Sex is often good, but it can always be better.
There is one step which the average couple can take which will improve sex. The step is to talk about it.
It seems too simple, yet the primary characteristic between a couple with a happy and healthy sex life compared to a couple who experiences great sexual frustration is the ability to openly communicate about sex. (See: What I Tell College Students About Married Sex)
When a couple cannot discuss the topic without feeling shame, guilt, insecurity, attacked, or being unheard, they are unlikely to have their needs met or meet the other person’s needs.
Good sex requires good communication.
Yet communication is rarely easy, especially when it comes to sex. (See: Two Steps to Solving 90% of Relationship Problems)
Couples fail to communicate about sex for one of three misbeliefs:
1. Some believe good sex should happen naturally. They believe there is no need to talk since everyone knows how to have sex. If sex isn’t going well for a couple with this misbelief, they assume the problem is their spouse, not their lack of communication.
2. Some believe good people don’t talk about sex. Believing sex is bad and dirty, they get embarrassed to talk about the act.
3. Some have tried to talk about sex and aren’t willing to risk more rejection. When a discussion about sex doesn’t go well, the temptation is not to broach the topic again. If a conversation goes poorly it can result in a fight or in feelings of deep hurt. (See: The Warning Sign of a Bad Marriage You Might Miss)
The answer to these three misbeliefs is humility, truth, and mercy.
Humility recognizes that we don’t know everything and we all need to learn.
Truth recognizes that sex is a God-ordained and God-designed event when it happens between a husband and wife.
Mercy gives us extreme patience and kindness with ourselves and our spouses when discussing difficult topics.
With humility, truth, and mercy, couples can learn how to talk to one another about sex. This is never one discussion; it should be an ongoing conversation through the life of the marriage.
It’s only by discussing these topics that we can learn how to bring pleasure to one another. (See: The Greatest Aspect of Sex)
Yet there is one moment in which couples should not talk about sex. Never talk about sex while in bed. A good conversation about sex should happen over dinner or on a walk or just before sex or well after sex, but it should not happen at the time or place in which you normally have sex.
Many couples make the mistake of trying to talk about sex during sex. While it’s okay to, ahem, give helpful suggestions during sex (“yes,” “no,” “more,” “here,” etc), it is not productive to have an in depth discussion during sex. Conversations about the topic can be difficult. They need to happen in the safety of a loving relationship and outside the atmosphere of expectation.
Consider a pair of ice dancers or a Hall of Fame quarterback and his best wide receiver. Both partners experience success only to the level that they can communicate about a game plan and be open with one another about what is happening. However, they don’t talk during the routine or during the play. They read one another’s body language and might give a brief command, but they don’t talk when they are performing. They talk before and after, but not during. (See: Three Conversations Every Couple Should Have)
As it is with ice dancers and football players so it should be with couples. Talk about sex in practice, but don’t talk about it during the game.
Healthy couples talk about sex. There is nothing off-limits when it comes to conversation.
Unhealthy couples don’t talk about sex. They are overconfident, afraid, or gun shy.
You want to improve your sex life? Stop talking about it with everyone else and start talking about it with your spouse.
When was the last time you had a meaningful discussion with your spouse about sex? How about tonight? Don’t have sex; talk about sex.
For more, see: