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I’ve Got News For You: Seven sex questions you need to ask your partner

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On what’s meant to be the most romantic day of the year, a psychologist has revealed the seven sex questions you need to ask your partner.

Appearing on news.com.au’s I’ve Got News For You podcast, couples therapist and co-founder of the My Love Your Love app, Shahn Baker Sorekli, said talking about intimacy openly is vital to a healthy relationship.

“Our partners are our closest confidants, the closest person to us, but we still feel awkward and embarrassed talking about sex,” he told host Andrew Bucklow.

“It’s not easy. It’s something you’ve got to kind of practice.”

Here are the seven “important” questions he suggests you ask.

1. How would you like sex to start? A slow build-up or just get straight into it?

Not to get into gender stereotypes, Shahn said, but “typically women have a longer start-up to sex than men in terms of getting the arousal level where they need it to be”.

“If you want to just go straight into sex, but your partner – and it’s not always the man/woman thing, it can be the reverse – wants a slower build-up to sex, you’re not meeting at peak arousal and tension levels, and you can be having unsatisfying sex,” he explained.

“So if you’re at opposite ends [of that spectrum], it’s great to know. And if you are the person who wants to jump straight into it, you might just need to control those impulses, build the tension in the urges, and then it’s going to be way more satisfying.”

2. Are you happy with how often we are sexually intimate, would you prefer more or less?

Asking this question, Shahn stressed, “isn’t about a numbers game”.

“It’s good to talk about where you’re both at – not necessarily to tick a box or number – but so you can just feel out where you are in the relationship, where your sex is moved towards each other a bit more,” he said.

As for whether there’s a “proper amount” of times you should be having sex, the simple answer is no – but, “if you’re having sex less than 10 times a year in a long-term committed relationship, it’s considered to be a sexual problem”.

3. What times and when do you feel most like not having sex and when is your preferred time?

If you watched The White Lotus season two, you would’ve seen the impact of this in real time on the relationship between married couple Harper and Ethan.

“One person tries to initiate sex, for example, after 9.30pm and the other person is tired, they’re exhausted from their day, and they’ve got zero arousal or interest level,” Shahn said.

“So person one goes off in a huff and puff, feeling rejected – [which is] fair enough, many people have been there and can relate to that.

“But a simple conversation around that can solve a whole lot of problems. If you know that your partner likes morning sex, or midday sex, but doesn’t like night-time sex, just cancel it out. Don’t put yourself out there to be rejected, but make time to have attempts in the other parts of the day.”

4. Do you ever worry about giving me non-sexual affection because you feel I may want to initiate sex as a result?

This one’s important because if your partner is concerned that giving you a hug or holding your hand will lead to sex, “not only do you potentially have problems in your sex life, now you’re having a non-sexual affection problem as well”.

Couples usually fall into two categories: one party feels emotionally close to a person through sex, while the other needs to feel emotional closeness to want to have sex.

“So the person who wants sex to feel closeness pursues [sex], the person who needs emotional closeness to want to have sex distances [from their partner], and it just spins out of control and can lead to really bad outcomes,” Shahn said.

5. Are you happy with the quality of our sex life? What would you like more of during sex?

While some couples in long-term relationships especially feel satisfied when their sex life falls into a routine, “often people are left wanting a bit more”.

“But because of all the kind of social constructs and historical shame around sex, it’s hard to ask for it. There’s nothing wrong with talking about what you’d like more of,” Shahn said.

“You should never shame your partner for something they want in the bedroom. It doesn’t mean you have to comply with it, but talking about it should be shame-free.

“And whatever you want in the bedroom doesn’t reflect who you are outside [it].”

When it comes to this question, though, there is a balance. While “it’s really worthwhile having these conversations, consent is absolutely huge”.

“So you’ve got to balance two things out – one is not shaming the person for something they desire, and two is completely respecting your partner’s right not to want to partake in anything.”

6. Does the idea of sex ever make you feel stressed or anxious and why?

No matter your gender, “we all have the potential to suffer from performance anxiety”.

“When you’re engaging in sex, you’re either in your sex box … or you’re in your stress box,” Shahn said.

“If you find yourself in the stress box, you might have some performance anxiety. For women, it might be a struggle to get aroused. And for men – well, it’s pretty obvious what happens. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t go up.

“If you do feel stressed or anxious around sex, you need to talk about it. Take all of the pressure off the sexual encounters and outcomes and be supportive and loving of one another and see what you can do to work together. And that really just helps the whole situation.”

7. Describe the most exciting/stimulating sex you have had with me, when, where and why it was exciting?

“This is a nice way to talk about some of the things you like in a safe place, because you did it with your partner,” Shahn said.

“You can safely talk about the things that excite you, and it just gives you the platform for that.”

Whatever you do, though, “do not talk about the best sexual experience you had with your ex”.

“That is very fraught with danger, and not a helpful thing to do.”

Story Credit: news.com.au

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