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9 Sex-Related Questions You & Your Partner Should Ask Each Other. ​Tonight.​​​​

The key to better sex lies in asking the right questions (and listening to the answers).

Sex

Most of the married couples I work with, after a while, they become almost like family. It's mostly because, on average, I'm rockin' with them at least a couple of years. Most stints are two-hour sessions, twice a month. Yeah, being a marriage life coach has taught me a ton (it's honestly a part of the reason why I'm still single because it's revealed some truths about relationships that I don't think I would've discovered any other way). One of the main lessons is that a couple's sex life—or lack thereof—can reveal volumes about how happy and healthy two people truly are when it comes to their relationship.

Take this one couple that I worked with for almost four years. During their "exit interview", I asked them how content they were in various areas of their marriage. When I got to the topic of sex, the wife said, "I know I'm tired of using my own spit to get myself wet." Umm…come again? No really…come. Again. That one statement alone resulted in us resuming our sessions for six more months. It also taught me that, when it comes to sexual fulfillment, getting on the same page as your partner is not just about certain positions or various techniques. Good sex is about clear and consistent communication; a part of what comes with that is asking the right questions along with listening—and I mean, really listening—to the answers your partner provides.

A screenwriter by the name of J. Michael Straczynski once said, "Your assumption and the truth, dine at totally different tables." So true. If you want to know if your partner is good, in the sense of being satisfied, in the coitus department, never just assume that they are. Ask. Ask what? These 9 questions will reveal a lot, for starters.

9 Sex Questions To Ask Your Partner

1. "How Do You Feel Our Sex Life Has Been Lately?"

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To me, I think one of the most important questions to ask your partner is how they feel sex has been lately between the two of you. Have things been going great? Is it just the same ole' same ole'? Or worse, have they not really given it too much thought at all? Why do I say "worse" as it relates to that last question? Simple. Since we reportedly have somewhere around 50,000 thoughts a day, if your partner can't remember the last time one of those thoughts was even remotely related to y'all's intimacy—at best, they are indifferent and at worst, they are disconnected. Neither are attitudes that make for a fulfilling sex life.

That's why this lil' questionnaire is starting off with this type of inquiry.

The truth is, some people find themselves in a rut or ho-hum routine because, when it comes to sex, they haven't really processed if they are actually pleased or not.

Hmph. No time like the present for you and yours to find that out.

2. "Are Your Sexual Needs Consistently Being Met?"

Whenever I listen to married couples express their sexual frustrations, a pattern that I tend to notice is they oftentimes have a hard time discerning the difference between what they want to happen vs. what they need to happen in the bedroom. Take one husband in particular. He wants to have sex twice a day, every day. But he doesn't need that; he needs to not go a week without getting some. On the flip side, his wife wants more sexual spontaneity but what she needs is more foreplay ('cause, especially when it comes to women and how our bodies are made, sex isn't much fun without foreplay; just from the lubrication that it provides alone).

A need, by definition, is something that is necessary. When something is necessary, it is essential and when something is essential, it is the very essence of a thing. In a perfect world, whenever we have sex, both our wants and needs would be met. But this world ain't perfect and neither are our sex partners. Still, if you want to have a healthy sex life, it is important that the two of you are super intentional about knowing what one another's needs are and then doing all that you can to meet them; not some of the time. Consistently so.

3. "What’s Your Favorite Sex-Related Memory of Us?"

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I recently read an article on The New York Times site entitled, "Take a Walk Down Memory Lane. It Can Be Healthy." One of the points that it made is nostalgia is considered to be a phenomenon that creates "a high-order emotional experience more on par with love than, say, fear". That said, I'm sure you can see why, off the rip, I recommend asking your partner what their favorite sex-related memory of the two of you are. Not only can it mentally seduce them to say it and you to hear it, the literal recollection can spark an emotional high that makes you feel more loving and passionate towards your partner too.

As a bonus, if you've been feeling like sex is cool but also really predictable, the memory can take you both back to a time when you were hanging off of the chandeliers. It can serve as a great reminder to you both that you've got the ability to pull that out of one another—even now.

4. "What's a Fantasy You've Never Shared Before?"

In the article, "What Exactly Does It Mean To Be Sexually Compatible?" that's featured on this site, one of the things that I touch on is how important it is to be open to exploring you and your partner's sexual fantasies. For one thing, it helps to keep the bedroom action fresh and new. Another benefit is it can tap into you two's imaginative side that may not always come out during usual sexual activity.

Sometimes, women especially, will tell me that they are not comfortable with sharing their fantasies with their partner. The main reason is because, based on how "buck wild" it is, they feel like their partner may see them in a different light. First of all, that's can be a good thing because everything about us, including our sexual nature, has layers. And second, to this day, I don't think I've heard one man tell me that their lady's desires totally turned them off. Besides, no one is saying that you have to act on everything that comes to your mind.

The main point in sharing fantasies is they can help you to see other sides of one another; they can help you to explore—mentally and possibly physically—where you want to go in order to take things to a new level and dimension. You should never feel self-conscious about that.

5. "What Can We Do to Make Foreplay Better?"

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You know what's interesting? Whenever wives talk about foreplay with me, if they have a gripe, the issue isn't that they aren't getting enough of it; the real issue is that the foreplay has become predictable…mechanical even. As a result, they end up becoming bored to tears. It's no secret that men, on average, are able to climax in around five minutes while women, on average, need between 20-25 (this includes foreplay). But sometimes, the mistake that men make is, once they know what "buttons to push", they just keep doing the same things over and over…and over and over…and over again instead of thinking outside of the box.

