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Most research tells us sex is one of the most pleasurable activities to indulge in for humans. And…well, we don’t really need research to tell us that, do we?

We live in an age where sexual connotations are all around us, unlike in previous generations. It’s all over the media; it almost chokes our airwaves and wires as it rushes to occupy every square inch of our mindspace. This ought to mean that people would be very comfortable about talking sex with their partners, right? Wrong! Infact, quite the opposite is true.

Sex can offer multiple health benefits!

There is a certain discomfort in revealing the details of the sexual history—about the first time, about preferences and limits, and even about the nature of relationships. There is always a grey zone about the timing of this inevitable discussion as well, no matter how smooth the relationship.

Psychologists say it’s always a better idea to get the hard facts out of the way before you decide to take the relationship into the bedroom. One of the first topics on the discussion table should be of exclusivity. The people involved should be perfectly clear about whether sex is to be with that one person from that first happening, or not. Now this is neither to make the relationship more serious than what it is nor is it a loophole to encourage infidelity but it surely crystallizes expectations. It shuts the door on any possible misunderstandings.

We all know sex goes a long way in taking the relationship forward. It is a topic most personal to many people and sharing it with your partner definitely brings you closer to him/her. The delicate vulnerabilities when exposed enhance intimacy and deepen mutual understanding.

There are no boundaries on what should be shared. It is a subjective decision. But one surely needs to be clear about individual preferences. Questioning yourself is a good idea:

  • What kind of arousal do I like before the act? What puts me in the right frame of mind?
  • Where do I like /dislike to be touched?
  • Would I ever like to do the more adventurous stuff? If yes, what and where are my limits?

Everyone knows their individual answers to the above but they need to be brought out in the open with potential partners. It might be easier to start this conversation outside the bedroom. Leading a companion initially about what you want, rather than focusing on what you don’t want, puts a positive spin on things. As a result, your companion will likely be more receptive to listening and respecting your thoughts and boundaries.

Know your sexual limits!

An important but rather delicate aspect of the sexual discussion is about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It is absolutely vital to ask about the partner’s tests and results. Regardless of the number of sexual partners a man or woman has been with, the more attractive a presumed new sexual partner is, the less likely a person is to take safe-sex precautions1. Most people simply assume their partners to be clean. One cannot make a bigger mistake as far as safety is concerned because though a person might not exhibit symptoms, they may still have something that can be transferred to you. As a result, many people who have a sexually transmitted disease may not know it.

Having this conversation helps to define your limits. No matter what sexual orientation you have, it ought to be clear to both partners that whenever one says ‘no’ to something, that activity needs to stop. Words like ‘just this time’ or ‘do it for me’ should have no place and a ‘NO’ should mean ‘no’, without exception.

The obvious point is to reach a comfort level that dissolves anxieties and creates an enabling ambience. Sex has many benefits, including creating a depth and closer connection in a relationship. And having a frank and open discussion helps sex prosper. So go ahead and talk about it; being responsible is a good thing.

  1. Perrett, David. 2010. In Your Face: The New Science of Human Attraction. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan

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