You never miss your yearly OB/GYN appointment, you get your teeth cleaned twice a year, and you don’t go more than a few months without seeing your dermatologist for a skin examination. But when was the last time you had your sexual satisfaction check-up? If you’re like most women, it has probably been a while.
Between kids, careers, bills and households to maintain, it’s often hard to find a spare minute for yourself. Unfortunately, the fast-paced, high-stress lifestyle you have grown accustomed to can take a toll on your sex life. That’s because not only is healthy sexual functioning integral to your overall well-being, but being satisfied sexually is also an important part of your relationship with your partner.
Research shows that communication about sexual needs and desires is an important aspect in overall relationship satisfaction. In order to communicate your sexual needs and desires effectively, you and your partner have to know what your sexual needs and desires are. This Sexual Satisfaction Check-Up is a tool you can use to make discussing this topic, which can often be sensitive or difficult to bring up, much easier. Print one copy for yourself and one copy for your partner and use the following tips for scheduling your check-up:
- Plan a night for just the two of you—get a babysitter, put away the iPhone and cancel any other obligations. This may seem like a task in itself, so remind yourself that this is an important conversation about an aspect of your life that can affect your happiness, your self-esteem and your relationship with your partner.
- Next, pick a setting that is intimate, relaxed, casual and private. You don’t want an atmosphere that sets expectations or puts pressure on you or your partner. Maybe it’s as simple as dinner at home together, alone, at the dining room table. When was the last time you got to sit across from your partner and just talk—not about kids, or bills, or household chores, but about the things that you both enjoy, or have in common—the things that brought you together in the first place? To make it a little more special, maybe you can even light some candles. As you enjoy your time together, and when it feels comfortable, bring up the sexual satisfaction check-up.
- Once you’re ready, tell your partner that you found a checklist (below) which featured a free questionnaire that will allow you both to comfortably think about your relationship. Hand your partner the questionnaire and a pen, and as you go into different rooms, tell your partner to take some time to think through the answers. When you are both done, go through each question and spend time talking about each of your answers. The time and effort you spend on this conversation with your partner can have a positive effect on your happiness, self-esteem and relationship satisfaction—not to mention a more honest and enjoyable sex life for both of you!
Sexual Satisfaction Checklist
- Think back to the beginning of your relationship—what did you like about your sex life? Was it the frequency, the spontaneity, the passion? Something else?
- Write down one of your favorite sexual experiences with your partner and what you liked about it.
- Do you still incorporate your answer to the above in your sex life today? If not, why do you think that is?
- In an ideal world, how many times a week/month would you want to be sexually active with your partner?
- If your partner could change one thing to make your sex life better, what would it be?
- Has your level of desire changed? If so, does this bother you?
- Has your partner’s level of desire changed? If so, does this bother your partner? Does it bother you?
- Do you have a medical condition, or have you experienced a change in your health? You may want to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
- What is one intimate/sexual activity you wish you did more? This could be anything from cuddling on the couch to incorporating sex toys into your routine.
- What is one intimate/sexual activity you’ve never done with your partner that you would like to try?
By participating in this activity together, you’ll both share a common goal: improving and maintaining a healthy, enjoyable sex life.
How often do you have a sexual satisfaction check-up with your partner? Tell us in the comments section below.
Checklist developed with the Sex Brain Body Educational Toolkit