negotiating consent
© Love Matters | Rita Lino

Speak up, if you don't want to have sex!

Whether your relationship casual or serious, it can always be difficult to bring up the topic of making love, especially when it comes to the when and the how.

There are also many myths around sex and sexuality – for example, that men only want women for sex, or that men want sex all the time. Everyone’s different. Some people have sex once a week, others have it twice a day. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s all about finding what works for you and your partner.

Negotiating when to have sex or not

Even in a relationship, you don’t have to have sex with your partner whenever and wherever they ask. It’s your body and you’re allowed to do what you want with it. If your partner asks for sex and you aren’t feeling in the mood, you are allowed to say no.

If you really feel like making love to your partner, try to get your partner’s mood in sync with yours. You could send flirty texts during the day with ideas on what you would like to try. Then you can both get excited. Continue the flirting at home…

‘You’re so beautiful, I can’t wait to make love to you tonight.’

If it’s a special occasion or anniversary, you could give them flowers or a homemade card. Or just spontaneously, for no special reason! See what their response is and maybe suggest a massage to get you both in the mood before moving towards all those fun things you texted about…

But remember: NO ALWAYS MEANS NO

Talking about differences in sexual desire

One of the biggest challenges as a couple can be dealing with each other’s different libidos. Not everyone wants sex in the morning, and some people don’t have the energy left in the evening. So it’s good to discover the times when both of you feel like sex.

Finding compromises

Once you know what, when and how your partner likes to make love, the next step is coming to a compromise. First of all, never use sex as a weapon or a reward, since it will only create mistrust and anger. Most couples have sex more often at the beginning of their relationship – that’s just normal. However, if your partner wants sex a lot and you aren’t so keen, say something positive about them and then suggest another time.

‘You’re so great in bed that you’ve worn me out this week! Let’s have a night off so it’s even better tomorrow.’


Be open from the beginning. If you’ve never made love before, tell them! It’s also good to set some boundaries and explain them clearly to your partner.

Here’s a good way to do it. Start by saying something positive, then explain the boundary, then end with something positive again. Like this, for example:

‘I really like being with you. I would never consider an open relationship or involving someone else. I like having you all to myself!’

Once in the bedroom, you should always be able to say ‘no’ and stop whatever you are not ready for.

‘I’m not feeling up for it tonight. How about we wait until tomorrow. Then it’ll be great!’

Don’t force your partner into doing something they’re unhappy or unsure about. Take each stage of your relationship slowly and show your partner respect at all times.

If you have any questions related to your relationship, visit our discussion forum now!

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