As strong, assertive and empowered women, we “speak up” and let our partner know what we need in our relationship. The sex research even tells us that the greatest predictor of sexual satisfaction is positive feelings about our overall relationship.
When we do speak our minds, we may find our partner emotionally and physically retreating. It feels as though our partner is shutting down, shutting us out, and unable to respond to our “requests”. In the end there are often two people who are equally frustrated, feeling emotionally isolated and not knowing what to do next.
It is easy to say, “just talk with your partner about sex”, or, “communicate openly and honestly about your needs”, but it is often difficult to dialogue effectively about such a sensitive topic; a topic that most of us have not practiced talking about beyond jokes or happy hour stories.
In fact, once the conversation is initiated, there are numerous barriers that we must overcome, such as how our partner is receiving the message, how our partner interprets the message, and then how our partner responds (verbally and non-verbally). Even trying to find the right words about sex is tricky!
Most of us do not have practice in communicating about our sexual needs with our partner, but here is an idea that may help you on your quest. Based on the book, The Five Languages of Love, you can discover:
- How you wish your partner would express love, affection, attraction and desire towards you.
- How you express your love, affection, attraction and desire towards your partner that is best received.
First, think about what you complain about most in your sexual relationship. Choose one statement below that best describes you:
1. I wish my partner would simply say, “I love you”, “Babe, you look hot tonight!”, or tell me how smart or funny he thinks I am more frequently; if he did this, I would feel adored.
2. I want more quality time together; we rarely have enough time for intimacy without other distractions (such as TV, cell phone, computer, friends, family).