So, what makes talking about stuff so hard with your partner well it's quite simple it's the questioning. It's self-doubt. It's the fear. It's all the questions in your head that say what if, I'll get laughed at, I'm weird, it's only me, what if my partner leaves. All of it equals self-doubt and fear. In this article let's address how we can overcome our fear and share it with our partners.
We were taught as children that listening, equals responding, answering, behaving, cooperating. What if I told you our parents didn't teach us the correct way of listening, they taught us the easy way. Listening as an adult means we must accept and most importantly understand what is being spoken to us. So, to listen as an adult we need to accept the words being presented to us.
Why risk telling my partner what I want? You tell your partner what you want simply because you love yourself and loving yourself means you can love your partner and together that equals happiness. If something falls apart because of this process, there were issues that needed to be worked on and sometimes it's very hard to see those issues until you become vulnerable.
There are two lists that go into positive communication and I'm going to start with the don't do list because it is all too easy to do these things. We never want to assume we know what our partners are thinking. It's far too easy for us to judge based on how we feel so never judge your partner for their feelings. Sometimes in a situation, we find we laugh because we're nervous or we're afraid to hear something. It's a basic response yet it's something we shouldn't do; don't laugh at your partner during a serious conversation. Another thing that comes from bad listening skills is the want to talk over your partner because it's easier for you to sum up what you think your partner's trying to say. We do this simply because we want the uncomfortable situation to end. And lastly, this one probably stings the most, we belittle our partner's feelings and our partner wants, because we don't know how to process our own emotions attached to it. Never assume, never judge, never laugh at, never talk over and last never belittle your partner.
In place of these negative easy things that we do we're going to open our hearts and especially our mind. We need to accept our partners, they're individual, unique, and special. We fell in love with them for a reason remember to accept all parts of them. We need to acknowledge that being unique human beings our partners have wants and needs. We need to expressly embrace the courage our partner is showing in trusting us with their wants and their desires and their needs. We need to take time for ourselves and our partners, even if that means pressing pause on the conversation, to consider the information brought towards us. And lastly but most importantly take any time and all time do you need to process to dismantle to decide whether you like what is put in front of you. Remember, accepting, acknowledging, and embracing the courage consideration and taking the time to talk to you, you are showing love and care, and respect to your partner. Lastly, it's OK to disagree. It's not OK to shame.
So how to effectively communicate or start a conversation with your partner well there are three things that I can suggest you're going to start with, and it starts with the person doing the talking. Be honest be brutally honest with yourself your wants your needs your desires. Don't allow yourself to fall back into the what-if or the fear that always lingers right behind your words in your head. Number 2 I always recommend for people starting out in BDSM to do a BDSM checklist for themselves. If you really want to expand that and do that as a couple you can make it a date night sit down to do a checklist list, together. Find a checklist that has definitions. Number 3 there are two tests, they were created by Masters and Johnson. One of these lists is called the monogamy scale and it shows us just what we want out of our sexual life. What we see as black and white in our heads is not always the case when it comes to our sex life, our sexuality, and our love. Another test by Masters and Johnson is called the sexuality scale. This is a very validating test, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you're gay or lesbian. It shows us that every person has some degree one way or the other. It might mean that you find that actor attractive but, may not pursue or want to pursue sex with the same gender and that's OK. Doing these two-scale tests might be an eye-opening experience to share with both you and your partner and it makes a completely great excuse for a date night and opens a dialogue towards kink.
Remember in the last paragraph I mentioned the BDSM checklist? Well, here's what I recommend and how to complete it especially when doing it with your partner. Go online find a printable checklist. Make sure it defines the terms and the activities. Immediately in black marker go through the names of the activities and blackout ones that completely turn your stomach as those are not activities you are willing to pursue. Your partner can do the same thing and it's OK to disagree on these because they are not something that you're willing to drop your inhibitions for. Next, forget all instructions that come with the list. Find a pink highlighter and go through the list, the ones that completely make you salivate, the ones that turn you on the most, highlight those with that pink highlighter. Now, you have a starting point with your partner the ones left untouched which means they're open for discussion. If your partner highlighted ones that maybe you didn't maybe you're open to exploring and if you highlighted ones that your partner didn't maybe they're open to exploring. You have now created your first real dialogue without argument without fear. You have made this a completely fun and eye-opening date night.
What happens when you get stuck as a couple and you don't really know what to do. It's not about the sex or the intimacy or even knowing your partner. It's about being stuck in a rut, in the never-ending, do you do the same stuff? Here's a suggestion that I think is great to start any new year. Make a date with your partner and turn this into a wonderfully fun night if you have children in the house send them to Grandma’s or get a babysitter. Pour yourself a glass of wine, dim the lights, burn the candles and let's get creative. This is a sit-around-the-kitchen table and have a conversation kind of fun crafty idea. You're going to need two jars. They can be decorative and pretty or even match your decor so you can leave them out and look at them. You're going to label one date night and you're going to label the other one play night. You're also going to need blank slips of paper or popsicle sticks. Pens, markers, and stickers remember this is about having fun.
