Better Sex for Couples – Communication

This is probably the most sensitive aspects of a relationship, especially a long term one. Some people can discuss their sex lives with everyone except their partner. Then there’s others who can’t discuss it at all. But the bottom line is if you don’t discuss sexual and intimacy issues with your partner, you’re depriving yourselves of wonderful life experiences.

My husband and I have been together for 24 years and the only way our relationship, sexually and non-sexually, has worked is because of the open lines of communication that we have… But we didn’t always.  So…Why won’t some couples discuss it?


Some people, especially men, were brought up to deal with problems internally, by themselves. So some just don’t discuss their problems with anyone. This can be very problematic because many times, it results in a build up of anger and frustration that may come out at a time when it’s most hurtful and cause serious emotional damage.


Emotions always get in the way. Most people feel that if they say something to their lover, it will hurt their feelings. So, the unhappy partner stays quiet. And this unhappiness builds up over time, until the unhappy partner is now the miserable partner. I think it’s better to keep those communication lines open and risk hurting your partner’s feelings for one day or night.

This painful conversation may result in a lifetime of great sex between you and your lover. Hurt feelings and feelings of inadequacy are unavoidable. No one wants to hear that they suck in bed, it’s all in how you approach it. So always approach it the best way you can, how would you want your partner to approach you about it?


Not wanting your partner to feel inadequate or insecure about the way he/she loves you is totally understandable. It does hurt a person’s ego when they find out their lover is unsatisfied in any way. But by communicating about it and sharing your feelings in a loving and compassionate way, you can learn what your partner needs and give him/her the best sex they’ve ever had.

Who knows you may just find out when you express these feelings to your lover that he/she has been somewhat unfulfilled as well. How would you want to find out? So approach your lover with the tenderness that you would want to be approached with yourself. And be willing to hear your partner out if he/she is in the same rut as you.

Fear of Loss or Rejection

First of all, if you approach your lover with the utmost tenderness and compassion, he/she shouldn’t leave you. And if your lover does walk out on you, then maybe you’re better off. It’s also possible for your lover to reject your idea or dilemma. That may be just an initial reaction. Some people are very set in their ways and anything new or different or unknown to them is met with extreme resistance because he/she fears change.

But a little love, compassion and explaining may ease their fear. Things may not be accepted right away, but you’ve planted a seed and allow it to germinate. Revisit the topic at a later date, but stay open about your desires and feelings. Basically, don’t give up, but don’t be a pest either.

Denial of a more serious problem

Maybe your lover is experiencing some physical or mental difficulties that is now spilling over into your sex lives. There could be many issues involved in why sex has not been totally enjoyable. Maybe your partner doesn’t want to admit to this problem and doesn’t want you to worry.

Afraid of Looking Selfish

This is another big concern, but when you discuss it, encourage your partner to tell you what he/she feels is missing too. It should be an open forum. You are concerned about your relationship and you want to make it better, stronger, more satisfying. If your partner really truly loves you, he/she will be willing to hear you out and want you to be satisfied. Sex is always such a serious topic, but it shouldn’t have to be.

Sex should be fun, loving and playful. It can be sweaty, elbows in the face, falling off the bed, pulling hair, etc. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but the goal should be mutual pleasure. And if you start engaging in some activity that doesn’t feel right after a while, don’t be afraid to pull back and do something else.

Remember great sex is all about mutual pleasure. If you’re only in it for you’re own pleasure, then maybe you should consider masturbation. So it’s time to stop dwelling on how unfulfilled you are and start talking. Put your fears and egos aside and start communicating. Think of it like this, if there’s nothing wrong with having sex, then there’s nothing wrong with talking about it.

Here are a few things you should not do when discussing this with your partner:

Don’t bring up the subject at a bad time.

By this, I mean don’t bring it up right before, during or right after sex. Don’t bring it up if you have to leave in an hour to meet some friends or a business client. Bringing up the subject at these times can be very problematic. The discussion will be rushed, it will not be worked through because you or your partner will have to leave. Sex is the most difficult topic for lovers to discuss with each other.

They can talk openly about it to their friends or even strangers, but when it comes to each other, there’s just too many emotions that get in the way. If sex is not an easy topic to discuss make sure you both have time to sit down and express your feelings, concerns or even, hopefully, excitement.

Don’t be accusatory when you discuss your lovemaking.

Saying things like, “You don’t do this.” and “You don’t do that.” and “I don’t like it when you do this.” or “You just don’t satisfy me anymore.” can be extremely hurtful and make your partner feel like a schmuck. If it’s approached in a way that makes your partner feel like he/she has been doing something wrong or not enough, then your partner will be very defensive from the start. And that’s it, once a wall has been built up, your partner is not going to hear you out. And the relationship can become strained because of it.

