The Importance of Communication in Preventing Sexual Misunderstandings
Sexual miscommunication can be embarrassing, damaging to relationships, and lead to more serious forms of military sexual trauma (MST). Therefore, it is critical that partners communicate openly and honestly about sexual matters. By having an open dialogue, both parties can better understand objectives, expectations, and boundaries, which can help prevent misunderstandings and sexual misconduct.
Having candid conversations
To prevent sexual misunderstanding, it is important for partners to have candid conversations about:
- Expectations: Both parties should discuss and agree on expectations for the relationship. This includes any potential physical contact and the activities that may result from it.
- Boundaries: There should be agreements made about setting and respecting boundaries. This also includes verbal and physical consent, and understanding what “no” means.
- Communication: Partners should discuss communication styles, so both can feel comfortable talking about their wants and needs.
Fostering trust and respect
By having open communication and fostering trust and respect, partners can avoid critical misunderstandings. Respectful communication can help to build a strong connection between two people, which can lead to a healthier relationship. This can help to maintain a positive physical and emotional bond, as both parties have expectations that are seen, heard, and valued.
Knowing what to do
Should a misunderstanding or miscommunication take place, both parties should talk about it openly, preferably in a private setting. This can help clear the air, so each person can move forward without judgement. If a more serious incident has occurred, partners should seek outside help from a professional or family member.
Misunderstandings and miscommunications are relatively common in all relationships. By being open and honest with communication, partners can better prevent these misunderstandings from taking place. Understanding expectations and boundaries can help create a lasting relationship of respect and trust, as each party will have their needs seen, heard, and valued.