How Communication Can Lead to Better Sex Why communication is important—and different—for both sexes. BY DR. TRINA READ AND DR. BRIAN PARKER
Trevor Howell, www.323photografix.com
Dr. Trina Read and Dr. Brian Parker debate the sexual communication breakdown between men and women.
Dr. Trina Read: Men Need To Learn The Softer Side Of Communication
I could hear the weariness and frustration in his voice as he helplessly explained, "We’ve been married for ten years and she doesn’t want sex anymore. So I went to the book store, bought a book on female low sexual desire, threw it at her and said, ‘Do something about our sex life.’"
While he was telling me this, Brian, I was thinking, let’s see. You’ve been having sex for over ten years and for a lot of it you were not satisfied. Yet you’ve never discussed this unhappiness with your wife—the book throwing was your first attempt. You’re now perplexed as to why she is withholding sex even more after your little get-your-libido-back-on-track pep talk. Hmmm.
Their communication plight is far from uncommon. It is amazing how people effortlessly fall into the most intimate act two humans can perform and yet their mouths move to mute when trying to discuss what their bodies just did.
When a man's sex life starts going sideways, many guys will shove their frustration down, sometimes for years until they’ve had enough—and kaboom they explode. Unfortunately their highly emotionally charged state makes them do really foolish things like throw a book at their partner demanding she change ten years of bedroom anger around overnight.
Or, not knowing how to navigate the into-the-bedroom communication waters, he takes a chapter from the out-of-the-boardroom business style of communication. He starts barking off military-style sex goals for the couple like, "We need to have sex once per week."
Unknowingly, both of these communication styles are placing "controls" over her sexuality. Consciously or unconsciously her brain says, "You want to control me? No way!" digs in its heels and doesn’t allow her body to enjoy sex. Not surprisingly, a big chunk of women withholding sex is a perceived lack of respect for her space and her limited time.
Brian, men need to learn the softer side of communication. Yes, I understand it’s icky to open up his heart and talk feelings. Yet he needs to tell her that he feels vulnerable and rejected every time she says, "Not tonight dear."
Another thing men forget is that sex is a team effort. You men need to empathize with her situation before you start yipping about yours.
Why don’t guys get the simple truth that if you want sex, you need to talk the language of sex? Brian, something has to give.
Dr. Brian’s Counterpoint: Guys Communicate, Just Differently
You’re right Trina, something has to give. You girls need to give up this belief that men don’t communicate, because most of us do.
In fact, studies show that in most situations, men communicate more than women. But, if you and your sisters are basing your opinions on how guys talk about the mushy, emotional stuff you’re always trying to engage us with, you might have a point.
Guys just aren’t ready to drop everything they’ve been taught about being real men to get real deep. Most of my brothers just won’t go there. Remember that we guys are taught to behave like our fathers (or another male role model) who could easily talk about their toolbox, but not their tool.
I know you girls think guys always have sex on the brain and constantly talk about getting their "willy" wet with their closest buddies. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Though some guys speak the locker room banter, most don’t. Guys don’t feel comfortable discussing something as intimate as sex with their buddies. And, if they do, they’re much more likely to embellish their stories.
But, talking with our partners about getting down is one area is something my boys and I have started to get really good at. You’re right Trina, talking about the titillating and not-so-exciting aspects of your relationship is super important. We understand couples that communicate effectively have more satisfying sex and relationships.
If you and your hotty aren’t so good at expressing your innermost desires, here’s some tips to help you get started:
- First, people cannot read minds. So unless you’re voicing your concerns, your partner will never know how you really feel.
- Also, be aware of what you are not comfortable discussing in the sexual realm. If you don’t like to discuss the odd odor emanating from your genitals, it’s best to be aware of this before you find yourself defending that cheesy curd smell.
- Independently work on your sexual issues. Become more aware of your sexual self and express this to your partner.
- And remember good communication, like good sex, only comes with a lot of practice.
Dr. Trina Read has a doctorate in human sexuality. Dr. Read is also an international speaker and offers free sex tips on her website www.bestsextipsever.com.
Dr. Brian Parker is a sexologist and sex educator and the creator of two sexual intimacy board games "Embrace" and "Pillow Talk". The games are available on his website, www.foreverpleasure.com which features original erotic art, high-end sensual products and adult sex education.
You can also hear more from Dr. Trina Read on the Hitched Podcast.