13 Sex Questions You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Ask in a Committed Relationship
When you’re casually dating, the questions you ask your sex partner are probably limited to the basics like, “Do you have a condom?” and “Have you ever tested positive for an STI?” But once you’re in a cozy, committed relationship, there are much deeper between-the-sheets queries you should bring up. Not only do you want to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to physical intimacy, but you definitely don’t want your “sexy time” to turn into a snoozefest. Licensed sex therapist Tonya McDaniel says, “By periodically checking in with each other, you can continue to enhance your sexual communication, which has a strong correlation with sexual satisfaction.” Read on to learn which sex questions you should be asking your significant other — then, get on to the conversation about getting it on.
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1. What are your favorite “menu items”?
Cuddling. Sexting. Shower sex. Quickies. There are numerous “items” on the foreplay and intercourse menu. According to psychotherapist Lynn Ianni, PhD., MFT, who helps couples with sexual issues, “The most important thing you can do to strengthen your sexual connection is to open up a conversation about your preferences. The more you talk about them, the better your sex life is.” If you and your partner have contrasting “menu items,” Dr. Ianni suggests that you “take turns doing your favorite things on the ‘menu’ one day and your partner’s favorite things another day.”
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2. How often do you like to have sex?
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When it comes to sexual frequency, there is no right or wrong answer. Some want it every day. Others are perfectly happy having it once a week. Psychotherapist Lynn Ianni, Ph.D., MFT, says, “When you’re in a committed relationship you need to discuss how often you like to get intimate so both of you are sexually satisfied.” What if you and your partner’s answers differ? “Compromise,” suggests Dr. Ianni. “If one partner likes it every day and the other likes it twice a week, agree to have sex three to four times a week.”
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3. What do you fantasize about?
From joining the Mile High Club to engaging in “Game of Thrones” cosplay, men and women have all sorts of sexual fantasies. And being in a committed relationship allows you to build trust by talking about those fantasies. Clinical sexologist and psychotherapist Kristie Overstreet says, “Don’t be afraid to ask your partner what they fantasize about, and be ready to share your fantasies with them as well.” Certified sex therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg adds, “Fantasy life is important to keep things exciting. Some people already know their fantasies. For those who don’t know, it makes them think about them and perhaps start cultivating their fantasy life.”
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4. Do you masturbate?
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When you’re in a relationship, there’s no need to nix “quality alone time.” But you should be ready to talk to your partner about it. According to certified sex therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg, “It’s important for couples to know if their partner masturbates. This question usually has a few follow-ups: When? To what? How often? By knowing the answers to these questions, it can deepen your level of intimacy with your partner because it gives you insight into their sexuality.” Certified sex therapist Tonya McDaniel also suggests sharing masturbation. “You can watch your partner masturbate to add some voyeuristic spice to the activity. Or you can touch their body while they continue to masturbate.”
5. Have you ever [blank]?
Being in a relationship means exploring curious territory with a partner you trust. You never know what your partner has tried or is willing to try unless you ask. Certified sex therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg shared her approach to get couples to talk about they would and wouldn’t do: “I have them fill out what’s called a Yes/No/Maybe list, which is an extensive collection of sexual and erotic activities. Each partner chooses ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ for each item on the list. Then they compare lists and get to see what it is that they’d each like to try as well as what their partner isn’t willing to try and what all falls in the middle.”
6. Will you [blank] me?
When it comes to having mind-blowing sex, asking for what you want can be a game changer. Natalie Finegood Goldberg, CST, LMFT, says, “While some might think it takes away from spontaneity, asking a partner directly is the most reliable way to ensure your desires will be known.” If you’re uncomfortable telling your partner what you like during sex, psychotherapist Lynn Ianni, Ph.D., MFT, has a technique where she asks couples to take turns for 15 minutes being the teacher and the student. One partner says, “I would like you to [blank, blank and blank],” and the other partner does that series of things. Then they switch roles. Dr. Ianni explains, “You’re teaching your partner what you like so you can incorporate that information into your lovemaking.”
