We’re back with another instalment of answering your most asked sex questions (read Part 1 here).
We love how open and vulnerable our readers and listeners are, and are honoured to be your go-to source for sex-education! Real sex education.
How Do I Tell My Partner I Don’t Like Something In Bed Without Hurting Their Feelings?
This problem is quite common amongst couples, but can also be a complicated one to tackle. Why? Let’s break down the differences between women and men.
As women, we were raised to not be too aggressive, to be reserved. We were taught to not ask or say what you want. When it comes to, we were shamed for wanting it or having sexual desires. We never had the permission to explore what we want, so not only do we not know what we want but when we do, we don’t know how to ask for it.
Now for men, they were hammered with messaging that implied they should know what they’re doing- they should know how to please a woman. If they didn’t know or weren’t successful, they were subpar. So men weren’t taught to ask a woman what she likes, instead they got their sexual education from porn.
Both parties are filled with shame, women are shamed for wanting things, and men are shamed if they don’t get it right. So it’s important to keep this in mind when approaching the situation, but there are ways to approach it.
How Can I Feel Less Self-Conscious When I’m On Top?
Body image and self-esteem are major factors when it comes to enjoying sex. However, there are many solutions to make you feel better about certain experiences - you may just have to get creative:
You’ll need to look inward to discover what will make you feel good, and what will help you show up authentically and feeling your best. But we guarantee that whoever you’re having sex with isn’t thinking about a pesky stomach roll, they’re likely too excited about having sex with you to notice anything you’re self-conscious about.
Should I Be Concerned About Mild Pain During Sex?
Short answer: sex shouldn’t be painful unless you want it to be.
Long answer: Any type of unwanted pain during sex can be from a structural or physical issue. We always recommend seeing your doctors regularly for pap smears and regular exams, but if you’re having pain during sex of any kind, you may want to look in to seeing a Pelvic Floor Therapist. They’ll look at the anatomical/physical things that are going on. It could be a muscle issue or an undiagnosed infection or perhaps even something to do with your hormones. We suggest seeing a Pelvic Floor Specialist in addition to your regular doctor, as well as a Naturopath to get detailed testing on your hormones.
If the pain is mild, it could be that you’re maybe not relaxed enough, but there could be medical issues going on so it doesn’t hurt to see a doctor.
Should We Be Telling Our Partners About Our Past Sexual Experiences?
This is all up to personal preference. There has been a lot of stigma around sexual partners especially for women, as the more they have the less desirable they are, whereas the more partners a man has, the more favourable.
If both you and your partner are willing and wanting to share this information with each other, it can sometimes be a good opportunity to learn what each other didn’t or did like about past experiences. However it’s imperative to remember that no one should ever guilt/shame/or coerce you into sharing these intimate details about your sexual history. It’s history and not related to you or the commitment you have to your current partner.
How Do I Bring Up STI Status And Testing To A Partner?
This is a topic that we do believe should be discussed with your partner, but is something that is often avoided because of the stigma surrounding STIs. We want these types of conversations to be normalized, we want testing in general normalized.
In order to feel completely comfortable and safe with a partner, STI testing should be brought up, even amongst married couples (because cheating does happen and asymptomatic infections happen as well). If/when you do disclose your STI status to a partner, remember that their shame, opinions and lack of education is a reflection on them, not you. Have information ready to share and sources your partner can look at about your diagnosis if that is the case..
One million people get diagnosed with an STI everyday according to WHO, so we should really be looking at STIs like colds for our genitals.
What Are Some Intimacy Ideas That Aren’t Sex?
Sex isn’t just penis in vagina - it’s so much more than that and goes beyond penetration. Some non-sex intimacy ideas:
Intimacy is all about feeling truly seen and loved for who you are, and being listened to/having real conversations.
If you’ve read Dr. Jordin’s book, The Pink Canary, and listened to The Pleasure Principles Podcast and want even more, we offer so many more options for you to learn and experience more pleasure.
The Pleasure Principles Program is our foundational program that provides a space for women like you to find community and support along their journey to find or improve their pleasure, in addition to receiving the sex-ed we never got in school. You can find out more here.