How to Clearly Communicate to Your Needs to Overcome Sexual Frustration and Strengthen Your Relationship

How Sexual Issues Show Up in Relationships

Believe it or not, but there are couples that don’t have sex who are completely content and have no problems. If you’re reading this, however, that is not likely you. Sexual frustration arises when at least one person in the relationship is dissatisfied with expression, frequency, a lack of communication, and/or connection.

There are a lot of assumptions people have about sex, and so many people think that it’ll just work out. People don’t know what to do when they feel dissatisfied. Some talk about it openly, but others just end up feeling stuck because they think it should just naturally work out without any communication.

It can be puzzling to have a partner who is a great friend, reliable family member, and a great person to enjoy day-to-day activities with, who is also a person who you’re struggling to connect with sexually. Those things seem like they shouldn’t contradict each other, but they often do.

The way we’re taught about love and sex is that sex will just work. It’s not always that natural. You have to learn about each other and most importantly learn how to communicate about the issues you’re dealing with.

Sexual issues in a relationship can greatly vary, but they are most often related to infidelities, differences in sex drive, a boring sexual routine, or lack of sexual interest from one partner. Many times these relationships do not have to end. By improving communication, learning how to regain intimacy, and utilizing better time management, most couples are able to turn their sex lives around.

The Role of Communication in Sexual Relationships

It’s a weird but common thing: people can have sex but struggle to talk about it. This natural cultural weirdness that we have can be compounded by other sexual issues that arise as a relationship progresses. Here are just a few examples of things that can change the sexual dynamic in the relationship:

  • You may want to feel more connected and something is just missing.
  • Someone cheats or has an affair.
  • You become more open to yourself about wanting to explore something more kinky.
  • Intrigue about your partner evaporates.
  • You want to explore power dynamics.
  • Sex just got boring.
  • Bodies physically change over time.
  • Attraction dies down or even evaporates.

When concerns arise, nothing will just organically fix itself. This can be scary and vulnerable for many people. Some feel it’s symbolic of the relationship when there are sexual concerns so they don’t want to bring it up. At the same time nothing will change without talking about it. You have to take the risk or the issue will likely fester and your sexual interest may just completely die.

Be Clear, Direct, and Respectful about Your Sexual Needs and Desires

The best thing that you can do to help your sexual relationship is to be clear and to the point, but also respectful. If you are feeling frustrated, it is best to wait until you do not feel frustrated to communicate your concerns or desires. If you want your partner to do something particular, let your partner know this. If you want more sex, communicate this. Rather than saying that you think your sex life is boring, which makes you sound like a victim and will likely make your partner defensive, give some ideas of how you would like your sex life to be more exciting. Then give it some time and see if anything changes. Notice what positive changes you have seen, and discuss the positives with your partner. This will keep your partner from feeling as though nothing right can be done.

To fix this issue, you have to learn to be open about what you are dealing with and what you’re concerned about. You also have to be clear. It’s common that people speak in riddles and rhymes when there is a sexual mismatch happening. It’s OK if you’re confused about your own feelings and concerns, but that doesn’t give you a right to project those things onto your partner. If you’re confused, your partner is going to be confused. Remember that symbolism I discussed earlier? One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to communication and sex is over-relying on symbolic sexual meaning. For example, if a sexual partner intuitively knows everything that you want, it can be extremely exhilarating and pleasurable. At the same time, just because a partner doesn’t intuit this doesn’t mean that your sex has to be meaningless, painful, frustrating, etc.

Give simple actionable steps that can help your partner. View this more as a journey where you guide, support and show each other what you need, rather than adversaries and detectives who have to uncover mysteries. Well unless you want to make a fun little game out of uncovering the mysteries. Just be sure you both are in on the game. The bottom line? Go with simple, fun, and actionable.

Beyond being clear and to the point, you also need to remain respectful. If you’re feeling frustrated, be sure you feel grounded before you focus on these sensitive topics. If you want your partner to do something particular, let your partner know this. If you want more sex, communicate this. Rather than being overly critical, which makes you sound like a victim and will likely make your partner defensive, give some ideas of how you would like your sex life to be more exciting. Then give it some time and see if anything changes. Notice what positive changes you have seen, and let your partner know you appreciate them.

Avoid Passive-Aggressiveness When Communicating

Be careful to avoid being passive-aggressive when communicating your concerns. Because sex makes it so difficult to openly communicate, you’re at risk of dropping hints about your issues, rather than just openly sharing what you want and need. Playing games like this sets up a winner and loser. Someone is right and someone is wrong. This will likely result in your partner trusting you less and less to have these conversations, and your frustration just creeping up. Talking about sex isn’t easy for most. Communicating with straight up anger and bitterness is a recipe to guarantee your sex will get worse.

What to Do When You Get Stuck in Your Communication About Sex

There may be times where you or your partner struggle to handle these conversations. You might feel like you keep hitting a brick wall when you’re communicating. You may get too critical and your partner might get too defensive. This is when sex therapy is an option to consider. You may need the help of a professional.

In the meantime, know specifically what it is that you want so that you can better communicate it. When discussing this issue, be as specific as you can. Give it some time and see if something changes. And most important of all, enjoy each other and have fun.


If you’re in the Dallas area looking for a sex therapist, please feel free to contact us today.

Share
By browsing this website, you agree to our privacy policy.
I Agree