How Do I Improve My Sex Life? 16 Questions To Ask Your Partner Before Getting Hot & Heavy
Talking about sex may conjure images of clinical conversations or dirty talk. Really, there are multitudes of conversations to be had in between, many of which can vastly improve your sex life if you let them. So, when you are considering questions to ask your partner to improve your relationship, consider adding these sex-related questions to the mix.
Communicating, whether it be about your physical desires or your emotional needs, is absolutely necessary for having a healthy, fulfilling sex life. It's important not to let any false narratives cloud your understanding of that.
"The problem is that so many people believe that sex with your partner should always be amazingly magical — without ever saying a word," Dr. Emily Morse, sexologist for LifeStyles and SKYN Condoms, and host of the Sex With Emily podcast, tells Bustle. "Our partners aren’t mind readers and neither are we, so the only way everyone is going to get what they need is with some good old-fashion talking. The very act of talking about sex in a healthy way will most always lead to better sex — which is why I always advise that ‘communication is a lubrication.'" Communication is both the foundation of a good intimate relationship, and a way to continue ramping it up a notch as time goes by.
Plus, there are tons of variables, like consent, confidence, comfortability, and emotional vulnerability. And a lot of them won't be covered unless you actively work to bring them up. If you aren't sure where to start in tackling these topics, however, there are experts to help.
Here are 16 questions to ask to improve your sex life.
1. "What Turns You On?"
It may seem like scratching the surface, but starting with the simplest questions is actually really important for improving your sex life.
"I know, it sounds super general, but you wouldn’t cook dinner for someone without having a general idea of what foods they like, why would you go into having sex with someone just as unaware?" Lisa Finn, resident sex educator at Babeland tells Bustle. "Knowing what turns someone on will not only let you know what they like, but it can open up the conversation into where those turn-ons match up with yours. From there, you can create a menu of things to do together in bed." Also, this question is a great way to get in the mood.
2. "What Does Consent Look Like To You?"
Consent is the bare minimum for good sex, but it's absolutely crucial for laying the groundwork. You may not know whether affirmative consent looks like a head nod or a "please do this to me" from your partner unless you talk about it first.
"Consent is one of the most important conversations to start with a potential partner," Sofía A. Monterroso, co-founder and Executive Director of Campus CAARE, tells Bustle. "... For folks who are not as comfortable or knowledgable with consent language, that conversation can also start with 'How do you instigate sex?' [or] 'what needs to happen for you to feel safest and most comfortable when were intimate?'" There are all sorts of ways to talk about consent, and they are all good options, especially when compared to simply not talking about it.
3. "How Do You Like To Be Touched?"
Sometimes, asking questions like these that are less direct can help make people more comfortable talking about sex and sexuality.
Also, asking active questions like these can make talking about sex sexier in itself. "This question can be fun to explore physically, as you can use fingertips, lips, tongues, and other body parts to explore one another, talking through it together and discovering erotic zones that you may not have known about one another — or even yourself!" Finn says. "This is also a great activity for boundary setting, as it not only opens up the dialogue to where feels good, but you can mark where doesn’t with a 'not there,' and re-direct them with 'I like it when you touch me here.'" You two will have had a fun, flirty conversation, and also learned more about one another after this one.
4. "What Can I Do To Make You Feel Good?"
This is another open-ended question that can help keep things interesting, while also learning more about your partner and their desires.
"This question shouldn't be a one-sided conversation," Kayla Lords, writer and sexpert for JackandJillAdult.com, tells Bustle. "Like the others, ask it for the answer, and then also answer it for your partner." This question is better asked outside the heat of the moment, but can be a great transition into even better sex.
5. "What Kinds Of Touch Do You Not Feel Comfortable With?"
Along with discussing your favorite kinds of touch, it's also important to break down with your partner what you two don't like. This is especially vital to be discussed outside of the bedroom, but will become an important piece of groundwork for your sex life.
"Sex is healthiest and most pleasurable when partners are comfortable and boundaries and sensitivities are respected," Linda Baggett, PhD, a licensed psychologist specializing in sex therapy, tells Bustle. "This helps you to know up front so these ways of touch can be avoided which helps partners feel comfortable and safe and avoids awkward mid-sex conversations or experiences." And, after discovering what they don't like, you get to explore what they do like in more depth.
6. "How Do You Like To Masturbate?"
Of course, it's likely that you either won't want to or won't be able to mimic exactly how your partner masturbates when you're together, but asking this question is one of the easiest ways to figure out what makes them feel good, even if they struggle putting it into words in the abstract.
"Asking your partner how they masturbate might seem like an awkward or private question, but finding out how your partner pleases themselves is like a roadmap to their pleasure," Morse says. "Understanding if they use a toy, how they use their fingers, and specific positions will help you figure out how to please each other. One of my favorite suggestions is mutual masturbation because it’s educational and a huge turn on at the same time." Once again, simply having the conversation can open the door to a really sexy discovery.
7. "What's Your Hottest Sexual Fantasy?"
Exploring your sexual fantasies doesn't need to be something that happens solely inside your head. And discovering what your partner thinks about when they're alone can be a little window into their pleasure, even if you don't literally act out what they imagine.
