I see couples for premarital therapy, and I also work with couples who are struggling with sexual problems years into their marriages. Your sex life will inevitably ebb and flow throughout your relationship, but it has been my experience that the couples who take the time to talk about sex before getting married are far more successful than those who don’t. You’re going to be together for the rest of your lives, and I’m guessing you want to have a happy and healthy sex life in the decades to come!
My suggestion is to schedule a time to sit down with your fiancé and ask each other some important questions about your sexual relationship. Talking about sex is almost always nerve-wracking, so try to set up yourenvironment to be as soothing as possible. Light some candles, put on some of your favorite music, or pour two glasses of wine. Before getting into the questions, take a moment to acknowledge any anxiety or apprehension coming up, and thank each other for being willing to be honest.
1) What are our sexual strengths and weaknesses?
If you’re feeling nervous about having a conversation about sex, a great place to start is by talking about your favorite sexual memories. What’s some of the best sex you ever had? What do the two of you do particularly well together? Then, take some time to consider potential areas for improvement. Keep in mind that sex is something you can always get better at. You will never get to a point where there’s nothing new to learn! Don’t think of this discussion as criticism, but as an opportunity to identify ways for the two of you to work on improving together. For example, “we could spend more time on foreplay.”
2) What can we do to make intimacy a priority?
This is one of the first questions I ask new clients, and they always respond with looks that seem to translate to, “we didn’t know we had to do that…” Well, you do! Having consistently fantastic sex requires effort. You have to take active steps to make the time and space for intimacy. Possibilities might include scheduling regular date nights, getting a babysitter, or going on romantic getaways.
3) How do you think our sex life will change throughout our marriage?
You’re going to go through a lot together in your marriage, including possibly having children, moving, getting a new job, losing a loved one, or going throuhg menopause. All of these life changes will have significant impacts on your sex life, and your sex drives are bound to ebb and flow. You can’t anticipate the exact changes that will happen, but it’s important to talk about how you might be able to proactive about protecting your sex life once these kinds of milestones occur.
4) How will we keep the spark alive?
You’re going to be having sex with each other for decades, and sex can get boring pretty quickly if you do it exactly the same way every single time. Talk about things you’d like to try with each other, and which sexualfantasies and interests you would feel comfortable experimenting with. I have my clients make lists of their red, yellow, and green lights. Reds are the things you know you don’t want to try, yellow are the ones you’re unsure about, and greens are the things you feel perfectly comfortable with. Making these lists can be a fun way to keep the chemistry going.
5) What will we do when we start fighting about sex?
You’re going to fight about sex at some point in your relationship. It’s inevitable. Having a game plan beforehand will make sexual conflicts feel much more manageable. Do you have a sex therapist or marriage counselor you know you could call? Do you have communication strategies that you already know work well for your relationship?
6) How can each of us continue to nurture our individual relationships with our sexualities?
Even though you’re going to be married, you’ll still have your own relationship with your body and your sexual desires. What can each of you do to maintain that relationship? Examples might include regular exercise, taking yourself on date nights, masturbating, finding ways to minimize stress, or pursuing individual sex therapy.
7) What are our wishes for our honeymoon?
Many couples go in to the honeymoon with huge expectations, but the reality is that almost half of all couples are too exhausted to even have sex on their wedding night! Try to create realistic expectations for your honeymoon, and discuss what feels important. Do you want to prioritize sex over your other honeymoon activities? Do you want to experiment with some new positions, toys, or lingerie? Do you want to have slow, intimate sex?