Tell me what you want, what you really, really want! By communicating your desires assertively, you can transform your sex life to be more trusting, honest, imaginative, and fun, says dating and relationship coach and founder of Tailor Matched, Asa Baav.
For the majority of us, talking about the intricacies of our sexual desires is unfamiliar territory. We aren’t taught this kind of communication and are actively discouraged from talking about our sexual desires by a society that has a very narrow definition of sex.
This kind of societal ‘Shhhhhing’ means that we can often struggle to be sexually assertive with our partners and be honest about what we want with ourselves. Sadly, that leads to problems in achieving the exciting and meaningful sex we hope for.
If we can practice recognising what we do and don’t want and learn to communicate those desires, then the growth in meaningful connection is exponential.
Whether your long-standing relationship needs revitalising, you’re in a new relationship and want to build authentic communication around sex, or you hold fear around your own sexual desires while dating, you CAN become assertive and learn how to speak your sexual truth.
Here are four BIG ways that sexual assertiveness will change your connections (to yourself and your lover):
1. Your sexual communication will get HOTTER
If you’re unable to vocalise what you want (or don’t want) to yourself, it’s likely that a conversation with your partner will be equally lacking. That’s why sexual assertiveness starts from within.
The rewards of being honest with yourself can be huge. So the, how do you become more sexually assertive? You can start by having an honest conversation with yourself about your wants, needs and desires. If you can sit down and have this conversation with yourself, you will be better placed to have a conversation with someone else.
Write your own sexual manifesto!
As a dating and relationship coach, I love to invite my clients to write their own sexual manifesto. Often we can become so much stronger in our knowledge of what we want and our ability to communicate those wants after we’ve gotten them down on paper. It’s like having a trial run of a conversation, and better still, it’s always there.
Like with most things, sexual desires shift and change all the time. Having a manifesto to refer back to acts as a landing page. Some of your wants and the things you don’t want will stay solid whilst others will adjust over time. You can track the changes by having everything written down.
If you find yourself in a new relationship or feeling stagnant in the one you’re in, you can refer back to your writing whenever you need to reconnect with yourself.
It’s up to you how far you go with this. You can have lots of bullet points, a sex menu, a mood board—whatever works for you in answering the question: What do I want?
Here are some prompts to get you started:
- What do my favourite sexual experiences have in common?
- What emotions do I feel during really good sex?
- Which sex toys do I like or want to try?
- What feels uncomfortable during foreplay/sex?
- Who am I allowed to be during sex?
- What makes me feel turned on during a normal day?
- What do I masturbate about that I would like a partner to do?
- When do I want to have sex/crave sex?
- Why is sex important to me?
Once you’ve begun to think honestly and openly with yourself about your sexual desires and you’ve written them down, you can start to notice patterns and compare what you want with the reality of what you have.
Exploring this conversationally with your partner could prompt a dialogue around sex. You could even share your manifesto if you feel comfortable doing so, helping to build an environment of sexual honesty and exploration.
This leads to more trust and an exercising of the communication muscle, which could translate to more dialogue about sex and desire in your relationship/s.
2. You’ll own your Turn-ONs and Turn-OFFs
Sexual assertiveness is a wholehearted approach to getting what you desire.
This also means knowing what you don’t want and having the confidence to communicate it.
Your partner is not a mind reader and needs to know what you like and dislike, and better still, why (though you can decide how much you share; know your own boundaries).
If you state that you don’t like doggy style, it possible for you and your partner/s to cancel it from your repertoire. However, by telling your partner why you don’t like it (let’s say it makes you feel like they don’t think your face is pretty), your partner then has more information and understanding of where you’re coming from. You may still end up not having sex doggy style, but you also now have the opportunity to address the underlying issues that are getting in the way of you enjoying certain positions, acts, and scenarios etc.
3. You’ll invite your lover to be more open too
If you are vulnerable and express how you really feel and what you want, it’s far more likely that your partner will do the same.
Most of us aren’t sexually assertive by nature because we haven’t been socialised to be. So think of it as a practice that improves the more you try it.
This isn’t to say you should barrel into a conversation about pegging your partner if you’ve never before even uttered a word about anal!
Try easing into dialogue by telling your partner something they do that you love and then following it by talking about something that doesn’t do it for you.
Identify the fears you have around speaking your sexual truth.
If you fear rejection or humiliation from your partner, you should think about why you feel this way. Is it to do with your past and your triggers? Is it because your current partner lacks sensitivity or openness? Knowing what is blocking you from communicating may help you find a way around those blocks. It might also enlighten you as the current nature of your relationship, highlighting areas that need work or indicating it might be time to move away from one another.
4. You’ll overcome fears and become more confident
For many of us, the thought of being more sexually assertive is scary and goes against our upbringing.
The more we can embrace the messy authenticity of desire, the more we can explore ourselves and each other.
The chances are, if you’re reading this, then you’re not completely comfortable with your own sexual assertiveness. The secret is that everyone struggles with identifying and communicating sexual desire!
But luckily, sexual confidence is contagious. If you’re able to increase your assertiveness, the chances are your partner/s will too.
Is your partner willing to take a risk with you? If you suggested a curveball vacation destination or an unusual restaurant that you really fancied trying, would they go there with you?
Sex can be a place you go together; just like with other destinations, some are more in line with what you like than others.
The key is to use your imagination, ask for what you want and be kind to yourself and each other if you don’t get things right the first time.
So delve into your own sexual truth, write down what you find, then try and communicate it with someone you trust. Improve your communication with some sexual assertiveness, and a more imaginative and honest sex life awaits you!
Asa Baav is a dating coach, relationship coach and ‘matchmaker on a mission’ to help single Londoners over thirty to find love and sexual compatibility. Don’t leave love to an algorithm!