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Q&A: How to talk to my partner about sex?

Q&A: How to talk to my partner about sex? - Sh! Women's Store


I don't know if this is a weird problem but I also don't really know who else to ask.

I feel really self-conscious about asking for what I want during sex. My partner encourages me to tell him what feels good or if something hurts and I want to tell him. I just feel like I can't get the words out and I'm not sure why.

I want to tell him what I want him to do to me, or when not to stop, etc but I just can't bring myself to do it and I have no idea why I can't. I trust him, and I'm comfortable around him completely so it's not that at all. I'm sexually shy, I know, but I need advice on how I can be more open about communicating my desires. How to get over this crippling shyness. Any advice is appreciated."

Hey there,

Most folks feel awkward or shy when speaking about sex, afterall we're not taught to do it! It can seem like everybody is talking about sex, but more often it's camouflaged with jokes, than with candid, and honest conversation.

Find your sex language

Find the words that feel ok for you. Explore your sexual vocabulary  - do words like 'pussy' or 'cock' feel too 'much'? If certain words make your squirm, find ones that don't.

What about 'vulva' and penis? Are they too medical?

Finding the right words to use is the first step to talking to your partner about sex. Practice saying things out loud ( but privately, so you can used to hearing the words coming from your mouth) - it's a great way to get accustomed to using your sex language.

Try listening to some erotic stories - they can be great inspiration for both words to use and things to say. Note down what you might feel comfortable saying...

Talking openly about sex is a learned skill

The best way to get more comfortable talking about sex is to practice talking about sex!

If you don’t feel comfortable talking about what you enjoy during sex, is there a time when you would feel more comfortable?

We recommend picking a time when you are relaxed and comfortable for an intimate conversation. You don’t have to launch into a long monologue about everything you do or don’t love in bed. This is just the start of an ongoing conversation between you.

  • What sexual topics DO you feel more comfortable talking about? Start with these.
  • What DON'T you feel comfortable talking about? Leave this for a time when you have built up more confidence.


    Try sexting or showing...

    If you find it tricky to get the words out, you might find it easier to write them down. 

    Sexting is a great way to communicate iabout sex without you having to stammer through something you feel awkward actually saying...

    You could consider actually showing your partner what you like.

    How do you touch yourself when you are on your own? Do you have a toy you enjoy using? Your partner will appreciate any clues, verbal or not, so this could be a good way forward.

    Sex and anxiety

    If you are shy about sex, do you find you experience anxiety when you actually get down to it? Because you use the words 'if something hurts'  we are wondering if anxiety, leading to physical tension, might be contributing to the discomfort you are experiencing.

    Are you concerned about disappointing or upsetting your partner? If so, it’s worth considering where these feelings are coming from so you can start to address them.

    If this is something that you are really struggling with, or if you have issues with shyness and anxiety in general, it might be worth sharing your feelings with a therapist.

    Again, because you say 'if something hurts' if you are experiencing pain during penetration, we suggest booking an appointment with a GP. Pain is the body's way of telling you that something is wrong, and it's always best to check these signals.

    We hope this helps <3

    Best Wishes,

    Team Sh! xx


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