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Relationships

The Trainee Sexologist: Top tips for communication

Morgan Penn & Sharyn Casey, hosts of popular podcast The Trainee Sexologist, share some top tips

MORGAN WRITES…
Everyone always wants tips, quick fixes and hacks to make their sex lives better, but honestly, the best advice I can ever give is… communication.
However, just talking openly seems to be the hardest thing to do. In fact, it often feels easier to put genitals together than just speaking our truths!
Communication is essential for setting boundaries, respecting yourself, connecting with others, supportive relationships, and letting others know how you feel, what you need and what you think.
Here are some tips on how to do it effectively…
Firstly, you want to be really clear about either how you feel or what you want.
When you decide to approach the chat is also paramount. Pick a time when you both aren't distracted or stressed out and then tell that person, "I have something that's important to me that I'd like to talk to you about. When's a good time for you?" Give the other person a little warning so they don't feel blindsided and we create conditions for the best response.
Don't be afraid to be super-honest and upfront. Seriously, you have nothing to lose by communicating clearly and asking for what you desire. We all love someone who is certain about who they are and what they desire, and it's sexy if they have the courage to ask for that.
In a new relationship, you might say, "I really like you, so I want to talk first to make sure we're on the same page." And don't forget about safety: "What kind of protection do you like to use? Is there anything you want me to know about your health or body?"
In terms of boundaries, you could ask, "Are there parts of your body or certain sex acts that are off limits?" And when it comes to pleasure, try, "I want to make you feel amazing. How do you like to be touched?"
It should always be a request, rather than a demand. For example, "I would love… but I realise you're busy. Let me know if you can or don't want to."
Communication is often the number-one reason that relationships fail. Be courageous and own your honesty!
SHARYN WRITES…
I hate confrontation. I think it's because of being bullied at school, but I just hate it. However, there are some specific places I have grown to be OK with it – at work and within my marriage.
Why the change? It's because I know that if I communicate clearly what I'm trying to say, rather than holding it in until I combust, I will be heard and it will be alright afterwards.
With any form of relationship, if it can't survive a confrontation, then what's the point? A couple who doesn't fight freaks me the hell out because someone is living in silence.
Don't ever be scared to use your voice. Life is far too short to be unhappy and voiceless!

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