How To Talk About Your Sex Life With Your Partner, Because Timing Matters

Talking about sex is an important part of every relationship, but that doest mean it’s always easy. Often the conversations are difficult and awkward

— plus, you’re worried about upsetting your partner. But you don’t need to think that talking about your sex life with your partner is a sign that you have a bad sex life. You can have a great sex life and still discuss what you like, what you want to try, or what isn’t working for you.

“[Couples with healthy sex lives] have awkward conversations,” sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Nikki Goldstein tells Bustle. “Often people can have sex but are scared to talk about it out of fear that might offend their partner or it might be awkward. In order to have a healthy sex life you need to have sometimes awkward conversations about what might not be working in the bedroom or what you want more or less of.”

Just think of it as a discussion — the more you do it, the more normal it will become. So what’s the best way to talk about sex with your partner? Well, it starts with where and when you do it. Here are some tips:

When To Do It

Timing is important. Maybe this should go without saying, but you don’t want to take out a checklist of what someone’s done wrong as soon as the sex is finished. If they ask you for feedback, you can give it— but try and be balanced. If you’re bringing up an issue for the first time, it may be best not to bring it up right before or right after sex.

Where To Do It

Contrary to what you hear about “pillow talk”, the bedroom might be the last place you want to talk about it. “Teachable moments are always a great way to bring up something you want to address,” Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. “Talking about improving your sex life is usually best when it happens outside of the bedroom and not when you’re about to be intimate.”

A neutral location where it comes up naturally or you can steer that conversation that way is best — coffees, going for walks, lazy Sundays. Aim for the times where it doesn’t feel so loaded and there’s not pressure to perform right after.

How To Do It

Once you’ve figured out when and where to bring it up, then how do you do it? Well, try to be kind and remember that this is just a moment in time. “Compassion and an open mind is important,” Janna Koretz, Psy.D., licensed psychologist and Azimuth Psychological founder, tells Bustle. “Also remember your partner is with you now and you will have new experiences together which will be fun and exciting.”

You have every right to bring up problems in the bedroom— and you should— but you have to do it with your partner in mind. Focus on the positive, come up with constructive solution, and then listen. Even couples with amazing sex lives have off days — and even off periods — so just know that you’ll get things back on track.