An Open Conversation about Sex

When working with couples who would like to enhance their sexual connection, I often ask about how they have an open, honest conversation about sex.  Many times I am met with silence or confusion because it seems counter-intuitive in our culture to have a conversation about sex.  However, sex involves two entirely different people, with different set of hormones, different sexual expectations, different sexual desires, and different sexual arousal cycles – sex it is anything but “a natural process that arises” and something that should to be discussed before or after, or both.  Research has also shown that for couples who are able to discuss sexual connection/activity in their relationship, they have more sex within their relationship.

An open conversation can include the following topics, plus many more!  Are there expectations on how often the two of you would like to engage in sexual activity with one another?  Are there specific times of the week that are devoted to sexual encounters?  How do you discuss this prior to the sexual experience happening?  Should sexual activity be something that is scheduled?  You want to explore something new with your partner, but are unsure how to bring it up.  How do you have a conversation about a shared sex life with small children around?

As I have mentioned in a previous blog post, there is no “right” number of times to have sex with your partner.  This number will differ drastically from one couple to the next, depending on connection, hormone levels, sexual satisfaction levels, schedules, etc.   The most important thing to communicate to your partner is satisfaction level.  Do you desire to spend more time sexually interacting and connecting with your partner?  If so, when approaching this conversation, be sure to focus on the desire for connection with one another.  Sometimes this can be interpreted as blaming the other partner for the lack of sexual connection.  In order to refrain from this argument, it is best to focus on your own desire for connection with your partner, versus discussing whose fault it is that the two of you have not been sexually connecting. 

Another great thing to discuss when having an open conversation about sex with your partner, is highlighting the positive aspects of your shared sex life.  What do you find very pleasurable about your connection?  What feels great to each of you during this time together?  Communicating these things to your partner helps to build connection and helps to create a dialogue about your sex life.

If one of you are interested in trying new things, but are hesitant to bring up to your partner, I highly encourage you to do so.  Sometimes, people worry that their partner will think they are crazy, but you will never know if they are open to something unless you ask.  Again, I always encourage partners to first highlight what they find pleasurable about their current shared sex life, and then discuss how it might be fun to try out something new together.  Sometimes people will think that their partner wanting to try something new out means that they do not enjoy sex (which is typically not the case), so this is why I encourage initiating this conversation with what you already find pleasurable about your shared sexual experiences and then discuss how it would be fun to try something new out together.

For many couples, it helps to have some specified times during the week or their routine that is set aside for sexual connection.  Is this something that might work for you and your partner? If so, talk to your partner about this possibility and discuss when might be a good time for each of you to set aside this time.  Again, during this activity remain focused on the idea that you are both trying to find space within busy schedules to connect with one another.  If space cannot be found on a weekly basis that is completely OKAY.  If you run into this, instead brainstorm a code word for sex that can use used in everyday language.  This adds a bit of fun to the conversation, makes it easy to prioritize sexual connection with one another, and allows the conversation to sometimes take place with others present or nearby, such as children.  I always think about the family on the television show, Parenthood, which referred to sex as going to “funky town.”  You and your partner can discuss and come up with something much more discreet, but it helps to have a way to talk about sex in a more normalized manner.  Having a code word, helps you and your partner prioritize sex because you can talk about it in a much more open manner.  Such as asking your partner if they have some free time to play “tennis” together later in the day.  Being able to have this type of conversation, could also help to build erotic energy within a relationship, especially if you are anticipating sexual connection later in the day.  

I hope this information helped to solidify how to have an open conversation regarding sex with your partner.  If you find that you are still struggling with this subject, please do not hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with me at


Katie Mitchell is a counselor and Certified Sex Therapist-Candidate at Heights Family Counseling. She believes in using a solution-focused therapeutic approach to therapy, in order to empower clients to discover more effective solutions to their problems. Katie aims to foster a non-judgmental, accepting environment that helps clients to feel comfortable sharing their deepest thoughts and self-reflections. Katie enjoys working with a variety of clientele, such as individuals, couples, and families.  She also enjoys working with both individual and relational sexual concerns.  She understands that an active sex life is incredibly important for most individuals, especially those in a relationship. Learn more about Katie by visiting,, or learn more about our services at,