Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Open and Effective Communication

Welcome back to the Gott Sex Blog!

Thanks for joining us and again, feel free to check out our website – - for more information on our research-based methods and how we are able to teach couples like you to have incredible relationships both inside and outside the bedroom.

We have been getting a lot of mail recently from people who are curious about the upcoming content of this blog and our Gott Sex Series.

You asked… “Will we be giving sex advice by doing a “kiss here… suck over there, all right, now bite over there” play-by-play kind of thing? Are we going to be writing racy stories and providing demonstrative images to accompany them? What about reviewing the latest and best sex toys?”

Unfortunately, the answer to these and other similar questions is…


Remember that all the information we are about to share with you is 100 percent research-based, learned through 40 years of careful observations of thousands of relationship successes and failures.

On that note we have decided that in this blog, rather than recommending specific sexual techniques – which are preference based – or giving you advice about the “sex act” itself, we will instead be focusing on how you can enhance the internal components of your relationship in order to better foster passion. We can’t stress enough just how important it is to do this!

Ignoring these internal components and trying to have a satisfying sex life is like trying to lose weight by eating only chocolate cake, which may feel good at the time but ultimately, wont exactly get you the results you want.

Fact:  Couples that are satisfied with their sex lives have a lot of depth in their relationship

Even from the relatively small sample of people who have taken our “sex satisfaction poll” on the right hand side of this page, you can see that a good deal of respondents feel some level of dissatisfaction when it comes to their sexual relationship. What is sad however is that this is true of millions of people both here in the US and all over the world.

Why exactly is sexual dissatisfaction such a widespread problem?

Well, it’s not the fault of our bodies. Physiologically speaking, the penis and clitoris are quite simple and well-suited for each other. If sex were left up to these two then there would be no problems and they would have a fantastic carefree romp. Their relationship is wonderful and pleasure-giving. They ‘get’ each other.
What you have probably figured out already, and what actually makes sex “complicated”, is that it in addition to our physiology, there are also two brains involved. As a result, a good sex life requires talking, touching, and knowing one’s partner romantically, and establishing and maintaining an emotional connection that makes both people want to be excited, or carefree, or playful, or open, or vulnerable, or erotic with one another.

The good news is that great sexual relationships become a whole lot easier if we are able to talk to one another about sex.

Talking: The First Step
Happy elderly couple telling secrets and discussing their sex life.

Here’s a question for you. How well do you actually know your partner’s sexual desires?—likes and dislikes?

On the surface this may seem like an easy question to answer. Most people have at least a rough idea of what their partner would say, but what about when it comes to such topics as masturbation, libido and orgasm, the actual specifics? Are there certain “taboo” subjects that make you feel awkward and perhaps intimidated to talk openly about with your partner?

Well, we certainly don’t want you to feel like you are limited in any way, so let’s try an exercise designed to help you begin facilitating open and effective sexual communication.

This partial exercise from our upcoming “Gottman Sex Kit” deals with building “Love Maps” of your partner’s sexuality so you can better know and respond to their personal needs.

Give it a try, ladies first:

*Sexuality Questions to Ask a Woman*

1) What do you like about your body? What about your body do you feel good about?

2) What makes sex more romantic and passionate for you?

3) What is it like for you when you have an orgasm? What are the physical sensations? What do you feel?

4) After orgasm do you feel satisfied or fulfilled? What do you need from me? Do you need to feel tender and close? Are you sleepy? Do you feel energized and wide-awake?

5) Many women say that they have lower sex drive than their partner. Is that true for you? If so, is that a problem?

All right, guys your turn:

*Sexuality Questions to Ask a Man*

1) Many men say that they want and expect that ALL sexual contact will lead to intercourse and their orgasm.  Do you feel that way?

2) What do you find most erotic and arousing?

3) What can I do to improve the arousal and the experience of orgasm for you?

4) Some men say that they have higher sex drive than their partner. Is that true for you? If so, is that a problem?

5) How do you prefer to masturbate? Can you show me?

There are no right or wrong answers here. Remember this should be fun and enlightening with the goal of this mini-exercise to get you to know your partner better.

The Power Of Talking

According to our research, fifty-percent of women who say they discuss their sexual feelings with their husbands are very satisfied with their relationship. Compare that to a nine-percent satisfaction rate among women who do not discuss their sexual feelings and you begin to see the power of talking.

Talking is huge. While it’s not the only thing that successful couples are doing, it is a fundamental part of getting to know one’s partner intimately. You must be able to have open discourse in order to establish and maintain the emotional connection that makes both people feel desired/desirous.  And if you do have open sexual discussions, you’ll begin to feel more playful and erotic with one another.

Join us next time as we delve further into the subject of talking.  We’ll explain to you the four skills necessary for all types of intimate conversations, including sexual. In addition, we will also begin sharing tips on how to improve another fundamental part of a good sex life - maintaining a close, connected and trusting friendship.

All for now,
The Gottman Institute


  1. Question #5, for men: 'How do you prefer to masturbate? Can you show me?'

    Is the 'showing' part meant to be instructional?--so the partner learns their personal preferences of a hand job? Or just, 'hm, interesting, always wondered why you took so long in the shower'.

  2. @Bitsy, HI! I'm Katie, TGI staff. Yes! The goal in asking this question is to learn more about what your partner likes; how and where he likes to be touched.

  3. I want to know how to get my partner to be more interested in oral sex. He think it's unpleasant, no matter how tidied up I am down there. He tried it a couple times but did not enjoy it. Is there any hope? The only way he'll do it is if he's had a few drinks.

  4. @ anonymous, Sorry for the delay, John and I talked back and forth about this one. I asked John if he had referral that I could give you,and he didn't. I'm sorry, but we may try to add an ASK Dr. Julie aspect to either this blog or an online magazine. I realize that doesn't answer your question. If you email me your question to,I'll do my best to get you an answer. :) KR, TGI staff

  5. Hi,

    I love the ideas that you share in this post -- and I am certainly going to share these questions with my partner!

    But, I do have a question -- what if what your partner finds most erotic and arousing isn't something that you can give?

    My partner's most erotic idea is based on the changing of his body (into a woman's) -- and everything else is simply a prop to that idea.

    It upsets me at a very basic level -- and your blog finally gave me the vocabulary to express why! Its impossible to have personal sex when everything is a prop.

    Any ideas for how I could make such an impersonal erotic idea into something personal?

    I am so grateful for your help.

  6. @ Rebecca

    Hi there rebecca, due to the personal nature of your question, we will reply to it in a personal email. Thank you for your question!


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