Tell me what you want, what you really, really want! By communicating your desires assertively you can transform your sex life to be more trusting, honest, imaginative and fun, says dating and relationship coach and founder of Tailor Matched, Asa Baav.
For the majority of us, talking about the intricacies of our sexual desires is unfamiliar territory. We aren’t taught this kind of communication and are actively discouraged from talking about our sexual desires by a society that has a very narrow definition of sex.
This kind of societal “Shhhhhing” means that not only do we struggle to be sexually assertive with our partners but even to be honest about what we want with ourselves.
If we can practice recognising what we do and don’t want, and learn to communicate those desires then the growth in meaningful connection is exponential.
Whether your long standing relationship needs revitilising, you’re in a new relationship and want to build authentic communication around sex, or you hold fear around your own sexual desires while dating, you CAN become assertive and learn how to speak your sexual truth.
Here are 4 BIG ways that sexual assertiveness will change your connections (to yourself and your lover):
Your Sexual Communication Will Get HOTTER
If you’re unable to vocalise what you want (or don’t want) to yourself, it’s likely that a conversation with your partner will be equally lacking. That’s why sexual assertiveness really starts from within.
There is little risk in being honest with yourself, but the rewards can be huge. By having an honest conversation with yourself about your wants, needs and desires you are better placed to have a conversation with someone else.
Write your own sexual manifesto!
As a dating and relationship coach, I love to invite my clients to write their own sexual manifesto. Often we can become so much stronger in our knowledge of what we want and our ability to communicate those wants, after we’ve gotten them down on paper.
It’s like having a trial run of a conversation, and better still, it’s always there.
Like with most things, sexual desires shift and change all the time, having a manifesto to refer back to acts as a landing page with some of your wants and not wants staying solid whilst others adjust over time.
If you find yourself in a new relationship or feeling stagnant in the one you’re in, you can refer back to your writings whenever you need to reconnect with yourself.
It’s up to you how far you go with this. You can have a title for your manifesto, lots of bullet points, the sex menu, a mood board, whatever works for you in answering the simple but complicated question – What do I want?
Here are some prompts to get you started:
What do my favorite sexual experiences have in common?
What emotions do I feel during really good sex?
Which sex toys do I like or want to try?
What feels uncomfortable during foreplay/sex?
Who am I allowed to be during sex?
What makes me feel turned on during a normal day?
What do I masturbate about that I would like a partner to do?
When do I want to have sex?
Why is sex important to me?
Once you’ve started to think honestly and openly with yourself about your sexual desires and you’ve written it down, you can start to notice patterns and compare what you want with the reality of what you have.
Exploring this conversationally with your partner could prompt a dialogue around sex. You could even share your manifesto if you feel comfortable doing so, conjuring an environment of sexual honesty and exploration.
This leads to more trust and an ‘exercising’ of the assertiveness communication muscle which could translate to more dialogue in the bedroom.
You’ll Own Your Turn-ONs and Turn-OFFs
Sexual assertiveness is a whole hearted approach to getting what you desire.
This also means knowing what you don’t want and having the confidence to communicate that. A good partner doesn’t want to partake in sex acts that the other person isn’t into.
Having said that, your partner is not a mind-reader and needs to know what you like and dislike and better still – why (though you obviously decide how much you share; know your own boundaries).
If you state that you don’t like doggy style, a generous partner would probably just cancel it out of their repertoire, but by telling your partner why you don’t like it – say it makes you feel like they don’t think your face is pretty) your partner then has more information and understanding of where you’re coming from.
You’ll Invite Your Lover To Be More Open Too
By being vulnerable and expressing how you really feel and what you want, it makes it far more likely that your partner will do the same.
Most of us aren’t sexually assertive in nature because we haven’t been socialised to be. So think of it as a practice that improves the more you try it.
You don’t need to barrel into a conversation about pegging your partner it you’ve never uttered a word about anal!
Try easing into dialogue by telling your partner something they do that you love and then following it by making clear something that doesn’t do it for you.
Identify the fears you have around speaking your sexual truth.
If you fear rejection or humiliation from your partner you should think about why you feel this way – if it has to do with your past and your triggers, or is it because your partner lacks sensitivity or openness? Being honest about what you don’t want might mean you see your partner in a different light.
You’ll Overcome Fears and Become More Confident
For many of us, the thought of being sexually assertive is scary and goes against our upbringing.
The more we can embrace the messy authenticity of desire the more we can explore ourselves and each other.
The chances are, if you’re reading this then you’re not completely comfortable with your own sexual assertiveness. The secret is that everyone struggles with identifying and communicating sexual desire!
But luckily, sexual confidence is contagious. If you’re able to increase your assertiveness, the chances are your partners will too.
Is your partner willing to take a risk with you? If you suggested a curveball vacation destination, or an unusual restaurant that you really fancied trying, would they go there with you?
Sex can be a place you go together, just like with other destinations some are more in line with what you like than others.
The key is to use your imagination, ask for what you want and be kind to yourself and each other if you don’t get things right the first time.
So delve into your own sexual truth, write down what you find, then try and communicate it with someone you trust. A more imaginative and honest sex life awaits you!
Asa Baav is a dating coach, relationship coach and matchmaker on a mission to help single Londoners over thirty to find love and sexual compatibility. Don’t leave love to an algorithm!