To talk about sex in your relationship is one of the key foundations of relationship success. But, how do you do it?

Before we get into the what and how let’s talk about the why.

Why is it important to talk about sex?

Well, a study released earlier this year in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 30% of women report pain during vaginal sex yet “sizable proportions of Americans never even tell their partner when they’re in pain.”

Why is this statistic important? If women aren’t talking about something as important as pain, then what else are we not bringing up to our partners?

It can be incredibly awkward to talk about sex. Our society pretty much set us up for failure in this way. And, depending on our family of origin, (that’s fancy language for the family you grew up in/with) our view of sex and sexuality can be drastically impacted. I could talk about this subject all day, but the biggest takeaway for now is:


Many of my clients (male and female) share with me that there is an aspect, or many aspects, of their sex life that they don’t like. When I ask that client if they’ve shared this information with their partner, I typically get a resounding, “NO.”

When I ask them “why?” the response is usually, “I don’t know how,” or “How would I bring that up?” Look no further. Here’s how to talk about sex in your relationship.

Clear Past Resentments

How To Talk About Sex in Your Relationship

I know, I know, this doesn’t sound fun at all. But here’s the thing. You (no matter what gender you identify as) will never have a thoroughly enjoyable, intimate, healthy, sex life with your partner(s), or anyone else if you have resentment towards that person. Think of it like a freeway. If there are a bunch of Semi-Trucks blocking the only 2-lanes, how is your car supposed to get through? It can’t. Clear some space for sex and love to exist.

Stop Assuming

Assuming is one of the worst things you can do when it comes to communicating with someone. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked the question, “And did he/she tell you that?” in a session with a couple. As human beings, we make assumptions ALL THE TIME. Think through your day and think about when you genuinely don’t know something, but when you think you know something. Have you ever assumed your boss was going be X? Or how about your partner is not going to want Y? Perhaps your kids are going to act like Z when you go running your errands… these are ALL assumptions.

When we assume, we act on unconfirmed information.

Asking your partner about what they like, what they don’t like, when they like it, where they like it is incredibly important and really necessary for a healthy sex life. So, stop assuming and sit down with your partner(s) to ASK SOME QUESTIONS!

“What would make you feel more loved?” + A 3-minute listening exercise

Want to turn someone on? Listen to them.

But seriously.

I love this way of talking about sex in your relationship because it is truly an exercise to understand each other’s worlds. The exercise goes like this:

First, Partner #1: “What would make you feel more loved?”

Then, Partner #2 replies for 3 minutes {set a timer}, while Partner #1 listens intently.

Finally, Partner #1 reflects back to Partner #2 what they heard.


Make Time aka Prioritize

Read Kyle’s blog on the Power of 90-Minutes. That’s all.

Love Notes

How To Talk About Sex in Your Relationship

Communicating about sex in your relationship doesn’t have to be a bit sit down, listening session. You can communicate about sex through post-it notes! Leaving sweet or maybe even dirty notes around the house for your partner to find is fun, playful, and you can use it to communicate some wants and desires. Worried the kids will find them? Hide them where the kids don’t go. And, if you don’t have a space where the kids don’t go… make one.


The Kissing Game

How To Talk About Sex in Your Relationship

We have all heard of and/or played a drinking game, right? The Kissing Game is similar and way more fun (and healthy!). How to play? Before you get comfy and snuggly on the couch or in bed to watch a TV show or movie, pick one word. Then, you can begin your entertainment of choice. Whenever you hear that word, KISS.

Why? Typically, couples don’t kiss enough!!! Or, they do very short pecks that do very little for their connection. This game gives couples a reason to connect on a {safe +} physical level. Also, it can enhance the intimate connection that’s needed to talk openly about our sex lives.

Romantic Scrabble

To play romantic scrabble, you need the Scrabble game. The only difference between traditional Scrabble and this is that the players can only create romantic and sensual words. The partner who ‘loses’ the game has to do whatever the winner says (as long as you’re in full agreement with it.)

This game rocks because partners can tease each other and create a mutual desire to be intimate. It gives couples a break from typical intimacy rituals – which can feel exciting. Additionally, you can talk about some of the words you make on the board. “Would you ever do…?” “Have you thought about us…”

Couples Therapy or Therapeutic Relationship Coaching™

If you’re finding it challenging to read these ideas or the thought of implementing them makes you squeamish – working with a third party can be extremely helpful. You can look for a local therapist near you using a tool like PsychologyToday, or set up a phone consultation with me to see if we’re a good fit to work together. Or, check out Phase Four in Revive Your Relationship™ for more.

I hope that these suggestions can help open (or improve) the lines of communication in your relationship. I would love to hear which of the above you have tried or currently use to talk about sex in your relationship. How is it going? How often do you check-in with your partner(s) about their satisfaction with your sex life? Sometimes we utilize the WWC Family Meeting to check-in about how we’re feeling about this complex topic! Let’s discuss these questions in and with our online community!

Also, be sure to check out this week’s podcast – where Kyle and I are talking about how we talk about sex in our relationship – and which of these tools we like to utilize!