THE IN THE MOOD Pyra­mid

For­get veg­gies, meats and grains (err, un­less that’s what you’re into), this is your new rec­om­mended in­take of awk­ward con­ver­sa­tions for a healthy, bal­anced sex life.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - LOVE & SEX SPECIAL -

Convo #1 Con­tra­cep­tion/STIs

Nu­tri­tional Value: 5 Awk­ward Rat­ing: 3

Move over, kale, and make room for con­doms and (not get­ting) chlamy­dia. In place of the es­sen­tial veg­gies on a tra­di­tional food chart sits the not-so-glam chats about your con­tra­cep­tion plan. Bor­ing and bland, yes, spon­ta­neous and sexy, no; but like a gi­ant head of broc­coli, you’re not ex­actly go­ing to serve it raw. For first-time hook-ups, dodge the awk­ward fac­tor by work­ing the con­ver­sa­tion into a recipe method. Steam it for five (think flirt­ing and teas­ing), add some dress­ing (or rather un­dress­ing) and dish it up with a side of some­thing else (Hot tip: Hu­mour goes with any­thing). If he’s a de­cent guy, he’ll be all over it. And if he’s not? Cue the alarm bells. Sex and re­la­tion­ship ex­pert Christina Spac­cavento ( talk­tochristina.com) em­pha­sises, “A huge part of sex is think­ing about how to re­spect and pro­tect your­self and your part­ner’s body.” This is

im­por­tant for you, too. “If you have an STI or are get­ting treat­ment for one, it’s es­sen­tial to let them know.”

Convo #2 Per­sonal Bound­aries

Nu­tri­tional Value: 4 Awk­ward Rat­ing: 3

There are al­ways items on the menu that we don’t like to eat and the same goes for sex. What­ever your sex­ual brus­sels sprout is, con­fess your aver­sion to it or it’ll get served up time and time again. Let’s be real here: This kind of chat isn’t ex­actly the eas­i­est one to have. Due to its sen­si­tive na­ture (or lack thereof), Spac­cavento rec­om­mends breach­ing the sub­ject away from the bed­room. Sex­ual crit­i­cism mid-main course won’t do any­thing for your ap­petites. “If hand­cuffs and blind­folds aren’t your thing, let them know out­side of sex, so nei­ther of you gets a nasty shock that will kill the mo­ment,” she says. “Telling your part­ner what you aren’t into is su­per im­por­tant so they can not only be­come a bet­ter lover, but also know their bound­aries.”

Convo #3 Se­cret Urges

Nu­tri­tional Value: 3 Awk­ward Rat­ing: 4

Sex with your guy is amaz­ing, but you could take it to the next level with an hon­est con­ver­sa­tion about what you’re not get­ting from each other (but would like to). “Ar­range a time and have a ‘cou­ple chat’ so you can both be pre­pared with your thoughts and ideas,” ad­vises Spac­cavento. Be­sides, mix­ing up the mid-week mis­sion­ary and giv­ing some­thing else a go (yep, even that) could only be a healthy thing. Even if both of you don’t like that thing you thought would be awe­some but wasn’t, at least you’ve been there, and feel that your

part­ner is sup­port­ive of your needs (worth ev­ery kilo­joule).

Convo #4 Sex­ual Ini­ti­a­tion

Nu­tri­tional Value: 2 Awk­ward Rat­ing: 3

While it’s seem­ingly un­com­fort­able to bring up, do ad­dress the me­chan­ics of your sex life – who’s ini­ti­at­ing the sex? Are you happy with how of­ten you have it? It’s health­ier than a quinoa salad. “Ex­press your feel­ings,” says Spac­cavento. “You may be able to work through any dif­fer­ences of opin­ion by talk­ing in a non-judge­men­tal en­vi­ron­ment.” Your di­etary re­quire­ments may be dif­fer­ent, yet air­ing out any con­cerns is good for ev­ery­one.

Convo #5 Past Lovers

Nu­tri­tional Value: 1 Awk­ward Rat­ing: 4

While re­mem­ber­ing the ghosts of your love life’s past is com­pletely nor­mal, hold off on voic­ing it too much in front of your lat­est squeeze be­cause it might not be some­thing they want to hear. In­stead, save the funny/steamy/ awk­ward ex sto­ries for wine times with mates.

“So, how many times would you like to come ... with me?”

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