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Sexual Communication 101

Written by Jacee Niblett

I am a firm believer that effective communication is one of the most powerful tools we can use to relate and connect with each other. When it comes to sexual relationships, the way we communicate is everything. Any good sex will involve deep conversation around each party’s needs, boundaries, and desires.


So why are we never taught this stuff? Communication is one of those things - really important, and grossly undervalued in our traditional education. When it comes to sex, this applies tenfold.


If we were all master communicators, so many problems surrounding sexuality could be solved. Sex is already taboo in our culture - simply talking about it in most spaces has its obstacles.


How do you tell your partner “this just isn’t doing it for me” without hurting their feelings? How do you move past shame and express to your partner what you truly desire? Keep reading for some tips and advice I’ve acquired over the years on sexual communication.

Want, Will, Won’t

A personal hero of mine, Dr. Lindsey Doe (host of Sexplanations on Youtube) developed an exercise called the “want, will, won’t” list. It’s a way to further understand yourself and get clear on your boundaries and desires. It also serves as a helpful tool for communicating these things to your partner! It works like this:


Column 1 is the want list. In this column you include all of the juicy sexual acts that you know you love. These are things that are YES’s in your book.


Column 2 is the will list. In this column you’ll put everything you’re open to, but not necessarily hard yes on. These are the things that are, “maybe I’d try it!” in your book.


Column 3 is the won’t list. These are all of your hard no’s, absolutely not, non-negotioable sexual acts.


Everybody’s want, will, won’t list will be completely unique to them. Be specific - and recognize that things shift and change. The list is fluid, not rigid. Maybe you find out something in your will list needs to be moved to the want column. This is part of the fun!


Do’s and Don’ts

When communicating with a partner(s) about sex - it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, practice active listening. Active listening is when you are really trying to understand what is being said, rather than just waiting to respond. Repeat back what has been said to ensure a clear understanding. Use empathy when listening to really understand the feelings behind the words.


On the flip side, when speaking, be sure to communicate from a place of authenticity and honesty. It's important to be clear and open, instead of placing blame.


Using an air of playfulness and humor can go a long way in setting a tone, if intimate conversations often feel heavy for you. Sexual communication, like sex, should be fun and enjoyable!


Take Responsibility for Your Pleasure


Cultural messages would have us believe that sex is an act between an active participant and a passive participant. There are many issues with this perspective but one is the effect on sexual communication. When we believe that one person is a subject, and the other an object - we place responsibility for pleasure on the active participant.


The truth is, sex is an act that happens between two consenting active participants. Pleasure is not something that is gifted to us, it is something we each create for ourselves and with each other!


Take responsibility for your pleasure by getting clear on your personal desires, and then communicating them effectively.


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How are your communication skills when it comes to sex? Do you feel confident in your ability to communicate your needs and desires? Let us know what you think by keeping up with us on social media! Follow Excitement on Facebook and Instagram.

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