Before getting down, it’s important to communicate your list of do’s and don’ts, wants, needs, and desires.
In this stream, sex educator Mia Little gives us ideas on what to talk to a partner about before getting it on. While everyone’s list of things to talk about before sex is different, there are a few general topics that can help make a physical interaction safer and more enjoyable.
First, Little suggests discussing any potential deal breakers. For instance, you may not want to date a person who is not a feminist. That could be your deal breaker. A deal breaker could also have to do with the type of relationship you want. If you’re seeking monogamy and your potential partner is polyamorous, that might not work for you.
If there are no deal breakers that come up, and you’re ready to get it on, you may then want to define the context of the sexual interaction. Is it friends with benefits? Something more intimate and potentially long term? You may or may not want to talk about that with your partner, but defining it for yourself can be a helpful way to set expectations. You might also want to determine what kind of sex you’ll be having. Penis in vagina? Are they a top or a bottom? Do you want to concentrate on oral sex or sensual touching? Before any sex, it’s important to do some risk management by asking if your partner has been tested or has STIs or HIV. Disclose your own results.
Little suggests thinking about all your wants and needs as one giant wish list. The person you’re interested in doesn’t have to meet every requirement, but being familiar with your list is the first step toward having effective communication. That said, your and your partner’s needs and wants can change all the time, so it’s important to continually check-in and to always use the four C’s: consent, communication, care, and caution.
Having these types of conversations can be awkward (especially since most sex ed in schools don’t teach negotiation or consent skills), but they help ensure you have the safest, best time with partner(s). Just remember, the first step toward effective communication is simply understanding yourself. Because the more you know what you want, the easier it is to share it with another person.