Being honest when you’re talking about sex with your partner can be difficult, but it’s very important to your relationship. Hiding your desires because you feel shame or because you don’t want to hurt your partner’s feeling is the same thing as lying to him, if you’re in an open and honest relationship.

Find out how to talk about sex in a relationship, in order to increase intimacy between yourself and you loved one, and achieve a fulfilling sex life that completes your relationship.

Know What You Want

Before you talk about sex with your partner, you need to know what you want. If you have specific fantasies or requests, you’re all set. If you don’t know what you want, but feel you’re not really satisfied, explore your body and find out what works for you best. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind when it comes to sex.

Start the Conversation When You’re Both in a Good Mood

One of the worst moments to talk about sex in a relationship is during it. Men can get very sensitive when it comes to their performance between the sheets, so your partner might get insulted on hurt if your stop him to have a talk. Instead, find a moment when you’re both relaxed and in a good mood to open up about sex.

How To Discuss Sex

Focus on Constructive Criticism

Avoid any negative words, because the last thing you want to do is make your man go on the defensive. When you talk about sex with your partner, always start by praising his performance before making a suggestion or request. Tell him what he’s doing is great, but you feel he should try it a different way too, just to see if that works for you.

Take Turns when Fulfilling Your Sexual Fantasies

If all you’ve enjoyed until now was vanilla sex and you’d like to try something else, it’s important to keep an equilibrium. Once you open up about the things you want when you talk about sex in a relationship, your partner might too. Stick to what works for both of you half of the time, and split the other half between your kinks and his. Apply the rule of compromise to sex just like you do for anything else in a relationship.

More: Common Relationship Mistakes Women Make

Steer Your Man In the Right Direction

Some men are confident they know exactly what they’re doing, while others would like some guidance. Don’t be afraid to guide him in the right direction when you talk about sex with your partner. For smaller tips, that have to do with specifics, you should steer him in the right direction when you feel he’s not doing what’s best for you. Start with a compliment before moving on to your wish.

Don’t Mention Past Experiences, Unless They’re Solo

When you want to talk about sex in a relationship, you have to take his ego into consideration, and that doesn’t just mean giving praise. Discussing your past sexual experiences is inviting a comparison no man will feel good about, unless you’re telling him he’s the best you’ve ever had. But when you’re not discussing solo experiences, don’t bring up an ex when you talk about something that gets you off.

Talking About Sex With Your Partner

Use Movies and TV Shows to Start a Conversation About Your Fantasies

Sometimes, the hardest thing when it comes to productive talk about sex with your partner is bringing it up. Use movies and TV to start a conversation. You can easily jump to what you’d like to try in bed after you start with a few remarks about the fictional characters.

Stay Sex-Positive When It Comes to Your Partner’s Desires

Shame has no place in a talk about sex in a relationship. Stay open-minded, within reason, when it comes to your partner’s sex fantasies. Never say there’s something “wrong” about his desires, just things that you need to think about first. If his wishes cross your lines completely, let him down easy, or offer to try a similar thing that you’re more comfortable with.

See also: 7 Things You Can't Change About Men

Be Explicit When You’re Making Requests

Before you ask your partner to commit to something you want to try, be explicit, not with graphic details, but with clear guidelines. For example, “I want you to be more assertive” is as muddy as it gets, and your partner won’t be able to deliver if you don’t draw a clear line between “great” and “too much”.

Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh at Yourself

Having a sex of humor about weird kinks is important when you talk about sex in a relationship. Make sure it’s clear that you’re not laughing at him, but the situation. If he doesn’t take it well in bed, just claim he tickled you.