Poor communication between partners often leads to sexual problems. Beside sexual problems such as premature ejaculation, partial or complete erection failure, inability to reach orgasm, and vaginismus, there are often complaints with the frequency or quality of lovemaking. Most communication problems involve difficulty with assertiveness-the ability to make honest, direct, and open statements, both positive and negative. One must ask for what one wants and be able to refuse unreasonable requests. In sex, assertiveness involves the ability to start lovemaking, to accept an overture, the ability to say no to unwelcome advances, and the ability to say one’s likes and dislikes about lovemaking. Ask your partner how she feels, what she thinks, and what she likes. "I have the feeling you are not listening and it would mean a lot to me if you would respond to what I say. " "You didn’t take a shower last night when we made love and I couldn’t enjoy it. Why don’t we both shower tonight and then make love". When a kiss is repelled on the first date, think about other reasons beside " She does not care for me". She may feel uncomfortable with physical contact on the first date. She feels kissing is an invitation to further intimacy. She feels that men lose respect for her if she is passionate on the first date. She may not be feeling well and wants to go to sleep. You might ask for clarification: When you turn away from me, I am not sure what it means. Could you help me out? I feel bad when you do that because I think you didn’t have a good time or that you don’ t like me. Most people take things for granted when they go well and complain when they do not. In this way we reinforce the behavior we dislike. Doing and saying things tat people like when they are pleasing us increase the desired behavior. If you had to make love with your husband when he has a grizzly face, it might help to initiate sex when he did shave)e.g. when you go out) and tell him how sexy he is when his face is smooth.

Don’t label the other person. "You are a lousy lover. You are a sex maniac". These labels undermine self-esteem and lead to resentment. You might say "I really do not enjoy oral sex. I don’t understand or like what you are doing.

One’s view of the world is neither right nor wrong: it is only one’s view. "Cunniglingus is a bad practice". Better to say "I don’t particularly care for it."

Avoid absolutes as: "We always make love the same way." Better to say, "We usually use the same position when we make love. Let’s get one of those sexy shower gadgets for the next time we have sex.”

Start negative feelings with I and not “you". Saying you don’t love me would be better said "I feel unloved by you."
When things go wrong don’t blame the other person. Ask yourself (1) How am I adding to this problem: (2) How can I improve things? (3) Is any of this criticism of me true and how can I learn form it?

It takes two people to play these games. If you stop playing by acting differently or in an unexpected way, the game ends.

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