How to Give Feedback During Sexytimes

So there you are, in bed, having an…. okay time. It’s not that there’s anything wrong exactly. It’s just not… right either.

Telling your partner you want something different during sex than what they’re doing can be terrifying. You don’t want to criticize. You don’t want them to stop. What if they think you’re too much? What if it sounds demanding? It seems “good enough.” They’re trying. “Why rock the boat?”

But good sex only happens when your partner knows what you want. And sometimes, the only way they’ll know is if you speak up and say something. Here’s how to use your words without killing the mood:

Start with the positive.

No one likes to hear that they suck at something. Even a comment as innocent as “Hey, can you move a little to the left” by itself can leave your partner wondering if you’re enjoying yourself. Start with what’s what’s working. Even an “Oh my god, yes!” before “Oooh, a little to the left,” can clarify where you’re at and what you want.

The challenge for you is to notice what feels good. Too often when something isn’t quite right, our attention only goes to “what’s wrong.” By putting your attention on what is giving you pleasure, the focus stays on pleasure. And, when you let your partner know what’s working, they will know what to keep doing. Otherwise, they may stop altogether, and that’s not the goal at the moment.

Say what you want.

Slower. Different position. Less tongue. More lube. Pin me down. Doggy style. Look me in the eye. Breath with me. Smack my bottom. Get a condom. Hold me. Harder. Softer. Faster. Less. More. Here. Like this.

Tell your partner what you want so they know what to do.

Not what you don’t want.

It’s tempting to tell your partner what’s not working for you, but if you do so, you run the risk of 1. killing the mood and 2. not actually getting what you want.

“That’s too much tongue.”
“Stop touching me like that.”
“I don’t want to do missionary.”
“Too fast.”

None of these let your partner know what you want. On top of that, they just sound like you are complaining. Your partner may try to guess what it is you’re asking for, but activities don’t always have a natural opposite, so there’s a decent chance your partner will just end up at a loss.

Affirm the attempt.

It’s pretty common for lovers to miss the mark the first few tries, especially when you’re trying something new. Whether or not your partner “gets it,” each time you speak up, give them positive feedback for trying.

This is sometimes the hardest thing to do, especially when you don’t want to give your partner the impression they’re doing what you want when they aren’t there yet.

But sex is vulnerable. Imagine the roles were flipped. Hearing that you aren’t doing something your partner wants can be scary. Say “Yes” or “Thank you” or “mmHmm…” or “OMG EXACTLY LIKE THAT” after your partner tries to please you is both good manners and more likely to lead you to where you want to ultimately be.

This is what it sounds like.

“Oh my god, yes… A little to the left…. yes. Yes.”

“That pressure is so good. Mmm hmmm… can you go a little slower? That’s great.”

“Ooh I like that look in your eyes. Pin me down? Mmm… fuck yes.”

“I sooo want to fuck you right now. Grab a condom…. Thank you.”

“I like that whimper… If you like what I’m doing, keep making noise.. yes, like that….”

Rinse and repeat, as needed.

Sometimes, you just have to keep asking to get what you want (and even then, asking doesn’t always mean you’ll get it.) There’s nothing wrong with speaking up a lot, slowing down as needed, taking breaks, shifting to something different and otherwise mixing it up. By beginning and ending with positives, even asking over and over for something can be sexy and hot.

What it sounds like:

“Your hand feels so good on me…. More pressure please?… mmhmmm… yes… Oh, I love being close to you… a little more pressure… Yes, yes… that’s it. … … … Oh god your fingers feel so good.. Yes.. Even more pressure. That’s it.”

“Ooh I like that look in your eyes. Pin me down? Mmm… I like that…. I like you on top of me. Pin my wrists tighter? Yes. Thank you. Yes.”

“I like the way your fingers are skating over my skin. That feels so good… ooh, less scratching please… oh that’s good…. You make me shiver…. I love the lightness of that… fewer fingernails… yes… mmmm… yess… THANK you… mmmm….”


