How To Talk To Your Partner About Sex Problems

Suggestions from Dr. Laura Berman, founder and co-director of the Center for Women's Urology and Sexual Medicine at the UCLA Medical Center.

Q. How should a woman talk to her partner about a sexual problem?

A. Realize that communication is the most important part of identifying and dealing with a sexual problem. The first rule is honesty - let your partner know what you like and want, but never fake an orgasm. The best time to talk is not during sex. Set aside time to talk about what's bothering you.

If your partner is dismissive at first, keep trying. For instance, some partners who act impatient with a partner's problems are really feeling insecure and taking it personally that their partner is not responding sexually. They don't want to consider that they may have a causative role in the problem. You can try educational videos, books and experimenting with what is learned. Therapy is always a good choice, but it may not be available, the partner may refuse to go or the couple may feel uncomfortable.

Q. Many women feel uncomfortable talking to their doctors about sexual problems. How can women talk to their doctor about sexual problems without feeling embarrassed?

A.. Talking with your doctor about your sexual problems can cause you anxiety, but in order to get the best care you must be able to communicate your needs. Some doctors may minimize your problem or dismiss it, but that's usually because they don't know how to help, they think it may be psychological, or they are not aware of potential treatment. Arm yourself with information found on newshe.com as well as "For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life". Information you take to your doctor will be extremely helpful to him or her as well as to you. Most doctors will be open and receptive to your comments and will be happy to learn of any new information, particularly if it is based on science and research.


 


Q. What else do you believe women should understand about female sexuality??

A. That sex, like life, is fluid. It changes and grows just as women do. Sex at 20 is not like sex at 30 nor sex when you're a mother, nor sex when you are menopausal, nor sex when you are crazy about your partner or when you are furious with him or her. The context in which women experience their sexuality is probably the most important part of understanding it. The brain is the main sexual organ and sex is about intimacy, sharing, trust, and making yourself vulnerable to another person. It is a basic part of our general health and wellness and something every woman is entitled to.

next: Female Sexual Dysfunction: Definitions, Causes & Potential Treatments

Last Updated: 06 April 2016

Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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