For some people, discussing sex is as easy as breathing, and as natural too. Some people can dive into conversations about all the glorious messy details of their sexual encounters, or those of others, while they’re queuing for their morning coffee. For others, it’s a little trickier. Now, of course, there are people who are quite happy not getting into the nitty gritty of their sex lives with other people, and there are those who are perfectly fine with not having conversations about adult-rated material with their friends.
However, talking about sex can be one of those issues which can become a bit of neurosis if we’re not careful. Some of us become incredibly tense, awkward and anxious when the subject comes up in conversation, and it can feel like you’re suddenly cut off from your circle of friends. Like you’re the odd one out, and everyone knows about it.
First of all: there’s nothing wrong with feeling uncomfortable talking about sex, and if you do, you’re far from alone. But just as with anything that we feel uncomfortable or anxious about, it helps to address the issue, or at least take a closer look at it, before it becomes something you can’t stop worrying about. If you’re looking for ways to feel more relaxed when it comes to talking about relationships, sex, and everything that comes with it, here are a few things you can do to help.
Try To Relax
OK, so we’ve just spent a couple of paragraphs talking about the fact that you’re not relaxed, but as glib as this header sounds, remember that it’s a process, not a switch that you just flick on and off. No one’s saying that you should treat your next drinks with friends as an opportunity for a Fleabag-style confessional if that’s really not you, just remember that you’re only going to get more comfortable if you take things at your own pace.
If you’re feeling like you want to be more open when it comes to talking about sex with your partner, remember to treat it as a conversation rather than a bombshell. If you want to not freeze up every time there’s a conversation about sex with a group of friends, start small, and start with a small group, or even one friend, that you feel comfortable with.
Get Comfortable With The Idea Of Sex Being Discussed
If you’re not that comfortable with diving into a conversation about sex in person, then why not give listening to a try? A lot of the anxiety around conversations about sex stem from the idea that this is something that is somehow shameful, something that shouldn’t be talked about, and that we’re doing something wrong if we do. We don’t need to tell you that this is not a healthy attitude to have towards sex, but it is one that can change with a little patience and work. Listening to podcasts about sex could help you to start that journey of getting more comfortable talking about it.
And we’re not talking about anything overly serious, or indeed psychological for that matter. Talking about sex should be something that is natural and liberating, and that’s why podcasts about sex are so much fun. There are a host of sex-related podcasts out there to discover, from shows that are made by people who want to talk frankly about their sexual encounters to shows created by sex workers who want to bring their profession out of the shadows and get rid of all that age-old, old-fashioned stigma. For example, the BBC podcast Brown Girls Do It Too recently featured a guest appearance from Alicia Sweets of Babestation, who talked about her experiences in UK sex chat and some of the stigma around sex in the British Asian community.
Try Talking About It Online
If you’re finding talking about sex in person to be a bit of an uphill struggle, then why not start by broaching the subject online? There are loads of anonymous blogs out there written by people who want to talk about their sexual experiences without compromising their identity or those of their partners or other people in their lives, or you could create a social media account or forum profile under another name to allow you to discuss the issues that are bothering you (or exciting you!) without any of the pressure that comes from doing it face to face.
This may not be a long-term solution to helping you join in that conversation with your friends at the pub, but it’s a good starting point and will help you to develop the vocabulary you need to express yourself. It’s also a good reminder that you are not alone, and that there are many people out there who need a bit of help when it comes to opening up.