While working with different women, many have confided in me that sometimes they are frustrated because they aren’t able to communicate well with their partner during sex.
For example: “He’s hurting me”, “He keeps touching the top of my clitoris but I like it when he touches the sides”, “He bites my nipples”, “He always wants me on all fours and I don’t always feel comfortable with it”, “He puts his finger inside me and sometimes it doesn’t feel good”, “He goes down on me for a too long and I want him to penetrate because I am tired. Until he gets on with it, I’ll fall asleep”…
When I ask these women to describe the situation and how they let their partner know that they don’t like something they testify that they tell their partner: “you are hurting me”, “not on the top of the clit, but on the sides”, “don’t bite my nipples”, “I don’t like doggy style”, “don’t put your finger so deep”, “do you mind getting inside me already?”.
When two people become a couple, many times these remakes characterize their communication. But this communication style can sabotage the act of love making.
During the 1960’s, Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg developed a communication style called “Nonviolent Communication”. It is meant to help manage the relationship. Additionally, it helps the couple grow closer and make the relationship more satisfying. Nonviolent communication does this by focusing on communication style. In this article I will talk about the conflicts that arise between men and women during sex and how nonviolent communication can help.
Sexual intercourse is a very energetic and intimate act. First of all for the person with herself and second, for each person with their partner. Each person knows himself the best and knows exactly how, how much, and where certain things feel pleasurable. Because love making is an act involving two people, sometimes there is a mismatch between what we like and interpret as pleasant, and what our partners interprets as pleasant for us.
When a man goes down on a woman and licks her side to side he wants to give her pleasure. He has the best intention at heart. But what can she do if she likes being licked up and down? Or when he constantly uses the tip of his tongue to touch her clitoris? He is sure that it’s the epitome of pleasure for her. But now she needs to find a way to explain that touching there for a prolonged period of time can drive her crazy, and not in a good way.
In the beginning you say nothing. You let it go. You wait and you hope that he moves on to something else. But he just goes on doing his thing. Then you muster up the courage and say something like “don’t touch my clitoris, touch next to it”. And your partner, who just got criticized, feels like you just poured a bucket of cold water on his back and feels demeaned or degraded. The sexual energy in the room suddenly changes.
Of course, negative remarks aren’t the sole domain of women. Men too, can destroy the vibe and energy with comments that hurt and make the woman cringe.
“You are biting…not with teeth”, “ouch, you are hurting me”, “you are too passive”.
At this point it’s important to remember that you are both there to bring each other pleasure.
Instead of commenting with negative phrasing using words like “don’t” and “no” you can use empowering and positive communication. “Touch the left side of my clit with your tongue”, “that feels amazing”, just say what you do like instead of what you don’t!
When using negative phrases there really is no chance that we can make our partner feel close to us because this type of communication is castrating.
The questions now becomes, why do we choose negative remarks over positive ones? We are talking to the people who are there to bring us pleasure. How can we try to understand and be closer to our partner? Once we said something that hurt their feelings it becomes much harder even though he had the best intentions at heart. Both of you probably did.
In most cases, couples that have poor communication bring it with them to the bedroom. When they talk it’s like “speaking to walls”. They talk, but can’t listen to one another and be heard. Good communication style is a hallmark of happy couples. Bad communication, that can become no-communication, is a major cause for breakups. But good communication can heal a relationship.
During intercourse, we are very close to each other but we are also very exposed. Both of you want the same things – to enjoy yourself and to have your partner enjoy as well. But all the examples above of comments we make sometimes happen when we aren’t having a good time, even though our partner means well.
A major reason this happens is that we approach sex with a goal in mind. For example to have a good time or to keep our partner happy even though we are tired (you would be surprised to learn that many women complain that their partners are constantly tired and don’t want as much sex as they do). We can be “in bed” giving our partner our body, but we aren’t really there in mind.
At its core, sexual intercourse is better when we are present in mind as well as in body. It’s about being present, and not thinking about what we should be doing later. Good sex is focused on passion and not on the end result.
Try starting an intimate evening when you are both naked sitting in front of each other, not too close, but not too far. Look in each other’s eyes for 5 minutes while holding hands. This exercise of looking while not speaking doesn’t usually happen during the day to day, not outside the bedroom and definitely not in the bedroom. But this is an important exercise and it can do wonders. In the beginning it can be awkward but all of a sudden you will start to really see one another. You are not only looking at each other, instead, you are also seeing and noticing each other.
After such a session you are welcome to talk, but only using positive phrasing. Any sentence that is said in a negative way can also be said in a positive way. For example, instead of saying “I don’t like when you lick from side to side” you can say “when you lick up and down it feels amazing”. This small change in the way you communicate could be seen as small and semantic, but it carries a huge impact on the way the other side reacts. By saying something positive and empowering, we harness our partner to do what as we ask. More so, he will do it in the exact or correct way in which we asked him to do it.
In many cases when you ask something of your partner and he doesn’t do it correctly, he will feel attacked and will answer defensively. For example, he could say – “when you go down on me you always hurt me too, but I don’t say anything. You on the other hand say something straight away”.
It is true that these responses could be instinctive. Additionally, our responses could be more complex and are meant to address other issues entirely.
For example, when she says “don’t just lick me on the sides” she is talking about how he is not being thorough enough. She is also thinking about an earlier and unrelated conversation they had about how he is not thorough when he does the dishes. He can feel even more offended by the negative tone of the remark because he knows that when things are reversed he doesn’t say anything. Once she does say something all hell breaks loose and both start accusing one another. Another classic scenario is him walking away, becoming emotionally detached, silent, and dismissive. At this point the sex is over.
It is also true that during love making we don’t want to start having long and complex conversations. But we don’t need to. Good sexual communication can direct and focus the couple and help make the experience fulfilling and satisfying.
Holding on to negative emotions doesn’t help anyone. When you have a need it is best to express it. But choose to do so in a positive and empowering way. Good sexual communication can add a lot of fun and sensuality to the act of love making.