Cleaning, a never-ending job in my house, two kids will do that to you! Cleaning the house, our car, our clothes, ourselves – we clean up everything – do you ever take the time to clean up your sex life? And I don’t mean clean as in get rid of the kink, the focus is more on taking the time!

If you are in a committed relationship, the chances are that there will be room for improvement. It is time to dust off the cobwebs and pay attention to that very important area of your life, that quite often doesn’t get your time or attention it deserves.

SEX!

There is a reason that I called my Facebook Group “Let’s talk about Sex”, because it is clear from what I see of the world around me, from my friends, family, clients and colleagues, that we do not talk about it enough. I want to change that – if you can talk to your partner about work, money, family and household stuff, why not talk about sex.Surely that would be a fun conversation to have, not to be avoided?

Sex is a tricky and personal subject, which often feels full of danger. You are right that it can cause worry, perhaps open up unpleasant feelings and make your partner feel inadequate. You might worry that your partner will laugh or think you are overreacting. Perhaps that you will be criticised or rejected. We are taught (generalising women here) to please our partners, that they come first.

We’ve been socially wired to not complain, take what we are given and be happy about it.

Written in the 1950s ‘Good House Wife’s Guide’* – “his topics of conversation are more important than yours”.

It is a societal norm, which I am pleased to say is changing, but we all need to play a part to change it for ourselves and future generations.

“Some couples are together years without even talking about sex, yet they have sex! However hard it is , being able to talk about their relationship and their sex life is what the majority of couples I see are missing.”

Carol Graham, Psychosexual Therapist at the North Hampshire Clinic

Have you ever told your partner that you love something, or faked an orgasm. I’ve known women to fake orgasms for YEARS in relationships, because at the beginning they didn’t know how to talk to their partner, as the years went on, how could they tell them?!? Not a straightforward conversation I agree! And you will know your own partner, bringing it up might make it worse. BUT it is common, it does happen, so why not start talking about things more openly now, looking to the future.

Where do you start? When is the right time? How do you open up the conversation.

Firstly, I’d like to say that there is no hard and fast rule! Sex might be universal, but how we act and feel about sex is completely individual. There is no-one like you, no-one like your partner and you know your couple dynamic the best.

However, I hope this will encourage you to start thinking about it, and that these ideas that follow will help you get started:

1. NO BEATING AROUND THE BUSH

The blunt approach has worked for me.

The time still needs to be right, i.e. I don’t suggest having a conversation while the kids are running around, or you are standing in Sainsburys. Ask if your partner is willing to have a conversation with you about your sex life, if they agree there is no time better than right now (or at least agree exactly when the conversation will happen).

Why this works, particularly in heterosexual relationships? Generalising here again I know, but many men like to have information straight and clear, removing some of the emotion, not beating around the bush.

QUICK TIP: Don’t catch them off guard!

Don’t go straight into it, “Hi hunny, just so you know sex has been crap lately and I never orgasm anymore” – Yikes… hate to say it but it is likely your partner will shut down with that one (yes I’ve had experience). Instead, start with “Hi hunny, I’d like to have a chat about our sex life, is it okay if we do it now? I’d like to share, before you say anything, then you can share and I’ll listen”.

2. CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Some fresh air, removing yourself from your everyday environment and feeling relaxed is a great time to talk about sex. Take a walk, even better when there is no destination in mind, and have a conversation.

Why this works? Because you are removing yourself from your everyday distractions, not looking around the room at the mess or being reminded of a job to do. Plus when you are walking no phones, they can stay safely in the pocket.

3. USE YOUR PHONE – old skool style

When I first opened up to my husband about how I wanted to explore more around sex in our relationship I was incredibly nervous. To this day, I cannot tell you why, other than we are taught to hide our vulnerability perhaps. But this was the method that I used to share the bigger things that I wanted to talk about. I used the phone!

Why this works? Talking on the phone gives you a feeling of anonymity, even an escape route if it becomes too much.

Texting is also a great way to raise the subject, telling them you would like to have a conversation about sex – although proviso here, be careful how you word it, how many times have you read a text message and inferred the complete wrong meaning!

One or all of these might be just the starting point that you need to dust off the cobwebs and start paying attention to your sex life!

ONE FINAL NOTE,you might not need this advice right now, but it is a fact of life that we all change, with age, advances in research, social and cultural attitudes – they all change us. So even a partner that you have been with for 20 years, one who you can finish each others sentences, it doesn’t mean you will be able to know how they feel right now.

We are ever changing, ever growing and sex should ALWAYS form part of your ongoing conversations.

You can keep in touch with me by joining my community on Facebook. I love to hear from you, let me know how you get on, if you have any thoughts, or what you might like to hear more on.

My PS proviso; I generalise in my writing towards women’s sexuality and supporting those already in long-term relationships. Because that is who I am! What I share with you here on my blog and in other media is my opinion from study and research – it won’t fit every mould, we are all so very different. If you want a more bespoke support with your relationship, then please do contact me, whether I can help or one of my network, together we can start your journey.

Let’s connect!

Jessica Staniforth

I’m a huge believer that opening up conversation around sex, with our partners, friends, family and communities will lead to more fulfilling and healthy sexual relationships. With conversation comes understanding, growth and a feeling that we are not all alone! I also love reading reverse harem romances, eating lots of ice-cream and nights when I have a babysitter.

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