I was asked recently how I talk to people in my life about sex and sexuality and my personal history. The supposition from my client was that it MUST be really easy for me to talk about my personal experiences with people in my life. Not necessarily. I’ve had my own journey with this. But because of my journey I know unequivocally that it is a MUST to talk about sex and sexuality with people in my life-friends, family, co workers, lovers, potential partners.
In general, I’m actually a private person. What I reveal and to whom often depends on context. Get me with a group of my girlfriends and some wine and some things flow easily but if so and so is there, I may edit ‘that’ out. When I’m with my core group of college friends, they’ve known me so long and were there for so much of my formative sexual years, I can’t and don’t want to get away with not sharing the full truth. There is a freeing with that honesty because we have history of not judging one another.
You know this about your life too….the freedom is different depending on the who and what and when. What you say to your committed partner/spouse may be much more vulnerable and real and get into more emotional aspects of sexuality. Still different, what you share with someone who you have just begun getting to know sexually may feel different. Or just the opposite. Sometimes it is easier to share intimate things or secrets with someone who is just getting to know you rather than someone who has known the in’s and out’s of you but has never known or asked about ‘that’. These differences may constitute lying or omission or the relationships could just be bringing out different levels of trust, intimacy and vulnerability.
So…it isn’t always easy. Yes, I do have an easier time talking about things and asking about topics because I’ve heard it all and I’ve talked about it all but it doesn’t mean I don’t trip over myself in asking questions or answering them for my own life.
And sometimes you just can’t figure out HOW to bring up questions even though you WANT to know the answers.
So I came up with 50 questions to ask your lover. I LOVE THEM! I’ve had so much fun coming up with them. I started with 150, brought it down to 70, tried to get it to 40 and ended with 50. They are SO much fun and this exercise is great. This exercise gives you an excuse to go there, it can reveal a lot of information to each other, it can confirm things and it can highlight places that you should learn more about or work on individually or as a couple.
“So looking for a fun date night or evening together? Dive into these questions! They are great for an evening in, over dinner, on the couch, in the car….. I had some brave couples try them out for me and here are some of their thoughts…”
“We had so much fun. We laughed, we kind of marveled at each other and although we’ve been together 15 years, we learned new things. I wanted there to be more questions so we came up with our own too.”
“It made us both feel like even though we have been together 7 years, we really don’t know each other that well! I’m so glad we did it!”
“It was awkward, fun, and enlightening.”
“It felt really good! I enjoyed seeing questions I didn’t expect even after 9 years with someone I hadn’t thought to ask. I think this would be really helpful for my future relationship with someone.”
“We made it a date night and made sure we had several hours for it. I’m so glad we did it. Some of it was emotional but we ended it feeling closer to each other, feeling in love and got so excited we went and had sex! “
“It felt really nice to know that we are doing really well. And it was also nice to have a reason to bring up hard topics that I’ve been wanting to talk to him about. “
Every couple recommended that other couples do it. Each had unique experiences but all felt the questions gave them the REASON to ask the questions I posed and saw themselves having more discussions because this exercise opened the door.
Open up the questions. If you have a lover, do this exercise together. If you don’t currently, ask yourself the questions and see where you fall on the topics. Have fun imagining how you would like a future lover to answer.
I am turning this exercise into a national study…. Here is a link to the survey about it. If you do this exercise with your lover, I would LOVE for you to fill out the survey. It doesn’t take long and you can say you donated to sex research! Such a worthy cause these days!
Have fun, let me know what you think of the questions, tell me how the exercise went with your lover and ENJOY opening the conversation about sexuality.
Xoxo, Dr. Juliana