Sexual Health Patient Advocate Sue Goldstein offers advice to you about discussing sexual dysfunction with your partner.
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Discussing Sexual Dysfunction With Your Partner It’s really hard for a woman to talk to her partner about her sexual function. Part of the reason is that we as woman aren’t given the vocabulary. We don’t know our different body parts. We don’t know the different parts of the sex act. We don’t know the whole realm of sexuality. So if we don’t know those words it’s hard for us to be comfortable talking about it. Add that to the mix. Now we have to talk to our partner who may or may not also have sexual problems. How do you even broach those problems, that conversation? I know it was hard for me and my husband and I work in this field so what’s it like for other people. Sometimes the easiest way is to go to a movie where the woman’s reached menopause if that’s what your problem is. Or find an article in a magazine and leave it open and say, “You know honey, I have been reading this and I am wondering if this is the problem I have. Do you find that I am not responding the way I used to be?” You need something that’s permission giving. It’s no different than when you go to your doctor. Your doctor gives you permission-giving sentences so that you can feel comfortable talking about sex. You can’t accuse, that’s really important because it may be that you are not reaching orgasm because your husband has premature ejaculation and so he is just not hard enough, long enough for you to get to that point. And it may be that he is probably fine and he is not focused on your pleasure. Or it may be just your biology that’s changing. But it’s really important that you approach this as a couple because it’s a couple’s problem whether it’s your biology or his biology that’s not what it used to be. It’s still a couple’s issue. Or if it’s a women and women, it’s still a couple’s issue and you need to approach it that way but you need to do it in a non-accusatory manner. It may start with a simple sentence, “Do you think that our sex life is different than it used to be? Are you feeling that you are not as happy with our intercourse as it used to be?” Something that’s open-ended, something that’s permission giving and something that’s saying that you have a question that you think there may be an issue here and that can open up a dialogue.