Talking about sex can be scary, and there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about how best to have those conversations. Don’t worry — wikiHow has your back! We’ve pulled the best, most trustworthy advice available from reliable organizations like Planned Parenthood and the American Sexual Health Association.
Part1Starting the Conversation
- 1Talk about intimacy before you get to the bedroom, if possible Bringing up sex ahead of time can help you and the person you’re into become more comfortable with each other. If you’re seeing someone, ask them about the right time to take things to the next level, how they feel about sex, and about their likes and dislikes.
- Try asking, “When do you think is the right time for couples to start having sex? We should have a talk about when the right time for us will be.”
- If you’re not dating the person you’re into, you might not have the opportunity to have a conversation in advance. Before going all the way, be sure to get clear consent and discuss safe sex options.
- 2Bring up sex in a comfortable, relaxed environment. Make sure you and your potential partner have privacy when you ask them if they’re interested. Help them feel safe and comfortable, and try to read their body language to ensure they feel at ease.
- You don’t necessarily have to talk about sex alone in a room with the door closed. You might be on a date at a restaurant or other public place when you bring up having sex.
- Be mindful of those around you. Don’t ask your partner about sex when lots of people are within earshot. You don’t want to put them on the spot or embarrass them.
- 3Be honest about how your potential partner makes you feel. Be straight-forward, warm, and polite, and don’t try to put on an act or drop cheesy pick up lines. Just be yourself and tell the person you’re into how you feel. Let them know you find them attractive, but make sure any compliments you offer are sincere.
- Try saying, “When we kiss, I feel like electricity’s running through my body. I don’t mean to put on any pressure or anything, but I’d really like to take things to the next level.”
- Be courteous and respectful. Don’t go into a vivid description of what you want to do with them. If they aren’t ready for sex, this could put them off.
- 4Try to keep the conversation light-hearted. Talking about sex doesn’t have to be super serious. It’s one thing if you’re talking about a serious topic, like a negative sexual experience or an STI (sexually transmitted infection). However, if you’re talking about what turns you on or telling someone you want to have sex, try to be playful or joke around to keep things relaxed.
- It’s okay to be nervous, and having a sense of humor about your nerves can help put you at ease. If you get tongue-tied, try brushing it off with, “Geez, I sound like Google translate gone wrong,” or just be honest and say, “Sorry I’m a little nervous. Let me start over.“
- A little laughter can release nervous energy. However, self-deprecating humor can kill the mood, so go easy on making fun of yourself.
- 5Check in with your partner when you’re fooling around. If you’re already fooling around, read the situation and make sure they’re into it before trying to go further. If they don’t seem enthusiastic about kissing and touching, back off and check in with them.
- In the heat of the moment, you could say, “You’re such an amazing kisser, and you turn me on so much. Do you want to take this further?”
- You could also try asking, “Should we head to the bedroom?” or “Can I touch you here?”
- If you don’t think they’re into it, stop and ask, “Is everything alright? We can stop if this is going too fast.”
Part2Asking about Likes and Dislikes
- 1Joke around about pleasing them to break the ice. Let them know you want to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. You don’t have to get awkward and directly ask, “What ways do you like having sex?” Instead, express that you care about their likes, dislikes, and boundaries in an appealing, relaxed way.
- While it’s helpful to talk about likes and dislikes ahead of time, talking about turn-ons can also be really sexy in the moment. Say something like, “So where’s your favorite spot to be kissed?” or “Tell me about something you’ve always wanted to try in bed.”
- 2Let them know you won’t judge them. Asking someone what they enjoy sexually or what they fantasize about puts them in a vulnerable position. Let them know that they can trust you and that you won’t laugh at them or judge them.
- Confiding something about yourself first can help them feel more at ease with you. Try telling them how you like to be touched or a position that you enjoy.
- Talking about preferences in advance can make sex more enjoyable, but you don’t need to go overboard and make each other uncomfortable. You and the person you’re into don’t have to share your deepest, darkest fantasies, especially if you don’t know each other very well.
- 3Mention what you like, but don’t brag about your sexual exploits. It’s one thing to say that you like having your ear nibbled on or neck kissed. However, don’t go into too much detail about your experiences or talk about past lovers as if they were conquests.
- No one wants to hear all about the last person their date slept with, and bragging about sex is a major mood killer.
- You can say “I like kisses on my neck,” but don’t say “Man, it really turned me on when my last girlfriend kissed my neck and gave me hickies.”
- 4Ask about what they don’t like. You don’t want to make turn-offs the main topic of your conversation. However, the experience will be more fun and less awkward if you know that a spot is extra sensitive or a position is uncomfortable for your partner.
- While it’s good to check in now and then, asking, “Are you alright?” every 30 seconds is a turn-off. Be attentive to their body language, and try to stay in the moment instead of overthinking things.
Part3Talking about Safe Sex
- 1Make sure your partner gives their consent. Consent should be clear and enthusiastic. If they seem uncomfortable or aren’t sure about having sex, don’t try to pressure them. Respect their decision if the answer is no, and don’t ask for an explanation.
- They might want to kiss or touch, but that doesn’t mean they want to have sex.
- They also have the right to change their mind and stop if they become uncomfortable at any point.
- 2Try to bring up sexual health before you get physical. Talking about STIs in the moment can ruin the mood, but it’s a necessary conversation. Ask your partner if they’ve been tested within the last 6 months, and inform them about your sexual health in advance.
- It’s best to talk about sexual health when you and your partner are thinking clearly. You’re less likely to make informed decisions in the heat of the moment.
- If you’re already fooling around and haven’t had the conversation, don’t feel bad about looking out for your health. If they’re sexually active and haven’t been tested recently, your best bet is to cool things off until they’ve been screened.
- 3Ask what kind of contraception they prefer to use. Always practice safe sex, even if you and your partner have been screened and tested negative for STIs. If you don’t have protection on hand, say, “This is really hot, and as much as I hate to stop, we should cool things off until we have a condom.”
- Talking about safe sex doesn’t have to be a turn-off. For example, try asking what kind of condom feels best or if they like flavored or textured varieties.
- Try to be positive when you bring up safe sex. Mention that using protection benefits both of you instead of phrasing it like you need to protect yourself from them.