We all know that we should have great communication with our partner - but it’s sometimes easier said than done, especially when it comes to sex. We all want to be open and celebrate what we enjoy sexually, but when we start to factor in our partner’s feelings, things get complicated.
Even if we have an amazing, satisfying sex life, bringing up other things we’d like to try is difficult. We’re worried our partner will perceive our suggestions as criticism. You want to get across that you need certain things, but without making them feel vulnerable or judged. And it’s a difficult balance, because sex is such an exposing and intimate activity, it’s natural to feel sensitive.
But, at the end of the day, you deserve to be sexually satisfied and you need to be able to talk about it openly. “Women often have a problem saying what they want in bed for two reasons,” Relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein tells Cosmo. “Firstly they are often socialised to feel shy or inhibited around their sexuality. Women get very mixed messages in society about sex but one of those messages is ‘if you are sexual and seek pleasure then you are a slut’.
“It can also be difficult for them to figure out what they like in bed and tell their partner in a direct manner.” And that’s a big problem. So here’s how to assert your sexuality and ask for what you want, without hurting your partner’s feelings.
1. Remember that you deserve sexual satisfaction
Firstly, remember that your sex life is not just about pleasing your partner - it’s also about pleasing yourself. Hartstein says this is the other big dilemma for women. “The other challenge is that they can tend to be deferential to men and a bit passive (assuming this is a heterosexual pairing),” she says. “But sex is supposed to be something you participate in that feels good to you. And only you know what that is.”
If you’re losing your nerve, remember that you deserve to feel great, and that your partner wants you to feel great too.
2. Choose your tone and setting
A huge part of how your partner is going to respond is down to how you talk to them about it. “The best way to tell your partner what you want in bed is to be direct but also complimentary and kind,” Hartsten explains.
You may want to avoid doing it right after sex, when they’ll probably be feeling particularly vulnerable. See if you can bring it up organically, rather than as a big announcement where they might feel under attack. Then be kind, but firm.
3. Be clear
If you’re going to have the conversation, there’s no point in beating around the bush - and your partner will probably appreciate the clarity.
“You might feel comfortable saying straight out that you want them to touch you harder or softer,’ Hartstein says. “Chances are they will welcome the guidance and be game.”
4. Make it part of your foreplay
If the thought of talking about sex that frankly makes you blush, don’t worry, the more you do it the easier it gets. Once you get used to it, it’ll make conversations about sex so much more fulfilling and useful.
If in doubt, try experimenting with sexy text messages, subtly weaving in the things you want to try, and the way you like to be touched. This can be a great way to get your point across and turn your partner on in the process.
5. Wrap it up in positives
“But if you worry that they’re going to be sensitive about it, you can also add input about the things they already do that you like,” says Hartstein. “Tell your partner that you love the way they do X and Y and that it would be great if they could also add Z.”
You can even try a compliment sandwich: start with something great, make a suggestion, then talk about something else you like. It’s a great way to have an open conversation about your sex life, rather than it just feeling like criticism.
6. Ask them about their needs
Another good route in, is to ask about what your partner might want or need in bed that they’re not already getting. By making suggestions and asking questions, it becomes a back-and-forth. And if your partner is able to bring up what they’d like to try, your suggestions will feel less like a lack of satisfaction and more like a mutual appetite for exploration.
Talking about sex, especially if you’re not used to it, can feel like a minefield. But remember what Hartstein says, it’s also about you: “However you want to handle it, be sure to take your own feelings and pleasure into account!”
She’s totally right. As long as you’re kind and thoughtful with your wording, there’s no reason discussing your sex life with your partner should be a problem. Both of you want to have an empowering, fulfilling sex life - so it’s time to open up the conversation.
Via: Cosmopolitan UK