horizontal rule

Communication - both in bed and out

horizontal rule

While communication is important in the bedroom, it is also very important outside of it. Here's an example that I like.

You've heard of the expression, "pushing my buttons." While I accept responsibility for my own feelings (that is, you can't make me mad or hurt, only I can choose to create the experience of anger or pain), there are some actions that create an atmonsphere (or catalyst) that make it very easy for me to create the experience of anger or pain.

   "I take it that when you said you were okay, you weren't."
   I flush. "I thought I was fine."
   "Anastasia, you can't tell me what you think I want to hear. That's not very honest," he admonishes me. "How can I trust anything you're said to me?"

   "If you're going to cry, cry in front of me. I need to know."
   "Do you want me to cry?"
   "Not particularly. I just want to know how you're feeling. I don't want you slipping through my fingers."
Ana & Christian from E.L. James's
Fifty Shades of Grey

If I don't tell him that what he says or does is pushing my button, then how can I expect him to (choose to) not push that button? I can give him the information, then he can make the choice.

But if, once I tell him that it bothers me, he chooses to persist, that tells me something really important. If that's just the way he is, then we're not a match. If he makes the choice to persist (for example, either profanity or tickling), then I should realize that he either doesn't hear me (the other part of communication) or my feelings are not important enough for him to consider in his behavior.

Of course, the same thing applies to me, too. Communication involved honestly sharing what your buttons are. Love can be expressed by both parties when they both choose not to hit those sore places.

I understand that this is a huge leap of faith for you. I have to earn your trust, but by the same token, you have to communicate with me when I am failing to do this. You seem so strong and self-contained, and then I read what you've written here, and I see another side to you. We have to guide each other, Anastasia, and I can only take my cues from you. You have to be honest with me, and we have to both find a way to make this arrangement work.
Christian Grey from E.L. James's
Fifty Shades of Grey

Preferably, some time before you choose to take your relationship to the next level (after you have fulfilled your own commitment to the sexuality contract and invited your partner into it), you will both benefit from talking about what you like, what you need, what you want to give and what you need to be able to give.

Decades later, I'm reminded of some graffiti on the door at the loo at the University Commons. Four lines, four different women:

Though I would never write on the restroom walls, I have always mentally added another line:

One might ask just what is the difference between fu¢k1ng and making love? (pardon my blue language). To a certain degree, it's got to be about communication, about your ability to be open and honest. What if you could tell your partner, hey, I don't really like this? Before he/she has to find it out experimentally, by trial and error?

Sexuality Contract
Darbie Marlin

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It's okay to keep it to your self!