Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Let's talk about sex, baby

Boys are well known for talking and thinking about sex all the time. I'm generalising, but it's okay to do that with facts.

So, imagine my surprise to find out that boys dislike talking about sex in the context of their own sex life. This doesn't apply to when they exaggerate about their own sex life to their friends but only when talking to their girlfriend about the reality of their sex life.

The question is, how does one start a conversation about issues in one's sex life with one's boyfriend without making him feel inadequate?

You could be forgiven for thinking "easily" (after all, we're all grown-ups here, and it's just sex), but you would be wrong. There is literally nothing you can say to a man about any issues you have with your sex life without him assuming that you are just days away from leaving him for a well-oiled gigalo.

Try it out. Every statement you might possibly try and make to your boyfriend will be heard as "You are inadequate."

For example...

What you say: "I'd probably like it if we had sex more often."
What he hears: "You are inadequate and I am unsatisfied."

What you say: "I don't want to have quite as much sex as you seem to want to have."
What he hears: "You are inadequate and so bad in bed I can't bare it more than once a month, and that's being charitable."

What you say: "I'd like it if we spent more time cuddling."
What he hears: "You are inadequate and I see you more as a fat friend than an Adonis-esque lover."

What you say: "Would you like to try something different or kinky sometimes?"
What he hears: "You are inadequate and dull and I have a great deal of kinky experience with highly-sexed male models sporting obscenely large manhoods."

The list could go on.

So, what can we do? Have the "You think I'm inadequate" row ultimately ending in tears and retractions or keep the lip stiff and the porn handy?

You tell me. My girlfriends and I are at a loss.


  1. I think at the centre of this blog is actually a lie you're telling yourself. I think your affection/love for your partner is actually hiding from you the truth of what you are saying, because the idea of criticising anyone sexually (at least to their face) is mortifying. Broken down you are raising inadequacies in your sex life. If you ask if you can have sex more/less/kinkier; you are effectively putting control of these things upon him, and by expressing dissatisfaction at them, questioning his judgement/ability or desire to fulfil them adequately.

  2. See, proof above. You too instinctively hear talking about sex as talking about inadequacies.

  3. Beats me - I have stopped talking and just point at our six month old when the sex question comes up - if he tries to pursue his line of questioning I remind him how big the aforementioned son's head was!

    Charlotte xx

  4. Criticisms consume encouragements. I think reasonably secure people have about a 10 to 1 exchange rate, although enough encouragements can eventually produce an Obelix like situation where you can criticize without keeping tabs.

    While you can start its important that he eventually understands the game and puts you in an Obelix position too.

    One more thing: I doubt these levels of trust are achievable outside of marriage.