As long as you and your wife know how to hold space for that weird, fumbly feeling, you’ll move through it quickly.
A huge mistake that most folks make when it comes to sex is presenting the conversation as this big, serious thing. Like, “Honey. There’s this thing I need to tell you.”
*insert ominous suspense music*
That doesn’t feel good for anyone.
Instead, frame sex conversations like a super fun game.
Yay! We get to try new things!
Yay! We get to learn new things about each other!
Yay! We get to embark on an adventure and have all these shared memories and all these awkward moments to giggle over later!
Can you feel that energy of excitement? It’s irresistible. Seeing someone you love be SO excited about something is infectious. So, how playful can you be when you initiate the conversations? How can you make it as inviting as possible?
The single most effective method for talking about sex with someone is to ask them questions about their experiences, wants, and desires, and to really listen and hold space for their response with a sense of openness and excitement.
Your genuine curiosity will be much more likely to make your wife feel valued and safe – which is a magical combination.
If you need inspiration for what questions to ask, I created a Sex Map game full of questions and tips. Also make sure you sign up for the Sex Gets Real newsletter because you get a free Yes No Maybe list which is another way to have really juicy, kinky conversations about sex in a non-threatening, light-hearted way.
Looking at your specific situation, you said you don’t know what she likes and what she doesn’t.
The only way to know that is to ask. Ask her when you aren’t naked in the bedroom what some of her favorite touches and kisses are, what her favorite way to come is, what words get her super hot and heavy.
During sex, ask her what would feel yummy in the moment.
If her pleasure is important to you, you could also ask her if she’d be interested in having an evening where she just receives pleasure because you’re dying to explore her from head to toe.
Since you watch porn together, that’s another beautiful jumping off point for talking about sex. As you watch scenes, ask what parts she liked the most and why. Ask what she saw that she might want to try and then set aside some time later that week to try it.
There are some people who get tremendous, mind-blowing pleasure from GIVING pleasure to their partners. Your wife might be one of those people. It’s OK to let her know you’ve noticed how much more often you orgasm during sex and you want to make sure she feels desired and satisfied, too.
Whatever her response is, trust it. Let that be her truth, even if you think it should be something else.
Also, allow her to change her mind. It is entirely possible that at this point in your lives, she is super happy being the giver. In a few years? That might shift completely. That’s normal, too.
A few other ideas are to ask your wife if there are any toys or sex accoutrements that she’d be interested in trying. See if she would ever want to attend a sex workshop or a sex webinar online (I’m working on a few right now that will be available in the fall).
The point isn’t to pressure an answer out of her that makes you feel better, though.
Sexual communication isn’t about manipulating someone into who you think they should be or into liking what you think they should like.
Instead, it’s about creating shared memories, shared dialog, and remaining endlessly curious in each other’s experiences – even if sometimes you don’t understand them.
I hope this gave you some fun ideas for talking to your wife about sex. The more you do it out of the bedroom, the easier it becomes in the bedroom. But remember – there’s always going to be moments of awkwardness or vulnerability. Building resilience to just let things be weird is super OK.
Good luck and have fun sex!
Well, readers – how easy is it for you to talk about sex? What are some ways you’ve fumbled it in the past? Comment below and let us know.
Have your own question about sex, relationships, kink, or your body? Send it my way (there’s an anonymous option) and I may answer your inquiry on the podcast or in the weekly advice column, Wednesday Words.