Great (and Unrealistic) Expectations

I had plenty of sex as a teenager. I loved it, I had fun, I played safely, and I got to experience some really fun things. When I got married I kind of automatically expected to have same kind of effortless sex life that I had as a teenager who spend several years fucking around with a lot of different people.

Turns out that being single and having a sex life and being married and monogamous and having a sex life were two very, very different things. I went into my marriage expecting that my husband and I would be sexually compatible and we would be on the same page about new experiences and sexual escapades. I didn’t realize just how much work and communication that would take, nor did I find out til a good year into things that we didn’t have the solid base for communication that we needed AND we weren’t quite so sexually compatible as I think we both assumed that we would be.

And I think our inability to communicate led to a LOT of problems, although I don’t think that our lack of communication led to the abuse I suffered at his hands. That was just him being a fucking asshole. Now that I’ve made that clear, moving on.

So, we were a total mismatch in terms of our expectations and we didn’t communicate. I don’t think that this is a problem that was unique to my ex and I, to our marriage. I think this may be common to a lot of people in a lot of relationships, no matter their gender or type of relationship. If you don’t talk about your wants and needs you can’t expect your partner to successfully read your mind ad give you those things.

But, how do you bring up something in your relationship that can be so charged as your sex life and whether or not you’re satisfied by it? For some couples, this is really easy because they have excellent communication skills. And I mean really excellent. You know, the couples who make it look easy. It only looks easy though. It is a lot of work to open yourself up and to be vulnerable. To talk about things that some people might call shameful or taboo.

The reality is that sex isn’t shameful or taboo and talking about it is healthy and normal and fine. And in many relationships expected. That doesn’t magically make it easier though, nor does it make you feel less vulnerable. For me, I have to process years of abuse as I work my way back into being the sex positive, size positive (this is really hard and will probably get its own post), bad ass beauty that I used to be. That means I have to talk about scary and triggering things in order to deal with them. That means I have to trust my partner enough to be exposed in my thoughts and words.

And that last bit is one of the keys to good communication. Being willing and able to say that something isn’t right or needs to change or having the transparency to be able to say wait, let me rephrase that are both incredibly important things. They aren’t everything though. Because you also have to get past any cultural, religious, familial, past relationship, and general bias one might have on any given subject before it can be discussed. And this goes for all the partners in the relationship.

If you’re scared or nervous, think about how you can broach the topic gently or in a non-threatening way. For me, it tends to be writing so sometimes my partner gets emails from me. I will also research something obsessively so I know lots about the topic I am going to be bringing up. It means that when when the questions start coming, I can try to answer them instead of getting flustered and skittish and starting to stumble and stutter.

If you don’t know how you might go about bringing up a sensitive topic, think about it for a bit; see what feels like it might work. Then go from there. Communicating your expectations can make the go from greatly unrealistic to just plain great.

If you have a certain style of communicating that works for you and your partner(s), feel free to leave me a comment or contact me to share. I’m always trying to improve my own relationship both in and out of the bedroom.

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