Specialty Counseling & Relationships: 4 Tips for Discussing Sexual Issues With Your Partner
Updated: Jul 30
Intimacy is a central part of most romantic relationships, as well as your personal mental and behavioral health. However, it can be tricky to talk to your partner about sexual issues. Here are some tips to help you open this conversation with your partner for a more fulfilling sex life.
As with any relationship problem, timing is everything when talking about sexual issues. Approaching the topic gently in a comfortable setting will encourage your partner to be more open. You might chat with your partner on the couch while drinking coffee or suggest going for a walk. Most “neutral” locations can work, but avoid having the conversation in the bedroom or right after intimacy.
Start the conversation by expressing your concern and telling your partner that you want to feel closer to them. By focusing on intimacy in general rather than specific problems, you can slowly introduce your partner to the conversation. They will likely be more receptive when you gently begin the discussion in a location where you both feel comfortable.
When discussing relationship issues, it’s easy to verbalize a list of complaints. You might be tempted to tell your partner that they don’t initiate enough or aren’t focusing on your satisfaction. However, this approach can cause them to get defensive or avoid the conversation altogether.
Instead, try focusing on the positive. Tell them that you enjoy cuddling in bed or would love to try new forms of intimacy. Be sure to be specific. Doing so encourages a constructive discussion, where you can both express your desires. Continue to ask questions during the conversation, and be sure that you actively listen to your partner.
If you’re concerned about framing the conversation effectively, consider seeking individual therapy. Your therapist can help you sort through your thoughts and practice productive conversation techniques.
Intimacy is a complex subject, so don’t expect to solve all of your sexual issues in one conversation. It’s perfectly okay to table the discussion and come back to it. You might consider tackling one aspect of your sex life at a time. For example, you could discuss the frequency of intimacy one day and bring up how you can better initiate another time. Breaking up the conversation into digestible bits allows you to reflect and follow up. You’ll also have time to try out the improvements you and your partner talked about.
Remember that you and your partner don’t have to tackle your sexual issues on your own. A couple’s therapist can help you navigate this discussion through specialty counseling services. During these sessions, your therapist will facilitate a healthy exchange between you and your partner. They can help you ask meaningful questions, express yourselves clearly, and truly understand each other.
The presence of a mediator and behavioral health services professional, can relieve pressure and keep the conversation on track. They can also give you some tools to have constructive discussions at home and to make intimacy a more fulfilling part of your relationship again.
If you are interested in mental health counseling services to navigate sexual issues with your partner, the team at The Collective is available to help. This Denver behavioral health center can help you start difficult discussions, so you can find fulfillment in your relationship.
Does my insurance cover a therapist at The Collective?
The Collective is partnered with several insurance providers to make our services more accessible to you. You can verify your insurance through our website before scheduling an appointment.