Here is an excerpt of my interview with family communication expert, Christa Melnyk Hines.
Welcome back to my monthly series on building self-confidence to enhance relationships and strengthen communication skills. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this is the perfect time to talk about healthy sexual communication with your partner. This month I had the opportunity to interview sex educator for moms and author Sarah Swofford, MPH. Read on for some great tips to build self-confidence and get the sparks flying in your love life!
CMH: Self-confidence plays an enormous part in building and maintaining strong, healthy relationships. In your opinion, what role does self-confidence play in healthy sexual communication between partners? Do you find that women especially struggle in this area?
SS: Self-confidence absolutely influences healthy sexual communication. Since I work predominately with women I can say that yes, women struggle in this area. But men do too!
Our sexuality is a place of deep pleasure, intimacy, and vulnerability. So, when something isn’t going well in our sex-lives it is very easy to internalize it and assume the problem is occurring because something is wrong with us…and since sex is a largely private issue, way too many women struggle with these feelings and challenges alone. This is why I do the work I do, to help women realize they aren’t alone and that there is help available.
Practicing healthy sexual communication when sex is easy and fun and enjoyable prepares couples for when things are challenging. Every couple and every situation is different, but if you are in a long-term relationship, the fact is, you will have challenges in the bedroom. So learning to talk about what you like and what works for you when things are good, prepares you as a couple to be able to talk in a healthy way about challenges when you are experiencing them. Often just voicing the elephant in the room, for example, “it has been a long time since we’ve had sex,” relieves tension and makes it easier to discuss. Healthy sexual communication is a lifelong journey and requires regular practice.