Sex is a vital part of the relationships of many couples, so it may come as a surprise to you to learn that many couples have virtually no communication about sex. Sure, sex may be something they do on a regular basis, but when it comes to discussion and open communication about it, many people feel uncomfortable or are concerned about hurting their partner's feelings.

Unfortunately, if you and your partner aren't discussing sex, it means that you both may be missing multiple opportunities to improve your sex life. Maybe you both share a mutual fetish or fantasy that you've never had the chance to discuss. Maybe you've wanted to bring a sex toy into the bedroom. (You can find a large selection of sex toys here. Maybe you don't like something that your partner is doing and they'd have no problem changing it, but neither of you have brought it. Of course, there's the big issue of contraception and safe sex that needs to be discussed as well.

When trying to discuss sex, though, many people are making some common mistakes. Sex can be a sensitive topic, and because of that, it's important that you broach the topic with some general things in mind. Of course, the more often you and your partner discuss sex, the less sensitive and uncomfortable the topic will become, so it's vital that you get started as soon as possible. To get started for the first time, follow some of these tips for the best results:

1) Pick a Good Time: While it may seem like a good, logical idea, sex should never be discussed during sex or while arousal is high. Along with interrupting what you had going on, sex tends to arouse the entire body - including the brain, heart rate, and more. This arousal can lead to poor and clouded judgment that's really not helpful during a serious conversation such as this. The only time this rule should be broken is if safe sex or contraception hasn't been discussed - but ideally, that should have been discussed long before making it to the sex.

Instead, you should choose a time where you both are relaxed and feel close to one another. Neither of you should need to leave in the imminent future to allow for the time required to have this conversation.

2) Use the "Validation Sandwich" Technique: This is a basic statement technique that will help some of your criticism go over better when spoken to your partner. We definitely want to make this as gentle as possible on your partner. To start off with, try stating something you really love about what they're doing. Gently wedge in the problematic idea, and finish off with how much you think it would really help if that changed. For example, "I really loved that new technique you tried last night. When you used your hands like this, though, it felt a bit uncomfortable. I think using your hands like that next time will allow me to orgasm really quickly". This way, your partner's good attempts are appreciated while you also get to discuss the original problem.

3) Use "I...." statements instead of "You..." Statements: This is another one of those psychological techniques that can help your partner to respond more positively to your feedback. Instead of coming across as blaming "You make it feel unpleasurable when you touch me like that", you are going to use self-reflective statements such as "I feel slightly uncomfortable when touched like that". This avoids making it sound like you're blaming your partner, and instead, it makes it easier for you both to come up with a solution that's not going to cause the issue.

4) Use Non-Verbal Suggestions: If you really want to discuss a specific fantasy or fetish, see if you can find it featured or shown in a movie or TV show. When you both have time, sit down and watch the media. Afterwards, this gives you a simple and easy way to transition into a discussion about whether this is something you'd like to try. Plus, if the movie or TV show displayed your fantasy well, your partner may now have an interest in something they had never considered before!

See? Discussing sex and sexual topics with your partner doesn't have to be too bad. It's important to just approach the issue with sensitivity, and it's important to know when to be gentle about a topic. Once you and your partner are regularly discussing sex, though, you'll find that your sex life improves and you'll be able to discuss any new changes you'd like to see in the bedroom with ease. Happy talking!