Bedroom Talk

Communicating your desires

Communicating your desires and preferences in the bedroom is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy and satisfying sexual relationship. Effective communication can enhance intimacy, build trust, and ensure that both partners have a positive sexual or even non-sexual experience. But sometimes, starting a conversation about your sexual desires can be daunting.

By Venus Libido

Bedroom Talk

Venus Libido is a qualified Sex Educator, Sex and relationships coach and training Clinical Sexologist and relationships therapist. For the last three years, Venus has been working in the field of sex education, sex toys and pleasure, endometriosis awareness and helping others when it comes to sexual wellness, intimacy, dating and relationship.

Why are we so bad at sexual communication?

If you think about it, when you were growing up, conversations around sex were either incredibly awkward with parents or from unqualified teachers who never explained the pleasure or communication side of sex to you. So it's no wonder that we find conversations around sex awkward or hard to bring up because whenever someone spoke to us about sex, it came from a place of awkwardness or miscommunication or, in some cases, fear-mongering. So, don't worry, it's not your fault!

Here is a guide that helps build the foundations to prepare you for some excellent bedroom talk:


✯ Knowing what you want and how you want it

Bedroom Talk

Sexuality is something we often discover alone. So first things first, we have to do some self-exploration. If you don't know what you like, how you like it, where you want it, how long, how hard, how fast or slow, how do you expect your partner to know? They can't read your mind or feel what you are feeling. So get super intimate with yourself and practise solo play so you can bring that to the table.

It's also essential to learn how your body and mind work in relation to sexual desire and arousal. So this means working out what turns you on and what turns you off and understanding desire and how it shows up for you.


✯ Let me explain desire in a nutshell

Desire shows up differently for men and women, and sometimes, our experiences of desire depend on context. You are not broken, and nothing is wrong with you if you no longer desire sex, or there is a lack of it, or it has changed over time. Our external and internal contexts change, so arriving at desire will show up differently, and the following things can have an impact:

  • Stress about money, kids and jobs
  • Not having sex can even cause pressure
  • Moving in with someone will change desire because of having to make household negotiations/responsibilities
  • Lifestyle changes/hormones

Start mentally noting when you feel sexy or in the mood for sex. What was happening then? What were the conditions like? What did your partner do or say? And make sure to share this with them.

Communication is Lubrication!!!!


✯ Choosing the right time and place and setting goals are sexy

So, most of us think that if we have to talk about sex with our partners, we must be doing something wrong. Because we never see this depicted in films. You rarely see two characters discussing what they want and need pre-sex. So, we are conditioned to think that talking about sex is just not the done thing. But I'm afraid that's wrong; you must stop avoiding the conversation.

Once you know what you want to say, find a relaxed and private setting for this conversation. Avoid discussing intimate matters during times of stress or conflict, and always have these conversations outside of the bedroom, leaving all the physical stuff for the bed. If you can't express how you feel or what you want via speaking, then send your partner a text or voice note.

It's also important to set goals and intentions about what you want so you can come to the table prepared. So, return to your self-exploration and share your findings with your partner.

Pro Tip:

One thing my partner and I like to do, and this is great for those who either are nervous about speaking about what you like or don't like or are not sure about what you want to try, is downloading a yes, no, maybe list. Which comprises a list of things, sexy things, that you both are interested in trying. You should fill these out separately and then come together and check what aligns.


✯ Active listening and what this really means

Listen actively and attentively when your partner speaks. This encourages open dialogue and helps both of you understand each other's desires better. Non-verbal communication is also crucial. Pay attention to your partner's body language during intimate moments. Non-verbal cues can sometimes speak louder than words.

When it comes to sex, it's not just physical. There is an emotional aspect to it, so you need to ensure both of you feel heard and emotionally supported. This could include asking each other what you need outside of the bedroom first to strengthen the connection when you become intimate.

One of the most significant issues a couple can encounter is not feeling like their partner is listening to them and actively making changes. A great way to ensure your partner feels like you are actively listening is to follow up with questions so that you can better understand their concerns, even when you disagree with them.


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✯ Language and why this is important & positive reinforcement

Approach the conversation with honesty and open-mindedness. Use "I" statements to express your feelings, such as "I would really enjoy trying..." rather than placing blame or making demands. It can be easy to fall into the blame game, but we must avoid this.

Always use Positive Language and frame your desires positively and enthusiastically, avoiding negative or critical language that might make your partner feel inadequate.

Also, when you share something you'd like to try or would like them to try on you offer positive feedback, show appreciation for their openness, and encourage your partner to share their thoughts, desires, and boundaries. This should be a two-way conversation where both parties feel valued.

One tip might be to share a previous experience that you remember and enjoyed with your partner and discuss in detail what they did to make you feel good about yourself. Ask if you can explore this again and think about everything you both did to lead up to that positive experience.


✯ Sharing your desires with a partner and navigating rejection

Clearly express what you enjoy, are curious about, and would like to explore. Be specific but also respectful of your partner's comfort level.

One tip I like to offer people worried about expressing their wants is to play a game of this or that. Here, you take turns exploring a part of your partner's body, touching them in one and then another and asking them, "Did you like it when I did it like this or like that?" Then, switch roles. Making things into a game is not only a super fun way to explore but also makes it feel less forced and intimidating to approach.

A big reason why we don't always talk about sex with our partners is the fear of rejection or judgment. The first step is to stop judging yourself. It's okay and very healthy to want to explore and try new things, and I believe if you take that leap and express what you wish, nine times out of ten, your partner will also have something they want to explore.

But even if your partner's response is not what you hoped for, acknowledge their feelings and concerns. Validating their emotions can create a safer space for ongoing communication. If your partner expresses discomfort or rejection, try to understand their reasons. This could help you address any misconceptions or concerns they have.


✯ Gradual experimentation

Bedroom Talk

If you're trying something new, start with small steps and gradually build up. This allows both partners to ease into new experiences comfortably.

Also, if you hit a roadblock, explore compromises. Depending on the situation, see if there are any compromises or middle ground that both you and your partner can agree upon. This might involve finding alternative ways to satisfy each other's desires or gradually introducing new elements. But remember, no means no!

I think it's important here to remind each other that you are on the same team, and ensuring you can create a fulfilling, exciting, healthy sex life together will take time and effort from both sides.

Educate and Learn Together! If you're curious about something new, consider researching and learning about it together. This can make the experience more enjoyable and educational, and you can learn new tips and tricks. A fun way to do this is to either watch porn together, visit a sex shop or even look at some events or conversations you can join right here on JOYclub.

Do you think there should be more communication about what's happening in the bedroom? Or are you worried it'll demystify the sexual experience completely? Feel free to discuss in the forum!

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