What are negotiation skills?

As we develop into adults, we learn various combinations of skills to “negotiate” with others to satisfy our basic needs in life. Healthy sex implies negotiating consensual sex for mutual pleasure.

How skilled are you at negotiating the sex you want?

Are you strong in some skills but less so in others? These skills become even more important when it comes to sex and relationships, as both have an impact on our sexual health and emotional wellbeing.

For example, negotiating the type of sex we want, the sexual role we prefer, whether or not to use condoms, the rules for relationships, taking alcohol or using other substances will determine how satisfying the experience will be for both you and your sexual partner.

What are negotiation skills?

The list of skills below isn't exhaustive and depends on the situation you’re in. For example, negotiating sex on online apps will require a different set of skills from negotiating a long-term partnership. Some of the skills include:

  • Being clear about what you want – being honest, open and confident to state your own mind.
  • Good verbal communication skills – taking the time to listen, check out and reflect back each others understanding.
  • Reducing misunderstanding – asking for clarification or finding another form of words can help increase understanding.
  • Solving problems – assuming an attitude of `there’s always an answer’ can help resolve any problems more effectively and positively.
  • Asserting yourself – not being passive, aggressive or indirect, but stating your preference and being able to reach a workable compromise.
  • Dealing with difficult situations – accepting that difficulties will often arise and staying calm and focussed on the solution.
  • Saying sorry - not expecting perfection of ourselves or others, and recognising that we can all make mistakes.

How can I develop my negotiation skills?

If you would like help and support in developing negotiation skills, or enhancing those you already have, click the SRP Choices page.