How to Talk About Sex

3 Ways to Keep It Steamy and Get What You Want

If the sex in your relationship isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, you’re not alone.

Women tell me there hasn’t been any physical intimacy since the baby was born–and he’s four.

Or that her husband is always after her for sex, but she just feels used.

Or that she’s tired of feeling so rushed and pressured in the bedroom. She’ll say her husband’s idea of foreplay is to say “Brace yourself.”

Of course these women are frustrated, to say the least. And they’re wondering how things are ever going to improve with so much resentment and hurt standing in the way.

Life is too short to suck it up and suffer through an unsatisfying sex life, but what’s the alternative? How do you talk about it?

After all, talking about sex can feel awkward, and talking during sex can kill the moment.

Here are 3 ways to talk about sex, get what you want and still keep things steamy.

1. Whisper This at Dinner

As you already know, the advice you’ve read absolutely everywhere about how you should “set a time to talk about your issues in the bedroom–maybe several conversations” doesn’t work.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried that repeatedly, but it didn’t solve the problem.

If it did, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now. We’d be on to creating world peace and ending hunger.

What will help you get the sex life you want is digging deep to find your own desires in the bedroom then expressing them in the positive rather than as complaints.

There’s no need to say “We need to talk.”

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You’re just going to look for a moment when it’s only the two of you at dinner or in the car or watching TV when the kids are asleep.

Then you’ll whisper that desire in his ear.

You’ll say, “I love it when you [fill in the blank]. I would love even more of that.”

Or maybe, “I love it when you’re romantic and draw the bath with rose petals and pour the champagne. I love feeling wooed like that.”

Or it could be, “My fantasy is that we run into each other at a bar and start making out and then…”

Why whisper those words, you ask?

Because what you’re saying is so intimate. It’s private and vulnerable. It’s a special conversation that only lovers have.

You might be surprised at how well he pays attention.

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2. Make It Safe for Sex

You might be thinking, “Whispering desires is great for some people, but it won’t work for me because we have bigger problems than just not having fireworks in the bedroom.”

I get it. I remember when there wasn’t any sex happening around here and how desperately I wanted to have it again–or any form of intimacy for that matter. I didn’t want to suffer any further rejection, so whispering something sexy in his ear seemed super scary.

If #1 above feels like too much of a leap, consider focusing on the emotional safety outside of the bedroom first.

The way to create emotional safety is to demonstrate that you won’t criticize, complain, correct, demean or demand.

Impossible, you say? That’s what I thought too. After all, sometimes my husband makes mistakes, and I’m a mere mortal woman. How would I refrain from pointing them out?

I used to let him know about those mistakes again and again, but I’m happy to say I’ve cut way back on that overrated indulgence. I don’t miss the loss of connection and wall-to-wall hostility that used to cause or the emotional hangover I felt afterward. At all.

I’ve upped the respect, and I keep my criticisms to myself when they cross my mind, which they do at times.

In the beginning, I felt like a mute because so much of what I’d been in the habit of saying was critical, complaining, correcting, demeaning or demanding.

But being quiet was a learning experience. It gave me time to think about myself and the kind of woman I wanted to be, not to mention what I wanted in bed, instead of being distracted by what I saw as his shortcomings.

And it gave him the space to say things out loud that he wouldn’t have before, like what he wanted to do to fix up the house and the backyard or his enthusiasm for going to Mars.

When he shared his ideas and I didn’t point out what was wrong with them, eventually he realized he was safe.

And it turns out safety is sexy.

The restored safety between us helped me find my courage to start whispering in his ear.

3. Give Authentic Feedback

When it comes to being aroused, men are microwaves and women are slow cookers.

If you’re engaging in physical intimacy that’s not satisfying because it’s too rushed, you might feel mad or hurt that he would be so pushy.

But what if he just doesn’t realize you’re a slow cooker? He might think you’re all ready to go instantaneously too.

It took me a while to realize that I was responsible for my own happiness, even in bed. I wanted my husband to be the one to do the right things at the right time to make me feel good.

I wasn’t so good at honoring myself in that moment. Sometimes I would go along to get along instead of slowing things down. I didn’t realize that I was teaching him how to treat me but it wasn’t the treatment I wanted.

How could he know unless I gave him authentic feedback? I made the mistake of making sounds indicating I was having a good time when I wasn’t really.

I was sending the wrong message until I learned to be authentic.

“Authentic” doesn’t mean negative. Criticism has a very chilling effect on intimacy, which is never truer than in the bedroom. Complaining just doesn’t make us hot.

But conveying what I love (not what I don’t) is authentic.

Making sounds that let him know I’m enjoying what I’m doing is authentic, and so is stopping when I’m not.

Sending a signal with my body language, smile and what I’m wearing (or not wearing) is all authentic communication.

For me, it helped to stop focusing on talking about sex and start thinking about honoring myself while we were together, even when it was scary.

Turns out nothing could be steamier.

Which tip could reignite your sex life? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.