Honest Communication in Relationships. Really?


We all SAY we want honest communication with our partners but do we, really?

I was chatting with some girlfriends the other day and I told them that I recently asked my boyfriend if there was really much variance in the way different vaginas felt.

His answer, though not important to this article, was yes, they do in fact vary in feeling, texture, shape, size. The difference isn’t always subtle. Intriguing…Apart from the obvious: size, I didn’t think there could be much difference. See? Ask and you learn something new and interesting every day!

But what I found the most interesting was the reaction of my girlfriends to the fact that I could ask him such a thing. While they wanted to know every detail of my boyfriend’s answer to this question, the thought of asking their own husbands the same question was incomprehensible.

“But why?” I asked.

“Because I don’t WANT him to think about the other vaginas he’s sampled.” FEAR

“Because I don’t WANT to hear him describing the feeling of other vaginas he’s sampled.” INSECURITY

“Because I don’t WANT to put the thought of sex with his past girlfriends in his mind.” CONTROL

“But he has past experiences and memories that he probably thinks about from time to time, anyway.” I protested. “You’re asking him about them or not won’t control his mind.”

“Perhaps”, they both agreed but they didn’t want to be the catalyst for placing those memories front and center if they were currently tucked neatly away.

I understood what they were saying and I’m not suggesting everyone “should” go straight home and ask their men for details about the various vaginas they’ve sexed. But it made me wonder about other topics they surely avoid for the same reason. And how choosing to deny that your partner has certain thoughts and feelings usually also results in demanding that he lie to you by confirming your denial.

“No, Dear, I couldn’t even imagine having sex with another woman.”

“What woman? No, I wasn’t looking at her; I didn’t even notice another woman in the room.”

“No, I never ever replay in my mind a sexual encounter that I had before I met you.”

If we avoid truth, honesty and open communication because we are insecure or afraid then we place a barrier to the level of intimacy we can share. We claim that we want honesty from our partner and then demand that he lie so that we feel better.

I’m not suggesting that unless you can ask your lover to describe the other vaginas he’s felt you are unhealthy. A question like that may never have crossed your mind.

The point is, if you do wonder about something -anything-CAN you ask? Or does your fear of the answer paralyze you from action? And what if you do hear the answer? Do you punish him for it later or demand that he coax any insecurity that comes up?

Can you separate YOUR emotional need for validation and accept who he is as a separate person with memories, experiences, sexual and otherwise that never included you? Can you let him share those things with you to bring you closer without feeling threatened?

I’m the curious sort. I ask all kinds of questions about everything because I am genuinely interested in the answer. I’m not looking for validation, i.e.: “Your vagina feels the bestest!”

I’m not looking to set him up by asking for information that I will hold against him in the future. “Remember all those vaginas you talked about? Just HOW MANY are we talking about?! How often do you dream about them?!”

But before he understood my goofy questions truly held no secret agenda, he tread so carefully answering them it was like pulling teeth. He was visually uncomfortable. Sometimes he would just shut me down and say he didn’t want to *go there*.

When we talked it through he said he felt like I was looking for an angle or leading him somewhere that he’d ultimately be in trouble for. WHY did I ask random questions out of the blue? Surely there was a diabolical, female scheme!

a.k.a. “Do I look fat in this?”

Women do this all the time. They aren’t interested in the truth; they are looking for verbal salve to mend an insecurity or fear.

When my boyfriend relaxed and took a leap of faith and began answering all my goofy, strange and wild questions he began to really like it. We began to have the best talks and our intimacy grew.

“I love your silly little questions.” He now says. “I can talk about anything with you.”

He knows he can be himself and tell me the truth. He trusts me with the truth of who he is. Our relationship is very intimate and close. He doesn’t have to hide to protect himself or me.

The cliché that communication is the most important part of a relationship is true, but it’s not the whole picture. Sometimes it’s not what you say, but what you DON’T say or are AFRAID to say that begins to eat at trust and intimacy.

I am a normal woman like any other. I DO have fears and insecurities that creep up sometimes in my relationship. But those are MY RESPONSIBILITY to deal with and work on. Not his. And I DO work on them to always be the best person I can be for myself first and then for him.

I won’t demand that he tell me what I need to hear or shade and deny the truth of what he thinks and feels at the expense of the integrity of our relationship. I won’t demand that he make me feel better about my fears. Most times, he’s oblivious that they are even there at all.

To him I am this incredible, cool chick that makes him feel accepted and loved for exactly who he is. He says he is more “himself” with me than with anyone before.

And that is what I needed to hear!