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How to talk about sex with your partner without the awkwardness

Written by Alice Child, Somatic Sexologist

Sydney-based Somatic Sexologist and Sex & Intimacy Counsellor Alice Child explains her top tips for talking about sex with your partner (even if you find it really awkward!)

Couple having great sex because they talk about sex

This guide contains general advice only. If you need more tailored advice, please book in a session.

If you feel awkward push through the discomfort because great sex needs great conversation. The aim is creating a relationship culture where talking about sex is completely normal - just like any other topic!

Why is talk about sex so important?

Talking about sex can feel awkward, vulnerable and uncomfortable - even with somebody we love and trust. But couples who talk openly and frequently about sex are more likely to keep the passion alive in a long term relationship.

If you feel awkward push through the discomfort because great sex needs great conversation. The aim is creating a relationship culture where talking about sex is completely normal - just like any other topic!

How do I talk about sex without the awkwardness?

Tip 1: Master your non-sexual communication

How is your communication about non-sex related topics ?

If you struggle with things like harmful conflict patterns, miscommunications, or communication that gets defensive/critical/avoidant/nasty, then this is where you should start.

Practice uninterrupted listening, listening for what your partner is feeling and needing.

Remove defensiveness, criticism, or disrespectful communication patterns like contempt, sarcasm, name-calling, belittling language or mockery.

Remember that contempt is the number #1 reason for divorce.

Tip 2: Share sexy things!

Start by sharing sexy resources and ideas with each other!

For example - share this blog post, and say something like:

“Look at this post! I think we are really good at most of these things but I‘d love do Tip 5 together... what about you- what do you think?“

Talk about things you‘ve seen and heard for example in podcasts, sex scene‘s in movies/TV shows , porn films, books etc.

Use them as a way to open up the dialogue!

Tip 3: Share your highlights!

After sex starts get in the habit of having a conversation! This is where we can learn so much about each other and ourselves!

It‘s also really fun and can be a huge turn on !

Turn to each other afterwards and ask things like:

What was your favourite bit?

What was hot for you?

What felt great?

Why was that so hot for you?

Tip 4: What are you learning?

Once you‘re getting great at this, you can start bringing in things that you are learning or things you want more or less of. You might talk about things like:

What didn't work so well for you today?

Anything you learnt about yourself?

Any ideas for next time?

Sex isn‘t always perfect! Constantly learning and being flexible is what makes great sex - not ‘perfection‘.

You could also try the sandwich technique when giving sexual feedback (ie a complement, a point of feedback followed by another complement).

Tip 5: Do your sexual bucket list

Download my free PDF The Sexual Bucket List. It‘s a great way to reflect on on your own desires and boundaries and have a chat!

What you love (these are your green lights) What you don‘t like ( boundaries / red lights) What you‘re curious about (maybes/orange lights).

You can then sit down over a dinner to chat about these - it‘s very normal to have different desires and boundaries -the key is being able to talk about them with an open mind and curiosity!

Tip 6: Give and receive feedback!

We are not mind readers! During sex check in with each other by giving feedback of what's feeling great.

If something feels great, tell them it feels great!

If your partner looks really sexy doing something, tell them they look sexy doing it! Starting with compliments is a great place to get more comfortable finding your voice during sex.

Ask the question ‘how could this be even more perfect’ instead of closed questions like ‘does this feel good’. When your partner gives you feedback, say ‘thank you‘ to foster an environment where feedback is GOOD.

Tip 7: Pick your moment

Pick your time and place to talk about sex.

Are you tired and stressed at the end of the day? Are you always having them in the bedroom or in the moment?

Instead, have these chats when you are both already feeling rested and connected.

For example on a walk, over dinner, or on a drive.

Don't always have the chat about sex in the bedroom.

Tip 8: Get Pillow Play!

Pillow Play sex games for couples are all designed to help couples practice communication skills in a fun, playful, game environment.

You will learn:

  • How to say and hear ‘no‘ with respect and love

  • How to ask for what you want

  • How to give/receive feedback

  • Become a master at dirty talk without the awkwardness

  • How to talk about what turns you on and off

  • How to discover your sexual bucket list

And SO much more!


Alice x

Alice Child - Somatic Sexologist, Sex Therapy & Sex Counsellor - helps people achieve happier and healthier sex lives through 1:1 sex coaching, couples sex counselling, hens parties, and workshops. Book a session here.

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