Relationships

How to discuss sex with your partner

Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty Images

Relationships

How to discuss sex with your partner

Our culture is obsessed with it, yet it can be the hardest thing to talk about with your partner -- sex. But talk about it you should, says Toronto psychologist and relationship expert Nicole McCance.

"It's very important to talk about your sex life with your partner," McCance says. "It's special, it's sacred, it helps you connect and get close emotionally." Here is her advice on how to have those intimate conversations.

Time it: "This is key," says McCance. "You want to give feedback in the moment -- 'I like the way you're kissing me,' or ‘It feels good when you do that.'"

Be positive: "Don't give negative feedback," she says. "That can feel like rejection or that you're doing something wrong. We're all a little insecure, so always be gentle."

Drop it:
If there's something your partner does that you don't enjoy, don't mention it. Instead, emphasize and reinforce the things you do like. "Your partner will do more of what you like," explains McCance, "and, by omission, will probably stop doing what you don't like."

Linger on:
"Your attitude after sex is crucial," says McCance. "It's important to be together and cuddle. You can say, ‘I really enjoyed that.'" The idea is to continue to feel connected, she says, and to be loving.

Be clear:
Tell your partner what you want in your sex life. "It's hard for some women to open up about what they like," says McCance, "but men in particular like to hear what you enjoy. They want to please you."

Keep trying:
While McCance advises couples not to over-talk their sex life and to try to have those conversations when they are actually being intimate, she also urges partners who are uncomfortable talking about sex to not give up. "It's all about taking baby steps," she says. "It takes practice."

And the payoff -- a closer, caring and more satisfying sex life -- is well worth the effort. 

Learn more about the sexual habits of Canadians across the nation in the results from our 5th annual Sex Survey.
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How to discuss sex with your partner

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