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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

You did it. You had sex with your partner. Maybe it was good, maybe it was just okay, or maybe it was terrible, but you know it could be so much better. So, how do you and your partner go from just okay to amazing sex? 

You talk about it. 

Sounds easy enough, right? But in actuality, it’s a difficult conversation to have with your partner, whether you’ve been together for two weeks, two months, or two years. I know this conversation  was awkward for me the first time my boyfriend and I talked about intimacy—especially since he was my first—but it’s gotten easier and it’s helped us get to know each other better physically and emotionally. 

Here are some guides my boyfriend and I follow when talking about our physical relationship. 

Be Honest

The most important thing when having this conversation is honesty. Being candid with your partner, especially about what doesn’t turn you on, is the only way to get anything out of this conversation. Don’t sugarcoat things, or use complicated metaphors. Be straightforward, but don’t be blunt. Bluntness can come off as closed-minded, like there’s only one way to do things because there isn’t. You want to encourage your partner as much as you want to educate them on what your likes and dislikes are during intimacy. And stray as far away as you can from brutal honesty. From my experience, brutal honesty never goes well. It can be counterproductive and it can hurt your partner’s feelings and self-confidence, neither of which you want. 

For example, you could say: “I like it better when you hold my hips when I’m on top,” or “I don’t really like it when you tug on my hair.”

College Women Talking Sex
Adebusola Abujade / Her Campus Media

Be Open to Learning About Yourself And Your Partner

In my case, I wasn’t sure what I liked when it came to sex. I was new to sex and everything I knew about it came from movies and romance novels (check out this article for more about how sex in literature and online can be harmful), but I knew what I wanted to try. Keep in mind that it’s okay to not know everything about yourself. You are always learning about each other and yourself. 

Furthermore, tell your partner if there’s anything you want to try and if there’s something you definitely don’t want to do. Be sure to ask your partner what they want to try or what they want to stray away from, too. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to do everything they want. Set boundaries and open the door to explore sex together.

Be Encouraging

It’s hard telling your partner that they aren’t getting you off. It’s hard to say it, and it’s definitely hard to hear it. But you have to let each other know if something isn’t working. However, be explicit about what they already do that you like. Let them know what they’re doing right and what you want them to keep doing. 

Praise is encouragement, it builds their confidence and it gives you both something to build off of. 

Keep the Conversation Going

It can be as simple as “Is there something new you want to try?” or saying “You’ve gotten so much better at that.” 

Your sex life might not improve overnight nor is your partner going to know everything about you after one conversation, so keep the conversation going. Pick it back up every once in a while, and check in on your partner and yourself. 

As you and your partner grow together, things will inevitably come up—maybe new kinks or fantasies, or maybe what got either of you off at first doesn’t anymore. 

Communication is key to a healthy relationship. It can be hard talking about sex, much less making it a habit. Keep this conversation going, before, during, and after sex. Whether it be during pillow talk or when you’re driving home, talking it out can ensure you’re both on the same page and understand each other. 

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years, and we’re still getting to know each other physically and emotionally. The first time we talked about sex, we were both walking on eggshells around each other, but now it’s easy and fun. We laugh about what we tried that didn’t work, and we explore what other things we could do to spice things up. 

As awkward it was at first, having these conversations has helped my boyfriend and I be as eager to jump to bed even after nearly three years. It keeps our spark alive and it strengthens our connection.

Content written by various anonymous CU Boulder writers