25 Sex Questions to Ask Before Marriage, According to Experts

From past history to pleasure

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Let’s talk about sex, baby…but also, why and how? We all know that pleasure and intimacy are a key component in a lasting relationship, but they’re also famously awkward and sensitive subjects to address, even with the person you want to marry. And yet, experts agree that it’s really important to start having those conversations before you tie the knot. Without further ado, here’s a list of sex questions to ask before marriage, plus information, according to experts, on why you shouldn’t just skirt the topic if you want a union that lasts.

Meet the Experts

  • Joe and Cheryl Dillon are divorce mediators and relationship experts at Equitable Mediation. They are a husband and wife team, boasting more than three decades of combined experience helping families avoid the destruction of lawyer-driven litigation. Joe Dillon has an MBA and past career in finance, while Cheryl Dillon has a degree in Psychology and is a certified life coach.
  • Anastasiya Pochotna is a relationship and dating expert at the dating app Flirtini. She helps people navigate their love lives, analyzes trends and, with Flirtini, researches and surveys people all around the world to bring actionable insights into modern dating.

Sex Questions to Ask Before Marriage

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Questions About Sexual Boundaries

It’s a pretty big deal to have a thorough understanding of one another’s boundaries in the bedroom—namely because it “promotes trust, eliminates misconceptions, and aligns expectations, all of which contribute to a healthy and satisfying sexual relationship,” says Pochotna. Here are some boundary-setting questions to explore before marriage to ensure you’re both getting the most out of your intimate moments and treating each other in a way that expresses the love you feel for each other when you’re between the sheets.

  1. What turns you on or off?
  2. How do you feel about the concept of an open relationship?
  3. What are your thoughts on giving and receiving oral sex?
  4. What is your stance on watching pornography, together or separately?
  5. Are there specific types of sexual activities or fetishes that you’re curious about but aren’t sure I’d be comfortable with?
  6. How many times per week do you think is ideal for having sex?
  7. Do you prefer rougher or gentler stimulation? Does that preference change according to your mood?

Questions About Past Experiences and Vulnerabilities

“Before marriage, couples should explore their concerns, weaknesses, past traumas, fears, and how previous experiences influence their perspectives on intimacy,” says Pochotna, adding that “by openly discussing these issues, couples can create a safe space for communication, support and growth.” Of course these topics are some of the toughest to broach, particularly if your sexual history involves any negative or traumatic experiences, so it’s important to make sure you really trust your partner and have established a healthy communication dynamic before you dive in.

  1. Have you had any noteworthy experiences in your sexual history you’d like to share?
  2. How do you feel about discussing insecurities relating to the bedroom?
  3. Do you have any past sexual traumas you’d like to share?
  4. Does anything from your past affect your views on intimacy today?
  5. How do you think past relationships impact our current one?
  6. How many sexual partners have you had?

Questions About Mutual Satisfaction

All three experts agree that having direct conversations about sex is difficult for a lot of adults; it’s unfortunate, though, because this aversion to speaking openly about sex has a “direct influence on satisfaction,” says Pochotna. Indeed, the research confirms that couples who do discuss what goes on between the sheets report higher rates of both sexual and overall relationship satisfaction. As such, it’s worth bringing up the topic, and specifically going over what turns you on and whether there’s any room for improvement.

  1. How do you feel about the frequency of our sexual activities?
  2. What can I do to make you feel more appreciated and desired sexually?
  3. Are there any aspects of our sex life that you think could be improved or changed?
  4. How important is sexual spontaneity versus planned intimacy for you?
  5. What role does aftercare play in our sexual experiences, and how can we improve it?
  6. What part of your body do you most enjoy having stimulated and are there any parts you’d rather not have touched?
  7. Do you enjoy foreplay?
sex-questions-to-ask-before-marriage: a couple sitting on the couch and chatting.
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Questions About Sex That Help You Get to Know Each Other Better

You can call these ice breakers or getting-to-know-you questions but if you don’t already have super open communication about sex, these conversation starters are useful at any stage in a relationship. Joe Dillon emphasizes (and I think most would agree) that communication is essential in every aspect of a partnership. “Seeing a lot of relationships and helping people divorce, [it’s pretty clear that] communication is always the problem, no matter what the topic,” the expert tells us. With that in mind, these questions are a good place to start, especially when the last frontier of communication relates to what goes on in the bedroom.

  1. What are some of the sexual fantasies you have when you masturbate?
  2. How do you feel about having children in the future?
  3. Are there other forms of intimacy you enjoy outside of sex?
  4. How do you think our sexual relationship may (or may not) change over time? And do you feel comfortable adapting to or communicating about any changes that occur?
  5. What aspects of a relationship (outside of the bedroom) do you think most contribute to a healthy sex life?

How to Talk About Sex With Your Partner

As previously mentioned, sex can be a formidable topic for partners to take on—namely because where there’s intimacy, there are so many feelings involved. Still, it’s an important topic to get comfortable with if you’re in a relationship with someone you’re considering marrying. Joe and Cheryl Dillon have immense insight into this having seen it from both sides of the equation (i.e., failed marriages, and also the impact that good relationship advice can have when it comes to ensuring that such a union really lasts). In fact, during the course of our interview, I was struck by the fact that they both made slightly different contributions to the conversation, but their respective opinions still blended seamlessly. Without further ado, here are some expert tips from the Dillons about how to start the sex conversation.

  • Ask questions: One thing that Joe pointed out, and I think will resonate with a lot of people, is that the biggest barrier to open conversations about sex is the knowledge that expressing your needs and wants openly might come off as a criticism that hurts the other person or leaves them feeling inadequate. News to no one: Insecurity is not a great recipe for romance, which is why the expert recommends starting the conversation with questions. “By asking first, it engages [the other partner] in the conversation. It sets them up for what you're wanting to talk about, and you can couch it. As a negotiator—that’s my profession—I've always learned that the best two words are, and in this order, ‘what’ and ‘how.’ In other words, leading with questions is a non-aggressive way for you to get a chance to answer the same ones yourself.” Some examples of this, per the expert, include: “what can we do to improve our sex life?” and “How do you think we can make sure our marriage doesn’t get stale?”
  • Read the room: There’s a time and a place for everything (more on this below) but it’s important to pick the right moment. For instance, it’s probably not the best idea to examine your existing sexual relationship after your partner has had a very bad day at work and would benefit more from validation than anything else.
  • Keep the conversation out of the bedroom: Not literally, necessarily, but Cheryl points out that this kind of open communication is best timed for when you haven’t just completed the act. “I think it's a delicate balance [that involves] doing it when both of you are feeling very comfortable and you're not at all remotely in the actual situation,” she says. Bottom line: Sex is a vulnerable act, which is why the conversations can be tricky, so make sure you time it in a way that doesn’t shut the whole thing down as a result of a bruised ego.
sex-questions-to-ask-before-marriage: a couple laying in bed together.
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Summary: Why Is it Important to Ask Sex Questions Before Marriage?

Being able to discuss sex with your SO with both confidence and sensitivity is a strong predictor for a lasting marriage that doesn’t lose the pleasure quotient over time—namely because the dynamic adapts to the changing needs and wants of both partners. All the experts agree that strong communication is the foundation for this ideal set-up. Start the conversation gently with well-timed questions and give your responses, such that the conversation feels more like a mutually shared curiosity than a criticism and you’ll be rewarded between the sheets for yours to come. It also bears repeating that sex is just one form of intimacy, but when you have those talks your relationship will more easily adjust to periods when, say, holding hands and hugging is more what fits your current vibe.

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