7. Are any places off limits?
When you’re in a long-term relationship you may sometimes spend the holidays at your significant other’s parents’ house. And at some point you’ll probably want to get naked with him or her. Is sex even an option? Or would it be too awkward to know their parents are under the same roof? Should you even address it beforehand? Psychotherapist Lynn Ianni, Ph.D., MFT, says, “It’s important to bring up questions like this to your partner. It speaks to the issue of intimacy and communication helping to enhance a sexual connection.”
8. Should I be wary of any past issues?
When one partner isn’t open with another about past traumas like molestation, sexual assault or rape, you or your partner’s sexual issues can surface unexpectedly during any kind of physical intimacy. Psychotherapist Lynn Ianni, Ph.D., MFT, suggests you “reassure your partner that you’re in a safe space and you want them to feel comfortable with you. Respect their issues and their privacy.” She adds, “When you feel safe with each other it allows you to be creative, have fun and explore.”
9. Do I do anything that doesn’t feel good?
When it comes to foreplay and intercourse, it can be hard to ask your partner if there’s something you’re doing that doesn’t feel good. However, you shouldn’t be scared to pose the question. Clinical sexologist and psychotherapist Dr. Kristie Overstreet explains, “When they give you this feedback, be prepared to not take it personally. Take it as feedback that gives you the opportunity to change so that your partner can feel even better.” She suggests, “If you like to touch your partner in a certain way, and they tell you it doesn’t feel good to them, then ask them what would feel better.”
10. How else can I turn you on?
In our rushed lifestyles, sexual encounters in relationships can become very goal oriented (i.e., who can climax first). Licensed sex therapist Tonya McDaniel suggests, “By removing the focus from the genitals to other aspects of your bodies, it can help change the emphasis from a linear progression (foreplay leads to orgasm) to a more dynamic, fun exploration.” She adds, “Bodies can change over time. Women can experience significant hormonal events with pregnancy, nursing and menopause. Men also experience hormonal changes associated with the aging process. These changes in hormone levels can impact your perception of touch. Therefore, you may need different types of physical stimulation than you did 10, 20 or 30 years ago.”
11. What made you fall in love with me?
What’s love got to do with amazing sex? Everything. Especially in a committed relationship. Licensed sex therapist Tonya McDaniel explains, “By increasing your emotional intimacy outside the bedroom, you can increase the sexual passion within the bedroom. For many people, sex involves taking risks and being vulnerable. If you are confident about your partner’s feelings toward you and feel secure in the relationship, then you may be more willing to engage in sexual exploration or feel relaxed enough to enjoy the sensual sensations.” She adds, “Once a couple has established a level of trust and intimacy that comes with time, it can allow them to become more comfortable with owning their sexuality and exploring new sexual terrain together.”
12. Would you want to open up our relationship to other people?
This question is for those people who have interest in exploring other sexual partners within the committed relationship. Certified sex therapist Kristie Overstreet says, “If you think about what it would be like to bring a third person in for a threesome or you have interest in having multiple sexual partners, share it with your partner.” Overstreet suggests, “Don’t be afraid to share this. But make sure that you bring it up when you both have time to talk about it.”
13. When is our next scheduled “sexy time”?
In our culture, scheduled sex has become synonymous with boring and bland. Movies and TV shows have convinced us that hot, passionate sex is organic and spontaneous. But what happens if you or your partner has a demanding schedule or kids? Certified sex therapist Tonya McDaniel recommends scheduling sex sessions. She says, “Scheduling sex increases the probability of having a successful sexual encounter. Not only are you communicating that sex is a priority, but you can also pick a time that has the least amount of distractions or possible interruptions. When you can really focus on your partner and your physical responses you can increase your sexual satisfaction and pleasure.”
What Do YOU Think?
What’s a question you’ve been afraid to bring up to a partner? Has your partner ever asked you any of these questions? Let us know in the comments below!
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