Or not. Or what do you think? Isn’t it just uncomfortable to talk about „these things“ and
should it not all work out by itself for you and the people you are relating with? Switch off the light and go for it!
But wait. Maybe read this article first.
I remember a lover of mine (decades ago :-)) saying „If it becomes work it is not meant to
be“. A very good way to never being fully present or fulfilled with each other and set yourself up for misery. Because there is no such thing as „no work“ when it comes to love,sex, and relationship. Finding out who you are as a human and also as a sexual being is a journey. Sometimes it is exhausting. And sometimes we might doubt whether it is actually worth it. Maybe you can start seeing it as working meditation. An occupation you keep up doing for honoring your body, your feelings, and humans you relate to. Taking good care of what you have, where you are at, and where you want to go.
But yes, talking about the nitty gritty, giving and receiving a „no“ without being upset or fearing to upset the other one, and daring to be your authentic self is difficult. Very difficult.
But hey: Working meditation!
Unfortunately, for most of us, many aspects of love, sex, and relationship do not come easy or by just pushing a button. So let’s look at what is necessary to start talking.
What do I mean by talking about sex?
In the best sense talking about sex would mean: Knowing who you are as a human and sexual being. Being able to communicate openly and honestly about what you want, and what you don’t want and when you want it. Being able to regulate yourself. Not falling apart when receiving a no and daring to say your „no“ as loud and clear as your „yes“ (also dare to say yes). And this usually does not start during the first night with your lover and it does not start in the bedroom.
Attending workshops on sexuality in recent years I was happy to see that more and more young people get a good base education from their parents on their sexual health and happiness. And still, for most of us, this is / was not true. But that does not mean we cannot become better at it.
What I don’t mean by talking about sex
Bragging about your sex life or recent affairs. Ridiculing yourself or others. Because this just might just be the cover for feeling not worthy, not loved, or not good enough. Both, bragging and shying away are the two sides of one coin. They both are fed by fear.
In Berlin, I sometimes ran into people who would rather have sex with someone than having an intimate discussion, a talk or even being alone with each other.
What makes it difficult talking about sex?
As humans, we want to belong. We need to be loved and accepted in relation and community. So as young humans, we observe what seems to be appropriate and what is condemned and then - most of the time unconsciously - we make this our own belief.
Everything which could make us feel shame we avoid. Shame is painful. (Maybe you watched Brené Browns talk on shame. You find it on my homepage.) Guilt is the feeling of making a mistake, and shame is the feeling of BEING the mistake. Unfortunately, by adopting the values of our surroundings we often also avoid being true to ourselves. Throughout the centuries of human development some crazy and unfortunately unhealthy ideas about what is shameful were created. Usually to keep the ones in power in power. But this is another story.
So where do we start?
First, let’s have a look at the why. Why should we do all this investigation about ourselves and our needs and then also daring to be vulnerable in front of others? Sex is a very intense encounter. It can be wonderful and it often is. And this is true for being by yourself or with partners. And sex can also trigger all kinds of things. Old pain for example. And while we most of the time do not clearly express what we want and what we don’t want, it can also cause a lot of confusion and pain.
And it is good to know at all times:
„You are ok. You are meant the way you are. You are good enough. You are loved. And you are worthy of everything.“
The elements which lead to a better understanding for ourselves and therefore better talking about our wishes, desires, and needs are:
• developing or upholding a secure self
• Self-experience: Finding out who you are as a human and sexual being and being ok with that
• Understanding and practicing consent
• Knowing what makes a situation feel safe for you and taking over responsibility for your safety
By talking about sex we take care of ourselves, our bodies, our minds, and the other people involved. And before we can even start talking, we need to know what is inside us, who we really are.
We do not need to suppress any feelings and can become more and more whole and healed. And we can start relating with others and ourselves on much deeper levels.
Talking about sex can be seen as a practice of mindfulness or as a healing practice. You can avoid being hurt or feeling overlooked and you offer the same to your partners.
In our Western culture passage rites which would provide you with education and experience are nearly completely missing. There is often no one to answer all our awkward questions, no one who holds space for us so we can become the human and sexual beings we are. (Maybe this workshop might be interesting for you). In addition, being influenced so deeply by media and what we see on the internet we are often lead the wrong way.
BUT: You can start holding space right now for yourself. You can give yourself the time and space to investigate who you are and finding out what you want. And then start talking about it.
Becoming more familiar and secure with yourself is the first step to being able to have good communication about sex (oh and for the perfectionists among us: You do not need to wait until you are perfect. You can start now and practice. If you like in real life).
So, practice with yourself. Touch. Read. Watch. What do you find appealing?
And at any time be aware that all of you is welcome. You are meant the way you are. Maybe you have a trusted friend you can talk to. Dare to. Start with only slightly uncomfortable topics. :-)
Try to allow the feeling of shame when it comes up. So it can pass. Maybe you want to journal a little about what you think made you feel ashamed and where it came from. You can also add whether you want to keep this shame for a good reason. It is ok to feel ashamed. (Remember the time when you felt ashamed because you were ashamed - for example when someone shamed you about your cheeks turning red?)
Maybe the first relaxing thought can be that most of us don’t have an easy time talking about something which makes us feel vulnerable. But it is so worth it. If we are able to be vulnerable with the people we are relating with we can connect easier and avoid pain. We can allow their and our "yes" and "no" as an expression of a responsible original.
A good example of a guideline for a talk with a potential lover is something I learned at a festival.
It is called: RBDSM. Every letter stands for a question. Send me an email if you are interested in receiving these guidelines.