How To Feel More Comfortable Talking About Sex, According To Experts
So many people might be surprised to hear that Kim Kardashian is not comfortable talking about sex. As Kardashian explained in a recent interview with Bret Easton Ellis for Richardson Magazine, the persona she shows the public isn't necessarily representative of who she is as a person.
"My public persona is wild, sexual," Kardashian told Richardson Magazine. But I’m actually uncomfortable when I talk about sex, and I’m more conservative when it comes to that. I can go on a set and be fully naked in front of 50 people doing a shoot, but if I'm one on one, intimate in bed, I'm like shy and insecure."
The truth is, many people are shy when it comes to talking about sex — even with their partner.
"Clients I speak with have shared with me that they don’t want their partners to judge them for their sexual desires in case their partner thinks their request is strange or out of character," Sunny Rodgers, a clinical sexologist and certified sex coach, tells Bustle. "A few others feel intimidated about sex in general and can’t fathom discussing it with their partners. People will avoid talking to their partners about what they want in bed because they fear embarrassment and/or rejection."
But talking about sex can be crucial to a happy, healthy sex life, so it's good to be able to share your thoughts, needs, and desires with your partner — or at least with someone in your life. Nobody is going to tell Kim K what to do — I'm sure she has it all figured out, but some of us might want some guidance on where to begin.
So, if you find talking about sex uncomfortable, how can you get more comfortable talking about it? Here's where to start.
Approach It As A Conversation
Many people can find talking about sex makes them feel vulnerable, like they're putting themselves out there for rejection. Instead, try coming from a place of curiosity and look at it as though you're both having a conversation about things you might want to try. "Coming from a place of curiosity will help them to be forthright rather than defensive," Dr. Holly Richmond, certified sex therapist and head of advisory board for Ella Paradis, tells Bustle. "If they say something that rings true with you, that’s an opportunity to connect and share your own preferences and desires. Most of the time this conversation prompts another fantastic chapter in a couple’s sex life." So just try opening up the door a little bit and seeing where the conversation takes you.
Try Talking To Your Friends About It First
If you find the idea of talking to a partner intimidating, you can start with someone else — like your best friend. "It is absolutely normal to talk about your sex life with your best friend," Rena McDaniel, M.Ed., clinical sexologist, tells Bustle. "There are still some cultural taboos about being open with friends about your sex life, particularly for women. But talking about sex to your friends is a great way to de-stigmatize a normal and healthy part of life and shift the conversation about sex from dirty to empowering."
Let Technology Break The Ice
There really is an app for everything. If you find the face-to-face conversations difficult, you can try using an app to help break the ice. The feminist pornographer Erika Lust developed the XConfessions App just for this reason — and it's really simple to use. You both swipe on different sexual fantasies or scenarios you might be interested in trying (or not) — and if you both swipe "yes", then you can get the conversation started. To be honest, apps like this can be helpful even if your sex life is already banging. "It doesn't matter how kinky or 'vanilla' a couple's sex life is, with time and general life stresses the sex life can become monotonous," Lust says. "Sharing sexual fantasies with one another can renew excitement."
There are a lot of other apps out there too, including the Couples Chemistry Quiz which allows you both to take the quiz separately and then shares your mutual interests. The Desire App takes a more playful approach, where you can challenge each other to sexy dares — and start to learn more about each other. It's fertile ground for some very telling conversations.
If you don't want to talk about sex, even with your partner, you should never do something you're uncomfortable with. But if you want to get more comfortable talking about your sex life, try dipping your toe in the water with your friends or by opening up a general conversation like you would any other. You never know where it might lead.