Building Sexual Understanding Between Partners

Sexual Understanding

Did you just start dating? Have you just started experimenting in bed? Have you been stable in love for years now? How do you feel around your partner during intimate moments? Irrespective of the time or place of your life and relationship, there are a few fundamental aspects that remain true to the core of your sexual journey and sexual health. Today, let’s discuss a few of these. 

Get your glass of wine or cola and cozy up, because we, at That Sassy Thing are all about empowering you and the ones you love about their bodies, pleasure, intimacy, and more. Let’s deep dive into the realms of sexual understanding from the get-go! 

Double Check on Consent

This couple I knew, madly in love, suddenly broke up. They had what might seem like a healthy relationship. When I asked her why they ended, she told me how she didn’t feel very comfortable the last few times they made love. They had been intimate quite a few times before this problem popped up, and in fact, my friend initiated it. But is that reason enough for her partner to assume that he always has her consent? 

There are intricacies to the world of consent that we often overlook. One such is consent in long-term relationships. 

  1. Active Consent is a Must: Actively seeking consent from time to time, even if you have had a sexual relationship with the same person is more important than we give it credit for. Past consent does not imply ongoing consent.

  2. There are several other factors that you need to look out for. For example, take notice of your partner’s body language - if they seem tense, pause and ask them how they’re feeling. Understand that coercion will never equal consent.

  3. Intoxication and consent is another messy affair, it blurs judgments, and hence, is an area you should tread very carefully into.

Enthusiastic content, within the space of being reversible, is one of the most powerful ways to create an environment of safety and pleasure.

Here’s a super helpful video around the different nuances of consent by sexuality educator Artika Singh, who we co-collaborated with for our free, online, and comprehensive Masterclass on C for Consent: 

Effective Communication: Have you told your partner your sensual thoughts yet? 

You’ve been dating for 3 years now. Your sex life is great, but it’s vanilla. There’s nothing inherently wrong with vanilla, it’s just that you really like strawberries a lot more. Your partner, on the other hand, would prefer bananas, if given a choice. Now, Banana Strawberry is a wonderful flavor, but y’all will stick to vanilla!

It’s only after a conversation with your partner, do you realize the broad open canvas to mix both your preferred flavors together. Expressing your desires will not only empower you but also bring new (and desired) experiences your way. Wait, it’s not just limited to that!

It’s only through open communication that you can let your partner know what feels great and what doesn’t, thus helping them understand your pleasure points. It allows you to discuss any difficulties - such as performance anxiety or low libido. By voicing any such concerns, you can work together on finding solutions, decide if you need professional help, and by extension, create a stronger emotional bond.

Also Read: Female Pleasure and Men

Variety is the Spice of Life: Understanding Sexual Diversity

I was fascinated when I first came across the concept of polyamory. The idea that there is an alternative relationship structure felt liberating.

Sexual diversity includes a wide range of experiences and expressions and celebrates the unique preferences, orientations, and identities that we have.

When we embrace sexual diversity, we craft our own narrative. This diversity adds variety to sexual encounters. It enhances our levels of pleasure. It makes us step outside our shoes and appreciate the unique rainbow ways in which people express their sexuality. It also challenges the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to sexuality, thus facilitating a liberal movement from several rigid norms.

frustrated oh my god GIF by Four More Shots Please

It helps overcome any shame associated with sexual identities. It creates a sense of belonging within diverse communities - that come together and say ‘You’re not alone.’

Sexual Health: Are you taking enough care of your own self?

Get that vibrator/body massager that’s been in your cart for ages. When you hold the power to your own orgasms, you will feel the confidence in guiding it in your relationships. Moreover, investing in your own pleasure also shows self-love. It’s a reminder that your sexual health and satisfaction is a priority, regardless of your relationship status.

dirty mind pleasure GIF by Refinery 29 GIFs

If you already have your comfort sex toy around, this is your cue to stop reading, go have some fun, and come back here :)

Body Positivity: Give your skin a lot of love!

Sometimes, I want the lights off when my partner wants to have sex. Sometimes, I want to leave my T-shirt on. And sometimes I feel so sick in my skin, that I would rather not have my partner around me. And while it is natural to feel this way, please remember, that your body is the beautiful shell that keeps you safe and warm. It’s only when you love your body, without judgments and without comparisons, will you be able to accept the love your partner gives you.

However, having gone through (and still struggling) with this personally, I know that it’s a long process. While you’re on the journey of being comfortably naked, don’t miss out on orgasms!

The Importance of Sex Education

For a really long time, I only knew about clitoral orgasms. That’s what I’d naturally experienced - I knew the exact spot that needed to be stimulated for my climax. One random day, I came across an article about the types of female orgasms, and to my surprise - there were 8! I read about the other types - and decided that I’ll try stimulating different parts of my body - on purpose, to see how I feel. This one random article has opened my world of sexual pleasure so much, you’ve no idea!

This was a mere coincidence, but imagine what can happen if we actively seek information about our bodies, pleasure, and sexual functioning. Beyond expanding your boundaries, it'll help you to make informed decisions about your body, your relationship, and your sexual health.

It’ll make sure that you stay on your toes for all information around contraceptives, STIs, etc, thus ensuring that you’re in control of your sexual health at all times. To get your sex ed game on point, don’t forget to tune into That Sassy Thing’s super-friendly, free, inclusive, and pleasure-oriented Masterclass on Sex Ed Basics with Karishma Swarup.

Sex education, quite literally, encompasses everything that we’ve been talking about until now! This is not a one-time event but a lifelong process, but it’s a baby step toward moving toward a more sex-inclusive society.

Embracing Intimacy in All Its Forms

Think about getting back from work and pulling out that body massager. Mutual masturbation. Exploring your erogenous zones. Sensual touch and cuddle. The extent of your emotional intimacy.

Couple Love GIF
Expanding your understanding of what intimacy looks and feels like allows greater space for creativity, satisfaction, and inclusivity.

I hope you've finished your wine glass by now. I hope you took my cue and are glad you did. I hope that you've already shared this with your partner as a 'must-read'. I hope that the next time you find yourself in a conversation about intimacy, you bring up something that you just read, and smile :)


About the Author 

Hemali (she/her) is an explorer of the realms of sexuality, intimacy, and dating. She talks endlessly about the evolving landscape of feminist narratives on the big screen and makes you reanalyze the portrayal of women in mainstream culture. If you're looking for alternative conversation starters, take your pick from: Biryani, Art Fairs, or Spoken Word Poetry.


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