#Sexual Health

People Talk Least About Sex To The Person They Are Having It With

sex talk, Sexless Indian Marriages
Couples in India struggle a lot when it comes to sex talk: This is not surprising, thanks to the sex talk phobia most people battle with. So why does this happen? Well for starters, no one has really modelled this behaviour for us when we were growing up. People have always been hush-hush about sex. For the few of us who had the bare minimum sex education in our standard nine biology class, we were only taught about contraception, uterus, and fallopian tubes. No one told us about intimacy, consent, communication, and pleasure.

Majority of people have learned about sex and intimacy through Rom-Coms and porn. But sex is always non-verbal in both of those mediums. Have you ever seen an on-screen couple talk about how they like to make love before they have sex? The answer would most likely be a ‘no’. Thanks to this narrative spread by most media, you are expected to know your partner’s likes and dislikes through some mysterious telepathic means.

There is a verbal element to sex that we often overlook and as a result, end up with a lukewarm sex life that feels like a chore. We need to talk about sex if we want to have good sex. We need to talk about our sexual wants and dislikes. Please remember that the other person is not a mind reader and is not trained about how your body functions sexually. Different people like different things in sex, even two individuals in the same couple.

There is a verbal element to sex that we often overlook and as a result, end up with a lukewarm sex life that feels like a chore: Why sex talk is important

But the culturally, socially ingrained shame around sexual pleasure bars us from doing that. We get into rush-repeat mode.

Many married couples or couples who have been together a long time sigh out a sense of boredom in their sex life. Their sex life feels like a chore of everything they once liked but feels like a boring routine now. We assume that there is something wrong with our partners or us because our sex life has now become stagnant.

Part of this complacency comes from the assumption that I have already discovered what was there to discover in my spouse. But most of us forget that people are not rigid entities. Our life, our sexual personalities are complex, fluid, and ever-evolving. It is where fantasies come into play because they unearth a totally unexplored realm in the mental mindscape of your partner. The biggest sex organ in our body is not in between our two legs, it is between our two ears.

In short, if you want to resurrect your sex life, fantasies are the answer. We need a safe zone to uncork our eroticism, which is restrained by social norms, to truly experience the wonderful, unbridled joy of being sexually intimate with your loved one. In the mental canvas of fantasy, we are in charge of our desire and we see what arouses us truly, in what situations and we discover that sharing fantasies act as the bridges of sexual desire between us and our partner.

But how do you familiarise yourself with your fantasies and share with your partner without feeling judged and shamed?

Here are some conversation starters to get you imagining and flowing with your partner.

1. What do you like to experience in sex?

Belgian psychotherapist, Esther Perel in her intimacy inventory talks about the varied experiences that we seek through sex: tenderness, softness, closeness, intensity, aggression, transcendence, spiritual connection, rebelliousness, a release, surrender, dominance, abandon, unboundedness, freedom, freedom from responsibility, ruthlessness, timelessness, giving, receiving, being taken, possessing.

2. What is something sexual that arouses you?

For example, you like it when they touch your back, kisses on the neck, the visuals of breasts or genitals, etc.

3. If you are the director of a commissioned erotic film, how would you direct the film?

Go beyond the word – what kind of characters, setting, mood, dressing, intimate acts etc.

4. If you could have sex with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would you choose?

5. What do you think of when you masturbate?

Sex is never just sex. If the act of just penetration or stimulating the genitals was all there was to sex, you can just make do with a sex toy or use your hands. Having sex with your partner is much more than that. We crave that connection, intimacy, and the vitality that comes with having a partner who can respond to your desire and both of you get into a delicate dance of desire and pleasure.

Talking about and indulging in your fantasies initiates arousal and triggers desire. When there is desire, the drive to fulfil the same will follow, reigniting the flame that was dwindling before. Even if you do not feel like your sex life is in a rut, it is healthy for you and your partner to talk about your fantasies. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Pallavi Barnwal is a certified sexuality coach and founder of a sex-positive platform Get Intimacy. She has been featured as a sexpert in publications such as Huffington Post, India Today, Vogue, The Hindu, Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Express, Times Of India, BBC, Deccan Chronicle, Femina and more. She specialises in helping people gain courage to talk openly about sex and relationships and equipping them with actionable tips and skills so they can start having more pleasure both inside and outside their bedroom.