"Sharing your fantasies with a partner is a direct route to understanding their most erotic desires," Morse says, "... [And] even if you don’t want a fantasy to happen IRL, try sharing a sexy scenario with your partner. If you’d rather fantasize about a threesome than actually do it, you can always talk about it during sex." Whatever works for you, talking about your fantasies can be a good way to get to know one another better sexually.
8. "What Has Been Your Favorite Moment From Our Sex Life?"
If you've been together for a while, and are looking to reignite a spark between the two of you, having a little walk down your sexual memory lane can be a really good idea.
“Exchanging your top sexual moments with a partner is an easy way to find out what exactly turns them on when they are with you," Morse says. "If your partner can’t stop thinking about the time you had sex on the beach, you’ll know it’s time to start planning the next vacation. Have them describe it back to you with detail, maybe it wasn’t so much about the waves crashing, but about how you almost got caught." Make sure you get as many details as you can, and enjoy the experience of talking about it.
9. "What's Something You've Always Fantasized About Doing, But Never Tried?"
While the first fantasy question is all about bringing someone's deepest desires to light, this simple question is more practical. Asking your partner what they want to do, but never have done, is a straightforward way to bring something into the bedroom that is likely within the realm of possibility.
Another good thing about asking this question is that it's relatively low-stakes on your end. "Because it’s coming from their mind, they can have ownership in how they envision the scene, which can take pressure off of you to feel the need to want any of it, but it can still help inspire a negotiation of what will sound great to you both," Finn says. You obviously don't need to be completely on board for their fantasy scenario, but it can be really fun if it ends up being something you've already considered.
10. "What Was Your Favorite Part Of That?"
While a lot of these questions revolve around more abstract ideas, this question is a fun, direct way to enjoy and improve your sex life.
"Rehashing a sexual encounter with a partner can also be a really fun way of improving communication," Monterroso says. So after you've cleaned up, peed, and had some water, lay back down and open the conversation up. It's productive pillow talk.
11. "What Part Of Your Body Are You Most Proud Of?"
If you're looking to explore your partner and their body in a fun, light way, before you delve into more serious questions, this can be a great one.
"This question allows the partner asking to more intentionally incorporate that body part into foreplay," Dr. Jenni Skyler, an AASECT certified sex therapist, sexologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist for AdamEve.com, tells Bustle. And even if the body part they love isn't as practical for sexual purposes, knowing what makes them feel sexy can help make things between you two sexier in general.
12. "Who Is Your Current Celebrity Crush?"
This is another low-stakes, lighthearted question that can help keep things interesting between you and your partner.
"This may give you some insight into your partner’s fantasy life," Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics in New Jersey, tells Bustle. "It is a rather simple, non-threatening question which can easily lead to more talk about fantasy, crushes ... And from there on, the sexual sky’s the limit." This is also the kind of question that works even for casual relationships, and can inspire laughter and play along with insight.
13. "If You Could Be Totally Selfish, What Would An Night Of Bliss Look Like To You?"
This question may feel bold, but the phrasing will allow your partner to delve into what they'd do with you in an imaginary world where it was all about their pleasure, allowing you to get to know their desires better.
"This question allows the partner asking greater insight into the deeper layers of desire of the partner answering the question," Skyler says. Plus, it'd be pretty fun to make each one of your selfish nights happen, if both people are comfortable with it.
14. "Have You Had Any Memorable Sexual Dreams?"
For the more nervous, or less committed, this question is another way to explore your partner's sexual interests without digging too deep.
"[This question is] a way to bring certain information to light without risking too much," Backe says. "After all, it is a dream, not reality. The benefit here is that you can easily move on from dreams to reality, by inquiring as to the turn-on factor of the dream, and discussing its potential implementation." And if they offer up a silly story as a response? Well, then at least you'll get a giggle out of it.
15. "What Gets You In The Mood The Most?"
Sometimes, when you've been with someone for a while, sex becomes a bit of a routine. To shake things up, you can start a conversation about what gets them excited, and work back from that point.
"It's common for couples to have different sex drives," Brianna Rader, a relationship and sex educator and founder of the Juicebox Sex & Relationship App, tells Bustle. "One way to deal with this issue is to better understand how your partner likes to approach sex and what gets them turned on." You may already know what touch they like, but this question will help uncover what makes them want that kind of touch in the first place.
16. "Are We Having Sex Enough?"
Lastly, this question can help address the practical side of your sexual relationship, especially if you two have been together for a while. "It is important to lay out your expectations, willingness to compromise, and ability to be realistic," licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) Kelli Felice tells Bustle.
Maybe your partner wants to be having more sex, and maybe they'd be OK with less, but whatever the answer, you can readjust your sex life to meet your balanced needs in a more proactive way.
Asking questions of your partner is not only a turn-on in many cases, but also a very practical way to improve your sex life. While it may seem scary in general to start inquiring about their desires, once you explore what these kinds of questions actually look like, you'll likely see that it's a fun and easy way to get to know the person you're with on an even deeper level. And the sex, hopefully, will improve too.