In a perfect world, great sex would be just like the movies. You both get home from a romantic date (where you ate lots of pasta and drank lots of wine, but don’t feel sleepy or boated) and within two minutes of dropping your keys by the door, you’re having wild, passionate sex, where you both have a long, intense orgasm at *exactly* the same time. In these movies, you never hear someone say, “Oh, actually, this is uncomfortable for me, can we try a different position?” or “Hey, can you move your finger just two inches to the right?”

Communicating sexual needs and preferences can certainly feel awkward, but in reality, sex very rarely looks like what we see in the movies, and if both partners want to enjoy great orgasms, it usually takes some great communication to get there. While opening up a dialogue on your deepest desires may be intimidating at first, a good partner will listen and be receptive, and starting the conversation may encourage them to share their needs, too! If you’re unsure where to start, below are some tips for healthy, honest sex talk.

Don’t phrase something as a question when it’s a statement.

Sometimes it feels easier to phrase a need as a question, as it feels less confrontational. When it comes, to sex, however, your comfort shouldn't be up for debate, it should be a priority. For example, saying “Hey, I don't know if this is working for me, should we maybe try a different position?” is different than saying “Hey, this isn’t working for me, let’s try a new position!” While phrasing your needs as a question might feel less awkward in the moment, it’s also signifying that your sexual needs and comfort are up for debate. Sharing your preferences in a forthright way may give your partner the courage to speak up, too!

No one should have to compromise.

Sex should be fun and pleasurable, and no one should have to do anything that they don’t like or makes them uncomfortable. If blow jobs make you feel nauseous, then skip ‘em! If reverse-cowgirl makes you feel like you’re at a bad country dive bar, mosey on outta there and try something else! We all have different tastes and preferences, and we’re not always going to like the same things as our partners, but the best sex is when two people are both genuinely enjoying the activity at hand. While it’s healthy and exciting to try new things, don’t be afraid to speak up if you don't like the taste of what's on the menu (if it were 2018 we would throw in a Thank U, Next joke... but alas...)

Find the humor, and don’t be afraid to laugh!

Sex is funny. It just is. Maybe not all the time, but when a queef slips out, or hair gets accidentally pulled, it’s hard not to chuckle at 2 human bodies tangled together like a perverted pretzel. While talking about our sexual needs can be a challenge, finding the humor can defuse tension and allow both partners to relax. Not every position, fantasy, or dirty talk is going to work every time (maybe you want her to call you Daddy, and maybe when she says Daddy it sounds absurd, and maybe you both just erupt in giggles and move on) but if you make space for laughs, it will allow you to move on without tension or awkwardness.

Don’t let resentment build.

This may seem obvious, but sex should be enjoyed (!!!) and if you’re not enjoying it, then you may start avoiding or resenting the activity, which could lead to resenting your partner. If you’re panicking, don’t be! Sex isn’t going to be mind-blowing every single time, but if you notice a pattern of discomfort or avoidance when your partner wants to have sex, it may be time to have a bigger discussion about what needs to be added, changed, or altered for you both to have an enjoyable experience. If you’re unsure of what needs to change, talk through it together: Has something been on your mind so you aren't living in the moment? Has your body gone through changes? Do you want to spice up the routine, or try something new? Talking through these challenges and being mutually vulnerable will not only help find a solution, but can build even more genuine intimacy. We recommend bringing it up at a time where you’re not right about to have sex, so you can let the conversation marinate and don't feel pressured to have everything figured out right away. Give the conversation (and yourself) room to breathe!

Never underestimate the power of affirmation!

So, you’ve shared your needs, your partner has listened, and it’s resulting in some hot sex. What now? Tell them it feels good! Affirming your partner will a.) make them feel really great and b.) show them that you appreciate and value the way they listen and communicate. And who knows? Maybe it will lead to that crazy, candlelit rom-com sex that we told you wasn’t realistic. That’s something we would love to be wrong about. ;)

What tips did we miss? Share yours in the comments!

Safer sex is essential to great sex! Shop condoms and organic lube.