Sex is a vital component of any relationship, and it’s something most of us are not willing to live without. Sex drive, sex style and sexual communication all weave together to create “sexual choreography.”
When’s the last time you talked to your partner about your sex life together? Here are some talking points for each one of these complex elements of sexual choreography, so that you can develop a beautiful sexual dance with your beloved, and maximize your sexual compatibility.
Sexual desire and arousal are way more complicated than we think. Our sex drive is affected by a variety of things including: hormones, life stressors, medical issues, environmental factors, relationship challenges, social factors etc. Something as simple as a change in the weather can easily put a damper on the mood! Now add to that the uniqueness of you and your partner and here comes a whole new layer of complexities with each of your sexual thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. I strongly believe that differences in sex drive can be worked through as long as both parties are committed to putting in the required work.
Here are some talking points for you and your lover about sex drive:
• How often do you think we should have sex?
• How much sex is too much sex and/or when do you prefer sex?
• How do you perceive our balance of who initiates sex?
• What are your turn ons and turn offs?
• How important is foreplay to get you turned on?
It is also important to keep in mind that sexual desire and arousal, although are closely linked, are two different things. Sexual desire is an emotional and mental response, while sexual arousal is the physiological response. So in essence, your partner may desire to have sex but his or her body may not be responding physically. For example her vagina may not be lubricating. Or vice versa, your partner may NOT desire to have sex but their body may be responding. Keep that in mind and don’t judge a situation if you don’t know the facts.
Kinky, vanilla, freaky, romantic, bi-curious, hetero-flexible or a beautiful custom blend of a few – we all have a “sex style.” Our sex style involves a combination of our learned thoughts and behaviors, favorite sexual positions, sexual preferences, past experience but also our openness to different sexual experiences and experimenting. Our sex style can develop at any time and can also change, based our growth and life experiences. Therefore it is extremely important to learn how to be flexible – literally and figuratively! Allowing fluidity to exist in your sexual style increases your opportunities for experiencing pleasure. Of course, it goes without saying that all sexual experimentation with your sexual style should be safe, sane and consensual between adults.
Here are some talking points for you and your lover about sex style:
• Are you more traditional or open when it comes to sex?
• What positions do you enjoy?
• Would you consider yourself to be more vanilla or more kinky? And what does that mean to you?
• Do you consider your sexual style to be fluid and flexible?
• Is your preferred sexual style monogamy or are you open to having sex with other people i.e. swinging, open relationships, threesomes?
• Do you like sex toys?
• Do you like rough sex or gentle sex?
• Do you like to switch up the routine?
• Do you like sex beyond the bedroom?
Your sexual frustration is your fault! Stop blaming your partner. We are responsible for our own sexual pleasure. We often set our partners up for failure because we think they should automatically know how to please, and this leaves us feeling frustrated. Teaching your beloved might not sound sexy, but trust when you do, your sexual experience life will become a beautiful choreographed experience of synchronized movements, sounds and moments. To help choreograph your next “routine,” perhaps you could consider taking a sexy and sensual sex education workshop together, play lovers’ games, try body mapping and guiding your lover’s hand to your hot spots or just sit down and have a true heart to heart conversation, which brings me to my next point….Speak up!
Faking an orgasm? That’s your fault! We have to learn to speak up! It is important that we communicate our sexual expectations, desires, beliefs and attitudes to our partner even it feels unnatural in the beginning…just try! When we don’t communicate, it sends the wrong message to our partners. When we don’t talk with our partners and tell then exactly how we feel about our sexual experiences, we do them and ourselves a disservice. They may think they are pleasing us when they’re not, and we are not receiving the pleasure we deserve. As a result, not only do we end up dissatisfied, we may end up resenting our partner, which may ultimately result in cheating. It’s important to always remember that we are responsible for our sexual health and pleasure—that is we absolutely must communicate our wants, needs and desires.
Here are some talking points for you and your lover about sexual communication:
• Are you willing to talk about our sex life together?
• Have you ever faked an orgasm with me?
• Do you pretend to like techniques I use and secretly dislike them?
• Do you feel sexually satisfied with our sex life?
Our sexuality is not black and white. It exists on a spectrum of beautiful colors and complexities. Learning to understand the value and importance that each individual places on acknowledging, exploring and expressing their sexuality is key to creating sexual compatibility with our partners. Operating from this lens gives our partners the permission to fully express their sexual selves as well. This does not mean that you or your partner need to change fundamental parts of your sexuality, but rather choreograph your sex life together for ultimate sexual satisfaction.
Dr. TaMara is an internationally renowned clinical sexologist, sex therapist, educator and speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has served as a consultant various organizations, colleges and universities across the country including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Psychological Association, just to name a few. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality!, the premiere magazine for all things related to women’s sexuality and sexual health. Dr. TaMara holds a PhD and Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality, Master's of Social Work and Master's of Education. Learn more about Dr. TaMara on her website at www.drtamaragriffin.com.