Let’s Talk About Sex: Little Known Tips For Discussing Sexual Health in Your Relationship

BY: - 13 Jul '15 | Single

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NFL star quarterback Russell Wilson and Artist Ciara were trending in recent news regarding their controversial decision to abstain from sex in their relationship. Though sexual abstinence is rare in celebrity relationships, they have definitely inspired singles and dating couples alike about having the mature conversation about sexual expectations in your relationship.

When dating and courting, the topic of sex will come up and it’s up to both parties to be true to how they feel about what they desire before moving forward, abstaining or not. While this conversation may be easy to have for some, others may feel a little awkward or naïve about sexual health history and its importance.

To help us all, I’ve asked Dr. Gameli Dekayie-Amenu of BestiesMD to share advice on how dating couples can have a healthy conversation about sexual health.

BMWK: What is the biggest misconception about talking about sexual health with a significant other?

There are three big misconceptions when it comes to bringing up this conversation with your partner. We may think: “My partner will think I don’t trust him/her,” “My partner will think I am judging his/her past,” or “The first time we are intimate will feel unnatural; it will feel pre-planned.”

The reality is that we all have a past. From no experience to experienced, you don’t have to live condemned or feel like your partner will judge you. Being honest with where you stand is the best thing you can do for your partner. This gives them the opportunity to make a decision that’s best for them.

BMWK: How can couples have healthy conversations about their sexual health while avoiding embarrassment or misunderstanding between each other?

Be the mature one.

The maturity of the individual partners can help couples ease into these kinds of conversations. Sex is not something to be embarrassed or shy about. So if it feels awkward just talking about sex, then it probably is not the right time to be doing it.

You can make it fun. Have a fun date the night you want to have the conversation. Laughter can always break the ice.

Another way to talk it out is to write it down.

Often times it is easier to express how we feel on paper than in person. Make an agreement to write each other a letter about sexual health and your goals for the relationship. Turn the letter swap into a date—something casual and fun.

To keep things light, read the letters when you each get home and talk about it later – no pressure. Don’t fear putting how you really feel to paper; showing vulnerability to a loving and respecting partner is not weak.

BMWK: Should couples get tested together? Who should initiate that conversation?

Absolutely! Either party should feel comfortable initiating the conversation. Try to keep the conversation genuine.  Acknowledge that it can feel new and awkward but that it is the mature thing to do.

BMWK: Is it common for couples to get tested together?

Not as common as it should be….

Talking about the physical aspect of your sexual history with your significant other can also reveal some emotional and spiritual components that may not have been previously addressed.

Aside from the thrill that passion can bring a relationship, you have to consider your sexual health and needs before moving forward in your relationship or courtship.

Overall, be wise and be led by your conviction, not your body.

Dr. Gameli Dekayie-Amenu is an Emergency Medicine Physician practicing in Chicago. In addition to actively working as a physician, she has a strong passion for community outreach, women’s health education and mentorship. She is the co- founder of BestiesMD, a nonprofit organization developed to empower women through health education on a relatable & sisterly level. Learn more about them on youtube.com/bestiesmd!

BMWK fam: Have you ever made a date to the clinic with your significant other to get tested? If not, would you?               

About the author

Tatianah Green wrote 77 articles on this blog.

Tatianah Green is a multimedia content creator and editor with a passion for writing. In 2012 she launched the blog BLISSforSingles.com {Black Love & Inspiration for Saved Singles} to encourage singles in faith and love. She is also a contributing writer for several other websites including Culture and God, Single Matters, and The Wire Hanger By Winnie. She recently published her first book entitled Journey to 30: A Single Woman's Guide to Living Unapologetically Without Deadlines. As she embraces her thirties, Tatianah works, plays and lives unapologetically for Christ in Chicago. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram at @tfortrendsetta

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The Ex Factor – 5 Reasons You’re Still Attached and How to Ditch Him for Good!

BY: - 15 Jul '15 | Relationships

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TNM back to back couple feature

You finally broke up with your ex because you didn’t trust him. Now he’s coming back into your life, saying all the right things, and asking for another chance.

Deep in your heart you still love him, and although your relationship had its ups and downs, you’re wondering if you should take him back.

I can empathize with you. I went back and forth with two of my exes before I had the courage to move on. So let me help you understand why you’re still hung up on your ex and how you can move on and find that special person who will respect and love you.

Here are five reasons you’re still attached to your ex:

1) You’ve created a soul tie with him.

 A soul tie is a deep emotional and spiritual connection that’s formed whenever you become intimate with someone. It’s a natural “side effect” that helps two people bond and stay attached.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a healthy relationship, so what was originally intended to be a great way to stay connected with your spouse is now keeping you in BONDAGE to a man who isn’t good for you.

2) You’re focusing more on his good qualities than the TRUTH about who he is and how he treats you 

It’s called the Pain/Pleasure Principle. 

It explains why we’ll do unhealthy things to get our needs met. Here’s how it works:

We move away from things that cause us pain and toward things that give us pleasure, even if we know those pleasurable things will harm us.

Let’s take food for example.

  • You know eating too much chocolate at midnight is going to show up in your thighs and you won’t be able to fit your cute jeans.
  • You also know too much sugar can rot your teeth, cause diabetes and a host of other health problems that could lead to you dying young.
  • But those chocolate chips taste soooo good! And they help you stop thinking about your problems when you’re stressed out.
  • So you turn to them to get away from the emotional pain and have the pleasure of zoning out and ignoring your problems.

If you associated chocolate chips with death, would you still eat them?

Probably not.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Your ex is like chocolate chips. You know all the unhealthy things about him: you cleaned up after him; he acted as though he was single on Facebook; he disrespected you; he lied to you about where he was all night.

However, all of his shortcomings aren’t painful enough for you to let go and move on? Why?  What is your connection to him still giving you? What pleasure is he offering you, even if it’s temporary?

The fact that you still have feelings for a man who mistreated you shows that you haven’t come to terms with the TRUTH about this relationship. He’s still your guilty pleasure and he’s meeting some need you have.

When you associate more pain with being with him than being without him, you’ll have the courage to let go completely. 

3) You’re looking for closure

We tend to want one last conversation that will explain why he left. Or maybe you want to know what you did wrong that caused the relationship to end.

Most people don’t get the benefit of a “breakup date,” and even when you do, knowing why the relationship is over doesn’t always satisfy the ache in your heart.

You don’t need the other person to give you closure. Do it yourself by closing the doors of your heart to him for good.

4) You don’t want to see him happy without you

It hurts to know that you aren’t the source of your ex’s happiness anymore. So you hang on to hope, thinking maybe he’ll come to his senses and come back to you. If he does, it fulfills that part of your heart that longs to be desired.

But remember, it’s called a breakup for a reason! And sometimes, there doesn’t have to be anything seriously wrong in a relationship for it to not work out. You’ll be happy again, and so will he!

5) You can’t cut your losses

You invested so much of your time into the relationship. You’ll always have memories in your life that include your ex. As a result, letting go completely feels like you’re saying those moments weren’t valuable.

It’s like investing tons of money into a business venture but you never get a return. You keep hanging on, hoping that one day the money will come in, but the debt keeps getting bigger and bigger. You need to cut your losses and start over.

You have to understand there’s always a cost to every decision. Hanging on to a bad relationship may continue to damage your spirit. Is it worth it?

If you’re serious about having a future where you’re respected, loved and valued, you need to tell yourself the truth about your toxic relationship with your ex and make the decision to to walk away before it’s too late.

BMWK, how did you get the courage to walk away from your ex? 

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 156 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.

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