ABC’s of Bedroom Talks
Published on 16 Aug 2022 - Updated on 19 Aug 2022
The mainstream media has always shown us the love connection of candlelight dinners and snugly cuddles, but Two and A Half Men has taught us the importance of communication in the bedroom. The unclear expectations, the missing conversations around STIs, the painful after-sex ghosting, and the heartbreak brings to a valuable lesson of ‘the bedroom talk.’
Let’s start with what is a bedroom talk?
While it can imply any conversation happening in your bedroom, we say this conversation is all about intimacy and pleasure-related talk with your partner(s). Yes, it includes the moaning and screaming instructions during sex but, the bedroom talk is so much more than that- sharing likes and dislikes, exploring fantasies, discussing relationship expectations, sexual feedback, and everything in between. However, conditioned to see sex in thralls of shame and discomfort, many couples hesitate to talk about sex with their partner. We seek stability in our relationships, so afraid of our partners' susceptibility to the discussion about sex, lack of satisfaction, or change in desire- we choose not to rock the boat.
Research establishes that consistent sexual communication in a relationship leads to improved sexual wellbeing, enhanced sexual satisfaction, and greater intimacy- forming the holy trio of a healthy relationship. If you are someone who has been holding back from this long-due talk, know that no one is perfect in the 'skill' of communicating in the bedroom, not even your partner. So, take a deep breath, and finish this article to know how you can initiate the bedroom talk.
The bedroom talk checklist
Whether you are indulging in hookup dates or have been in a long-term relationship for the past ten years- the bedroom talk should never be off the table. Here are some things you can explore to start the conversation:
- Sexual Tastes and Preferences: This is the conversation hotspot to attract your partner’s attention! Start with sharing about yourself, and give space to your partner to chime in. Talk about your interests and what you would like to explore with them, and remember to listen to what they say.
- Preferred Mode of Protection: Discussing protection is often avoided by couples to skip past the awkward moments, but what contraceptive to use is one of the most crucial conversations your relationship needs. Do you want to try a ribbed condom for the first time, or if you want to switch to an oral pill- the talk is difficult but healthy for you!
- Sexual Trauma: If you have been through sexual trauma in the past, it is healthy to mention your boundaries to your partner. Remember, it is your discretion to choose what to share, with whom to share, and how much to share. However, sharing your sexual expectations, boundaries, and behavior helps create a strong and healthy foundation for your relationship.
- Your Mood and Libido: Being comfortable while having sex is pivotal for your pleasure. Your partner cannot read your mind, so telling them about your mood and libido magnifies the sexual experience for you and your partner(s).
PS: Your bedroom talk can be as personalized and descriptive as you want, so feel free to add more to the list ;)
How to initiate the Bedroom Talk?
A) Approach Gently
Collecting your thoughts should be the first step to leading this conversation. Your partner(s) might be as wary and uncomfortable with this talk as you are, so remember to approach this talk with vulnerability. Skip the blaming and criticism, and focus on the solutions that can rejuvenate intimacy in your sex life.
If you are in a long-distance relationship, scheduling the conversation helps. Trust your instincts, and share your intentions with them beforehand to help them prepare their thoughts. Feel free to take pauses in the conversation when it feels overwhelming, like Lily and Marshal from HIMYM. Overcommunication is better than under communication, friend, and you can swear by this rule in your relationship!
B) Be Open
We come from different sexual experiences that shape our sexual fantasies, boundaries, and feelings. While having the bedroom talk with your partner(s), be open and accepting of their thoughts, reactions, and inputs. Avoid shame-inducing phrases like, 'That is disgusting,' or 'Ew! I do not want to do this,' to express your disapproval. Take your space to come forward with your discomfort, and create space for your partner to communicate.
Ask questions, acknowledge their emotions, and express interest to make your partner feel comfortable in the conversation. If you are stumped about how to start the conversation, we recommend a sandwich feedback style- start with a compliment, build up to the heavy part, and close with a solution. Schedule time to engage with each others' interests- watch porn together, experiment with sex toys, spice it up with edible lingerie- it is your relationship, and you know it the best!
The bedroom talk is not a one-time conversation, so consistently checking in with your partner is super important. An important reason could be the ever-changing sexual preferences. You might be hesitant to experiment at the beginning of your relationship, but as time passes, you can be open to exploring more in your bedroom.
If your partner has suffered from sexual trauma or associates sex with shame, check in with them during sex too. We are not used to pausing the sex and asking questions- "You do not look like you are enjoying the oral. Is something bothering you?"- but these trivial check-ins enable mutual pleasure for you and your partner(s). They say “Great lovers are not born, they are made” and we agree!
Bedroom talks are scary, awkward and at times, confusing but, it should not stop you from talking about sex! So, gear up and get going to practice the three ABCs in your relationship ;)