Why Can't We Talk About Sex?

October 13, 2019

Talking about sex is so important to a healthy relationship, yet it is often so difficult for couples to do. Even couples who are good at working through conflict can find it difficult to talk about sex.

Why is that?

Humans are wired to avoid negative emotions, and conversations about sex can trigger some of the most sensitive emotions. So many couples would rather put up with an unhappy sex life rather than have those uncomfortable conversations.

In North America in particular, sex is shrouded in shame and embarrassment. We are socialized to have certain expectations of what our sex life should look like, and if it’s different from that or if we want to vary from that script, we feel too vulnerable and exposed to go there with our partner.

When it comes to sex, our social taboos breed a myriad of fears. We live in fear of:

  • Hurting our partner’s feelings,
  • Being hurt by our partner’s reactions
  • Losing our partner by causing damage to the relationship
  • Losing our partner’s approval
  • Being rejected by our partner
  • Being judged by our partner

But when we give in to those fears and avoid having those sensitive conversations, we end up making assumptions about what our partner is thinking or what is causing them to behave in a certain way. This only makes the situation worse.

Talking open and candidly with our partner, learning to sit in the discomfort and vulnerability, actually strengthens the relationship and builds intimacy.

Are you and your partner on the same page?