Sex Talk: The Role of Communication in Intimate Relationships

Sex Talk: The Role of Communication in Intimate Relationships

Sex Talk: The Role of Communication in Intimate Relationships

Sex Talk: The Role of Communication in Intimate Relationships

Synopsis

Eighty percent of participants in a study reported being in happy marriages, yet 90 percent of these same people reported sexual problems. The quality of human life is inextricably linked to the quality of personal relationships, of which sex is an important dynamic. Understanding interpersonal communication in sexual relationships is, therefore, an indispensable component of a happy, satisfying life.

Excerpt

I think sex is here to stay.

– Groucho Marx

I began my career as a health communication scholar and professor of interpersonal communication. In a close study of sexually transmitted infections and sexual education initiatives, I began to realize that interpersonal communication is sadly neglected in our society. While communication is one of the most important skills a person can have to ensure success in all aspects of his life, in general, we do not teach people how to communicate, let alone how to communicate in relationships and about sex. Communication is the way we connect with others and form and maintain personal relationships.

Connection with others is so essential to human beings that when a person is deprived of it for long periods of time, depression and selfdoubt set in, and completing the essential tasks of daily life becomes difficult. Short of death, solitary confinement is the worse punishment that the U.S. penal system inflicts upon its most dangerous criminals. Numerous studies have confirmed that a close personal relationship with one other person is the most important factor in personal happiness, outranking job, money, and sex. The desire for relationships is universal, and most people consider sex an integral component of a romantic relationship.

According to Paula Regan, a sexual attraction expert and professor at California State University, Los Angeles, “people believe that sexual desire is part and parcel of the state of being in love, assume that couples who desire each other sexually also are passionately in love, and . . .

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