How to Talk to Potential Dates about Sex

Talking about sex with strangers or people you barely know can be awkward and tricky, even when the reason you are in contact is the possibility of having sex!

But improving our communication skills and getting comfortable talking about our needs, desires, expectations, and boundaries is the best way to a better outcome and better sex.

Without talking through the nitty gritty, you might waste a lot of your time, or hers. You might find the sex, or the lack thereof, disappointing. You might leave her feeling confused, or used.

How should you approach the topic of sex when looking for casual sex partners? Here are some tips to make communication easier.

Tips for Talking about Sex… before Sex

Be practical and pragmatic. Think like a doctor.

It can feel mechanical and take some of the spark and spirit out of sex to talk practically, but when negotiating desires and boundaries, it’s best not to leave anyone guessing. Don’t be shy to express exactly what you’re looking for.

Don’t make any assumptions, even if the issues have been covered in her profile or yours.

Never assume what’s going to be on the table. Just because her profile says she’s looking to be ravished from behind and that she loves anal doesn’t mean that’s on the menu for a first hookup, or that she is going to feel that way tonight with you.

Likewise, your profile doesn’t promise anything, even if it does. Maybe you express your kinky side very clearly, but that doesn’t give your date carte blanche to tie you up or smack you around. Chemistry changes everything, and you’ll take things faster or slower with different partners. You’ll both have different moods or end up trying new things.

Talk candidly through your needs and fantasies. Your profile isn’t a promise, it’s a general description. Same with hers.

Consent is key. And it works both ways.

Just because her profile says she loves threesomes, don’t show up with your wife without negotiating that in advance. Just because you were fully planning on sex doesn’t mean you have to go all the way on your date if the chemistry is wrong or if you sense she isn’t sure.

Consent is ongoing, and it can change along the way. Be flexible and don’t take anything personally. She may not connect with you the same as she did over the phone. Maybe a hotter option called her and that’s why she wants to run—that sucks, but that’s life. Maybe she got her period and doesn’t want to say so, and it’s not personal at all.

Be open to the ups and downs and changes, and take them without protest. Be nice about letting her down too, if you change your mind.

Be clear about no-go zones, and ask about hers.

A great strategy is to be very upfront about boundaries, and be proactive about hearing your partner’s too. That way there isn’t any fallout from miscommunication.

From safe sex to safe words to sexual discretion to limits, getting the no ways out of the way helps you negotiate and navigate what might happen. Find out hers too so that you don’t find any surprises.

Listen better.

The most important communication skill, and the hardest one, is listening. While talking can be hard, it’s a lot easier than listening. Don’t just give the ear—focus on what she’s saying. Too often someone says “I told you that already,” and you vaguely recall they are right.

Pay attention—process and put what your date says into context. It can be hard to hear when you’re horny, but paying attention pays off with more dates and happier ones.

How do you talk about sex? Share your tips in the comments!

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