“Not every part of your personal life needs to be public.” Anonymous

There are so many people in our lives that we could talk about our sex life with and yet each one seems to have its own set of rules and own potential pitfalls. The idea of talking (or not) about intimacy with your friends or family gets a lot of reactions. 

While talking about sex may not be a big deal, if you haven’t had a conversation about what’s okay and what’s not okay to discuss, you’re setting yourself up for potential heartache and argument.

Although openness is wonderful, it must be balanced by boundaries. It’s important for every couple to have conversations about what you feel you can discuss with other people. The problem is, most don’t ever take the time to make those boundaries known. 

When it comes to having these discussions with anyone other than your spouse, the two of you should establish what your off-limit topics are. These can include any or many of the following: 

  • Your use of toys
  • Your positions
  • Embarrassing moments
  • Your frequency
  • Vaginal dryness or tightness
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Your fetishes
  • Your lack of variety
  • Pornography in your marriage
  • Your feelings of inadequacy

Sharing around those topics outside of your marriage can create feelings of embarrassment, shame, awkwardness and other various levels of being uncomfortable. 

When you get married, one of the things you agree to, be it said outright or assumed is that you now have the responsibility of creating an environment where your spouse feels safe. This includes trusting each other with your most intimate needs. 

One way to do that is to have the conversation on what’s OK to talk about with others. Start with a simple question: “If I were to get into a conversation with friends or with family and sex came up, what would you be okay for me to share?” Depending on the answer, you may also ask if there are specifics regarding what would not be okay to discuss. 

For you and your spouse, there may also be different boundaries when it comes to friends and family. It’s also possible that you may have different boundaries for certain friends and certain family members too. The key is to know who those people are and the boundaries with each one. 

By asking these questions, you can cultivate deeper emotional intimacy with your spouse.

Asking these questions also allows you to honor your spouse and to build trust. This can empower you to create stronger communication in other areas of your marriage too. 

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