When couples come in to see me for sex therapy, part of my job is to figure out what the source of the sexual problems is.
First I meet with the couple together to talk about how each of them sees the problem. But after that, if they choose to go forward and work with me, my standard procedure is to interview each of them once alone.
It’s during these separate meetings that I gather critical data about sexual secrets they are keeping from each other. Often, what comes out in these individual meetings is secret feelings one person has that revolve around not telling his or her partner that some aspect of their sexual behavior is off-putting.
Differences in kissing styles is a case in point. Research shows that kissing as a part of foreplay is very important for most women. Men don’t care about kissing as much.
For many women, arousal depends on kisses. There are a huge numbers of touch receptors in the mouth, and smell and taste are involved too. Without getting turned on from kissing, other kinds of sexual touches often feel like they’re too much, too intense, too soon.
I would be a rich woman if I had a dollar for every time that someone told me, in an individual session, that they are not happy with their partner’s kissing style.
But people are often afraid of hurting their partner’s feelings, so they withhold the information. When a woman does not share that feedback, however, sexual pleasure with that partner will be dimmed going forward. Maybe the couple will stop kissing altogether. That’s a huge lost opportunity for pleasure.
I know it is intimidating to give this kind of very personal feedback to your partner, but it’s an important part of maintaining — and increasing — intimacy over time.
So if you are not happy with your partner’s kissing, just remember a few rules of giving safe sexual feedback:
1. Pick a time when you are not having sex.
2. Pick a time when things are going well for you two emotionally — you feel close to each other
3. Use a soft and loving tone.
4. Preface the feedback with some appreciative words about other things you like or love about the way the person touches you and makes love to you.
Trust me, if you give the feedback using this formula, the rewards of having done so will be great.
Posts by Dr. Aline Zoldbrod
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