5 Ways to Respectfully Negotiate Sexual Boundaries

Sexual intimacy is important in any long-term romantic relationship. But, it’s equally important to respect each other’s sexual boundaries.

First of all, understand that it’s normal for a couple not to always have the same sexual desires. Or, maybe you do, but at different times.

So, how can you say “no” to your partner without damaging the relationship? It’s all about negotiating those sexual boundaries in an open and honest way. When you’re both on the same page, your sex life can be more fulfilling and you’ll feel more connected.

Let’s look at a few ways to talk about your desires and set boundaries so your relationship can get stronger and more intimate.

1. Understand Your Own Desires

Before you talk about sexual boundaries with your partner, it’s important to have a strong understanding of your own sexual desires—what you like and don’t like.

Everyone has sexual activities they enjoy and they’re comfortable with. Be willing to share those with your partner. The more they know about your desires, the more likely they are to include them as a regular part of your sex life.

2. Discuss What You’re Willing to Do

Once you’ve both expressed your “likes,” talk about what you’re willing to do simply because your partner enjoys it. If there is a particular sexual activity you’re not interested in but you know your partner is, tell them you’re willing to do it.

You might find that simply knowing your partner is satisfied makes sexual activity more interesting and enjoyable for you, too.

3. Discuss What You’re Willing to Try

There’s a difference between what you’re willing to do and what you’re willing to try, under the right circumstances.

If there is a sexual act you’re not sure about, but not completely against, talk about those circumstances. What would it take to get you to try it?

Whether you’re uncomfortable with it, yourself, or you’re worried about how your partner might react, it’s good to talk about trying different things.

4. Be Comfortable Saying No

There are undoubtedly going to be some things you’re not interested, or your partner isn’t interested in. Maybe some things will never be on the table. Others might change over time.

But if something makes you uncomfortable, it’s okay to tell your partner that. It’s better to have it out in the open rather than push them away or feel bad about it when you’re being intimate.

Sharing with your partner the things you’re not okay with is less likely to hurt their feelings when you’re open and honest about it.

5. Determine Frequency

One of the biggest disconnects couples often face is how often they have sex. One partner may seem ready all the time, while it can take time for the other.

Frequency is different for each couple. You might have to actually create a schedule if it’s something you’re willing to stick to. Or, maybe you can both agree to be spontaneous.

Simply put, the more open you are about how often you’d like to have sex and the things you’d like to experience during intimacy, the better. That way, there are no false expectations for either partner.

Sexual boundaries can be a tough subject for couples to talk about. Yet, they are essential. If you’re willing to have an open discussion with your partner about your boundaries while listening to their own, your sex life will undoubtedly be less stressful and more enjoyable.

Please reach out to us today for help to facilitate your challenges discussing or establishing sexual boundaries.

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