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Communication is vital for all aspects of relationships.  It is the fuel of trust and honesty.  It helps couples feel close, it clears up misunderstandings and allays fears.  In sexual matters, it is imperative because so many unnecessary hurts and wrong ideas are created when people keep doubts and fears to themselves.  Not talking about a problem doesn't make it go away — it just creates more resentment. Good communication is particularly crucial in relation to the following:

  • Asking what your partner enjoys in bed and being clear about your own preferences.

  • Checking before trying anything new or different.

  • Expressing and showing how you like to be touched, the amount of pressure, the type of movement, etc.; asking for the same information from your partner.

  • Being sensitive to your partner's moods and feelings.

  • Being aware of inexperience and/or nervousness in relation to particular sex acts.

  • Being aware of your partner's history so that you don't reopen old wounds or do something that is emotionally painful to them.  This would be especially relevant in the case of incest or rape victims.

  • Using sex talk for enhancement, but not more than both are comfortable with.  The same applies to use of sex toys and playing out of fantasies.

  • Making sure that you and your partner are both getting what you want; this can be achieved by body language and/or speech.

  • Respecting each other's wishes when sex is not desired and finding other ways to enjoy time in bed.

  • Learning how to say no gently so that your partner never feels rejected.

  • Asking in a sensitive way if there appears to be any sort of problem between you.

  • Recognising the vulnerable quality of a sexual relationship, never making jokes about sensitive subjects or pointing out idiosyncrasies because, although your partner might laugh, no-one likes to feel stupid in bed.

  • Never taking your partner for granted.  Don't just assume she or he will like what you like or want what you want.  Ask!

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