Tools For Effective Sexual Communication



After working with college students for a few years I understand one thing very well, consent and healthy sexual communication is a real struggle. We are simply never given the tools or education to talk about sex, our desires and needs. We are also never taught how to say no, to say no we are taught but how to say no, not effectively. If students are lucky they may have had affirmative consent in sex ed, but how do you actually do that in a sexual situation? Most sexual encounters are more nuanced than what comes up in class. And the ramifications of getting this wrong can be life altering. Without clear communication and a strong understanding of affirmative consent the chance for sexual assault rises exponentially! Currently, 25% of women entering college have been sexually assaulted. One in 6 young men. During college, 25% of women will be sexually assaulted and one in 7 men. Affirmative enthusiastic consent and great communication is ESSENTIAL! Let me start by saying, in order to have great sexual communication you need to start with a healthy relationship. I am not advocating for any particular type of relationship but no matter what type of relationship you want: monogamous, open, friends with benefits, etc. it should be healthy and in alignment with your values. More on this in another post. How can you better communicate what you want in bed?

  1. Self Discovery. Take time to understand your boundaries, likes and dislikes. What you are comfortable with. This should include your feelings on condoms, alcohol or drug usage (Hot Tip: you can not give consent if you are drinking or drugging), what types of sexual activities you are comfortable doing with your current partner, what activities you are not comfortable with, what activities you may be willing to explore, how you like to be talked to and how you want your body to be handled. Do you enjoy soft sensuous touch or a little rougher? Do you like toys or just your partner? This could be a journal entry. Remember, two bodies come together for a MUTUALLY pleasurable experience, no one body, one individual is prioritized.

  2. Talk Sexy To Me! It is helpful to talk about what you want to do before getting into a sexual situation. Our brains think more clearly when we are not horny. It's the same principle for not shopping when you are hungry. We all know this is no bueno! So expressing what you know to be true for you, because you have done your self discovery, while having a late night sammy at the local deli might be just the time. Maybe it's in the stacks at your university library (now that is some good eavesdropping!), or snuggled on the couch. Wherever it is find a time to share your sexual parameters and fantasies.

  3. Fantasy Sharing. For some people its hard to share fantasies. Try writing some down and putting them in a discovery jar to be pulled at random when you are in the mood. Let your partner tell you how they feel about it, so it is consensual. But be prepared with whatever ingredients you need for your fantasies to play out:)

  4. Fresh Ideas! Many people turn to porn for sexual ideas. As you may already know I would never advocate for that because I believe in building a healthy sexual imagination which is killed by the consumption of porn. But there are lots of places to go to peak your interest in sexual ideas outside your imagination. Scarleteen is a great resource. Here is a check list of sexual activities from their site that will spur some thought. This is beneficial to help you understand a range of sexual possibilities so that you can determine if you would be interested in trying any of them. Doing a google search will likely bring up the porn version of this, I suggest looking to other sources like O.School or GoAskAlice! or SexInfo101. Maybe you just want to hear some ideas, and that will spur you on. If that is the case maybe audio erotica is your thing. Check out these sources for you audio erotic lovers.