A guide to discussing sex and sexuality with your significant other
True intimacy is about getting to know and understand someone deeply. Learning about who our partner is sexually is part of that.
Our past experiences around sex contribute to our thoughts, feelings and experiences of our sexuality today. Those past experiences that shape or frame our experiences today are not limited to our sexual experiences, but also direct discussions about sex with partners, friends, family, teachers and others. Indirect discussions, such as overheard conversations, or representations in mass media and pop culture can also have an influence on our personal beliefs, attitudes and behaviours regarding our sexuality.
The following are some questions to help open a conversation with your partner and be vulnerable with each other in a safe and supportive way. To learn about each other’s thoughts, feelings and experiences around sex and sexuality, to be vulnerable in this way, and around personal topics not shared with others, will contribute to a deeper, more intimate connection. And it is a deeper connection that can help couples keep their relationships strong.
- How did you feel about your body growing up?
- Who talked to you first about sex? How did it go? How did you feel during and after that conversation?
- What did you believe was OK for you to express? And for men or women to express? What were the rules around sexuality and physical expression in your house growing up?
- What was your first sexual experience?
- What was your best sexual experience before this relationship? What made it good?
- What was your best sexual experience in this relationship? What made it good?
- What was your worst sexual experience?
- What was your most embarrassing sexual experience?
- Was there a time in your life that you felt good/free sexually or in your body?
These questions are here to help guide your conversation with your significant other. How you use them is up to you.
For example, you can discuss one or two of them at a time.
You can have the conversation in an interview style. One person asks a question and listens with curiosity while the other person answers.
Or you can each pick a question and take some time privately to write down your responses. Then later, come back together to share your answers.
Ultimately, the goal is to have a dialogue that is based on curiosity and acceptance. It’s an opportunity to get to know more about each other and add another layer or level to your intimacy; in other words, create more intimacy and strengthen your relationship.
Laura is a Master Therapeutic Counsellor and a Registered Counselling Supervisor (MTC,RCS,#2022) with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT). She is also a Certified Group Facilitator.