Women’s Sexual Health: Start by Talking about Your Needs

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Women's Sexual Health: Start by Talking about Your Needs
Women's Sexual Health: Start by Talking about Your Needs

You may feel uncomfortable talking about your sexual experiences and desires; however, your partner can’t read your mind. Sharing your thoughts and expectations about your sexual experiences can bring you closer together and help you experience greater sexual enjoyment. To get started:

  • Admit your discomfort. If you feel anxious, say so. Opening up about your concerns may help you start the conversation.
  • Start talking. Once you begin the conversation, your confidence and comfort level may increase.
  • Set a time limit. Avoid overwhelming each other with a lengthy talk. By devoting 15-minute conversations to the topic, you might find it easier to stay within your emotional comfort zones.
  • Talk regularly. Your conversations about sexual experiences and desires will get easier the more you talk.
  • Use a book or movie. Invite your partner to read a book about women’s sexual health, or recommend chapters or sections that highlight your questions and concerns. You might also use a movie scene as a starting point for a discussion.

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    Sharing your thoughts and expectations about your sexual experiences

When you’re talking to your partner about your sexual needs, try to be specific. Consider addressing these topics:

  • Time. Are you setting aside enough time for sexual intimacy? If not, what can you do to change things? How can you prioritize sexual intimacy?
  • Romance. Do you and your partner have the same definition of romance? Is it missing? How can you reignite it? How can romance set the stage for sexual intimacy?
  • Pleasure. What gives you individual and mutual enjoyment? Be open to hearing your partner’s requests and negotiating differences if one of you is uncomfortable with the other’s request.
  • Routine vs. rut. Has sex become too routine or predictable? What changes might you make? For instance, explore different times to have sex or try new techniques. Consider more cuddling, a sensual massage, masturbation, oral sex or the use of a vibrator — depending on what interests you.
  • Emotional intimacy. Sex is more than a physical act. Remind each other that it’s also an opportunity for emotional connection, which builds closeness in a relationship.
  • Physical and emotional changes. Are physical changes, such as an illness, weight gain, changes after surgery or hormonal changes, affecting your sex life? Also address emotional factors that may be interfering with your ability to enjoy sexual activity, such as being under stress or feeling depressed.
  • Beliefs. Discuss your beliefs and expectations about sexuality. Consider whether misconceptions — such as the idea that women become less sexual after menopause — are affecting your sex life.