Larry James' BLOG

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to Know Your Partner’s “Hot Buttons!”

Filed under: Communication,Making Love,Sex — Larry James @ 7:00 am

CAUTION: You are about to enter the “Bedroom Zone!” 😉

Couples often end up bemused and confused by a marriage that’s dimmed in sexual intensity or frequency. Perhaps it’s time for a frank, mature, and open discussion about sex and sexual issues.

CoupleSex is an important aspect of every marriage. Having sex is a lot easier than talking about it. Most everyone will agree about that, however in order to for you to share what turns you on with your partner, you MUST communicate your likes and dislikes in a playful and healthy way. Someone has to break the ice.

Sometimes a shared sense of nostalgia for what the two of you used to do can be enough to lead you down the path of talking about sex openly, says Kimberly A. Sharky, a certified sex therapist in Chicago. You could say, “Remember when we used to spend hours just kissing? I miss that.” Or, “I loved when you used to just grab me from behind; it made me feel so wanted” or, “Honey, I think this would really turn me on” Or, “How does this feel to you?” Muster up the courage to go first! You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

It’s not easy and it will make a huge difference in the quality of intimacy you have with your partner. It’s usually hard to bring up intimate subjects with those you care about. The key is to know that talking about sex is okay and really shouldn’t be considered a source of embarrassment or discomfort. Talking about it when you are making love is not the best time. You must start slow. It’s important for your partner to know that you’re pleased with your shared intimacy and because you are you want to make it even better by sharing.

RomanticCoupleObviously there’s a lot to talk about, but if possible start the discussion at a time when you are both feeling close. If you want to discuss some unresolved aspect of your sexual relationship or a disappointment or frustration, during sex is not a good time for the discussion. Bedtime is not a good time either. Find a time when you’re feeling happy, loose and confident. Think twice before you decide to hold back your sexual frustrations from your partner. Bottling up emotions around sex leads to severe depression, anxiety and often infidelity. Notice the small things that often leads to intimacy.

For example, you may want to begin by commenting on a sexy or romantic card that your partner sent. Tell your partner how it causes you to feel when held a little longer in a warm embrace or how it relaxes you when he takes the time to give your body a massage for no reason other than he wants to please. In other words, start slow and test the water – work up to what you want to say. This is a time for great respect. Talking down to your partner can quickly dampen the mood and end the conversation.

“If you can, try to express your desires as a positive turn-on rather than a negative turn-off. Instead of telling him, “You don’t know anything about foreplay or how to please a woman,” tell him that you had a sexy dream about him last night — trust me, he’ll want to know more — and then describe the foreplay you’d like as though it was something he was doing in your dream. ~ Ian Kerner, Sex Therapist

couple-in-bedIf your bedroom antics are stalled at the pass. . . be brave – start talking. It may save your relationship. Be open about what turns you on and off. Be clear about what you want. Never settle for “ho hum” sex. Have your time together be a “do more of this” conversation punctuated with a lot of words like, “I love it when you do… and I’d like us to also do…”

Another way to begin the conversation is to agree to write notes to each other what you’re feeling or what you’d like to try, rather than talking about it. Although remember this, eventually you need to discuss what you have each written.

Avoid placing blame and attacking. There is a fine line between criticizing your partner and asking them to stop when something they are doing doesn’t feel good or is something you would rather not do. If you are flat not in the mood, offer an intimacy “rain-check” so your partner will know it’s not them that is being personally rejected.

Never, I repeat, NEVER criticize your partner’s attempts at making love if you feel they are “not doing it right,” especially while making love.


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Do your best to drop your expectations about how your partner is in bed. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems. When we don’t get what we expect, we get disappointed, frustrated, angry and sometimes worse. Instead focus and talk about what you want. Marriage without sex is a lonely feeling and can tear a couple apart.

Talking about your sex life isn’t something you check off a list once in your relationship – it must be an ongoing discussion. Think of it as a conversation that it is really about how to be supportive of each other and the relationship. Share your feelings honestly. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and authentic and in the end that kind of honest communication will result in greater support, understanding and connection with your partner.

Talk about sex. . . and listen carefully to your partner’s wants and desires. Perhaps it is what you need to keep the fire of love burning.

By the way, using “not tonight, I have a headache” is no longer a good excuse. Doctors agree that “bedroom bliss” – the very act itself – can often rid you of the headache you claim you have. It is good exercise and a great stress reliever.

May all your ups and downs be beneath the sheets! 😉 Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

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