Your partner can read your mind, right?
Turns out, in 100% of all the studies that never happened, they can’t. And that couldn’t be more true for communication and sex.
What’s necessary for communication in other parts of your relationship is also needed for sex. Things like encouragement, honesty and feedback. Yet, although sex is fundamental to your intimacy, it’s the one area couples don’t usually talk about.
Like, almost never.
The result? Yawning silences, missed opportunities, and a failure to maximise pleasure and deepen intimacy.
Saying nothing is a breeding ground for insecurities. “Are they really enjoying this?” “Are they secretly wishing I was more adventurous?” “Are they actually interested in sex with me?”
All internal assumptions, all unhelpful, and all perpetuating a cycle of
insecurity that festers when there’s no communication.
There are SO many reasons we choose not to talk about our desires in the bedroom. We presume they ‘should just know,’ we’re worried about offending them, or we’re just plain awkward. But basically it comes down to this: we have to be vulnerable, and being vulnerable is hard.
So instead of tackling the whole beast, let’s chew off one easy, do-able step for now: encouragement.
Our sexual intimacy is an area in our relationship that thrives with positive encouragement. Your partner wants to please you, and the easiest way to help them do this (without baring your soul) is to encourage them. It’s human nature to enjoy something we feel good at, so encouragement has the dual purpose of increasing confidence and enjoyment for your partner, and signals to them what you like.
Once again, your partner isn’t a mind reader. They don’t know what you like unless you tell them, and they don’t know what you’re thinking unless you’re honest with them.
Create a culture of appreciation and encouragement in the bedroom and
watch your sexual confidence grow.
Here are some things to try:
1. Pay attention to what feels good. Be present in the moment of intimacy
and notice what you like…because then, you’re going to talk about it.
2. Talk during sex. Not chats about the weather or your least favourite
politician, but about what’s happening in the present moment. “I really
like that” or “When you touch me here, it feels amazing, keep doing
3. Over-encourage at the start. Give only positive feedback, especially if
you’re both starting on your intimate journey. Your partner’s confidence
will flourish, and you’ll get the added bonus of more of what you like.
4. Mix up the way you encourage. Use positive words, sounds, noises or
simply direct your partner’s hand to where it feels good.
5. Be specific. Specify what you love about your partner, what parts of
their body you enjoy or find sexy, and what your partner does that
makes you feel close and intimate.
6. Start constructive feedback with positivity. Utilise the positivity sandwich technique: frame constructive feedback between two pieces of
positivity. If you want to address something that isn’t working for you,
start by saying what is working well.
7. Be an encouraging listener. Intimacy is about being deeply known by
another. If you want to learn more about your partner, you can help
them to open up and share by listening. Things like, “Tell me more
about that,” “What I am hearing you saying is _____, do I understand
you correctly?” and “How can this work better for you?” encourages
your spouse to continue sharing.
8. Share your pleasure. Tell your partner how it makes you feel seeing
them experience pleasure. When we know the positive effect it brings
our partner, we are encouraged to share our pleasure with them—no
awkwardness, shyness, or shame.
This part of your relationship can be full of complaints, or it can be full of
So let’s get encouraging!