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5 Tips for Negotiating with a Partner

Talking about sex in relationships is still difficult for many. Specifically talking about erotic desires and preferences with a partner requires a level of transparency that couples need in order to get their needs and expectations satisfied. Sex is an important part of a romantic relationship. Due to the lack of sex education and discomfort that is put on most from the very beginning of our lives, most adults are not comfortable having direct conversations about sex, even with our partners. As a result, we might see sexual problems come in to our relationships.

Think of how much easier and fulfilling relationships could be if we revealed our true erotic selves to someone at the very beginning of dating. People often end up in relationships for a long time before discovering that their erotic desires are mismatched.

Our erotic desires can evolve throughout our life and during our relationships, so many think maybe their partner will be open to more sexual exploration later. However, just because our desires can evolve, does not mean that they will evolve. And if your partner’s erotic desires do in fact develop and change, it still might not be a fit to your erotic desires.

Negotiating is possible! Here are five tips to do so:

  1. Talk to your partner about their comfort level around adding your sexual interests into the relationship.
  2. Talk about a sexual fantasy while having sex.
  3. Watch porn and erotic imagery that contains the fantasy.
  4. Act out a fantasy with a partner who is willing.
  5. Be honest with your partner and yourself about what it is you want from a sexual relationship and what you want to do sexually.

It is possible to find common ground.

If you are struggling to do so, a sexually informed therapist can help.

For therapists who want to learn more about sex and sexuality, Modern Sex Therapy Institutes has hundreds of recorded workshops, live workshops (available via webinar too), and Certification programs including Sex Therapy Certification and a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology program.

Talking about your erotic desires and preferences will help you have a more satisfying sex life. While this does require some transparency, it makes it more likely you will get your needs satisfied.


Erotic Desire Discrepancy: The Importance of Communication and Sexual Transparency was originally published in Modern Sex Therapy Institutes on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.