How to Talk About Sex With Your Partner, According to Sex Experts

how to ask what you want in bed

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Getting intimate might not be the hardest thing in the world, but talking about getting intimate? All bets are off. Whether you’re in bed with a spouse or a short-term acquaintance, figuring out how to talk to your partner about sex – or asking about what you want in bed – can be harder than sex itself.

For many people, what you want in bed is a sensitive issue. “I find that a lot of people are afraid of hurting their partner’s feelings because they think that if they make a particular request, their partner will think it’s a criticism of their performance or sexual IQ,” says Ev ‘ Yan Whitney, a sexual doula. Or, continues Whitney, “Some people are afraid of being rejected. Asking for what you want in every way, especially in the bedroom, is a vulnerable thing; I think a lot of people shy away from asking because it leaves their partner open to say no or not to understand. ”

Another common reason? Just don’t know how asking what you want and advocating for your needs and wants. “I find that people who have difficulty asking what they want in bed generally have difficulty asking what they want – in their friendships, from their co-workers, even from themselves” says Whitney. “Either they discard their wishes because they do not consider them important, or they believe that they actually do not want what they want.”

To help you overcome some of these potential barriers, we’ve spoken to some experts to learn a little more about how to ask what you want in bed. Because yes, you deserve it.

1. Try talking about sex outside of the bedroom

Not all bedroom conversations need to be banished to the bedroom, says Sadie Allison, Ph.D., sexologist and co-founder of GoLove CBD Lube. “Talk about sex over coffee or a cocktail,” she says. “This will make for a more pleasant conversation as it is not in the middle of the intimacy that your partner may feel inadequate. Be compassionate and gentle with your words and share how happy and fulfilled you will feel through these things. “

2. Put on a little show and tell the story

“If there’s something specific you want to try, find an adult entertainment video and show your partner the scene it’s in,” offers Allison. “Ask them what they think and if it looks like something is fun to try. They can even suggest that it looks interesting to you and that you might be interested in trying it out. ”

Allison also suggests verbatim demonstrations. “If you want to be licked, ask your partner if it’s okay to do this to them, and then let them know that you’d like to try the same thing on yourself,” she suggests. Or are you trying to say, “Can I show you what makes me feel good”? These are playful, exploratory ways that you can truly embark on the journey as a partner and make sure no one feels left out or blamed.

3. Use a yes / no / maybe list

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to what to do (or not want to do) in bed, psychotherapist and sex therapist Tamara Pincus suggests using a yes / no / maybe list. “You don’t make your own list,” she explains, “you can find one that works for you, like Bex Caputo or Scarleteen’s.”

4. Read together

Several experts recommend reading a book about sex together to expand your knowledge base (and possibly set the mood). Dr. Allison recommends an illustrated sex tip book (like Dr. Sadie’s 6 Best Sellers), while Pincus offers Come As You Are by Emily Nagoskii.

Gay couple walking down the street after meeting on the dating app

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5. Write what you want

as soon as you read the written word, think about writing the written word. “Leave a post-it note that your partner can see when you are not around – maybe on the bathroom mirror, in their lunch or on their steering wheel,” says Dr. Allison. “That makes it a fun little game and helps turn on the tension and the desire.” If you want to feel a little more intimate or romantic, try writing a note on a card. “The handwritten note will be unique, thoughtful, and provide a more sincere approach / connection than text or email,” she adds.

6. Play a little game

Keeping things light and playful is always key to a healthy conversation about sex and intimacy, notes Whitney. One way to keep that vibe going is to literally play a game … maybe more erotic in nature. “Ideally, you want a game that is suitable for sexual conversation and allows you to address it casually,” says Allison. “Integrating laughter and ease is a great way to touch what you enjoy.”

Exploring your sexuality with your partner and learning what you want and how to ask about it can pave the way for tremendous growth both personally and for your relationship, says Pincus. “I’ve seen people make tremendous strides in their own journey just because they have been able to figure out what gives them pleasure,” notes Pincus. “We too often tend to focus on the same things during sex, but expanding the definition of intimacy is important.”

“Put simply, if you don’t ask for what you want in bed, you’re not going to have the sexual experiences you want, want and have a good time,” added Whitney. “It’s not just about getting what you want, it’s about creating and normalizing discussions about sex and consent. It’s about creating a muscle memory that we ask what we want that we can then transfer to other areas of our life outside of the bedroom. ”

By becoming familiar with conversations about your needs in the bedroom, you can also pave the way to prioritize other individual needs as well. “If you create a safe space in the bedroom to fulfill your wishes, you are also creating a safe space in which the wishes of your partners are also taken into account.” Finally, they emphasize: “Sex between two or more people should be collaborative.”

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