#SexColumn: Checking in during sex

Checking in during sex can increase pleasure and enjoyment. Picture: File

Checking in during sex can increase pleasure and enjoyment. Picture: File

Published Jun 21, 2024


By Sharon Gordon

Don’t you just love it when someone tells you to “communicate”. For most of us, it doesn’t come easy, and even if it did, we wouldn’t know where to start. Many matters are left unsaid because we’re afraid of being judged or disliked. Many relationships find themselves in deep water because when we do raise a concern, the reaction is so severe that we choose never to speak up again.

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Whether it’s a romantic partnership, a familial bond, or a friendship, the ability to communicate openly and honestly can strengthen your connection, foster mutual understanding, and resolve conflict more effectively.

Sex as we know is a team sport. And those of you who have played a team sport will know that calling out, knowing where your team member is at any given time, and trusting that he/she will catch the ball is vital to the success of the team. Selfish players, regardless of how good they are, eventually lose their place.

I’ve been known to get grumpy if my partner breathes in the wrong direction during sex.

Checking in during sex doesn’t need to ruin the moment. It creates a strong connection of trust and establishes open communication. Checking in during sex can increase pleasure and enjoyment.

One of the best things to ask is, “How does this feel?” And then be prepared for the answer because the truth is it may not feel great. You cannot be afraid to answer truthfully because believe me if you say it feels great and it doesn’t your partner will be using that same move that you hate forever. So be honest.

If you are the one hearing the feedback, don’t take offence! And don’t you dare say, “My previous partner loved this.” I am not your previous partner, and she probably lied.

Active listening is one of the most critical components of effective communication. It involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding, and then remembering what the other person has said.

Another goodie is, “Does this turn you on?” This one is tricky because what turns me on today may not turn me on tomorrow. When I am turned on, we can be more adventurous, talk dirtier, and try better toys. When I’m not, then I’m a bit conservative. Heads up, using my nipples as if they are knobs to tune a radio NEVER turns me on.

Nonverbal cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, play a significant role in communication. So, pay attention. I have the kind of face that rolls its eyes out loud even when I’m trying my best to keep a poker face.

“Is this too much?” Yes, my clitoris is not a DJ booth! We all believe that we are the world’s best lovers. We know our way around a body and have used the same tricks year in and year out. Maybe it is too much. Maybe it’s not. If the answer is yes, then the next question should be, “Show me how you would prefer me to do it?”

Feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Do you know every next move and are bored to death? Then the next question should be, “Want to try something different?” And then have a play planned if the answer is yes. What would you do if you could shake things up? Does this feel good is great when all the right sounds are being made. Listen for the subtle groans and how they change after the question is asked. What I call the dolphin sound, a high-pitched “hu-uh”, is never a good sound. I suggest you stop or ask, “Do you want me to continue?”

It’s a great way to get consent. Do remember that consent can be withdrawn at any time. My favourite question, especially when it comes to ice cream, is: “Do you want more of that?”

This is the question that can be adapted to many versions of your play. Think deeper, faster, harder. It can be extremely liberating once you’ve learned that your partner will not take offence and more importantly adapt their skills.

These questions are basic but difficult to ask and answer. If you are able to without fear, you are fortunate indeed. Improving communication skills in your relationship requires effort, practice, and a willingness to adapt.

By actively listening, expressing yourself clearly, paying attention to nonverbal cues, practising empathy, resolving conflicts effectively, regularly checking in, and seeking professional help when needed, you can build a stronger, more understanding, and more fulfilling relationship. Remember, communication is a two-way street, and both parties need to be committed to fostering an open and honest dialogue.

Saturday Star