Don’t make it sound like huge problem.

If you really care about your partner and are willing to work through this, obviously you are by wanting to discuss it in the first place, let your partner know that. Explain to your partner that you just want to experience new things with him/her, that you want your lives together to be as enriching and fulfilling as possible.

Never give your lover an ultimatum.

The main problem is that none of us are taught how to have good sex. It’s just something we’re supposed to know, but most of us don’t know what to do. And that’s fine. Sex is something that you learn and build on. Sex is adult play so anything should be possible as long as all involved consent to it. Your partner will be under enough stress when learning about your unhappiness, so giving him/her an ultimatum will only cause serious damage to your relationship.

Here are a couple of things you should do, when tossing a new idea at your partner.

Do discuss this at a time when you’re both relaxed and feeling open.

Don’t discuss it when you both walk in the door after a stressful day at work. Share your stories and stresses about work or the person that upset you at the store or on the road. Make a nice dinner, clean up and just when you’re both ready to sit down and relax for the night, set a comfortable atmosphere in a comfortable room, besides your bedroom. You want to create a comfortable ambiance that your partner will feel safe and able to express his/her feelings in, an open forum where no one will be judged.

Always be willing to hear your partner out.

There are a variety of reactions that can happen when you bring this up. Unless it’s agreement on your lover’s behalf, you will have some talking to do. Now, I’m not saying to let your partner freak out on you, insult you or be nasty to you because he/she is upset about it. But you must not expect your partner to have no reaction to you, remember he/she is only human.

Listen, answer questions, calm concerns and fears, assure your partner that this is not a huge problem, you just want to find a way to enrich your sex lives. If you really love and adore your partner, let him/her know it, and keep telling him/her that. But be willing to listen.

How about trying an adult video?

Do you and your partner watch adult videos together? There are finally a great variety of sex education videos that really explain the how’s of why’s of having great sex, covering everything from Anal, Swinging, Oral, Erotic Bondage and Sex Toys. And they’re not cheesy at all. They’re very educational as well as enjoyable and they’re bound to stir up and erotic moment between you and your lover. If you’re looking for something a little younger and hipper, then check out Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guides to Sex Series. 

Want something a little soft core?

Well, the wonderful folks at the Sinclair Intimacy Institute launched the Better Sex Video Series in 1991. These soft core videos are produced in cooperation with leading sex educators and therapists and have been designed to stimulate discussion between partners about sex, sexuality and intimacy issues. In a study conducted by the Sinclair Intimacy Institute, 90% of the couples said there was a higher frequency of intercourse and a greater level of satisfaction was experienced.

Not all better sex videos are created equally, so I recommend hopping over to my review site to see which ones are winners and which ones you should avoid:

Don’t like adult videos at all?

Not a problem, there are numerous books written on this topic specifically.  The one book I would suggest just for general information on how to deal with people is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Reading this book will not only help you to communicate better with your lover, but with people in general, resulting in easier and more enjoyable, day to day communications.  This book has been around forever and should be required reading by every person on the planet!

Then there’s The Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides that is THE book on all things sex. It’s one of the most complete, unbiased guides on sex. The more you and your partner know and understand about sex, the human body and even the human mind will open amazing doors to have great sex.

Something that’s really fun is Laura Corn’s 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex. Many times when your sex life falls off track, getting back to things can be difficult because the ideas don’t just come flowing in. This book takes all the worry out of that. It has sealed pages for the man to open up and sealed pages for the woman to open that are filled with ideas for a wonderful night of intimate bonding…and great sex. Truly a very valuable book to have.

Hopefully from this moment on you and your partner will realize how important it is to keep open communication with each other about sex because then you’ll have even better sex! If you both love each other and care for each other, you should be able to discuss what’s on your minds. Relationships are full of good times and bad times. Those that truly care for each other can make it through the bad times, resulting in even better good times. If you both were able to get this far, then you’ll be okay. Just remember to always respect each other.

A little bit of trivia for you:

Did you know that some women in long term relationships have never experienced an orgasm? Did you know that most of these women are afraid to tell their partners, so that when they have sex, they’re just going through the motions? Don’t you think it’s time to ask your partner if he/she is truly satisfied and find out what it is you can do to satisfy them?

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My name is Ann Andriani. Since 1999, I've helped millions of folks sort through their questions and curiosities about sex. I hope that you enjoy your stay with me and benefit from my thoughts and sex advice.