Sexual criticism and discussing sexual requests may be two of the most arduous tasks in a relationship. Who wants to hear that they are a poor kisser or that your partner is unhappy with your sex life? Remember to treat your partner as YOU would like to be treated and with the utmost respect, even if you disagree with their stance. Beginning the discussion can be quite nerve-racking. Feel the acid churning in your stomach yet? Let’s prepare the atmosphere just right.

First of all, don’t criticize in public or in front of others. Save the details for a time and place when you can be alone and undisturbed. Secondly, before you begin, analyze your intentions if you wish to express a criticism. What is your motivation? Are you frustrated with the situation and want to get back at your partner, or do you sincerely wish to make the sexual climate hotter?

Once you have the right mindset and are sure of your intentions, begin by acknowledging the difficulty of the task at hand. Say something like, “I find it hard to talk about this and would appreciate your help and understanding. Do you have time to talk?” This question accomplishes several things: you’ve expressed concern and apprehension, thereby gaining your partner’s attention, sensitivity, and perhaps sympathy. The point is that your partner will not be defensive.  Plus, you’ve asked permission to broach the discussion, so he/she feels immediately involved.

If you are the one on the receiving end, truly open yourself up to hearing your partner. DON’T become defensive. This is a choice. You can choose to be receptive and actively listen. Practice positive body language so your partner feels comfortable and provide feedback so he/she knows you are listening and that you want to rectify the situation. Paraphrase what your partner has expressed to make sure you are both on the same page. When in doubt, use positive reinforcement and make sure to provide feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask specifics as to what you should do or how you can make the situation better.

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Be specific when expressing criticism and don’t bring up the past. If you have supposedly dealt with past issues, let them go and only deal with the here and now. If you want more foreplay, don’t say, “You’re selfish and only think about needs in the bedroom.” Obviously, this will have negative repercussions.  Instead, try the following “I” statement or something similar: “I really enjoy  it when we touch and kiss before making love, and it upsets me that you don’t  seem to care about my sexual satisfaction.” Notice the word “seem”. You aren’t making exact accusations, but expressing your interpretations and perspective.  Then you can have an open, positive dialogue.

When you are in the middle of being intimate, try positive reinforcement. Say things like, “I love it when you caress my nipples like that” or “I love it when you kiss my neck.” Those type of “I” statements work much better than “You piss me off because we don’t do foreplay anymore.” Yikes! Remember to begin the sentence with “I” to take responsibility for the statement and not place blame.  Placing blame is counterproductive and may cause your partner to become defensive. While making love, take your partner’s hand and move it the way you especially like. Directing your partner’s hand is more effective than saying” You don’t touch me right. Don’t you know what I like by now?” Double yikes!  Need I remind you to treat each other with respect? Read Get the Sex you really want to get a deeper insight.

Remember that you are in this together. Use your feelings for one another as motivation to better the situation, not as weapons. You both want a happy, fulfilling sex life, and it won’t happen if only ONE of you tries to vary the routine. Work together. Communication is vital in any relationship, but when it comes to matters of sex, egos flare and feelings get hurt VERY quickly. Proceed with caution and remember the relationship is worth the effort.

Now that we have that out of the way, I figured this would be a great time to spoil you with some good reasons to have sex more often in your relationship. Relax… They are all doctor-recommended!

  1. Some women don’t want to discuss their menstrual cycle and sex in the same sentence, but according to “Self,” intercourse can help regulate “that time of the month.” Exposure to male pheromones might help keep the cycle on track and keep estrogen high.
  2. Here’s something to ponder: “A survey of 2,012 women revealed that those who have frequent orgasms during menstruation are more than twice as likely NOT to have a buildup of endometrial tissue outside the uterus…the contraction of orgasm helps expel tissue from the uterus during your period, minimizing the chance that the tissue will back up into the pelvis.” Okay, I know not all women enjoy having sex during their monthly cycle, but it CAN help some feel better. If you don’t mind a slight mess, throw down a towel and get to it.
  3. If it makes you happy – A study from the State University of New York at Albany concluded that vaginal exposure to semen might help prevent depression.” Add in a little tender touching and g-spot stimulation, and you’ll be on cloud nine.
  4. What are the most common excuses not to have sex? “I’m too tired,” “I’m too busy,” and the notorious “I’ve got a headache.” Thanks to a survey at the Southern Illinois University of Medicine, you can officially no longer use the headache excuse. Doctors concluded that almost half the women who complained of a headache felt relief after sex.
  5. Wonder why some people get colds more often? They’re having less sex! According to “Self,” “People who have sex once or twice a week have more immunoglobulin A, the body’s first defense against colds, compared with the less lucky.”

So the next time your girlfriend says she has a headache, you’ll know what to say!

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