Have sex conversations that succeed (tips for talking about problems)Aug 18, 2021
Welcome to the community. Where passion for life and healthy sexuality connect beautifully and easily. I'm your host Amanda Ammons and my goal in life is to help you thrive and a huge part of that is your sex life. Your one life was meant to be amazing, sex included. You most likely haven't been shown this but I'm here to tell you beautifully and intricately made. Made for more made for the best. However your journey brought you here join me in a new conversation about one of the most amazing things ever created. Intricate, passionate intercourse. Together let's break the shame cycle. Let's learn how to please and be please. Let's fight fear, find freedom, and freaking have fun. Welcome for the passion connected show.
Alright guys! Oh my goodness I am so excited for today. I love what we're about to talk about and I cannot wait to get into it. First though, I wanted to say I am in absolute awe with how this last week has gone. I have been amazed with all of the feedback I've gotten and even more so I’ve been so honored by everyone who has reached out to me everyone. Everyon who has given me feedback on the podcast. It has been such a good week. This entire week has also been really confirming that there are so many people out there who need this message, and feel like they're the only one,or that they're alone. And I want to tell you that you are not alone. I had so many people reach out to me that I didn't expect and that just goes to show you this topic is needed and it is relatable. So if you're one of those people feeling alone or wanting validation that you're not the only one with issues or whatever, feel free to find me connect with me. This podcast is not supposed to be just me talking to you. I want you to feel free to come talk to me and be a part of my community. Be a part of the people that I have around me because they are awesome.
Which is a perfect segue into what we're talking about today. We are talking about having good communication about sex ,specifically today about communicating with your significant other about hard topics like your sex life, sexual boundaries with each other, sexual needs, desires, frustrations, all this stuff. I am so excited to talk to you about it today because not only have I learned a lot about communication styles in psychology but I have learned a lot simply through trial and error in my own relationship. From the beginning of our relationship, Kileab and I felt a little different. So when people typically go to premarital counseling the advice that they get given is that they need to make sure that they have conversation. That they talk about conflict, make sure you're talking about the difficult things, and not just hiding stuff away. It can be all fun and games at the start or you're all on the same page. But kileab and I were just not like that at all, at all. Really, we really needed the opposite of advice if anything sometimes we talk about issues too much. We kind of actually enjoy the conflict because we become closer. So I like discussing things that are wrong so that we can take action on them and relate together and he really likes talking about the hard things because he doesn't really want superficial conversation. He likes to find deep meaning, find deep feelings behind things, so we're quite pair. It’s… we’re fun. The advantage of this is we have really learned how to do conflict well and we've got a good system. Now there's not to say that we are perfect in our conflict always but we have great tools in our back pocket to have the conversations that some people find difficult.
I got asked this week about how to have those kinds of conversations. If your conversations about sexuality tend end in more confusion, more hurt feeling, misunderstood or attacked or like the conversation really didn't do anything, really didn't benefit you. I've got a better way. It isn't easy and it's going to take practice, much like anything else good in this world, but it will be so so so so worth it and it is a game changer for your sex life.
OK so hang in with me here because this first point is probably gonna turn you off, but it is important. First, before you ever go into conversation about sexuality with each other: stop and check in with yourself. It's really easy when the topic is emotional to us to sort of bypass a personal check in. But this is probably the most important step if you have a problem with how things are going down with your significant other or your spouse related to sexuality. It's probably going to be a more difficult topic or a difficult conversation especially if you don't have these kinds of conversations normally and you don't want to bring it up if you don't know what you feel or think.
So counselors are trained that most people bring things to counseling and whatever they're talking about is normally the tip of the iceberg. They think it's a big issue, they think this thing that they're bringing is the most important thing but really the bigger issues tend to lie underneath the surface, under that water. For example there's a time in our marriage where I really wanted my husband to be more excited when he came home. I would bring up the idea of sex, he absolutely loves having sex with me don't get me wrong, but this was during his season where he was running on fumes. He was exhausted, he was working a lot, and when he would come home in the evening (as much as he thinks I'm hot stuff) he wasn't necessarily thinking I am emotionally ready for sex right now. I was wanting that from him. First of all I was putting unrealistic expectations on my husband to always be excited when I was excited. But bringing up the issue in that moment wasn't helpful. Why? Because the issue wasn't that I wanted him to be excited about me or excited for sex really once we finally got down to it. It was because I was alone all day and he was with others all day and I wanted to be important to him. It wasn't until we got to the root of that issue that things actually started to get better. Things made more sense and as we went along we've both learned to do quick checkins with ourselves and ask “why is this important?”. Is there something more here? Why does this topic matter to me.
