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How to Create a Safe Space for Sexual Exploration

SEX. Sex can be good. Sex can be reeaal gooooood. But what happens when even reeaal goooooood sex doesn’t quite give you the feelings it used to? Let’s be honest, life gets in the way sometimes, and sexual ruts happen. Having sex with the same person in the same positions can feel a bit stale. You know exactly what to do to get a certain reaction from them. They know exactly what to do to get that reaction out of you. Excitement left years ago. The fireworks just kind of sparkle. Don’t get me wrong, there’s something comforting in that predictability, but it’s still, well…predictable. It's easy to say, “just spice things up”. But what does that even look like? What’s out there to try? Will your partner even like it? 1) It can look however you and your partner choose 2) There are LOTS of things to try 3) You won’t know until you ask. Many people I’ve helped through the years have wanted to step outside the box and try something new but were afraid their partner would start doubting themselves or even be suspicious of where they learned their new trick. When introducing the idea of sexual exploration to a relationship, communication is extremely important. Make sure your partner understands wanting to try something new does not mean you don’t enjoy what you have with them currently. It just means that you would like to explore new ways of sexual pleasure, and you want them to be a partner on your journey. It’s also important to listen to your partner’s feelings, wishes, and concerns. You can check out Yes, No, Maybe Checklist for Sexual Health Providers - Perfect for Couples — Sexual Health Alliance as a resource to help you get started on what you and your partner may or may not like to try together. I suggest both you and your partner complete the worksheet and compare responses. You may be pleasantly surprised by your partner’s responses! Open discussions on both ends regarding specific sex acts are also necessary. Clear up as much

confusion as possible before engaging in the act. However, regular check-ins during the act can also help your partner feel included in the pleasurable moment and put them at ease. Have a safe word- something simple but wouldn’t typically be said during intimacy. You don’t want to keep stopping because a common word is used, but you also don’t want your partner to forget the safe word in a panicked moment. Please understand, this is a general overview of how to create a safe space for intimacy. Communication is a skill-a very important skill! If you’d like to improve that skill, seek additional help through a therapist. A trained professional can help you or you and your partner together with effective communication with the end goal of both partners feeling heard understood.

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