How to talk about sex

By TINO     |    Updated: 12th May, 2017    |    5 min read

How to talk about sex – before, during and after.

Good sex is all about asking questions, getting clear answers, listening and respecting your boyfriend, girlfriend or hookup’s choices.


Q: Want Sex? Ask…..

Don’t assume that the other person wants sex just because they have asked you back to their place, or because you’ve been kissing or touching or whatever.
Maybe that’s all they want  – just to talk, or to be affectionate. Below is a guide to how the conversation may go depending on the answers you get.

The only way to know is to ask.

  • What would you like me to do?
  • Are you enjoying this?
  • Do you want to keep going?
  • Do you want to have sex?
  • I really want to have sex with you.

The answer could be a straight Yes, NO our Unsure – check out each below.

Answer: Yes!

If you get a clear ‘Yes’, go to the R we safe Section below?

Answer: No!

It’s OK if you don’t want to have sex, or want to stop. You could say:

  • I really like you but I don’t feel ready to have sex yet.
  • I don’t feel like it.
  • Thanks, but I’m not ready for anything sexual yet.
  • Let’s just do this for tonight.
  • I’d like to kiss you but that’s all.
  • I am not going to be sexual with someone until I’m older and in a serious relationship.
  • No, I don’t want to.
  • Can we slow down?

Answer: Not sure…

If your partner is too drunk or out of it to decide, decide for both of you not to have sex. See our Consent and Sex info page for further info and the great Alcohol + Consent + Sex video above.

If your partner:

  • seems tense
  • isn’t responding much when you’re kissing or touching
  • says nothing
  • gets a weird look on their face
  • shows they’re not interested through their body language (like pushing you away, turning away or acting tired)
  • grumbles, groans or makes other uncomfortable noises

Stop and find out what they’re thinking. Ask them:

  • Are you OK with this? We can stop if you want to.
  • You don’t seem really into this. Let’s stop. What’s up?
  • Is this what you want?
  • Are you comfortable?
  • Is anything wrong?
  • Are you ready to do this?
  • Do you want me to stop?

If they are unsure, stop and talk. Don’t pressure them into it. Don’t guilt-trip them either – being a sulk or a bully is not attractive.
Let them know you’re ok with it if they decide they don’t want to have sex.

If they decide, Yes, to have sex, onto the next question…

R We Safe?

  • Do you have condoms?
  • Can we have the STI conversation?
  • Sorry to ask, but do you have any STIs?
  • I won’t have sex without a condom.
  • I have ….. [STI name] so we should just kiss for the time being.
  • I’ve got a condom.

What turns you on? or off?

Tell each other what feels good and your ’no-go’ zones… and anything else you might need to share.

  • What do you want me to do?
  • Do you like this?
  • I like to spend lots of time kissing before we move on to other stuff.
  • My hips are ticklish, can you not touch me there?
  • Keep asking them whether they are enjoying it.

After. What now?

Sex can feel great and intense, but sometimes it feels disconnected or confusing. Checking in with each other afterwards is a good way of building closeness and honesty in the relationship.

  • How do you feel? How was it?
  • Did you enjoy it?

#!^%WTF??… If things get scary

What if you’re not being listened to? What if you feel you may be in an unsafe situation?

If you feel safe to, speak up or make an excuse to get you out of there:

  • I said STOP and I mean it! (Raise your voice and shout it.)
  • My older brothers are picking me up and they’ll kill you if the find you here with me. (even if you don’t have brothers)
  • I’m going to be sick. (Put your hand over your mouth and pretend you’re going to vomit, then get away from there.)
  • I need to go to the toilet. (Then get out of there.)
  • I’ve got my period and there’s blood everywhere. (Then leave)

You may have to fool the person by leaving your handbag,  or jacket behind, so that it’s not obvious that you’re gone.

Sneak your keys, phone and money into your pockets or underwear, and say, “Mind my bag for a minute, I’ll be right back”, then get as far away as you can.
Find somewhere private and call your emergency number to get picked up.

Rape or sexual assault

Forcing or coercing someone into sexual activity, or having sex with them when they are too drunk or stoned to know what’s happening, is sexual assault. Check out our topic page on sexual assault for further info.

Also check the related topics:  

Sex Sex & Sexual Health

Factsheet provided by TINO


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