Sexual health. Sexual wellness. Sex. Words that are slowly becoming more accepted in everyday conversation. Communication is an essential piece of the sexual health discussion.
It is hard to experience sexual health and wellness when we often have difficulty talking about sexuality or when we do, whether this is with our partner or our doctor, we are not met with a response that is helpful to perpetuate the conversation.
I often hear stories of women going to their doctor, OB-GYN, general practitioner, etc., and express that something is wrong, only to be dismissed as “crazy”, “imagining things” or that “it is psychological.”
Often sent from professional to professional with no answers, women’s issues are too commonly swept under the rug. This is especially prevalent with “fat” women.
Doctors are quick to blame weight for sexual issues. I find that doctors often assume there is underlying past sexual abuse and send patients to therapists.
I know for myself, when I experienced a pelvic issue, I was sent from doctor to doctor, all with a clean bill of health. I didn’t discover the answer until I was in a sexual medicine workshop.
The answer was simple, I needed to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles. Moms I work with often express that they are experiencing SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence) and are told by their doctor that it is just part of life after childbirth.
Ladies, it is not! There is a help. But if the professionals we trust don’t know the information, then how can they communicate it to their patients.
I don’t believe this is their fault. We have become a society of pills instead of prevention or finding the root cause. Insurance rules the roost. It is quicker to observe a symptom and give a pill, a shot, or refer to another specialist, than to find out what is really going on.
It is imperative for us to know our bodies. Knowing your body intimately and cyclically is crucial to sexual wellness. Pay attention to normal happenings that are taking place with your body so that you are aware of what is natural.
Then if there is a change, make notes. Some things to notice- did the issue happen once or multiple times? Is it at a certain time of the month or revolving around a certain activity?
Life is busy, but life isn’t much without health. Keep a quick log in your phone, so that it is easy to see patterns. There are many health tracking apps that are very helpful.
Also, knowing your body, is essential to being able to communicate desires to a partner. It is hard to express what really gets you going sexually, if you don’t know yourself.
Women have not been taught that sex is for pleasure. Growing up, for many women, sex, if talked about at all, resulted in negative consequences.
Young ladies are ingrained with the idea that, “Good girls don’t touch themselves.” This dichotomy is carried on through adulthood, when women are then expected to make the switch from an unfavorable activity to one of pleasure and love with a partner.
The second part of this is being secure enough, and comfortable to ask for what you want. In many relationships, sex has stopped because one of the partner’s needs is not being met.
It is surprising how many couples have not discussed this, but just given up.
Most of us are not mind-readers, so having open communication is key to successful sexual well-being.
We have been conditioned not to hurt feelings, interrupt the moment, or even make sex about pleasure. It is imperative to reprogram ourselves to speak up and to encourage others to do the same, in an open and kind way.
The results are met with joy and appreciation, and sex is a whole lot more enjoyable, which is healthy. Articulating expectations, needs, and desires will create a bond that will lubricate the relationship outside of the bedchamber.
When sex and communication are good, everyday irritations melt away. The little things that may have caused a negative charge at some point are no longer an issue.
Sometimes we need help with communication styles and delivery. Enlisting a sex coach can arm you with skills and techniques that will benefit everyone involved.
A coach acts as an advocate to better life in the bedroom and beyond. A common communication breakdown involves fantasies and desires.
It is healthy to entertain our partner’s desires. Listening is an important part of communicating, as is being able to express intimate wishes.
It is paramount to honor that your partner felt comfortable sharing a personal inclination. Listen, hold your reaction, and think about how you would like your lover to react to your sharing of a fantasy.
Shutting down a desire can be very hurtful, and over time, the person will stop sharing, and retreat. No one wants to initiate conversations of want and be rejected.
Holding space for these fantasies, does not mean that they necessarily will be acted upon. Often, fantasies are just that, a fantasy. The logistics of the acts may not be feasible or even truly desired, but create a picture that is erotic.
As a coach, I often suggest that these cherished yearnings be recreated virtually through texts or emails. Texting or ‘Sexting’ is a great way to communicate in a non-threatening way.
Saying something simple like, “It would be so sexy if….”, is a great way to begin to discuss and entertain desires. Knowing that the possibilities expressed may take years to come to fruition is part of the allure and the journey.
Communication starts with us. Knowing yourself intimately and becoming comfortable expressing yourself will facilitate unknown benefits. Conveying issues, needs, wants, and desires will overcome tepidness when discussing sexual health and pleasure.
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