How to Talk About Sex

How to Talk About Sex

How do you talk about sex? When do you talk about sex? Only after a glass of wine? Only in bed? Do you talk about it anytime, any place? Or Never? Do you have rules about what you can or can’t say?

What feeling arises when you talk about it or when you think about talking about sex?

Do you get flush? Do you get embarrassed? Do you get a rush of energy? Do you blush?

If you’re like so many, when the topic of sexual loving comes up you probably notice things – sensations, vibrations, turn-on, discomfort, even shutdown – happening in your body. 

Do you stop and notice what’s happening for you or just push through? If it feels good, do you let yourself enjoy, and even get inspiration from, the experience in your body? If it doesn’t feel good, if it feels downright uncomfortable, are you present to that? You need to tend to your experience no matter what it is.

Whether it feels good or not so good in your body, do you more often ignore what you’re feeling and just try to get through the necessary conversation? Or worse yet, do you bury the feelings because you simply can’t, won’t, or don’t know how to talk about your experience?

No matter what happens for you, no matter what you say or don’t say, it’s ok. It’s common to shutdown around sexual conversations. We are very conditioned to avoid discussing our sexuality.

Too many of us have been taught, if even subtly, that we’re not supposed to talk about sex. We’ve often felt like we had to hide it or whisper it. But we want to have that conversation and we realize we don’t know how to talk to our partner about sex.

I can remember many times, that my voice would automatically get quiet, whispering, when I’d start talking about what turns me on, or especially if I started sharing a fantasy. But probably more importantly, when I wanted to share a need or a boundary, I got quiet, timid, even insecure.

I can remember men saying, “Why are you whispering?” It was, and sometimes still is, that my body automatically tries to keep it “hush-hush.”

Before we go any further, you might be thinking, “Is this conversation really necessary? Do I really need to learn to talk about sex?”

Let’s ask another question… How important is sex in a relationship?

As many of you have been hearing me say for months – we need our healthy sexuality re-awakenedOur sexual energy is our life-force energy, our creative energy, our manifesting energy, and without it we have less vitality, less inspiration, less excitement and joy. And, our intimate relationships suffer.

And, it’s normal to have edges and comfort zones when it comes to talking about sex. 

So let’s look a little deeper… If a conversation you’re having is bringing heat to your body… do you actually get present to the heat?

Or, if the topic makes you want to squirm in your seat with discomfort, do you honor that? Give yourself permission to go slow to honor you’re what you’re feeling. When you honor your discomfort, your level of comfort actually expands.

What we focus on, what we bring our awareness to, gets magnified. If your experience is uncomfortable, start to look for what would make you comfortable – while still having the conversation and not avoiding it.

If the experience feels good, then by paying attention to the buzz between your legs or the excitement stirring in your belly, you’ll magnify and bring more turn-on. You’ll actually get even more aroused. Do you allow yourself that pleasure?

Are you willing to take the risk to see just how turned on and aroused you can actually be? Does that start to bring up your discomfort?  Just notice.

How to Talk about Sex without Being Awkward

If you find you are uncomfortable – either from simply talking about sex or because I’m inviting you to find and expand the edges of your comfort zones, then bring your awareness to the point of your discomfort, to the place in your body where the discomfort feels the strongest, and notice if you can sense the source of your discomfort. 

Is it a should? A shouldn’t? A shame? A fear? A judgment? A belief about what something means? These are the internal conversations that get in the way of the fullness and potential of our external experiences – our deeper orgasm, connection, bliss, surrender, relaxation, fun and confidence. When you change these internal conversations, you can talk about sex without being awkward, weird, or embarrassed.

It’s these internal dialogs, rules and beliefs – that we almost never consciously chose to accept and believe in – that dictate our experience and so-called reality today, in bed and out.

We didn’t choose them, they infused us, conditioned us, from the people and experiences that surrounded us, especially growing up.

