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The Gentle Road to Understanding

It is doubtless a cliche -- no progress can occur in human relationships, and most especially in sexual matters, if there is no communication. But cliches gain their dubious status because somewhere within them is a kernel of usable truth. It cannot be said often enough: Communication is the very lifeblood of relationships.

People generally make love in the dark, which is not only literally true but might also act as a metaphor for the situation as a whole. If a couple continues to do the same things every time they enter into sexual intercourse, without once asking a partner how they feel or whether he or she has been satisfied, then they have not only failed one another but they are stuck and progress — to say nothing of happiness — will continue to elude them. 

For example, let us say a woman is dissatisfied with the lack of foreplay in intercourse or a husband is saddened by the fact that his ardor is in no way matched by his wife. One or the other of them must find a non-threatening, non-confrontational way in which to voice such frustrations.

Perhaps such non-judgmental conversations could be broached before the lights go off, before any clothing has been removed. If done correctly, it might be the perfect prelude to a loving sexual encounter.

Or it also might be done after sex, while the lights are still off, when you are feeling close and the possibility of affection is at hand. Touch one another in appropriate, gentle ways and then speak from the heart, never resorting to anger or disparagement.

Being tactful and respectful of the other's feelings are of the utmost importance and dissembling for any reason — because of embarrassment or worry over being hurtful — must never occur.

In this way you might be able, together, to create a little cocoon of communication — a mutually safe space — that could lead you to greater understanding and pleasure.

Remaining silent is not the answer. You must gently find the way to speak to one another about intimacy and so move your relationship to a more satisfying plateau.

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