Here's exactly how to have that talk sans any awkward "birds and the bees" mentions.
Why is it important to talk about sex with my new partner?
"In order to have good sex, you need to communicate your wants, needs, and desires to your partner," says SKYN's sex & intimacy expert, Gigi Engle, a certified sex coach and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. "You cannot have a good sex life without communication. If you want to know how your partner likes to be touched, or you want your partner to touch you in a certain way, you need to be able to articulate that."
Think about it as if you're completing a school or work project. If your employer (or teacher, or boss, or whomever in this imaginary scenario) provides you with a task, the more details they include about how to complete it, the more successful you will be. Same goes for sex, ya'll.
Plus, everyone is different. What might have worked on a previous sexual partner could have little effect on your new sex bud. The good news? Communication fixes all of this.
What should we talk about specifically?
Get ready to discuss it all. "You have to discuss everything," says Engle. Obvi, the two of you are going to need to get on the same page about where you stand, and what boning means to you. Specifically, Engle says you've got to go over the following questions:
- What does this sexual encounter mean to you?
- Is this casual or a relationship?
- Are you planning to be monogamous?
- Are you sleeping with other people?
Once you've gotten on the same page about all the ~emotional~ stuff, it's time to talk STIs. "Find out when the last time they were tested was and ask to see their STI results," advises Engle, who also notes the same goes for you. Healthy sex = great sex. This conversation should happen in a place where you feel safe (aka your living room couch or kitchen counter) away from the bedroom to ensure honesty and openness.
Then, it's time to chat about the fun topics that are about to take your sex life to the next level. To ensure you're both having fireworks-level orgasms, Engle recommends asking each other these two simple questions:
- How do you like to be touched?
- What can I do to make you feel good?
If you learn that the two of you would be into some kinky or bondage-type sex play, Engle says it's time to take the communication to the next level. "Talk about safe words, boundaries, likes and dislikes," she says.
How do I bring up sex in the least awkward way possible?
Make it fun. "The key is being playful, cautious, and curious," explains Engle. Try kicking off the conversation with the fun part by making it clear you're just trying to ramp up your sex life.
Engle recommends saying something along these lines: "Babe. I want us to have the best sex ever. What's a fantasy you have? What do you like during sex? What's your favourite sex position? What's your favourite toy to play with?" Continue with any questions you may have about their preferences, and then work your way into the other topics mentioned above.
You could also try Googling for a "Yes, No, Maybe" sexual boundary list where you and your partner can discuss which of the prompts you'd be interested in trying.
Is there anything I should *not* bring up?
No. Next question pls. Lol, but for real: If something's on your mind, it's worth going there.
When should I initiate this sex talk?
You don't have to launch into it the *second* you match with that hottie on Tinder, but Engle does recommend bringing it up before you to take a trip to Pound Town. "Have conversations about sex before you have it at all," she advises.
"For kinks, fetishes, and anything more intense than you run-of-the-mill sex, you need to negotiate boundaries, limits, and safe words before you engage in any kind of play," Engle adds. "You have to make sure you are in a safe, trusting environment with someone who will respect your boundaries."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan US.