Do whatever works for you, however these questions are best answered. Whether that's journaling or sitting or thinking, whatever you need. For me it's always taking a shower. I get so much emotional clarity when I shower. It's kind of a running joke between us but it's like if I'm having a lot of stress and there's things that I can't handle or I don't know what's going on in my life, we both are like time to take a shower! There you go Amanda! But if you feel like there's a conversation you need to have, you have got to make time for yourself first. Care for your own thoughts first before you put your thoughts onto somebody else.
Whoo! OK I feel like that was a hard one for me to say because often it's a hard thing to do. Sometimes we might not have as much justification as we think we do for an issue that we think is present. Doing that check in, some of us are nervous, because we know man there's going to be something that’s actually the problem. Or it is something we need I need.
And along those lines something ,I have found to be true is the idea that most of the time if we're wanting something from our significant other it's because we aren't giving that to ourselves. We want affirmation we're attractive and a lot of times it's because we aren't affirming ourselves. We don't tell ourselves “I am so attractive, Dang I am hot!” but we want someone else to say it. Or we want our spouse to pay more attention to our feelings and a lot of times it's because we are not giving ourselves enough time or space to process those feelings, to acknowledge them and give them the time they deserve.
So do checkins! It's so important make sure you know what you're actually bringing to the table before you bring it to the table. So from there what do you need to do if you really do need to have this conversation? An absolute must is learning to bookend your conversations. Go into the conversation both knowing how it's going to go down. We're going to talk about the expectations for the actual conversation, like what's going to be said and all of that. But first I am talking about physically bookending the conversation. Have an entrance and an exit strategy. By this what I mean is, if you two have great conversations on a drive then that is where you should have this conversation. If you have great conversations with a cup of coffee at your kitchen table then start the conversation there where you both already connect and are comfortable together. Alternatively if you have awful conversations when you confront each other right after work or you have awful conversations about sexuality when you're already in bed. Don't do it there! Don't plan for it there! Figure out when and how you are going to start the conversation and do it in a lighthearted connective space where you both feel comfortable. And have an exit strategy as well. How are you going to end the conversation? Where are you going to go, what are you going to do, what are you going to say? A lot of this has to do with what you both need such as affirmation or space. My husband and I for example we like to cuddle and watch movies or play a round of catan or code names. (board games if you haven't played those). So we tend to end hard conversations that way. It's a way for us to remind ourselves we’re on the same team and just like we would have played the board game before we ever had the conversation, we're still gonna play it afterwards. If it's something that we would have felt connected on before we had this conversation, we planned to do it afterwards. It reminds me of what Mike Mason has to say in his book practicing the presence of people every relationship has doors and windows and walls. Practice entering through the doors and the walls, far from presenting an obstacle it will be a source of warmth and security. Don't try to blast your way through the walls. Guys walk through the door together. Like I said last week: go in hand in hand and walk out hand in hand.
Lastly we're going to set expectations before you talk. This is what are we actually going to do, what are we actually going to say in the conversation, how is this going to work. This is huge! Every single couple and every single conversation has its different needs there are times where you may just really need that person to affirm and hug you and there are times you may be trying to solve a problem together and you both want to come away from the conversation with a solution. Maybe you both just need individual time to say something to each other without the other person saying a word. Dither way it's crucial you set this up beforehand. Tell each other! Specifically say “I need a listening ear, what do you need?” “I really need you to help me solve this problem because I'm feeling lost, what do you need?” Because one of the most detrimental things to a conversation about sex is partway into the conversation telling your partner “that's not what I need” or “you really don't understand”. Because in that moment you create a divide and what you're really saying to them is you aren't good enough, this conversation isn't working, it's your fault. And friends let me tell you: that doesn't make sex any easier. Sex is it's best when you connect person to person mentally, emotionally, and then physically. Help each other connect. Help each other be a team. You might come away from the conversation feeling like we really didn't understand each other or you know we're kind of still at odds or the problem is really still there. But if you follow these tips despite the original problem whatever it was your sex life will be better. It will be healthier if you connect as a team. A lot of times the actual topic of conversation is less important than how you both feel about it afterwards. Give conversations about sacks their best chance for success you can do a friends! I really believe in you I believe that you are a game changer in your own relationship. So real quick wrap up. Check in with yourself. Make sure you know why you're bringing this up and what you're actually feeling, where the hearts are or where you want the change. Make sure to bookend your conversation with positivity go into it with a good setting and atmosphere. Exit out of it with a good setting and atmosphere and three set expectations so each of you knows what the other person needs. Then cater to those things, cater to them that is so important alright friends I will see you next week.
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