Sex can be one of the most intimate and enjoyable bonding experiences that marriage has to offer. It can also be extremely scary to talk about. The following tips will help you to communicate openly and clearly about a behind-closed-doors topic.

Establish a comfortable environment

I feel so much better about discussing sex with my husband when we are sitting on our bed than when we are sitting on the couch. The living room is where we talk about everything else; our conversations about sex ought to be special. Telling my husband that I need to talk to him in the bedroom for a few minutes signals that we need to have mutual trust and respect. You can establish your own safe place, even if it means instant messaging each other because you feel weird saying some things out loud.

Choose an appropriate time

Remember, you are trying to have a meaningful conversation about a sensitive subject. Just because it's sex and just because it's you doesn't mean that your spouse will drop everything. You will want your spouse's full attention; wait until a time that you can actually get your spouse's full attention. You could even set a time for after the game, after you put the kids to bed or after the work week is over.

Determine your lingo

When I send my husband a text message and he responds "eyebrows," I know that means he's wiggling his eyebrows up and down, indicating that he's taking my statement in a suggestive way. Being mutually aware of how you and your spouse talk about sex takes discomfort and emotional distance out of the equation. Do you and your spouse prefer medical terminology? Cutesy nicknames? Vague implications? It doesn't really matter which one, so long as you and your spouse understand each other.

Learn from trusted sources about the things that are true for everyone

Whether from a well-written book or a trained counselor with similar ideals, it can be immensely helpful to get insights from outside sources. My husband and I read the same book before we got married, written by a minister/counselor with help from his wife. This book provided insights on differences between men and women while discussing sex in a conservative, reverent way. Having this baseline gave us something to refer to in our conversations, not to mention giving us the freedom to figure out what worked for us specifically.

Be lighthearted

I love to flirt with my husband, even if it means nonchalantly saying suggestive things, followed by a wink and a giggle. By letting sex be a fun thing between just the two of you, you allow it to be a less formidable topic when you are looking for more serious insights or understanding.

Be open-minded and considerate, yet assertive

When you begin a conversation about sex with your husband, you may be surprised by the comments and suggestions you get in return. Sometimes your husband's ideas may seem foreign or a little uncomfortable, but if you are both going into the situation with a sense of love and adventure, it can be a positive experience for both of you. On the other hand, if a suggestion simply crosses a line, it's OK to say no and state your discomfort. The goal is not to make your husband feel guilty or ridiculous, but rather to help him help you feel at home in his arms.

Speaking from experience, these principles make for loving, helpful conversations about sex. These conversations can be a sweet investment in one of the most symbolic and pleasurable elements of your marriage.

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