How Women Can Negotiate Sexual Boundaries in Your Relationship

Posted by  Soribel MartÍnez, LCSW

Sexual intimacy can be an important part of any relationship. But, people are different. You might not have the same desires and wants as your partner. Because of that, it’s always important to discuss and navigate your boundaries. 

The point of sexual intimacy is to grow as a couple. If one of you isn’t enjoying the experience or something makes you feel uncomfortable, it takes away the benefits of intimacy and can make your sex life something you resent, rather than something that brings you closer to your partner. 

As a woman, it can sometimes be difficult to negotiate your sexual boundaries—but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re worried about speaking up and how it might affect your relationship, that’s the first “roadblock” to overcome. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways women can negotiate sexual boundaries in your relationship so you can strengthen your bond and your intimacy level with your partner. 

Know What You Really Want

Before you even discuss your boundaries with your partner, it’s important to know what you really want. You might be experiencing things that make you uncomfortable, or just things you’re not interested in. But until you can sit down and determine what you want and don’t want, you’re going to have a hard time negotiating. 

The more your partner knows about your desires—including your likes and dislikes, the more willing they’ll be to respect them. So, make sure you have a firm understanding of your true desires and what you’re willing to express before bringing those feelings to your partner.

When you’re ready to have that conversation, don’t leave your partner out. Once you’ve expressed your own desires, ask about theirs. You might be more on the same page than you realize. But, if you haven’t talked about it yet, it could leave your sexual relationship in “limbo”. 

Doing vs. Trying

When you’re setting up boundaries, there are some things you’re going to be willing to do and some things you might be willing to try. 

The things you’re willing to do are usually somewhere in line with your own desires. Again, you and your partner might have more in common with those desires than you realize. By talking to each other about the things you’re willing to do, it can provide a sense of relief and excitement for you both. 

Once you’ve established that, discuss what you’re willing to try. These are typically things you may not have tried before because of miscommunication or even because of hesitation. But, if your partner wants to try them and you’re willing, it’s okay to work through the experiences together. 

Be Okay With Saying No

Perhaps the hardest part of negotiating your sexual boundaries is learning how to say “no”. There is a common misconception that if a woman isn’t giving in to the desires of her male partner, he’ll become upset, frustrated, or even angry. 

If you have a partner that gets upset when you say “no” to certain things, that can seriously damage your intimacy, regardless of what you’re willing to try. Sharing what you’re uncomfortable with or what you’re not willing to do is less likely to hurt or offend your partner when you’re open and honest about it. 

Don’t wait until you’ve done something you’ll regret. Not only can that cause trouble in your relationship, but it could make your partner feel worse. 

Unfortunately, sexual boundaries can be a difficult subject to navigate. But if you’re willing to stand firm in your convictions and speak openly with your partner, you can negotiate your wants and limits in a healthy, effective way.

If you need help initiating that conversation, feel free to contact me. Together, we’ll navigate the best ways, as a woman, that you can open up and share your boundaries. 

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