Too shy to talk about sex with husband

Too shy to talk about sex with husband


your avatar   Tina (48 year-old woman)

I am in my mid 40's with a very active sex drive. My male partner for 15 years is in his mid-50's. Our sex life has been mildly adventurous (different positions, oral sex, different locations within the house) but for the last year or so I've gotten more in touch with what I truly find stimulating - by exploring the internet, fantasizing in sex chat rooms, and reading up on female sexuality. Did I mention that I rarely climax with my partner, despite his attempts at stimulation, oral or otherwise?

I would like to have an open, frank discussion with my partner about my sexual needs, and about the possibility of spicing up our sex life. The problem: Whether it's a product of "our generation" or not, I just can't imagine us having a honest, open discussion about sex! (At least not without whispering and looking at the floor). If I told him for instance that I wanted to bring a sex toy into bed with us, or try out some role-playing fantasies, I think he'd be so shocked he might swallow his gum! He's pretty traditional in values generally, and that holds true of sex as well. I used to be, but I'm changing and I'd like more. I'm too embarrassed to just blurt out at dinner that I want him to use a vibrator on me - and a little afraid of what his reaction might be. I also think there's a part of me that still sees sex as "dirty," and a woman who announces her sexual needs is a "slut", even though my rational mind tells me that's not true. What do you suggest?


    Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., ACS Certified Sexologist

Let's begin by shedding light on a couple points. First of all, many women have difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner, especially if she is uncomfortable communicating her needs, letting go and being out of control. Second of all, it is unfair to blame a communication problem on age. Sexual openness is a matter of attitude, not generation... in fact, your fiftyish partner grew up in the midst of the sexual revolution, so he must have been hiding out, not acting out.

We need to shatter that myth that only bad women ask for sexual pleasure. Sex is designed for pleasure, but unfortunately our bodies were not designed by a woman! Most men perform sexual acts in a way that are pleasurable for them and falsely assume it will feel equally good for the woman. Men are not necessary selfish... just make the mistake of believing they are born experts on the female sexual response. Women the right... not the responsibility... to ask for what they want, because they deserve equal satisfaction and shared pleasure is always better than anything that is one-sided. A woman who loves sex and who is sexually active is not bad. She is simply going after what is rightfully hers, and most men love a woman who knows what she wants in bed (or on the kitchen table).

Vibrators, of course, are great fun and for many women the most reliable way to reach orgasm. Some fragile men are threatened by the efficiency of a vibrator that can satisfy a woman when they are unable to do so with mouth, fingers or penis. On the other hand, many men love being with a woman as she orgasms, and gratefully accepts whatever ever it is that works for her. In fact, many couples have discovered positions of intercourse in which a vibrator can be held on the clitoris, and many men have learned to hold off and then catch up as the woman begins her climax. In other words, the best way to guarantee a simultaneous orgasm (a rare accomplishment) is by combining the stimulation of a favorite vibrating toy with a favorite patient lover.

One can never learn to communicate with a partner without taking the risk of trying. OK, one can talk "dirty" to some partners, but not others, but there is more than one way to communicate passion and desire, and at times a warm quiet request is easier to hear than a hot loud demand. Each couple must work out their own style of communication, and at times it takes time and patience to figure out what works best.

Bob Birch

Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., is a retired sex therapist, now identifying himself as a sexologist and adult sexuality educator. He now devotes his time to writing educational and self-help books for adults.For more information visit:

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