In the first jar, your date night jar here's some rules before you set about creating dates, you're going to set a dollar limit so it might be you're on a budget because you're saving for that trip, that's great, set a $20 limit for your date. Dates don't need to be expensive. Make sure you include free dates, like a walk in a park or picnic at the beach. In your date jar, you want to focus on dates that have joint likes meaning you both like the same activity. You can throw in a few personal likes. It might be a way to introduce your partner to one of your favorite things. Maybe it's a dance class or a crafting class. Maybe it's a cooking class. The goal of the date night jar is to promote intimacy and communication with no stress.
In the second jar your play night jar, you're going to refer to your BDSM checklist. The very first ideas you put onto the slips of paper or popsicle sticks are going to be the likes that are mutual for both you and your partner. You can include role play ideas, fantasies, kinks, a sexual position, adult toys, and lastly sexual favors. On each slip of paper can only be one idea with not a lot of detail you don't want to make the activity too complex to take away the fun.
Now put your ideas in their consecutive jars and put them on the shelf your goal with these jars is if you ever get stumped and you hear yourself saying I don't know what do you want to do? Is to reach for one of these jars and pull out a random slip of paper or popsicle stick that will be your evening plan on it. This takes the monotony and the boredom away when it's a completely random surprise but what makes this good since it’s a surprise that both of you have created together. Lastly, with these jars, you should aim to do two of these dates or two of these play nights a month at a minimum if you accomplish one a week of each that's amazing. Just make sure you have enough to cover all the weeks in the year.
Creating a safe space to talk to your partner one or both of you, are going to encounter something I like to call the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Remember at the beginning of this article I said the best thing you can do for yourself is to love yourself is, to be honest with yourself end with your partner. If you've been that way since day one this isn't hard. If you are starting during your relationship or you've been in a relationship for a little bit of time this may be harder, and you may encounter jealousy. How do we deal with jealousy? Jealousy is the only emotion that is based on other emotions. You must ask yourself why do I feel this way? Why am I jealous of this situation or activity that is being presented in just conversation form? Sometimes that's a very hard question to answer because it involves sticking deep and purposefully opening and being vulnerable not only to your partner but yourself. Sometimes the answers are very hard to hear to understand and process but we must remember our partners didn't create this emotion in us. We allowed this emotion to envelop us. One of the things that you can do as jealousy pops up during the conversation is talk about it. Talk about what you're feeling, why you're feeling it, and always acknowledge that it may not be about your partner. In BDSM, we talk about safe words they are the one word that signals an all stop in everything we do. Our community respects a safe word above all else so why not use a safe word in our conversation. Here's one that is very hard for people to understand but it's consent. Do we consent to have this conversation? Or do we need to pause the conversation to process what we're feeling? It's OK to say that you're not ready to talk about that topic or can we take 5 minutes I need to understand what I'm feeling before we continue. Consent is validation for yourself and for your partner. The very last thing, you have to remember in communication is communication, like consent, is fluid. It changes how we feel and how we react.
Another great tip did I like to use when it comes to communication especially when it has to do with sexual activity, especially with your partner. Is to maybe introduce porn clips. Now most people approach pornography with the Oh no it's bad and in mass consumption, it is not good for a person. But it can be used, and it can be a very effective tool to point out what you're trying to communicate and may not have the words for. So, to do this we're going to approach it with an open mind. Use the clips you find and clips, not full movies, to explain what you like. Always allow for communication after you've spoken or watched the clip. Let your partner think time. Respect each other during the process. Never ever, hide porn. Use porn to enhance your time together. And talk about the image and the acts and how they make you feel. What does that mean exactly? It could mean quite simply that it may not be the act that turns your partner on it might be the red shoes she's wearing or the position in which they were having sex and your partner didn't know how to explain this to you, so they showed you the image. Remember your partner is trying to communicate and they may fear judgment. There might be a reason behind it that you are unaware of.
When looking to explore with your partner it is always smart to open doors for communication how we choose to communicate about sex says a lot about us. It says a lot about a sensitive society as a person or as an individual. Sex and sexuality are the most complex topics to talk about because they are personal and private, and it leaves us in a very vulnerable state talking to another person. In the end, you choose to have the conversations and use tools to lighten the mood to have those conversations to better love and accept yourself. Because when you love and accept yourself unconditionally, you're going to love and accept your partner as an equal. Relationships are hard but miscommunication or struggling communication about something that is so involved in our lives, so physical opening up is hard but it's so important. If you need some extra help in the realm of jealousy, there is a book I recommend it's called the jealousy workbook you can look it up online you can purchase it online but it's a workbook for couples to help negate the effects of jealousy. Jealousy can be a relationship killer it can be a personal killer and it can dampen a person's light. Always remember to shine bright.
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