Center for Shared Insight, PC

How to Discuss Your Kinks With Your Partner

January 28, 2020
Posted By: Kristen Hick, Psy.D.

When you hear the word “kinks” you may automatically consider the more extreme definition that includes sexual behaviors such as BDSM. However, “kinks” refer to any sexual activity that falls outside of the types of sex that society traditionally considers acceptable. Kinks are healthy, normal, and have a continuum that can even include simply the way you liked to be kissed, touched, and more. Kinks are essentially what turn you on and sexually energize you. 

At Center for Shared Insight in Denver, Colorado, we know that a healthy romantic relationship almost always includes a strong sexual connection with your partners. We can help you facilitate those connections by having the difficult conversations needed to share your preferences around kinks. In this post, we’ll dive into how to discuss your kinks with your partners.

Find the right time

Like any conversation that might challenge you and your partners, finding the right time to talk is essential to successful communication. Plan for the ideal time, when neither of you is tired, has been drinking, or is pressed for time. Perhaps a weekend morning when there aren’t commitments and you both are well-rested, is a good time to plan for a conversation. Avoid having this conversation during intimacy, when you are both likely already feeling more emotionally charged, making it possible that one partner may be swayed by passion without fully considering their feelings about trying something new.

Frame the conversation

Once you find the right time, begin the conversation by recognizing and verbalizing that this can be a tough conversation to have. Ask your partner to hear you out despite the topic being potentially hard, uncomfortable, or vulnerable to talk about. State that you feel vulnerable to help set the stage for receiving the feedback and insight you are about to provide.

Communicate clearly

Once you set the stage, be very clear about what you want, like, need and desire sexually. Explain this in a positive manner, by sharing what you’d like to experience, instead of expressing what your partner should not do. Be as explicit as possible, providing examples about what you want sexually and how it makes you feel. Be sure to also ask your partner or partners if they have any kinks or sexual desires that they would also like to incorporate into the sexual relationship. Leaving space for them to communicate their needs and wants as well can help the conversation feel shared and collaborative. You may even have an opportunity to explore something that had never even crossed your mind! 

Establish Open Communication

It’s important to make space to talk about your intimacy in general, but especially if you are experimenting with new approaches to intimacy. Establish open communication around this topic and suggest that you discuss it regularly. While you might begin with one conversation, expect and encourage several conversations and feedback as you explore new sexual curiosities and kinks. Continue to thank your partner for being open to discussing how new sexual experiences feel, and make adjustments as necessary. Be willing to compromise with your partner if they don’t feel as comfortable with sexual experimentation as you do. Ask often, “how does this feel to you?”, and be willing to adjust expectations accordingly. Remember, consenting to these sexual experiences is crucial and necessary for all partners. 

Couples also find that choosing a “safe word” to use if things go too far as you experiment sexually can be a helpful practice. This word is agreed upon by you and your partner ahead of time, such as those early conversations, and indicates that you want to stop immediately. A verbal commitment like this can make new approaches to intimacy feel more safe and approachable. Be sure to choose a word that cannot be easily confused with other pleasurable comments or directions so you have a clear indicator of your boundary. 

At Center for Shared Insight in Denver, Colorado, no topic is off-limits to discuss with our team of experienced therapists. Whether you want to share more about discussing your kinks with your partner, or sexual challenges you experience in your relationship, our team is here to listen, guide, and support you throughout your journey. Contact us for a complimentary intake and consultation today.

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