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Communication in the Bedroom

If a couple doesn't tell each other what their sexual needs and fantasies are, odds are they won't be met.
If a couple doesn't tell each other what their sexual needs and fantasies are, odds are they won't be met. Over time, this can lead to many challenges in the relationship and a loss of interest in intimacy. In many situations (but not always), women aren't sexually satisfied with the experience and over time lose interest in sex, particularly when life starts getting busier and more stressful. Without being able to tell their partner what’s going on, odds are it will only get worse. Dr. Steve McGough let’s us know which questions you should be asking your significant other (and vice versa), as well as what topics you should be bringing up, along with s a brief explanation for each, in order to keep the lines of communication open with you and your partner between the sheets.

If you’re not in a monogamous relationship where you've already addressed this, you need to talk about each other's sexually transmitted disease/infection status.

You also need to talk about condoms and birth control. While the health concerns are obvious, many times even when condoms are used there can be fear or concerns in the back of your mind if you don't communicate with your partner about this topic.

You need to talk about birth control and make sure you're on the same page with what you want, and don’t want.

If one partner wants to have children and the other doesn't, you need to talk about it. This is also something that might be in the back of your mind, and cause you to not enjoy the experience as much.

Ask your partner if you can both agree that you won't judge each other for anything they ask or tell you -- and be willing to do this.

Also, agree that while each person is completely free to ask what he or she wants, neither partner is obligated to do whatever they ask. It has to be consensual. Ask them to do the same. Agree that if something you hear does bother you, remember that it is just a desire or fantasy, and recommit to not judging them. Once you have that agreement you can begin exploring and sharing things that might be more embarrassing or you felt you might be judged for previously. Also, if your partner wants something that you don't want to do, ask them if there is any alternative that they would also really enjoy.

Agree that neither of you will judge each other's appearance. Ask each person to acknowledge this.

Many times a partner will be embarrassed about their body. This happens more often with women, but it can definitely happen with men, as well. This stress, at best, will reduce the quality of the experience. Many times though it can significantly interfere with sexual response and ability to orgasm in some people. Let your partner know that you are sexually attracted to them, and at least while you're together (if not always) don't worry about appearance and enjoy the moment.

Ask your partner what they want sexually, and be willing to tell them when they ask the same.

This is important because most couples don't tell each other. If they say they're fine with the current activities, ask them what else they "might" want to try. Sometimes, after a few separate times when you're together and you ask them what else they "might want" they'll decide to tell you what they really want. If they are adamant that they've told you everything, accept it (don't push the issue). If this seems uncomfortable, try playing a game where each person tries to think of the craziest sexual activity they can think of. It is agreed that just mentioning it doesn't mean you're going to do it. You're just playing a game to get more comfortable talking about these topics.

Ask your partner if there are times they are "in the mood" and you don't know -- and talk about ways to tell them if you're in the mood to make sure they know.

One situation that frequently happens is one partner (often the male in heterosexual relationships) is "in the mood" while the female partner is exhausted and not interested. He then tries to initiate things over several different times when the woman is tired, and becomes frustrated. Over time, many men resort to masturbation in private. Later, especially if she isn't confident in saying how she feels when she's "in the mood" and only leaves subtle clues (which the guy doesn't get at all), she becomes frustrated. Over time, they both become frustrated. Another situation can happen where one partner resorts to regular masturbation because they are turned down frequently. This then becomes a habit where they aren't as sexually responsive when the other partner is "in the mood." Both partners are now frustrated thinking the other has lost their sex drive. Just asking the question, “When you’re in the mood can you tell me?” can head off many potential problems later -- particularly after children, more job stress, and such get added to the lifestyle making it harder to find time for intimacy.

Ask your partner if they would like to have a time "just for them" every week/month/etc. Also ask if they are willing to do that for you.

This is above and beyond times you are together to take care of each other. During each person's "just for them" time the other partner needs to ask them what they'd like.  This can be sexual or just a foot rub, etc. It's totally up to you. Doing this on a regular basis (as you can work it into your schedule) will demonstrate to each partner how much you care about each other in a very powerful, nonverbal way. This can also be a really nice stress reliever to know that on a certain day each week or month your partner is going to do what you'd like so you can have an amazing orgasm(s), massage, etc. and you can just relax afterward with no obligation to reciprocate until their "time" on another day. This mutual caring for each other tends to enhance the quality of your relationship both when you are together sexually, as well as anytime. If your partner wants you to do something that you aren't comfortable with, ask them what alternatives they would also really enjoy. For example, in some cases, a partner doesn't enjoy performing oral sex. However, there are great techniques using oil and your hands or certain toys, sleeves, etc. that can mimic those sensations and often provide even more intense stimulation.

If you've been in a relationship for a while, ask each other what new activity you could explore together that you haven't experienced yet.

This can be great homework for a new intimate adventure. Get books, watch videos or hit the Internet and Google crazy things.

Dr. Steve McGough, D.H.S is the Director of R&D, CTO hi® Master Level instructor and Director of R&D at Women and Couples Wellness, LLC, Associate Professor of Clinical Sexology, Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Steve is regularly interviewed by outlets such as Prevention, Redbook, CNBC, MSN, Women’s Health, Medical Daily, Glamour, Ask Men, etc. Steve McGough discovered the technology behind “hi” when trying to help Wendy (his wife) recover from a tragedy.

Dr. Steve McGough

"Dr. Steve McGough the author of numerous books dealing with wellness, massage, and intimacy. He has a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from the IASHS, and a BS in Biochemistry (focusing on nutrition) from UNC-Chapel Hill. Steve has an extensive background in massage and various Asian healing practices. He's the Director of R&D at Women and Couples Wellness, and a professor of Clinical Sexology. During graduate research, Steve developed new techniques to help women with anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm). Through this, he's worked with several thousand women and couples researching female orgasm. Steve has been published in academic journals on topics ranging from neuroscience research to sexology. He has multiple US & International patents in areas for women's pelvic and sexual health. A distinction with his approach is the view that sexual health is an integral part of overall health. Steve is frequently interviewed in Prevention, Women's Health, Medical Daily, CNBC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Ask Men, etc. He & his wife Wendy frequently teach at Young Swingers Week, Naughty N Nawlins, Hedonism II, etc.
  • Anonymous
Nov 16, 2019
Communication is so very important for the longevity of a healthy relationship whether it be monogamous, polyamorous, open or swingers! Good article and content. Thank you! IG @MCEntertainmentandServices