Sexual Boundaries: How to Set and Discuss Them With Your Spouse
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Boundaries are a major part of every healthy romantic relationship, and they shouldn’t only matter when you’re dating. Married couples can fall into the trap of thinking they automatically know what the other person is and isn’t comfortable with, especially in the bedroom.
Your spouse is the person you’ve committed to spending the rest of your life with, and they will be more intimate with you than anyone else.
This means that you must continually speak up on what you are okay with under the covers, even if you’ve been having sex for years now.
So, if you are wondering how to communicate sexually in marriage to set boundaries or how to explore your sexual boundaries with your partner, then read on to find out.
What are sexual boundaries?
Sexual boundaries are the lines that we draw around our sexual behavior. They tell us what is okay for us to do and with whom. They are the guidelines we use to decide how far we want to go and what kind of sexual activities feel safe and comfortable for us.
Sexual boundaries in a relationship are important when engaging in sex, and it’s important to know what you and your partner are comfortable with.
The role of sexual boundaries in marriage
When it comes to dating, we know that boundaries are meant to protect us, but what about when you’re married?
Many people fall under the assumption that the closer you get to someone, the less your boundaries matter.
They presume boundaries are a safety mechanism, and they don’t have to worry about them when they’re with someone as close as a spouse. Always remember the importance of discussing sexual boundaries:
- Boundaries in sex matter and they should always serve an important role in your relationship.
- It’s okay to set sex boundaries for your spouse as it will make the experience more enjoyable for the two of you with no oops-i-didn’t-want-that situations happening often.
- Openly discussing your preferences and limits with your partner will bring you closer, make you happier and allow you to be more present during intimate moments.
Related Reading: 15 Must-Have Healthy Boundaries In Marriage
5 sexual boundaries examples
Here are a few sexual limits examples to help illustrate the point:
- Not exposing your private parts to anyone, including someone you are dating or in a relationship with.
- Not masturbating in front of your partner.
- Not being intimate with someone unless both people are comfortable with that.
- Respecting a person’s decision not to have sex and not making unwanted sexual advances.
- Not engaging in any sexual activity with someone who does not want to be sexually active with you.
What are implicit and explicit sexual boundaries?
Sexual limits are important for both parties in a relationship.
Here are a few examples of what might be considered implicit sexual boundaries:
-Not wanting to engage in sexual activity with someone who is very intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
-Not wanting to engage in sexual activity with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease.
Also Try: Do I Have a Sexually Transmitted Disease Quiz
-Not wanting to engage in sexual activity with someone while you are on birth control or have taken medicine to prevent pregnancy.
Some examples of explicit sexual boundaries might include:
-Not wanting someone to touch you sexually unless you agree first.
-Not wanting to have sex unless your partner uses protection, such as a condom.
-Not wanting to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, even if that activity might otherwise be considered normal.
How to explore your sexual boundaries with your partner
During boundary negotiation, ask yourself first what you like and dislike in the bedroom. What were some of your best sexual encounters, and what have been the worse?
It’s okay if they’re with the same person. You may absolutely love being with your spouse, but there could be situations in the past that you felt uncomfortable during but didn’t speak up about.
Be direct and clear about what you want and what you will and will not do. If you’re worried about hurting your partner’s feelings, you can try to lead with a positive attitude. For example, “I love when you do this, but I don’t enjoy it when you do that.”
Your spouse should respect your boundaries. The first word out of their mouth after you tell them your sex rules shouldn’t be, “Why?”
If so, then you have a deeper problem that needs to be addressed. A healthy marriage and sex life are built on respect, which leads to security, trust, and intimacy.
How to talk about your sexual boundaries with your spouse
So, how to set boundaries with a partner? What are the keys to discussing sexual desire and boundaries with your partner? How to set sexual boundaries?
- Well, a healthy marriage is all about communication. This means having conversations about serious topics openly and without judgment.
You should let your partner know you want to talk to them and find a quiet space with no distractions. Do not wait until you’re about to have sex to talk about boundaries.
Talking about sex with your partner should be the most natural thing for the two of you.
Instead, pick a time that you are both available and free to discuss your feelings.
- You can also use this period to propose new ideas. Rather than springing something onto your partner in the heat of the moment, discuss new things you’d like to try together.
- You can print your condoms and try different textures.
- You may want to try a new position or introduce some different sex toys.
Whatever you want to do (or don’t ever want to do), make sure that your partner knows this before anyone takes their clothes off.
What to do if someone crosses sexual boundary
If you are a victim of sexual assault or abuse, there is help available.
You do not have to handle the aftermath alone. You can get help from a friend, family member, or local rape crisis center. You can also talk to a counselor or therapist about your feelings.
If you would like to speak to someone now, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE(4673). The National Sexual Assault Hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Check out this video on how to stop someone from pushing themselves onto you for sex and intimacy:
Sexuality is fluid, and people’s comfort levels change over time. You may currently do things in the bedroom that you don’t enjoy simply because you want to make your partner happy.
While there’s nothing wrong with some experimentation around intimacy boundaries or setting sexual boundaries, being uncomfortable and forcing yourself to partake in any sexual activity you aren’t 100 percent on board with is never a requirement.
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