The big O: Communication is key

[Columns, letters or cartoons published are the work of the attributed author and do not necessarily represent the official views or opinions of “The Highland Echo.”]

The goal of my first article was to establish my attitude about sex in the most general way possible. I wanted to make it known how much I value openness, acceptance, excitement and safety in regards to the entire spectrum of human sexuality. More than that, though, I wanted to introduce a few important concepts to be explained more thoroughly later on. One of these concepts was communication and its importance—especially in regards to sex.

You need to practice effective communication in all relationships in life to make that relationship work. Sex is no different. If you are having sex with someone, you need to be communicating with them about the sex you are having. It’s essential to talk to your partner/s, so that you can have the most safe and satisfying experience possible.

There are two really broad but crucial reasons why you should talk about sex with your partner/s. One of them is to be clear about exactly what your limitations are so that you ensure yourself a safe experience. If you’re uncomfortable doing certain acts, you should let whomever you’re having sex with know these things.

If you make it known exactly what you are not willing to do, you’re taking steps toward protecting yourself from a dangerous or unpleasant situation. Sex can be a very personal and emotional thing for many people, and it’s easy to have a bad experience if neither of you know the sexual limitations of the other. So, to avoid this, communicate!

The other reason is so that you can ensure yourself that you’re not just having safe sex, but also satisfying sex. It would be a shame to suffer through sex that isn’t pleasurable just because you’re too afraid to say the words “a little to the left.” Trust me. It’s okay. You can tell them to move to the left. If they’re upset that you’re taking control and ensuring yourself pleasure, maybe they don’t deserve to be moving anywhere near you in the first place.

This all sounds really nice and simple on paper — why wouldn’t you want to communicate? — but, in real life, where there are actual people with actual thoughts and feelings involved, it can be a lot more difficult. I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to communicate what you want in bed, because it’s not. Because of our society’s view on sexuality (and on the discussion of such things), there is much shame and discomfort to overcome before we can effectively communicate exactly what we want.

So, let me try to help!

Firstly, it’s important to understand that everyone is different. You’re not going to like all the same things as your partner/s or your friends and you have to understand and accept that. You may love feet. Your girlfriend may hate them. It doesn’t mean that either of you are weird or abnormal or gross. You’re both fine. You’ll find a way to work it out.

Secondly, you’re going to have to get over your fear of sexy words. One of my biggest problems has always been my own discomfort with the very language of sex. It’s easier for me now than it was in the past, but I still have trouble whispering certain requests or suggestions to my partner/s.

If you have your own cringe-worthy category, try to say those words out loud to yourself a few times to become more comfortable with them. While you’re doing this, remember that they’re only words, and that there is nothing wrong with using the correct language for whatever it is you’re describing. Now, try saying those words to your partner/s. You might giggle or turn beet red but hey, at least you’re saying them.

Lastly, remember what you’re goal is: ensure yourself a safe and satisfying sexual experience. It is worth all the embarrassment and stuttering and nervousness, I promise. The more you communicate, the easier it will get to do so. And, alternately, the better your sex will be.

So go ahead, discuss with your partner/s! Ask them questions, give them answers, and, most importantly, go out and have yourself some safe and satisfying sex. You deserve it!

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