Forget veggies, meats and grains (err, unless that’s what you’re into), this is your new recommended intake of awkward conversations for a healthy, balanced sex life.
Convo #1 Contraception/STIs
Nutritional value: 5 Awkwardness rating: 3
Move over, kale, and make room for condoms and (not getting) chlamydia. In place of the essential veggies on a traditional food chart sits the not-so-glam chats about your contraception plan. Boring and bland, yes, spontaneous and sexy, no, but like a giant head of broccoli, you’re not exactly going to serve it raw. For first-time hook-ups, dodge the awkward factor by working the conversation into a recipe method. Steam it for five (think flirting and teasing), add some dressing (or rather undressing) and dish it up with a side of something else (hot tip: humour goes with anything). If he’s a decent guy, he’ll be all over it. And if he’s not? Cue the alarm bells. Sex and relationship expert Christina Spaccavento emphasises, “A huge part of sex is thinking about how to respect and protect yourself and your partner’s body.” This is important for you, too. “If you have an STI or are getting treatment for one, it’s essential to let them know.”
Convo #2 Personal boundaries
Nutritional value: 4 Awkwardness rating: 3
There are always items on the menu that we don’t like to eat and the same goes for sex. Whatever your sexual broccoli is, confess your aversion to it or it’ll get served up time and time again. Let’s be real here: this kind of chat isn’t exactly the easiest one to have. Due to its sensitive nature (or lack thereof), Christina recommends breaching the subject away from the bedroom. Sexual criticism mid-main course won’t do anything for your appetites. “If handcuffs and blindfolds aren’t your thing, let them know outside of sex, so neither of you gets a nasty shock that will kill the moment,” she says. “Telling your partner what you aren’t into is super important so they can not only become a better lover, but also know their boundaries.”
Convo #3 Secret urges
Nutritional value: 3 Awkwardness rating: 4
Sex with your guy is amazing, but you could take it to the next level with an honest conversation about what you’re not getting from each other (but would like to). “Arrange a time and have a ‘couple chat’ so you can both be prepared with your thoughts and ideas,” advises Christina. Besides, mixing up the mid-week missionary and giving something else a go (yep, even that) could only be a healthy thing. Even if both of you don’t like that thing you thought would be awesome but wasn’t, at least you’ve been there, and feel that your partner is supportive of your needs.
Convo #4 Sexual initiation
Nutritional value: 2 Awkwardness rating: 3
While it’s seemingly uncomfortable to bring up, addressing the mechanics of your sex life (who’s initiating the sex? Are you happy with how often you have it?) is healthier than a quinoa salad. “Express your feelings,” says Christina. “You may be able to work through any differences of opinion by talking in a non-judgemental environment.” Your dietary requirements may be different, yet airing out any concerns is good for everyone.
Convo #5 Past lovers
Nutritional value: 1 Awkwardness rating: 4
While remembering the ghosts of your love life’s past is completely normal, hold off on voicing it too much in front of your latest squeeze because it might not be something they want to hear. Instead, save the funny/steamy/awkward ex stories for wine times with mates.