Sex can be a taboo topic… and that’s just the fun stuff. Can you imagine how it feels to speak about your sexual health? Can you even imagine saying words like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, penis curvature or using more colloquial terms like not getting it up or climaxing too early to a partner? For many, bungee jumping off a cliff edge feels much more appealing. It can be embarrassing, awkward and uncomfortable. It can make you feel vulnerable, judged and ready for attack.

Don't assume what they are thinking

Don't assume what they are thinking

It can. But it doesn’t have to.

Having a sexual health chat ‘game-plan’ will take those feelings of insecurity from extreme to moderate. Being clear on the information you want to convey will turn an awkward situation into a controlled and comfortable one.

It’s easily said… but much harder to achieve when you are personally involved. For this we recommend you carefully digest the following 5 sexual health chat steps;

Decide what you want to say (and how you want to say it) in advance

Words are powerful. Love, hate, joy, anger. The language you use to speak with will stir emotions in your partner. This is a guarantee, what is harder to predict is the emotions this will provoke. You have the power to shape this. Here are a few things to consider

It’s ok to take your time when speaking about your sexual health – remember to breath and don’t rush, it is normal to feel the way you are feeling. Be natural, your partner will sense this.

Be clear on the language you want to use to describe your concerns. This is the ‘charged’ part of your conversation, the time you’re likely to feel most anxious. Prepare for this by planning in advance the language you will use.

Remember to be you. Be genuine, be open, be honest. Preparation is key, but practise too much and you will come across as fake

Deciding what you want to say in advance will provide you with a clear mind. Coming prepared with information you’ve researched will help you direct the conversation to a positive outcome. It will also save you from having to broach this conversation twice.

Take the initiative and open up – don’t let taboo subjects become an issue

Self-protection can quickly conceive relationship destruction. The basic rule of a functional relationship is that communication is key. You’ve decided this is the time to share information about your sexual health. Take control and engineer a situation you feel comfortable to do this in. Make it a safe place, preferably mutual territory, somewhere you won’t be disturbed and you can both connect.

Whatever the scenario, you will feel a great emotional release for raising the weight of this conversation from your shoulders. Great relationships are open, honest and caring – you may find this conversation uncomfortable, but remember, your partner ‘has your back’.

Don’t assume you know what your partner is thinking

Feedback is the most important gift anyone can give. How do you know what your partner’s thoughts are unless they tell you? Without words, the guess work you’re likely to use will be based on your own feelings rather than your partner’s genuine reaction.

If you feel embarrassed, uncomfortable and anxious, subconsciously you will look for cues that validate these emotions. Be aware of this and instead of relying on guess work, ask your partner clearly how they feel.

If you see a frown, do not assume it is a negative reaction. Instead, could they be concentrating? Is this their ‘thinking face’? Be comfortable you are not a mind reader; ask for your partner’s feedback as and when you need it.

Don’t judge their reaction… you’ve had time to consider this, they haven’t

Give your partner time to digest the information you’ve shared, give them a human moment. Innately when speaking about topics which make you feel vulnerable, your need for external validation can escalate. Know that your partner is human, they will need time to process your conversation, and they may need time alone to consider what you’ve shared fully. This is ok. This is human. Up until this point the focus has been on you, now the focus is on your partner. Do not be worried, do not over compensate and be satisfied in the knowledge that you knew what you wanted to say and how you wanted to say it.

Remember to ‘check-in’ regularly

The best part of broaching your first sexual health chat is knowing that the next time you check-in, you and your partner already have a mutual understanding. You are in this together. Checking-in needn’t be an in-depth conversation, it can be as simple as – are you ok? How are you? What did the clinic say at your consultation? Keeping the channels of communication open ensures sexual health does not have the opportunity to redefine itself as taboo.

International Andrology is a world leading organisation of highly qualified physicians and surgeons who have played major roles in the development and improvement of modern surgical techniques in the field of men’s sexual and reproductive health. From its UK base in Queen Anne Street, International Andrology London offers the most advanced treatments for male sexual dysfunction, sub-fertility, aesthetic and functional urogenital surgery successfully treating problems like erectile dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease (extreme curvature of the penis) and premature ejaculation. In addition to utilising the latest evidence-based medicine and technologies to deliver the best medical and surgical treatments, the clinic also provides counselling, nutritional advice and lifestyle support.