How would you like to have off the chart sex the next time you hit the sheets? Or the kitchen table? Or the washing machine? It’s possible to improve your sexual satisfaction immensely with one simple shift: Communication.
Don’t be taken in by these very common fallacies: “A good partner just knows what to do.” “It’s not cool to talk about it.” “Asking for what you want isn’t sexy.” Confidence is extremely sexy and sharing your desires helps your partner to satisfy you.
If you want a medium rare steak, you order it. You don’t expect your server to just know you want it and you don’t worry they’ll think you’re too demanding if you ask for it. So why do we stay quiet in the bedroom?
No one knows what we want unless we tell them, and any lover worth keeping wants to know. Refusing to share our desires keeps our partners from the pleasure of truly knowing us.
Life’s too short for mediocre sex. Let’s make a game plan to ask for what you want and learn how to tell your partner what you want in bed.
1. Know What Gets You Off
Masturbate frequently and joyfully. If you honestly don’t know what gets you off, you have some research to do. But don’t worry. It’s the fun kind. Experimenting with masturbation helps you learn what works for you physically.
But most of our sexual response comes from the brain. So also think about what happens in your fantasies. What acts or situations push you over the edge? If you need inspiration, erotica and porn can both help you to find your buttons. And once you know what they are, it’s a lot easier to ask someone else to push them for you.
2. Let Go of Unfounded Fears
We’ve all had sex we were happy to be done with. We had the power to make it better but we didn’t. Maybe we were afraid of offending our lover so we pretended everything was great. Maybe we were afraid they’d think we were high maintenance or perverted.
The thing is, everyone wants to be the best sex you’ve ever had. Whether it’s the briefest of encounters or a long-term love, your partners probably want to rock your world. Telling them what you want makes them instantly better in bed. Who wouldn’t want that?
3. Encourage & Entice
Asking for what we want isn’t a skill we’re taught, so lots of us have no idea how to do it. We think dropping hints counts. And when the hints aren’t picked up, we get resentful and eventually lash out in anger or get passive-aggressive “headaches.” None of this is easier than asking for what we want but it is often more familiar. Asking is scary. It makes us vulnerable. But vulnerability creates intimacy. So it’s worth the risk.
If you’re with someone new, especially if it’s likely to be a one-night stand, you don’t have the luxury of time. So learning to speak up during the act is key. “I like” sounds better than “I don’t like.” Be clear and specific. And be generous with praise when they get it right.
Check our Hot or Not list to see if your language is likely to get a good response in bed.
Hot or Not
HOT: “I like a soft touch. A little softer please, baby. That’s it.”
NOT: “Ouch, that hurts.”
HOT: “I’ve always wanted my toes sucked. Are you up for that?”
NOT: “Suck my dirty feet”
HOT: “I like having my hair pulled.”
NOT: “You aren’t being rough enough.”
HOT: “I feel like taking it from behind tonight.”
NOT: “I’d prefer not to see your face.”
HOT: “Slow down, please. Even slower. That’s perfect.”
NOT: “You’re going too fast.”
HOT: “That’s so close to what I want. Can you move a little to the right? Great! A little harder? YES!! YES!!”
It’s easiest to give direction to a new lover. If you’ve been having so-so sex for a while with someone you care about, you’ll need to come clean about your unmet needs. Tell them you want things in bed that you’ve been afraid to ask for. They’ll probably be all ears and eager to make up for lost time.
4. Show and Tell
It might feel more natural to ask if you can demonstrate by touching your partner the way you’d like to be touched. If you’re trying to find the words to suggest something ultra-kinky, call in reinforcements –- meaning, find some porn that shows or describes what you want to do, share it with your partner, and ask what they think. Once the topic is on the table, the words tend to come more easily. And there’s a lot of fun in sending sexy texts during the day describing your bedroom agenda for the night or forwarding them anything that turns you on.
5. Take No For an Answer
It’s possible you’ll learn you’re into some stuff your partner isn’t. That’s OK. People aren’t obligated to satisfy our every urge. If they’re not interested, accept that and focus on the things you both enjoy. Just sharing your secret impulses brings you closer to a partner and gives them the chance to think about it. Who knows? They might come around to giving it a shot. Or they might not. But if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Of course, it’s possible they’ll freak out and judge you. (This is the fear that keeps us silent, isn’t it?) But relationships should be safe spaces where we can be ourselves. If your lover can’t handle the real you, consider making room for one who can.
6. Make It A Game
If talking about what you want feels threatening, make it a game. You could ask your partner for an oral sex lesson in a cute and playful way, and possibly even turn it into a teacher-student role play. Instead of being so serious, have fun learning what turns your partner’s crank and blows their top!
Now that you have a clear idea of what kind of sex you want to be having, and a plan for how to ask for it, imagine that you’re having it as often as you want. Picture yourself ridiculously satisfied. Then let yourself be that you.
For even more about talking about sex, read Making Consent Sexy!