It's been said time and time again: communication is key for relationships to work. But while talking about your feelings or coming to a compromise may not be too much trouble for you, sometimes being open about sex with your significant other is way easier said than done.
"Nothing makes opening up harder than fearing rejection, ridicule or repulsion," Dr. Laura Deitsch, Vibrant's resident sexologist, tells Bustle. "Our culture has drilled into our heads what is acceptable and what is deviant and we haven't created a lot of space to bridge that gap."
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that still shames having sex for pleasure. As Sunny Rodgers, a clinical sexologist and certified sex coach tells Bustle, that's created fear over sexual communication in relationships.
"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," Rodgers says. "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 while we may have those fears around sexual communication, research shows how important it really is. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that talking about sex with your partner is positively linked with relationship satisfaction. Another more recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research also found that long-term couples who practice sexual communication have better sex and manage to keep the spark alive.
It's also important to keep in mind that your individual tastes and preferences can change over time. So if you're in a long-term relationship keeping the lines of communication open is important, especially if you want to keep having amazing sex. So how do you get to that point?