A good lover, whether it is a man or a woman, knows that the prelude to intercourse is just as relevant and wonderful as intercourse itself. Whether it's discovering new erogenous zones; extending the kissing time; doing a lil' sexting; shooting him an online gift card to a lingerie shop so that he can pick out something he would like to see you in; giving one another a sensual massage; waking up early in the morning for a little oral and then "finishing things off" once you get back home—be open to saying and listening to what would make foreplay that much hotter for you both.

Back when I was gettin' it in, it was my personal experience that if the foreplay was off-the-charts, it was almost a definite that the sex was gonna be good. But when the foreplay sucked? Sometimes I would rather have a V-8 than complete the act (and I hate tomato juice).

6. "What Can We Do to Make Sex Even Better?"

In Science Alert's article "More Adults Than You Think Are Avoiding Having Sex. Here's Why", it shares some interesting points. Points like 40 percent of women avoid having sex altogether at some point in their lives, the main reasons why some relationships become sexless is due to health-related issues and, a lack of sleep plays its part in a lack of sex too. So yeah, when it comes to this particular question, if your partner seems to have a lot of excuses for why they don't want to have sex lately, it's a good idea to ask why. If neither of you have had a physical in a while, there's no time like the present to make an appointment with your physician. If you're averaging less than six hours of sleep a night, you are working against your libido; you might wanna change that.

Simple adjustments like these can automatically improve your sex life. So can asking your partner if there is something that you can do in the oral, technique or sexual positions department. Believe me when I say that some people consider their sex life to be pretty uneventful; still, they don't do much to change it because they feel like any sex is better than nothing. Eh. I believe that you should think more of your partner and your sex life overall by not settling for less than awesome copulation. You can start getting there by asking you partner what they feel will make the literal act of sex better for them—which ultimately means better for you.

7. "Is There Something You Would Like Me to Change or Switch Up?"

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One husband I know, he has said in sessions that, while he loves the sex that he has with his wife, what he hates is that her vagina doesn't have any hair on it; because of that—and this is a quote—"I feel like I'm having sex with a teenager or something." A single woman recently told me that she is in an exclusive sexual relationship with someone. When I asked her if there was anything that she wished he would do differently, she said that she hated that his initial go-to position was always doggy style. A male friend of mine said he wished that his steady partner would get out of the bedroom more often, while a wife recently told me that she wanted her husband to perform cunnilingus—not more but better.

We all know the saying—closed mouths don't get fed. More times than not, they don't get off either. While a great sex partner does make it a point to be in tune with the person they are having sex with, at the same time, it isn't fair to expect them to be mind-readers either.

The only way to know if your partner would like some adjustments to be made is to ask them. And then check your ego at the door, so that you can receive their response.

8. "What Can I Do Outside of the Bedroom to Make Sex More Satisfying for You?"

There are plenty of articles out in cyberspace that says the biggest sex organ is our brain (you can check out a few of them here, here and here). You know what this means—in order to feel truly connected during sex, you need to be willing to do some things for your partner that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Maybe it's going on dates more. Maybe it's speaking your partner's love language more fluently. Perhaps it's helping out more around the house, setting healthy boundaries with family members and/or friends, or being intentional about listening to your partner more.

Some people have less-than-stellar sex lives, not because the act of sex isn't good; it's actually because their partner doesn't feel nurtured and supported enough in all of the other room of the house. When that happens, sex feels more like going through the motions than anything else. And who wants to say that their sex life is not much more than that?

9. "Is Sex Intimate, Sexual or Both for You Right Now?"

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An author by the name of John O'Donohue once said, "Real intimacy is a sacred experience. It never exposes its secret trust and belonging to the voyeuristic eye of a neon culture. Real intimacy is of the soul, and the soul is reserved." Another author by the name of M. J. Abraham once stated, "A physical attraction is often desired above many things, but you'll discover it to be short-lived. Find yourself someone that gets under your skin, seduces the dusty corners of your heart, and provides you with a mental connection. That is when you'll know true intimacy." Former porn star (and author) Jenna Jameson once said, "The best sex takes place in the mind first." What all of these statements reveal is we should never assume that just because the physical act of sex is transpiring that real intimacy is taking place as well.

In the article, "The Signs Of A Truly Intimate Relationship", things like mutual honesty, warmth, affection and spirituality are used to express what authentic intimacy is. You know, one of my favorite documentaries of all time is 51 Birch Street. As a son was discovering all of the unknown dysfunction and unhappiness of his parent's marriage, he decided to ask his own wife if she was happy in hers. He was shocked to hear that she wasn't. Moral to the story—just because two people aren't abusing one another, just because a couple doesn't have any real drama, that doesn't mean that they are being intimate with one another—even if they are having sex on a regular (or semi-regular) basis.

Most married people will say that there are times when sex is more sexual (physical) than intimate (mental, emotional and spiritual). In the grand scheme of things, there's nothing wrong with that. When you should be concerned is if your partner feels like sex is merely a physical act most of the time. If that is the case, it's time to reconnect on an intimate level. But you'll never know if that's what's going on—watch how this article comes full circle—unless you ask them. Do your relationship and your sex life a big favor—ask them. Tonight, if you can.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

I Only Have One Rule In The Bedroom: I Come First.

10 Things You Didn't Know About The Male And Female Orgasm

These Are The Deal-Breakers You Shouldn't Hesitate To Have In The Bedroom

What You Should Do If You Find Yourself In A Sexless Marriage

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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