Your cart is currently empty.

How To Talk About Sex With Your Partner

How To Talk About Sex With Your Partner

By Syd Morris

Whether you’re in a new situationship,  25 years into a marriage, or are only interested in casual sex, talking about sex can feel really awkward! But talking to your partner about sex is arguably the #1 changemaker in the quality of sex you’re having. There are almost 8 billion people in the world and that means there are almost 8 billion ways that people like to have sex. That’s 8 billion different anatomies and an infinite amount of fantasies and desires. 

Unfortunately, the cultural taboo of talking about sex also extends to the people who are having it with each other. Sometimes talking about sex can feel even more daunting than the sex itself. Learning how to have sex talk with your spouse is often left out of the marriage playbook.  But, at the end of the day, you. deserve. incredible. orgasmic. mind-blowing. sex. So let's get to talking.

Here are our top tips for how to talk about sex with your partner. 


This is a non-negotiable, that should happen before, during, and after sex. Boundaries do not exist inside a silo and can be ever changing in every waking moment. Sexual boundaries can be anything from what you are or are not willing to do, how you want your body parts to be referred to, when and where you are up for having sex, and so much more! 

Boundaries go hand in hand with consent and safety. Whether you are having the most incredible vanilla sex for the thousandth time with your spouse or if you’re doing a BDSM scene with a new partner, these tenets have to be at the core of every sexual interaction. In order to fully experience pleasure, you have to first feel safe*. Sometimes we don’t even know what our boundaries are until we’re presented with the option. A great place to start is doing a Yes, No, Maybe So List with your partner. This can be a fun activity to do during a date night to introduce sex talk with your spouse. Grab a glass of wine or a yummy mocktail , turn on some music, print out a list, fill it out individually, then compare. You may be surprised with something you and your partner have in common! 

When talking about boundaries: It’s important to respect where the other person is at with any boundary they have or answer on a Yes, No, Maybe List. If someone gives a no, it’s off the table. If someone gives a maybe, then it can be discussed at a later time, and if it’s a yes for both of you, go crazy!


With boundaries also comes desires. These are the things that you want, but can sometimes be the hardest to talk about. It can feel vulnerable telling someone else what turns you on because they might not feel the same way. That’s why a Yes, No, Maybe list can be a great conversation starter. Ultimately though, expressing your desires comes down to you and your partners having the most pleasurable experiences possible. 

Another aspect of desire comes from Emily Nagoski in Come as You Are. Spontaneous vs Responsive Desire are two ways that people “get in the mood.” She proposes that those who have Spontaneous Desire are people who get aroused in anticipation of sexual stimuli. People who have Responsive Desire have a more slow and steady arousal where they become aroused in response to sexual stimuli. It can also be seen as arousal driving the desire for sexual stimuli vs sexual stimuli driving the desire for more sexual stimuli. While this is just a drop in the bucket of information compared to the knowledge that Emily Nagoski discusses in her book, it’s incredibly relevant to this conversation here.

Figuring out if you’re a Spontaneous or Responsive Desire person can immensely help you and your partner(s). It can remove shame from how and when you get turned on and help unlock the best way for you both to desire sex together. 

When talking about desire: If you or your partner need some more explicit sexual stimuli to get aroused before wanting to dive into sex, try using the Intimacy Deck for a different kind of foreplay.


Fantasies and desires can appear to be similar, but they are actually quite different. Desires are something that you’re actively wanting in your current sexual experiences. These could be things like wanting to incorporate a new sex toy, wanting to try a blindfold, or wanting to mutually masturbate together. 

Fantasies on the other hand are things that turn you on and you think are hot, but you might not want to do them now (or ever). You might fantasize about having sex on your boss’s desk with a coworker, but that may not be something you actually want to act on. Sometimes we think that partners don’t need to know about fantasies if we don’t plan on living them out, but fantasies can be just as important as desires. There may be parts of your fantasy that can be acted on. Maybe you do some office role play or try having sex in a riskier place where you might get caught.

We share fantasies in other areas of our life like dream jobs, vacations, and houses that we may never plan on actually trying to attain, so let your sexual imagination run wild.

