Let's Talk About Sex with Cam Fraser
on Mar 2, 2022
As a sex coach, I work with a lot of couples to help them connect more intimately and improve their sex lives. One of the most common obstacles these couples experience is difficulty talking about sex. From boundaries and turn offs to fantasies and pleasure, a lot of couples struggle to communicate openly and honestly when it comes to sex.
I have a general rule of thumb I share with the couples I work with which I’d like to also share here: if you don’t feel comfortable talking about a particular sex act, you shouldn’t be doing that particular sex act. Now, let’s discuss some strategies for helping both you and your partner open up about sex a bit more.
One strategy is choosing the right time to have a conversation about sex. Because many couples feel uncomfortable talking about sex, they wait until they’re just about to have it to initiate a conversation about it. This is what I call a “high stakes situation” and is not actually a very good time to begin talking.
You’re typically in a state of arousal and anticipation, and any talk of new sexual activities may accidently lead to the expectation of you engaging in those activities in the moment. This can create unnecessary pressure and potentially detract from the sex you’re about to have. Of course, you want to be communicating with your partner before, during, and after sex, but if you’re only just starting to have more open conversations about sex, a better time to initiate those conversations is in what I call “low stakes situations.”
For example, there is typically a lot less pressure, expectation, and anticipation when having a conversation about sex when out on a walk with your partner. You might like to bring it up while picking up a takeaway coffee together or out on a quiet date night - this can be a great time to talk about sex. Finding other “low stakes situations” for you and your partner to chat all things sex can make it a more approachable topic of conversation.
Another strategy is to pick only one topic per conversation. One of the beautiful things about sex is it is so multifaceted and there are so many things to explore. However, this can also be one of the most overwhelming things when it comes to talking about sex.
When discussing sex with your partner, it can be helpful to have lots of little short and targeted conversations, rather than one big conversation where everything is on the table at once.
For example, you and your partner may be having less sex than you would like, and you’re worried your partner doesn’t find you attractive, plus you’ve recently found porn on your partner’s laptop.
While all related, these can actually be three separate conversations: (1) talk about how you miss being physically intimate with your partner and how much it means to you; (2) discuss your partner’s attraction to you and perhaps share how reassuring it is when you’re more physically intimate with each other; (3) have a conversation about porn and masturbation within a relationship, maybe even suggesting a time to watch porn together.
There are different ways to communicate about sex and sexuality, but something I encourage couples to try is framing their conversations positively and with a focus on pleasure. For example, using “I” rather than “you” statements is less accusative, and helps you take responsibility for your feelings.
You can say, “I feel...” rather than “you make me feel...”
Similarly, say “I really like it when...” rather than “stop doing that.”
This can be helpful when it comes to conversations about introducing sex toys. Instead of framing the conversation as if your sex life is bad and you need toys because your partner is a bad lover, try framing the conversation as if you love being sexual with your partner and you want to find more ways of exploring pleasure together.
Ultimately, talking about sex requires practice. It may start off awkward but the more you have little conversations here and there throughout the week—about pleasure, boundaries, fantasies, and whatever else is important to you— the sooner you’ll feel confident and comfortable talking with your partner. These conversations can be fun, light-hearted, and add so much more depth to your sex and intimacy.