Intimacy is something we shirk from talking about in most realms of our lives. In the US we are notoriously terrible at communicating about it. I am even shy for calling it out by name. Sex, I am talking about communicating about sex. I think a huge factor in dissatisfaction and in heartbreak in sex comes from poor communication. Let’s throw out the window issues of intimacy when intoxicated and just consider sober encounters of intimacy. In the healthiest of circumstances, when intimate encounters occur there needs to be constant communication. Ideally, two people who desire to be together for however long, they should first lay down the law about what they expect in the future from this person. Like, “Hey, I just want to have some fun and have a one night stand, this will just be a one time thing,” or “hey, I kinda like you. Let’s have sex and see where this goes. I’m not sure yet whether I want to be with you,” or “hey, I really like you and see myself being with you long term. Do you want to have sex?” These initial questions, though they are awkward to ask and they may slow down the moment for a few seconds, they are VERY VERY important. If we are going to be sexually liberated beings, let’s be smart and wise about it. Better yet, let’s be kind to the heart of the other fellow we are having this intimate encounter with.
Communication before is sooooooooooooo important, so the person while having sex with you can adjust to the right kinds of imagination and really focus more on creating a wonderful experience rather than faltering and worrying about what you will think afterwards or what it means relationship-wise afterwards. The healthiest encounter I had that exemplifies this was a brief encounter I had with a high school crush. Before we began or rather in the middle of heavily making out, she stopped me and laid out to me her intentions of the night. What it was to mean, and where it would go. She stated to me clearly that she only wanted this to be a one time thing and that she was interested in someone else at the time and wished to pursue them. She even asked me if I was still amenable to the arrangement. I said that I understood and that I was okay with it. I have always appreciated that moment. I was able to readjust my emotions, my imagination, and my heart so that I did not get too tangled up in the encounter. Afterwards it was a very pleasant and wonderful experience for both of us (I hope! Ha!). I have the utmost respect for that partner.
I mention developing the right kinds of imagination because like it or not your brain, or certainly my brain is always going into the imaginative realm during sex. I listen attentively to every sound, every gasp. I watch carefully the motions my partner makes and respond accordingly. In the imaginative realm I go even deeper I try to see the person more deeply if I am feeling a strong personal and sexual connection with them. I wonder to myself if I will be able to be with the person again, or what ways I can best take care of them. Sex is a highly personal, emotional, and imaginative experience. When you surrender yourself naked body to naked body you are at your most vulnerable. For me, it is almost a spiritual experience in some cases. I have surrendered a part of my soul to the other person. For me, it can be a very serious affair. It is so important for me to have communication before for that very reason, so I can adjust my outlook about the intimate encounter.
It is also just as important to have communication during sex. I think some people skip this or forget about this, or perhaps they do not realize how key it is to fantastic sex. If you are a seasoned human and of consenting age I hope you have realized by now you CANNOT read people’s minds. Sounds silly right? However, I honestly think that people believe they can do that in the bedroom. Listening and responding to your partner’s movements and sounds is one thing, but not everyone can hear. This was made ever so clear to me when I dated a deaf woman. It was those moments of realizing that making little noises would not work as a form of non verbal communication to help her respond to my desires that made me realize that verbal communication is really important in sex especially in the heat of it. With her I would have to sign to her what I wanted and she did the same to me. It wasn’t that awkward, if anything it helped us to understand what was pleasing and what was not. Having sex with someone is a wonderful opportunity to explore your deepest innermost desires and sexual fantasies. If you do not communicate to your partner what pleasures you most, what your turn on’s are, or what your strangest fantasies are you are relying on their mind reading powers. It is so much more enjoyable if you talk with your partner before and during what you want to go down. That way you both come away satisfied. It is such a wonderful feeling to please someone so completely and at such a basely animalistic level. It may be a little awkward at first asking someone what they want during sex, but if you don’t know the person that well there is no other way to find out than to ask or wait on them to be braggadocious… I think also, after you have communicated and asked questions a few times you will not need to ask as much, but that depends on the partner you are with. Honestly, I would encourage others to continue to ask questions during sex. People like variety, not so much predictability. A person’s sexual desires may change over time, and it is important to communicate with one another constantly to appease those urges. I think doing this leads to a more pleasurable experience.
Lastly, it is also very important to communicate after sex. After you and your partner are worn out and cuddling, or fall asleep, or whatever, it is important to communicate to your partner about how you feel about the experience. Your partner and yourself need to have moments of affirmation or rejection about each other’s performances. I know it is not always comfortable to reject someone right after sex, but there are nice ways you can do so if you are worried about hurt feelings. If you wish to break off the relationship because of bad sex, you need to communicate that firmly and swiftly after sex. Whether that is the morning after, or the night of is up to you.
Having or developing feelings for another can be a tricky barrier or a fantastic spring board. But whatever the decision if feelings do arise through an intimate encounter, it is important they are addressed, communicated, responded to, and respected. I think it is key to also allow time for healing and mourning. Feelings are often extensions of our hopes and dreams, and they deserve to be respected even when they do not come to fruition.
I think that is what often leads to heartbreak is when two people do not express their emotions at the forefront and hastily skip to having sexual encounters with little other foundations in their relationship. Some people can do this, I suppose, and maybe not be emotionally phased. However, not everyone is like that and if we try and communicate our intentions better I think some cases of heartbreak can be avoided. I do not believe that all problems in the bedroom or in relationships can be cured by better communication, but I think it is a good starting point for all of us. If anything, communicating our intentions and desires to one another can hopefully help us have more pleasurable and certainly healthier sexual encounters with others. Of course, I realize this is easier said than done.