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Sexual assertiveness: 3 keys to a full couple's life

Sexual assertiveness: 3 keys to a full couple's life

September 27, 2023

One of the most important skills to enjoy an optimal sexual life is sexual assertiveness . This ability allows us to communicate clearly to our sexual partner what we want and what we do not when we maintain relationships.

We explain exactly what it consists of, what health benefits are obtained through its acquisition and how it breaks with the rigidity of gender roles, especially for women.

What is sexual assertiveness?

It is the skill, or rather the skill set, that allows us to share with our partner what our desires are . Not only this, but it also includes the ability to say "no", to reject those activities that are not to our liking.

Typically it is said that sexual assertiveness consists of five main skills: knowing how to initiate desired sexual relations, knowing how to reject unwanted sex, communicating what satisfies us sexually, sharing our sexual history and asking about our partner's and insisting on the use of contraceptives.

1. Start relationships and communicate needs assertively

Sexual assertiveness is fundamental for sexual satisfaction. Many people feel uncomfortable telling their partner what they like in bed . What's more, many people feel uncomfortable talking during sex. There is no crime in telling the person with whom we have sex what is the best way to stimulate us, nor is there in transmitting that we want to maintain relationships, always without insisting if he or she does not want.

It is natural that the person who has the most desire to start sexual activity if it is spoiled: it is very frustrating to have a lot of sexual appetite and wait impatiently for the other to begin with embarrassment. This is why we have to work on sexual communication, normalize the talk of sex outside and inside the bed, get used to asking and responding to the needs of the other. The truth is that almost all sexual partners respond positively when one communicates their preferences.

By mastering this assertive ability, we will enjoy more of our relationships and reach orgasm more often. It is normal to find a higher rate of anorgasmia in women who do not communicate their sexual needs to their partners.

2. Rejecting unwanted sexual relationships

Many people, well because they know badly, well because they can not say no, they end up having sex that they do not feel like having . This happens outside the couple, in situations in which one of the people insists too much and the other ends up giving way, but also within the couple. Especially in this context, there are people who mistakenly believe that being a couple must always be willing to maintain relationships.

The truth is that, as with food, we do not always want sex. Maybe we just want to have fun with our partner for a while without penetrating sex, or maybe we're just not in the mood. It is so important to say that not at the insistence how to do it in a serious and respectful way. We must communicate to the other that we do not want to have sex in a comprehensive way but without apologizing.

3. Sexual history and insistence on contraceptives

Shame or fear of offending are obstacles that prevent many couples from communicating each other's sexual history . Although it is a fundamental pillar for health, it can be difficult to ask the other person if they have had unprotected sex with other people or if they have a sexually transmitted disease. Again, it is important to communicate our doubts from the diplomacy, keeping in mind that it is always worth protecting yourself even though the other may feel a little uncomfortable for a few minutes.

Speaking of protection, one of the questions that has been most investigated in relation to sexual assertiveness arises: the use of contraceptives. Adolescents and young adults are the population most prone to having sex without protection Therefore, it is essential to teach future generations how to assertively insist on the use of contraceptives.

Of course, the ideal is that it is the man himself who takes the initiative to use a condom, but the girls must be prepared before the possibility of resistance to wear it. As in the rejection of unwanted relationships, a clear refusal to maintain unprotected sex should be communicated without fear that the other may feel offended. Again, health is more important than the uncomfortable situation.

Assertiveness in the couple and gender roles

Regardless of the benefits obtained in health, the acquisition of sexual assertiveness skills breaks with the rigidity of gender roles, the expectations that arise from these and the harmful beliefs they generate.

Traditionally, it was the man who has sought sexual relations, who has dealt with courting, who has sexual desire and who, therefore, must always initiate relationships. The woman has been relegated to a passive role as a recipient, incapable of feeling the same sexual desire, whose orgasm is optional and she must wait patiently to be seduced and to have sexual relations.

To end this system of macho beliefs it is essential to teach girls, from young people, that they have the same voice in sexual relationships as a man. That they must take an active role and take responsibility for their sexuality and their satisfaction through assertive communication in their interpersonal relationships. That if they do not want to have sex is not synonymous with frigid or close, because sex is something reciprocal and there is no sense in maintaining relationships if only one of the two wants.

Sexual assertiveness allows women to regain the feeling of control over their own sexuality, end overwhelmingly with situations of coercion and sexual pressure, while also allowing men to get rid of the male stereotype that always has a sexual appetite. It is perfectly normal for men not to have the desire to have sexual relations, not to be the one who initiates them and even to communicate sexual preferences that can be interpreted as not very virile.

Thus, the benefits of sexual assertiveness do not end with the improvement of sexual and psychological health and the avoidance of risky behavior, but rather facilitate social progress in the direction of gender equality and the rupture with the heteropatriarchy .

Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships | Joanne Davila | TEDxSBU (September 2023).

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