These internal dialogs about sex hold us back from our pleasure potential, our joy, and our aliveness.

They also keep us from being authentic and genuinely honest. They have us do things we’d rather not do. They prevent us from sharing and experiencing genuine desires. It’s critical in these cases that you tell your partner that you’re nervous. It’s imperative for your health and happiness that you take one step at a time, discovering it is possible to speak out the truth within you. Get support if you need it. When it comes to long-term relationships, the quality and the longevity of your relationship depends on you developing your sexual vocabulary and the confidence to use it. The good news is when you leave the old conditioning behind, you’ll discover the real truth about sex and pleasure for YOU.

You’ll learn to talk about sex without feeling awkward. The truth is that having (or at least listening to) any conversation about sex will give you ample opportunity to see both where you allow and welcome your pleasure, turn-on and juiciness — as well as where you cut it off, hide it or even repress it. It will show you where you need to talk more. It will show you where you’re stuck, settling or stuffing your words (and needs).

So have a conversation or two this week…

If you’re really ready for a shift, have a conversation a day. 

How to Start a Conversation about Sex

Your conversations don’t have to be long. When it’s feeling good and you want to access more turn on, sometimes you actually don’t even have to have a “conversation.” Just simply tell someone a sexual desire or thought or share a question you’re contemplating and see what happens. 

Alternatively, if you want to talk about sex because you have a need or a desire you haven’t shared. Then you can ask your partner for a time to talk or start the conversation when neither of you are distracted, or tired. In this case, you are best to have this conversation outside the bedroom. Then go slowly. You can stop the conversation at any time. And, here’s the cool thing. If you are the one who has the courage to bring up the conversation, your partner is likely going to thank you. They probably want to talk about it too, but haven’t know how to talk about it.

Either way, before starting a conversation about sex, notice your body… notice your turn-on… notice your withdrawal. What do you need? Support yourself gently and kindly as you embark on this new frontier of talking about sex.

The conversation can happen with a lover of many years – in the kitchen, in bed, anywhere. It can happen with a potential new love. It can even happen while talking to your buddy or best girlfriend and if you happened to get turned on by the conversation, it doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that you’re alive, human, open and in-tune with the energy of the conversation.

When we’re speaking up about the pleasurable feelings we’re having, the conversation and the turn-on can happen anywhere… in the car, at your desk, in the grocery store. And, just because we’re turned on doesn’t mean we have to have sex. You might let it juice up the rest of your life.

Let’s talk about SEX!

Your relationship – present or future – will be some much better for it, if you’re willing to share both your pleasures and your discomforts when it comes to sex.

P.S. Remember not everyone is reading articles like these and may not be as ready as you are. So if you want to talk to someone new about sex, feel your intuition or ask for permission and agreement, to be sure it’s a welcome (if even uncomfortable) conversation.

P.P.S. In the November Soulful Passion Retreat, we come together as men, women, singles and couples to talk about those intimate, vulnerable and truths of our relationship with sex and sexuality. We’ve had couples say, “We’ve been married twenty years and we’ve never been this honest and talked about this stuff.”

Everyone is amazed that it’s not nearly as scary as they imagined and the truth is, in conscious company, they find the realness quite liberating!

*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.

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  1. Jack on February 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I know you're probably really busy with bigger questions … but can you suggest a few fun ways to get a conversation like this started if it IS awkward?


  2. Joanna on March 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Jack,

    One way I've found to get started is to ask your partner if he/she has any fantasies they'd be willing to share… Or, even simpler, "I'm curious about what turns you (or people – if you want to be less personal) on… what turns you on?" Or, last but not least, you an be super direct, call it like it is, and say "I'm nervous and I think it would be fun to talk about sex… are you willing?"


  3. Mynah on October 9, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    The problem is that the language is either campy or sleazy or demeaning, Not easy to express these things in good words. I’m not a poet, and if I were, there’s no knowing if it’s clear and straightforward enough for my partner to understand.

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