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Being sexually assertive is a learned skill. Many of us struggle to express our needs, clarify our desires, and establish boundaries in the bedroom. Though you may have struggled with confidently expressing yourself in the past, it's never too late to change the way you communicate with your sexual partner.
By becoming more sexually assertive, you can enjoy an even healthier and more passionate sex life.
Be Proactive Regarding Your Sexual Health
Check up on your sexual health before diving into the sack. Studies have shown that only 22% of women and 38% of men talk to their doctors about their sexual health after the age of 50. Adults over 50 are also at risk for HIV and STIs but are nearly 80% less likely to get tested than adults under the age of 30. Using protection is still important, too! By openly discussing sex with your doctor and your sexual partners, you can take better control of your sex life, allowing you to feel more comfortable and confident in the bedroom.
Express Your Desires With "I"-Statements
Sometimes, expressing our sexual desires can be tricky. Whether you're not interested in a particular sexual act or are needing something different from your partner, you may be worried about how your statement will be interpreted. Instead of saying something like "You're really making me feel pressured into this," use an "I"-statement, such as "I'm really not comfortable with having sex right now." Using "I"-statements to express your desires is another great way to convey your needs in bed. "I'd really love it if you tried that," makes your interests clear without placing any blame on your partner's shoulders.
Avoid Personal Risk Factors
Your ability to be sexually assertive may wax and wane depending on a number of situational factors. Alcohol, for instance, may lower your inhibitions, leading to sexual encounters with fewer boundaries and less clearly expressed desires. Communicating your desires to a master manipulator may not be very effective, either. If you know that certain people or situations will inhibit your ability to express your sexual needs, avoid them. When you're comfortable and treated with respect it's much easier to express yourself both inside and outside the bedroom.
Uncover Pleasurable Sensations and Desires
When you have some time to relax with your partner, try this simple exercise to learn more about your bodily sensations. Dim the lights and spend 10 minutes gently touching your partner's body. Explore different forms of touch, varying the pressure and speed at which you touch them. Avoid the genitals while doing so. Afterwards, have your partner do the same to you. When you're finished, discuss the experience with each other. Talk about the sensations that you most enjoyed and any that you didn't like. This activity will help you learn more about the sensations your partner most enjoys while helping you focus on the present. It's also a great opportunity to practice expressing your desires without the stress of doing so in the heat of the moment.
Forget Your Insecurities and Fake Confidence
Everyone knows that confidence is sexy. Even if you're feeling a little insecure, faking bravado in the bedroom can actually leave you feeling more bold and outgoing. Set aside any insecurities you may have and focus on the sensations at hand. Being present and confident will likely rub off on your partner, making sex even more pleasurable for both of you.
Don't Expect Perfection
Sex rarely goes exactly as planned. By accepting this fact, you can become more sexually confident. If you're worried about things not going as planned, think through these scenarios beforehand. If you keep your cool, you can salvage almost any embarrassing situation.
Laugh it Off
When everything goes wrong, the best thing you can do is laugh. Laughter can eliminate stress from a situation while helping you bond with your partner. Taking sex less seriously can significantly reduce the pressure you feel in the bedroom, making it easier to act on your true desires.
When it comes to sexual assertiveness, practice makes perfect. Though changing deeply-ingrained habits often takes time, the potential payoff is a more honest and fulfilling sex life. Changing your communication techniques just might pave the road to greater intimacy in your future.
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