Part of a continuing series of “Things we don’t talk about,” also known as “Why people are in therapy” and “the elephant in the room.”
My mentor, Don Pitts, taught me that “behind every complaint, there’s a request,” so each time I meet with someone who complains about something their partner has (or hasn’t) done, I think about Don. I may need a button that I can press that just has me saying, “Have you talked to your partner about that?” Either (a) it hasn’t occurred to them to talk to their partner about the thing, or (b) they don’t know how to start that sort of conversation. Either way, it can result in unmet needs and resentment that builds up and strangles the relationship.
In order to have an enjoyable, healthy sex life, there must be a foundation of mutual trust and respect. Open communication requires safety: emotional, physical, intellectual, and commitment. (That’s a series for another time!) If any of these areas is a challenge in your relationship, I strongly suggest working on that before attempting to increase sex and intimacy. Once you’ve done that, however, one way to start talking to your partner about sex and intimacy is through taking online quizzes together. Sometimes, this can bring up new ideas, or increase your emotional intimacy through shared information.
There are many resources available to help increase sexual intimacy between partners, but the most important thing you can do for your relationship is to communicate freely and respectfully—both in and out of the bedroom!