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Friday, February 20, 2009

NEGOTIATING SEX WITH YOUR PARTNER




Dr. Weston Edwards wrote this INTERESTING article and I thought it would be nice to share it with you guys…One of the most difficult tasks in any relationship is being able to comfortably talk about sex with our partners.  The issues can range from simply how often and what to do to whether or not the relationship should be open, monogamous or some variation thereof. The main goal is to be open AND honest about what you want so that you BOTH can be happy @ the end of the day. So THE key component of sexual health is a similarity between your values and your behaviors. As you think about sex with your partner, there are a few things you should make sure that you are doing and they are:

  1. TELL HIM – Have you communicated what you like and don’t like with your partner?   Too many times I’ve run into couples saying to one another “I didn’t know that.”  For any number of reasons (shame, self-esteem, fear of being judged, not wanting to upset their partner), clients won’t talk about their likes and dislikes. Now is not the time to be bashful. 

  2. ASK HIM– Once you know what you like, do you know what your partner likes and dislikes?  It's important not only to know what but why he or she has these interests.   For example, I worked with a couple where one guy wouldn’t bottom because it physically hurt.  It turned out the pain was due to anal warts, and once those were addressed, the problem went away.   

  3. LEARN – Don't be shy if you don't know how to do something. Whether you're a top or a bottom, you need to learn some basics regarding foreplay, stretching the sphincter muscle, proper clean up and so on.   

  4. GET HELP – If after going through the first 3 steps you find you are still having problems, you may want to seek some outside help. This doesn't necessarily mean therapy or counseling, although professional help is a very good option for more challenging problems.  Try having a frank, "out of the box" conversation in which you look at creative outlets and avenues to get your sexual needs met. These could include talking to your spiritual adviser, attending a body electric or similar sexuality workshop, or reading "The Joy of Gay Sex."  Each of these interventions might be helpful in breaking the log jam in your relationship. 

  5. PRIORITIZING – Some relationships are not focused on sex because they are rich in other ways, such as shared values or emotional connections. Consider the importance of your sexual request.  Are you willing to live without it? In looking at the whole picture you might have to agree not to engage in the behavior.  This is often the case in 'kinkier' types of sexual behavior.  If you absolutely are unwilling to live without the type of sexual behavior, consider the next two ideas. 

  6. SUBSTITUTING – If your need or desire is important enough that you choose to not live without it, you and your partner need to negotiate an alternative way to get your sexual needs met.  This can be difficult and elicit significant fear, jealousy and raise other issues.  It may or may not require changes in the type of your relationship. For example, if your partner loves BDSM and you don't, would you be comfortable if your partner visited these kinds of websites in order for him to chat with others so he can indulge in the fantasy?  Or, if you are both "bottoms" you may have to incorporate "toys" into the relationship. 

  7. TRANSITIONING – In my experience, ongoing and significant issues regarding sex can be symptoms of underlying problems with the relationship.  While no one likes to hear it, the failure to arrive at a solution might suggest the relationship may not be a healthy one.  A hard and honest look at your relationship may reveal it isn't healthy and may need to end.  An example of behavior in an unhealthy relationship might include saying things like “Yes I’ll do it” but never intending to follow through.  Or constantly trying to persuade your partner to engage in a behavior is also manipulation and not a healthy sign.  If you are both stuck in this area and don't see a solution, seeking outside professional help may be the best and possibly the last option for you.


Sexual satisfaction is a major component of overall relationship satisfaction.  Research has repeatedly stressed overall health is connected to relationship satisfaction.  If you continue to struggle in this area, I strongly recommend seeking additional help from a qualified professional. 

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