Having Your Cake and Eating it Too: Using Communication to Get What You Both Want

Posted in   The MamaSutra   on  December 19, 2017 by  Lanae minutes remaining

Using communication to get what you want. Gender stereotypes lead to a lot of preconceived notions about sex and relationships and how people think and feel. It’s important to unpack these stereotypes, even while recognizing there are often differences between men and women in heterosexual relationships.

Here are some generalizations I hear quite often:

  • Men prefer sex with the lights on, while women prefer sex with the lights off.
  • Men prefer morning sex, while and women prefer evening sex.

If pressed, I would add a third item to that list of common beliefs: men want to fuck, and women want to make love.

These statements hold true even without the gender stereotypes. Translated, “men want to fuck, and women want to make love” becomes “some people like to fuck, and some like to make love.” In truth, lots of people like both fucking and making love.

Without the gender stereotypes, we can have a much more exciting conversation. We begin to negotiate, so that everyone gets their sexual needs met. Communication can be so hot, even though it’s challenging. Some people get uncomfortable talking about what they want, or even admitting they don’t even know what they want. Some people feel guilty talking about it in our culture because unless its “married, heterosexual intercourse in the missionary position with the purpose of baby-making” we aren’t supposed to be having it or wanting it.

What’s next?

Assuming people can talk and negotiate, let’s look at solutions for these 3 phrases.

Some prefer sex with the lights on, while some prefer sex with the lights off.
Lots of people are turned on by the sight of their partner. It is exciting to be naked with someone who gets you going! But Not everyone feels that way. Some people might feel a little ashamed or embarrassed by their bodies and they want the lights off. A compromise can be useful. Could the lights be dimmed slightly? How about a blindfold, so the partner who doesn’t want judgment of their body will feel safe.

Some prefer morning sex, while and some prefer evening sex.
Communicate why you like sex at these times and why you don’t. Listen to what your partner has to say about their reasons. Some might not want to get their clothes rumpled before they begin their day. Or they have to load more time into their routine to work it all in. Some find sex an energy drain and others feel it’s a boost. Some like to fall asleep afterward. Try weighting your preferences as some of the explanations could be perceived as more determinate than others. Negotiate a schedule based on the conversation you have. Maybe weekend mornings work better for those who work a 9 to 5. Maybe nighttimes work when you don’t have to be up early.

For the one I added, some people like to fuck, and some like to make love.
This one requires communication as well. Sweaty, hot, carnal sex is fun. But so is slow, sensual, taking-your-time sex! Who says you can’t have BOTH? The more items on the menu, the more opportunities to try different things.

Bottom line: communication is critical.

You may find that you just aren’t compatible with your partner as you can not resolve the disparity or communicate well enough to negotiate such that all parties get satisfaction. And all parties SHOULD be getting satisfaction. Not getting satisfied over and over again builds up resentment. Then, out of nowhere, years down the line someone finally can’t take it anymore. To avoid this issue, clear that shit up early and often.

If you want to learn how to talk about this more or get comfortable doing so, look for Sex Coaches like me. Ask them about their training and background. Ask them their thoughts on a topic to get a sense for how they think and make sure it matches with what you’re hoping to get out of working with them. There are coaches who work with many different audiences that do this work.


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About the Author Lanae

Dr. Lanae St.John is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology and certified sex coach with a background in sexology and a passion for helping people improve their sexual health and relationships. She is the author of "Read Me: A Parental Primer for "The Talk"" and the upcoming "You Are the One: How stopping the search and looking inside will lead you to your romantic destiny," and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the field. Dr. St.John aims to share her knowledge and expertise in a relatable and approachable way through her blog on themamasutra.com.

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