When talking about fantasies: Don’t yuck anyone’s yum or yum anyone’s yuck. AKA don’t pass judgement on anyone’s sexual fantasies or desires especially when they are telling you about them. There are things that you may have not heard before or may not be interested in, but that is still what someone else desires, and that’s ok! At the same time, if there is a fantasy or desire that you have and your partner is not interested, do not force it upon them. Sexual partners do not have to be (and are often not) 100% aligned on their sexual fantasies and desires. Sex talk with your spouse is more about finding the things that you both find exciting and pleasurable.

Past, Present, Future

Like we said about boundaries, these conversations about sex don’t happen in a silo. There are no limits to how to talk about sex with your partner. You can have conversations about past sexual experiences, in the moment while they're happening, and what you hope for in future sex. 

Some people like to talk about how sex was for them as part of their immediate after care. While you’re cuddled up, having a snack, or showering together after sex, this may be a great time to share what you absolutely loved and what you might want to try differently next time. Remember, this isn’t about anyone being “good enough” or not, but rather working and communicating together to work toward peak pleasure for everyone involved. 

Don’t be afraid to communicate during sex as well! Feel free to ask them to move to the right or left, say the position isn’t comfortable, or yelling how good something feels and to keep going. Communication doesn’t need to only be about the things you want to change. It’s just as important to emphasize what feels amazing, so that they know what is giving you pleasure. 

When talking about the future sex you want to have, this is an amazing time to spice things up. Your communication can be in the form of foreplay and dirty talking. Tell them how you want them to play with you that night. Send them a text that outlines what you want to do with them on vacation next month. Talking about the sex you want to have can potentially be just as steamy as the sex itself.

When talking about the past, present, and future: This isn’t a time to give a report card or give a blunt Yelp review to your partner. A great way to do guided reflection is by using a Sex Journal. The journal can prompt you to think and talk about your sex life with your partner in ways that you aren’t sure how to bring up.


Have you ever had sex with someone that is obviously trying a move on you that must’ve worked on someone else, but it just isn’t doing it for you? That is why talking about technique is so important. Our bodies and minds are all so vastly different that you may try a hundred new things that you never knew worked before because you’re now with a new partner. 

This is also a fun time to experiment with trial and error. Maybe you’re using a strap on for the first time with a partner. You can try positions and techniques that may not have worked with previous people but may work for you two. This is a key time to communicate during and after sex. Experiment with your technique and with each other. Try something new with your thrusting, tongue, or anything else and see how you both feel about it.

When talking about techniques: Sometimes going in with the disclaimer that you’re going to try something new can relieve the pressure of it needing to feel good!

Turn on and offs

There are a million big and little things that turn us all on and off. I can bet there are things that you do, say, or wear that turn your partner on that you don’t know about. There may also be things that one of you does that can potentially kill the mood for the other person (and I’d guess you probably want to know about those too!)

These can be key little moments that can make mundane moments sexier and sexy moments… well less sexy. 

When talking about turn on and offs: Turn this into a game! Write down your list of turn ons and turn offs about the other person and have them do the same about you. Then take turns guessing what you think the other person wrote. For every one you get right, have the other person take a drink, remove an item of clothing, or whatever else you choose as a punishment.  Sex talk with your spouse should be fun!

At the base of all of these topics (if you haven’t noticed the theme already) is pleasure. So no matter where you start, what you discuss, or how you do it, if you’re centering and working toward pleasure, you can’t go wrong. Embrace vulnerability, get a little sexy, and start talking!

*If you or someone you know is not feeling safe in their current situation, RAINN is a great place to look for resources and support.

*For more information about consent visit 

Sydney (Syd) Morris (she/her/), is a white, cisgender, queer, Sex Educator in Seattle who is passionate about making the worlds of sex education and sex tech easier to navigate regardless of beliefs, experiences, or identities. She is a Master of Arts in Education candidate at Antioch University, where her research investigates where adults go to find answers to their questions about sex. Syd approaches sexuality education from an intersectional and pleasure-centered lens. She believes that every part of you is relevant to your sexuality and you inherently deserve to experience pleasure in the ways that feel good for you.

Receive insider tips, expert pleasure advice, and exclusive discounts straight to your inbox.