Sexual Needs in Love Relationships
Hi, we are Rico and Rebecca and we would like to share our experiences with communication in our relationship. More specifically, we want to look at how you can talk about sexual desires with your partner(s). We know too well how difficult it can be to share your intimate thoughts. Many of us have not learned to express their desires or preferences in an understandable way, without hurting others nor sinking to the ground in shame.
In many romance novels or rom-coms you can hear the phrase “If my partner really loves me, they knows what I need during sex.” This toxic assumption often makes us doubt ourselves and our relationship – and it really is unnecessary… Every person is different. We all have different bodies, feelings, wants, and habits. Sometimes we do not even understand our own feelings. So, how should we be able to read the thoughts of our partner(s)? It is therefore important to know yourself first and to define or guess your own preferences. We are all unique and so is every partner. There is no right or wrong. The only way we can find out what our partner’s desires are is through communication. And that is easier said than done.
Still, it is really important to talk about your desires, so you can discover new things and build a much stronger connection. We have experienced first hand how difficult this can be. The first 2 years of our relationship were done long-distance. Communication was always very important to us, but it could only take place digitally. On the one hand, we found it difficult to be separated from each other, on the other hand, we managed to talk about our sexual desires very well that way. I think it was just easier for us because we both had our safe space.
Through this time we learned (and are still learning) the following points:
Small note: these are all just possibilities. Test out what feels good for you.
What are the types of communication in relationships?
Direct communication of sexual desires - Speak your mind
Direct communication: You speak openly and directly about what you want. Here it is important to listen to each other and really take the time to make each other feel understood and safe. It can help if you set up a time to talk, so no one feels rushed. Ideally, you should choose a place where you both feel safe and comfortable: maybe not in a shared-flat’s kitchen nor in the subway… We mostly use this technique and through regular practice, we have improved our ability to talk directly to each other about preferences or things we would like to try.
Hidden communication of sexual desires - Hidden fantasy
Sometimes it is difficult for us to explain directly what exactly we want from our partner(s), or it is simply uncomfortable to talk to them directly about it. In this case you could use small detours/subtle allusions to draw attention to the topic.
For example, “I heard on a podcast the other day…”. Often it can also help to simply tell about your fantasies without directly involving the partner. These little bridges can serve as icebreakers to get us talking with them. These hidden signs give our counterpart time to think about it and to talk about the thought-provoking ideas without being forced to do so.
Nonverbal communication of sexual desires - reading body language
Of course, you can also use other ways of communication during sex. We often use – mostly unconsciously – nonverbal communication. This means that through body language we show each other what we desire without putting it into words. So it is communicated through body language, touch, and movements, for example, by how tightly we hold each other, touch each other’s hands, or eye contact.
Our Tips to Express Your Sexual Desires
It can happen that a person may be uncomfortable talking about their preferences verbally. Therefore, it is totally important to do this in a safe space. If you still find it difficult, you can try it in the dark. Sometimes it is easier when we do not feel so observed.
Another trick to plan a conversation. For example, you could write down your thoughts in advance and then read them to each other. The writing process allows you to think exactly about what you want to say beforehand.
Either way, we think you should take a few quiet minutes before a conversation to formulate thoughts and wishes in a loving way, because words can also be weapons, but you want to work together as a team and not against each other. Your thoughts should then be communicated as precisely as possible so that you are truly understood. For example, you might say things like, “I really like it when you touch me here” or “but I prefer it a little more tender/further left/from the top down…”. It can be helpful during your conversation to pay attention to the posture of your partner. If it is rather closed, it might be better to try out your new desires (such as role play) at another time, otherwise it might seem overwhelming. If the posture and the general non-verbal communication is positive: go for it.
Also, it is important to always let them know immediately if you do not like something or your boundaries are being crossed!
Finally, a topic that is often neglected: Aftercare. After sex, it is always nice to point out things that you especially enjoyed. This increases the chance that they will be repeated.