It’s not uncommon to get stuck in a sexual rut with your partner. 🤫 (Hey, we’ve been there. In fact, we’ve written about it on APW here and here.) And if you feel yourself and your partner slipping into a routine of the same moves and positions, you may be looking at ways you can improve things.
While we all know that communication is key in life, speaking up and keeping it real about what turns us on can seem scary or awkward, leading many of us to avoid it… so things stay how they are (which is not always… ahem… great.)
In a recent survey of 2000 US adults, sex toy provider and sexual happiness company Lovehoney found that 20% of couples don’t feel comfortable opening up about their sexual desires. (WHAT?! 🙊 Yup… read that again.)
However, in the same survey, over a third of Americans think it’s a shame that their partners have never discussed what they’d like in the bedroom as they’d like to hear it. (hmmm.. that doesn’t add up.)
So how do we overcome this roadblock? And can it really make a difference to our sex lives? Absolutely it can, yes. YES!
Communication Is Key
Lovehoney discovered that over two-thirds of people who do talk about their sexual desires with their partner revealed that it led to more satisfying sex, with almost half (46%) saying it makes them feel empowered in bed.
Sex expert Sammi Cole explains this might be because “regular conversations help us to check ourselves and reprioritize our sexual intimacy. Talking to your partner about what’s blowing your mind, and what you’d like to see more (or less) of, shows that you’re invested in this intimate relationship. And finding out more about each other’s fantasies can be a big turn-on in itself.”
So, we know that these discussions can help, but how can you approach these conversations if you find them difficult? Well, if you’re worried that it will disturb the peace with your partner, Sammi says that they may not even know you’re having these thoughts and they may not have realized your desires might have changed over time: “when you’re in a relationship, it can feel like you’ve established your sexual tastes and that’s what you’ve got to stick with. But, in reality, they could now be totally different.”
You could introduce the conversation by turning the topic around on your partner and asking if they still like the certain things you do to them in the bedroom. This, in turn, invites them to reciprocate the question. You never know, you might learn that they’re also feeling as though things could be better, which may spark a deeper discussion.
If you’ve figured out what you’re going to say and are ready to instigate a conversation, be aware of the fact that your partner might not want things to change—broach the subject gently. Sammi says “these conversations should never be critical or judgemental and should include a blend of positive experiences (‘Wasn’t it great when we did that thing last week?’) alongside clear but respectful expressions of your desires (‘Would you be up for trying this new thing?’). But remember, neither of you should ever coerce the other into trying something new – try to understand more about your partner’s boundaries, without putting too much pressure on them.”
Could a sex toy help?
If you’re still unsure how you could improve things using words alone, you may find that introducing a couple’s sex toy into the conversation shifts the attention away from yourself and onto an object that could please both you and your partner. Not only are the mutual benefits attractive but talking about using one can open up the floor to talk about what else both of you would like to try.
Starting off with, “Hey, I bought something fun today” could get you chatting about what the sex toy is, why you think you’d both like it, which can then point to what you do and don’t like in the bedroom.
Making these conversations a regular part of our interactions with our partners can begin to normalize them, which makes it easier for us to share our sexual desires and ultimately improving our sex lives. 🎉
More Fun Facts From Lovehoney’s Survey
- The survey found that more opposite-sex couples (44%) chat once a week about what they want
in the bedroom compared to same-sex couples (25%).
- Perhaps predictably, they found that men feel more at ease talking about their desires than women, with 48% of men compared to 34% of women bringing up sexual desires once a week.
- They also found that the older we get, the more regularly we open up about our desires. Over 50% of 35- to 54-year-olds said they communicate once or twice a week, compared to over a third of 18- to 24-year-olds who said they communicate just once or twice a year.
- Interestingly, 96% of single people feel comfortable opening up about their sexual preferences – that’s more than any other relationship stage. Married couples were next at 89%, new relationships (85%), long-term relationships (77%), and engaged couples (61%).
- Here’s the kicker: nearly two-thirds (57%) of people felt that if their partner used a sex toy, solo, without talking to them about it first, they would feel like their partner was cheating on them.😮
What about you APW? Do you think using a sex toy can be cheating? Do you and your partner have regular conversations about your sex life? If not, what’s your hang-up? (Don’t worry, you can post anonymously)