Communicating About Sex

Couple communicating about sex

How to say what you'd like to try and letting them know when they've hit the spot. How to find the erogenous zones. Be honest, positive and demonstrative

Communicating about sex

Talking with your partner about what you like and what you want can take your sex life in new and fulfilling directions and deepen your relationship as a whole, says sex and relationships counselor Suzie Hayman.

No one is a mind reader

In many couples, one or both partners feel that the other doesn't understand how to satisfy them sexually. And I know from my work at a sex and relationships counselor that this can knock the confidence of both people.

The problem is that when it comes to sex we expect to be instant experts, with instinctive knowledge of what pleases us and a partner. But actually, sex is just like any other skill. If we want to learn how to drive a car or ride a bike, we have to start as beginners and take lessons. And with sex, to understand your own responses and your lover's, you have to learn and practice.

This is because everyone responds differently to sex and sexual arousal. Some like gentle touches, others prefer heavier, rougher contact. One person will be turned on by something another finds unpleasant or uninteresting. Unless you're psychic, the only way to get to know your partner's tastes, and for them to get to know yours, is by communicating.

Say what you'd like to try

Talking about what you like and dislike has several benefits. Not only can simply talking about sex add to your excitement, but the more you talk, the more relaxed and confident you'll be with your partner. I know from my work that most people would like more variety in their love lives, but they're held back from suggesting whatever they'd like to try, whether it's oral sex, bondage or new positions, by embarrassment or fear of rejection.

But you don't have to come out with a bald request. One good technique is to find the option you fancy on the web or in a magazine or a book, and point it out, saying, "That looks fun. Want to try it?" The chances are that, far from being put off, your partner will jump at the chance to experiment. (For more ideas see I'd like you to...).

Non-verbal cues

Communication is vital but there's no need to subject each other to a commentary or a barrage of instructions. You can make your needs known with a range of non-verbal cues. (For more ideas see Bedroom talk).

Let them know when they've hit the spot

Next time you have sex, make sure your partner knows when they've found the right place. If they need a bit of guidance, gently move their hands to demonstrate what turns you on. Make the communication two-way; listen and notice the movements and sounds your partner makes, so you can pick up their likes and dislikes, too.

Be honest, positive and demonstrative

If you're going to say what you'd like and ask what your partner wants, there are three important points to keep in mind.

  • Be positive. Don't tell your partner they're terrible in bed. Remember something they did that you really liked and say, "When you did that, I really..." They'll get the message.
  • Be honest. There's no point in faking it or saying you like something you don't, because that gives your partner no incentive and no guidance to do better.
  • Be demonstrative.

Erogenous zones

The most sensitive sexual areas are

  • Breasts, nipples, genitals and lips
  • Ear lobes, fingers, toes
  • The soft skin inside the elbows and knees, the small of the back and the nape of the neck

Related Information:

Read: Exercises to Improve Your Sex Life

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2021, December 16). Communicating About Sex, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: March 25, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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