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Let’s talk about sex baby: 10 tips on how to talk about sex with your partner

6 min read
Cycle Care

Approved by

Eveline Stallaart - Sexologist
The idea of sitting down with your partner and having the sex talk can cause a lot of stress and insecurties for some of us. Luckily, we have some tips that can make the talk go smoothly for the both of you!

The idea of sitting down with your partner and having the sex talk can cause a lot of stress and insecurties for some of us. Because let's be real, how do you start this important conversation without it being too awkward or uncomfortable? Luckily, we have some tips that can make the talk go smoothly for the both of you!

For a lot of people, talking about sex isn’t really their favorite thing to do. Because how do you bring up this topic to your partner without it immediately hurting their ego or setting off a fight? This is a shame because talking about sex is so important! If you do it in the right way, you’ll strengthen your bond and most importantly, it’ll improve your sex life. Win-win!

So, what’s the right way to start this conversation? We talked to Cycle expert and sexologist Eveline Stallaart and discussed 10 practical tips that can make your life a whole lot easier. 

1. Avoid the bedroom

Please don’t have the serious sex talk in the bedroom. Nothing is a bigger mood killer than bringing up your sex life just as you’re getting it on. No doubt that your head will ‘switch on’, making it more difficult to be in the moment and focus on sexual pleasure. Such a shame! Therefore, it’s better to have this conversation at the kitchen table so you can look each other in the eyes. This may sound like a weird place but trust us! It creates an intimate mood and it makes sure you and your partner are actively engaging in the conversation.

Do you need some more practical tips to start the conversation? You could mention during the day that you want to sit down together in the evening to check in with the other person and see how the relationship is going (but keep it light!). In the evening, you could start the conversation with the question: ‘How do you feel about our relationship right now?’ This is also important to know because maybe the reason your sex life feels inbalanced is because the relation as a whole isn’t going great. The follow-up question can be something like: ‘Are you satisfied with our sex life?’ And that’s how the conversation starts. If the conclusion of the conversation is that one of the two isn’t completely satisfied, you can ask each other: “What do you need from me to make it better?’ And of course that goes both ways, it takes two to tango!

2. Stay positive 

Would you like to give your partner some tips? Try to do this in a positive way. It’s always nicer to hear stuff like ‘I’d rather you do it this way’ than ‘this isn’t good’ or ‘this feels terrible’. People are very sensitive when it comes to sex so be kind! 

3. Check-up

It’s honestly not that crazy to sit down with your partner every few months and check if both of you are still happy, especially if you're in a long term relationship. What number would you rate your sex life and does it matches with your partners number? Just have a good look at your sex life together and talk about it!

4. Get out of your head

A lot of women tend to get lost in thought during sex and worry about everything. They might worry whether it takes too long or if the partner is getting tired, especially when it comes to oral sex. But unfortunately, it usually only takes longer if you worry about it…. 

A smart tip? You can agree with your partner beforehand that if it takes too long for them, they should let you know and maybe do something else for a change of pace. But, 9 out of 10 times your partner doesn’t even think it’s taking too long, but instead finds it rather exciting! So, just talk about it before you start, this way you won’t have to worry whether it takes too long and you can enjoy every moment to the fullest.

Another thing that troubles people (mostly women)? Not smelling fresh down there. One way to fix this is, again, to make an agreement with your partner. If your partner is really bothered by it during sex, they should mention it to you. If you’re still feeling insecure about it or if you don’t think it smells fresh down there yourself, you can always invite your partner to join you for a steamy shower session!

5. Playful instructions

Do you really want to give some instructions during your steamy moments? Try to do this in a playful manner. Take their hand and place it on the spot you like to be touched or show how you want it to be done in a subtle way. Or give small, playful comments. What if you want to know if you’re doing the right thing? Just try to ask your partner things like ‘this way?’or ‘do you like it?’ We can guarantee that making sure your partner is having a good time is certainly not a turn-off.

6. No need for a full analysis 

Yes ladies, this one is mostly true for us! It’s just that women tend to get in their heads during sex and that can be a downer. Do you recognize that feeling of irritation when your partner tries to stimulate you too roughly…again? Try to let that feeling go because if you keep thinking about it you’ll never really get excited and aroused and you risk getting into a negative vicious circle. Do you recognize this all too well? Sit down and discuss it with each other. 

7. Go for it!

It may sound strange but it’s important to know that you’re both going for pleasure! Why? Well, if you’re only making sure the other one feels good, then you might miss out on your own pleasure. Sex is something that should be pleasurable for both parties involved! And no, an orgasm isn’t necessary but pleasure and fun is! Because if that’s missing, there’s not really a ‘reward’. And if this pattern repeats itself often, you’ll eventually won’t look forward to sex anymore. So, you should just go for (your own) enjoyment!

8. No pain

A lot of women tend to not say anything when it hurts or when something is unpleasant. Somehow, ‘just tough it out’ gets stuck in our heads, but that’s not really a good thing. It makes you associate sex with pain and that really isn’t helpful when you want to enjoy sex. Pain is often a signal that you’re simply not aroused enough! Go back to foreplay (again) and take some time to enjoy each other. Caressing, kissing, nothing is off-limits. There’s no need for penetration (just yet). And yes, we believe that you can and should say this to your partner. Tell them if it hurts and don’t keep trying. And keep in mind: sex is more than penetration! 

Are you worried about pain during sex? Read our article about the possible causes and what you can do about it. 

9. Don’t settle for less

If things aren’t going well between the two of you, there’s only one thing you can do: discuss it! Do their kissing skills need some improvement, let them know in a positive way! 

You can do this, for example, by saying ‘look, I love kissing you but I’d like it even more if you [just fill in: slow down with your tongue - give me a little more space to kiss you back - use a little more lip and a little less tongue, etc.]. Realize that not saying anything is often worse than keeping quiet. Don’t sweep it under the rug and don’t settle for less!

10. Don’t assume 

Always make sure you’re communicating with each other and try to not make assumptions. It will only lead to frustration. Take this situation for example. Your partner comes home and you’re cooking dinner (with screaming kids around you) Then, your partner holds you tight and starts kissing you, but you immediately get stressed and think ‘I don’t want to have sex right now, I still have so much to do…’ and turn your back on your partner. Does this sound familiar to you? In these kinds of moments, it’s important to check with your partner whether they actually want to take it a step further or if they just want to hug you because they missed you. So, talk to each other, this way you’ll prevent hurt feelings for both parties!

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Cycle is a community where all aspects of the female body are discussed freely. From menstruation to menopause: we'll help you understand your body, mind, cycle and sexuality better, with the help of our Cycle Experts.