Communicating desires and boundaries
In this episode, Yael Rosenstock Gonzalez talks all about how to understand and communicate your own desires and boundaries to your partner. Today’s topic of discussion lines up with the four pillars of Intimacy with Ease Method to help you have the best sex of your life! We hear talks of red flags, tips on how to work with your partner around these aspects, and most importantly, real life applications.
Is it One conversation?
Communicating desires and boundaries are put together in a conversation because when people are engaged in making sure everyone is having the best time possible, criminalized behavior is unlikely. While sharing her views, Yael points out the stigma around the conversation of consent and sexual assault.
Why is communication so important?
It’s important to understand our method of communication. Yael tells people to reflect on how they communicate their sexual or non-sexual needs. While communication could mostly be verbal, it’s important to recognize the meaning of the cues you give off and to make sure people in your life are aware of it. It avoids unclear messages and conflict.
Reasons why people struggle communicating about sex
Yael says there are several reason why someone struggles communicating about sex. It could be revealed when you ask yourself questions of who and why. Your anxiousness could be the result of a sex taboo, shame around your own pleasure, or the expectation of knowing what’s wrong in your sexual relationship without any proper communication with your partner. For some people with insecurity, Yael advices to make communication sexy by asking what you want and by validating your partner during sex. And for someone with shame around pleasure, you should question the series of incidents like getting caught that resulted in it. You become confident in communicating about sex by undoing these patterns.
Myths around sexual communication
Yael breaks down some of the myths around sexual communication. People overemphasize penetration during sex. People believe sex is enjoyable only with penetration and they neglect oral sex. For a lot of people arousal happens before the penetration and it’s important to be in tune with your own arousal to effectively communicate it with your partner. Yael also breaks down myths around sexual chemistry. People assume their partner would just know what they want because of the sexual chemistry they both have. While it could be true for some people, Yael says it’s mostly communication and putting in the work that’s important. Communicating your desires doesn’t mean there’s no chemistry. Yael also talks about instances where people mistake their lack of sexual chemistry or interest as being asexual when in reality, it could mean either that they are asexual or that they didn’t find the right partner or gender. It’s important to be aware of your own sexual desires to be able to communicate effectively.
Communication about boundaries before or during sex?
Yael advices people who experienced sexual violence or trauma to be aware of some of the things that act as triggers, keeping in mind that triggers may change. In those instances, it’s advisable to talk about your boundaries with your partner before sex to avoid activating these triggers. She also urges people to communicate their needs and tell them how their partner can help them create a safe space. You can also have a conversation before sex about things you want to try or things you might want to try and things that you don’t want to try.
How does respecting these boundaries look like?
When you have a trigger or feel uncomfortable doing something, your partner should be supportive in accepting you. They should be patient to wait and listen when you’re ready to talk about it and not put blame on you. This is how respecting boundaries looks like Yael’s view.
Reasons why people don’t respond well to boundaries
Yael believes some people don’t respond well in these situations because of either being caught off guard or because of their surfacing insecurity and doubts. There are also instances where people take it as a “challenge to teach you,” thinking it will help you overcome what makes you uncomfortable. While Yael says shifts may occur, it’s likely to occur in a supportive environment rather than to occur by force. Yael also brings up an interesting reason where people are unsupportive because they’re missing out on something they enjoy. Yael gives a solution for this that she says could come as unpopular among people is to seek those things outside the relationship after having a clear conversation and make an ethical and consensual decision.
Sometimes a partner could feel like an abuser when in these situations. And a lot of times people let their partner do things they’re uncomfortable with to avoid making them feel like a violator. In this situation, it’s best to take a break before deciding whether or not to have a conversation.
What to do when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries?
Yael shares some of the red flags to recognize when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries like putting the blame on you, pushing you and shaming you. When your boundaries are not respected, it’s time to walk away. Yael asks people to re-evaluate the value of that person in your life and re-evaluate the reasons you’re keeping them around. She points out the reality of how we’re not taught to make boundaries or talk about how a healthy relationship looks like. It’s one of the reasons why many people don’t recognize a non-physical unhealthy relationship.
Finally, Yael leaves us with a thought provoking fact that boundaries are not always meant to be physical. Boundaries can also be made for time, space and the emotional energy you spend. She says boundaries can be set to things like letting people share their emotions to setting a time and place to send and receive nudes.
Resources and Links:
Book – An Intro-Guide to a Sex Positive You: Lessons, Tales, and Tips
Training video – https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/video-choice
Sex Health Quiz – https://www.sexhealthquiz.com
The Course – https://www.intimacywitheasemethod.com
The Book – https://www.sexwithoutstress.com
Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.com
Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated: https://intimacywithease.com/free-webinar