Having “The Talk” – Discussing Sexual Exploration with Partners

Having “The Talk” – Discussing Sexual Exploration with Partners

by Jordan Richins, World Association of Sex Coaches Certified Sex Coach

For those who are not accustomed to casually slipping sexual fantasies into conversation with a new partner, the idea of discussing what turns you on can seem like a daunting and awkward task. There are fears that being that vulnerable will turn against you and that admitting something to a new or potential partner may cause them to rethink being intimate with you.

You’re into what? You watch THAT? I would never do that, that’s gross.

Negative and doubtful thoughts seem the quickest to plague our minds when we are about to do something new, which includes talking. Since the brain is one of the largest and most intricate sexual organs, with communication the hottest form of foreplay, it is in your best interest to take some time to talk about what you’d like out of your adventure together.

While having a talk about sexual preferences and interests is not a requirement for a healthy sexual relationship, I suggest it to many of my clients who are starting out with a new partner. They mention, “I enjoy spontaneous sexual rendezvous, talking about it is going to take away some of the excitement.” However, I would counter that letting your partner know what you like sets the stage for more spontaneous activities you’ll actually enjoy in the long run. When you allow your partner to understand what actually works for you, you give them a roadmap on how to get to the destination – which makes for a safe drive for you both.


When you allow your partner to understand what actually works for you, you give them a roadmap on how to get to the destination.

Before I go on, I want to remind you that sharing what you are into sexually is something that should be done with another consenting adult. You don’t want to surprise someone who didn’t know you have sexual feelings for them with sexual content. In the long run this may not fair well in your favor. By adding this one little phrase into the discussion before you start, you’ll avoid unneeded embarrassment:  Is it alright if I show you/talk to you about something I would like to try/see/do?

Once you hear a “yes” you are free to proceed further with explaining what you like. When you get that answer though, how exactly do you draw a map for your partner that leads them to pleasure town? If you are feeling bold you can tell them directly that you prefer certain things, but if you’re still feeling nervous that you might spook them I would suggest something slightly more passive.

  • Letters & Lists
  • Sexting
  • Media

lettersLetters and lists provide an easy way to outline what you both like. Think of it as a Venn diagram where you each list the activities you like and see where it overlaps for you both. You can take turns writing down as many things as you can think of and then giving it to your partner and having them check or circle things they’d be willing to try – or cross out the things they would not like to try. This allows you to express yourself, but not necessarily face to face or verbally. It may be hard for you to verbalize that you want to sit on their face and ride them into next week, but it’s easier to write it out when you don’t have to see them. Either way, it gets the point across for you and lets them know what you’d be open to trying.

Sexting can be its own form of sexual expression! An easy way to break into this, without going full blown sexual is to just ask questions. You can take turns asking sexual questions to one another. This provides a more live way to respond that is still conversational, but eliminates the face-to-face stress that could be involved if someone isn’t as into an activity as you are. In conversations, a quick way to find out where to start could be starting on the other side of the spectrum: What do you NOT like? And then moving from there. If you know that a partner is not into a certain activity, it may not be one you want to surprise them with. This goes for you too! This is an area where you can express yourself fully to someone who is listening (reading).

Media can be an amazing resource for sharing things you may like or be interested in. You know that one song you like that talks about that one activity you’ve been dying to try? That scene from the movie you saw that made you excited inside at the theatre? That gif that came through your social media feed? An article you saw that talks about something you’re curious about trying? Sexual media is easily accessible to almost anyone, anywhere. You can send prompts through emails, phone calls or one of many different social media platforms. This provides a very easy way to express yourself to someone without using actual words.

By sharing your roadmap and giving a partner or potential partner tips on how to have a pleasant ride it will help you both out. It is my hope that by being open to expressing what you are interested in with a partner/potential partner, you can explore areas of interest for yourself. There are so many wonderful ways that sexuality is expressed and by opening that world you are opening yourself to more and more pleasure.