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There is a belief in our culture that sex is not something people should talk about, that it is something people should just have and that´s it. This is a thought held by many as absolute truth. Some people complain when their partner talks about sex, saying, for example, that they are trying to understand something that should be done instinctively. From the scientific point of view, what is observed is that having sex is not something instinctive, but something learned. In fact, the idea that having sex is instinctive is a dysfunctional rule pronounced at high frequency in our culture and can lead to the emergence of possible sexual problems. Having sex with a person A is different from having sex with a person B, because different people have different bodies with different life histories and have been built in different cultural environments. An approach to sex in an A context is different from an approach in a B context and these differences of approach need to be learned. They are not innate. This learning we speak of is not limited to the way of approaching a person sexually or performing the sexual act, but extends to all knowledge produced and taught through a scientifically validated sex education process.

Talking about sex is not only important for acquiring adequate information on the subject, as it does in a sex education process. It is also a behavior that is directly related to the couple’s pleasure, since it is only possible for one of the members of the dyad to understand where and how the other likes to be touched, when that other one talks about it. Each member of the couple is responsible for their own pleasure, which includes identifying their own sexual preferences and communicating them to their partner. The identification of pleasure itself is untransferable, because the sensation of pleasure takes place under the skin, that is, one has no way to experience and discover it for the other. That is why this discovery needs to be communicated.

The idea is that each one should discover their own erotic map and give its coordinates to the other, so that the other knows how to navigate the erotic trails of the loved one. Good communication allows access to these coordinates and this access increases the chances of both having pleasure and orgasm. Any move made by the couple towards recognizing and minimizing possible communication noises is welcome. But how can we discover our own erotic trails so as to build this map that should be communicated? The most effective method to achieve this is masturbation. Through masturbation, each member of the couple will learn more about how their own body works sexually. There are still many taboos surrounding this practice, which need to be deconstructed, so that sex can flow more freely and the lives of each one can change for the better.

It is worth noting here that sexual fantasies constitute a separate chapter when it comes to what should or should not be shared with a partner. Depending on how your partner works, sharing intimate erotic thoughts can bring more problems than joys. In this sense, a tip is to test the water, more or less as you do when entering a sea or a pool: first put the tip of a finger in the water to feel its temperature. Slowly and gradually you can decide whether it is a good idea or not to go deeper. Rather than speaking directly, some people prefer more indirect conversations, such as those that come up when a couple makes comments about movie scenes, excerpts from books, novels, etc. These more vague comments let you know a little more about the sexual preferences and levels of acceptance of the other. A concrete fact is that different people like different things. Getting to know the person you live with helps you tune the instrument of communication.

This text is merely informative and does not have the objective to exhaust this subject. If you have the need to ask questions or solve problems related to your sex life, I suggest that you seek the help of a psychotherapist who has theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the field.

Written by Psychologist Alexandro Paiva.

Clinical Psychologist and Psychosexual Therapist (CRP 06/118772) with experience in treating adult Brazilian and Foreign clients (individual and couples), in English and Portuguese. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) specialist certified by both the Institute of Psychiatry, Clinics Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (Brazil) and Proficoncept, which is certified by DGERT (European Union). Received specialized training in Psychotherapy with a Focus on Human Sexuality from the Paulista Institute of Sexuality. Member of the Brazilian Association of Psychology and Behavioral Medicine (ABPMC). Specialist in English Language: Translation Methodology (FAFIRE). Having worked as an English Language Teacher for about 10 years (Brazil and China) and lived with people from different cultures, keeps the PsycBlog. It is a Blog with Psychoeducational Resources on Psychology and Sexuality. Main interests include Psychology, Sexuality, Translation Studies, Foreign Languages, Traveling and Photography.

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