Being here at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference has been absolutely amazing! I helped vend for the FTM Foundation (an organization that helps FTM folks get surgery) and I learned quite a bit from the workshops I attended. Che led a workshop about Black Femmeness which was absolutely phenomenal and brought tears to my eyes. I felt so deeply in that workshop and it led me to think about my own work. These principles should be used in everyday communication, but I thought they could be specifically directed towards a sexual critique that you might have with your lover in order to get your own needs fulfilled.
When it comes to communicating with your lover about something that might be potentially hurtful, it’s important to address it in a way that gets your lover to understand you and validate your perspective. With that said, when addressing your needs, ask yourself these 3 questions:
#1 – “Is it true?”
Make sure what you say is true and accurate. If it only happens sometimes, state that it happens only sometimes and that you would like for it to be more consistent. For example, if you say “I don’t like it when you put your tongue in my ear,” the statement has to be completely accurate. Know that you do not like your lover’s tongue in your ear and be sure about it. Make sure that the decision you make is right and true for yourself.
#2 – “Is it loving?”
“It’s not what you say, but how you say it” is the statement that resonates with this question. Your lover is going to listen to your tone, so it’s important that you say your critique coming from a place of love. Make sure that you are calm, collected and supportive of your lover and your lover’s reaction to your statement. Be patient, kind and gentle to make sure that your critique is heard and understood. This helps when it’s possible that the statement you say can hurt your lover. Counterbalancing a negative statement with a positive feeling will help to balance their emotional outcome.
#3 – “Is it respectful?”
Make sure you’re framing your statement in a way that fully respects your lover and their actions (or non-actions). Do not demean them, insult them or bombard them with multiple critiques. Think about the way that you would want to be treated if someone had a critique about you. Most likely, if it’s coming from a loving place, it shouldn’t be a problem to give a respectful statement.
Sexually critiquing your lover can be difficult, especially if you let a problem persist for quite a while. Remember, you have the right to feel sexually satisfied, so make sure you move in your power and be persistent to get the results you deserve. Be prepared to be put in a difficult situation because we evolve from these experiences and ultimately, they help us to be better people and better lovers.