If you’re new to speaking up like this in bed, you may be feeling insecure about how it went, or what your partner was thinking. It can be helpful to check in afterward to find out. Ask open-ended questions (not “Was that okay?”) and listen for the answer. Both sides of sexual communication are vulnerable, so give your partner space to share their side of things.

What it sounds like:

“So I was talking more in bed this last time… how was that for you?”

“I love being close to you during sex and I want to make sure that you know I’m having a good time and when something’s not working for me. How do you like to hear feedback?”

“Talking like that was pretty edgy for me. I could use some reassurance, and also, what did you think about that kind of talk?”

Practice, Practice, Practice.

Communicating well during sex takes practice, but as you continue to explore, you’ll find that not only are you getting more of what you want in bed, but you’re both having more fun as you go.

Embodiment for Brainiacs

rodin-thinkerDesire. Bodies. Feelings. Pleasure.

Some of us look at these things with a skeptical eye.

Others run screaming in the other direction.

For a lot of us, phrases like “Listen to your intuition,” “Trust your body,” and “What does your gut say?” sound like gibberish at best, or an invitation to disaster at worst.

But for heady people who have learned to listen to their bodies, the intuitive and gut-level is additional information that can help you navigate your world more gracefully and intelligently.

It’s just information. It’s all information.

And we all know that knowledge is power.

0622130850My friend Leela Sinha and I know this, because we’ve been there. Coming from families of engineers, mathematicians and medical professionals, we both learned from an early age to value the life of the mind, and to “figure things out.” As adults, though, we’ve each come to discover that there’s a lot more to creating a life you love than you can “figure out.”

Sometimes your gut has a lot to say, and it’s worth listening.

We recently got together to talk about this and got into the nitty gritty details of:

  • What it means, practically speaking, to be “embodied” and why it’s useful
  • How to use your body to figure out what you really want (in life, love, work and in the bedroom)
  • Simple practices for listening to your body and figuring out what it wants
  • What “intuition” is really about
  • How to use your body’s wisdom to help your mind make better life decisions
  • And loads more…

It was awesome! Lucky for you, we recorded it.

You can listen right here (right click to download)

Are You Letting Yourself Get What You Want?

Sick couple resting in bedI see this way too often: A couple loves each other. They communicate pretty well. Sex has been hot before. But something’s just not… going right.

You want to make your partner writhe with pleasure, and if all goes well, give them a pretty fantastic orgasm.

This sounds like a good thing. I mean, what could possibly be wrong with THAT?

Nothing, except… GIVING your partner a good time is only half of the equation.

The problem, far too often, is that both partners are trying to please each other AT THE SAME TIME.

Which means there’s no receiver.

Which means no one is GETTING what they want.

It’s not that either of you are “giving too much.” It’s that there’s no one there to appreciate the gift.

For most people, it’s less vulnerable to give than it is to put your desire out there. If you let your desires be known, you may risk rejection. So many of us just give and give, in order to stay safe.

After a while of this, it might start to feel like you’re going through the motions. “I just want to make you happy” is not a recipe for bedroom success. If it goes on too long, resentment can build.

So how do you change that? Practice receiving.

Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Slow down. Breathe into the sensations and allow yourself to feel them.
  • Let yourself enjoy what is happening without doing anything in response.
  • Ride the edge where it feels like you’re being “selfish”… and let yourself be.
  • If there’s something you like and want more of, say so.
  • Acknowledge and thank your partner for their attention, their desire, their touch.
  • Explore taking what you want sexually.
  • If you don’t know what your partner’s boundaries are, ask! (When you know where the line is, you can go all the way up to it, and that’s hot!)

touch-compassionhands-404x297Opening up to your desires can feel edgy, and accepting your partner’s sexual gifts can feel selfish. Yet without some selfishness, the sex can end up feeling blah. So push that edge a little, be receptive, and see what happens!



Embrace Your Erotic Creativity

Asking for what you want — in love, in sex, in relationships — requires creativity. Yet fear, shyness, and plain old being stuck in a rut can keep you from being creative in and out of the bedroom.

Erotic creativity is so much more than dressing up in lingerie or nibbling chocolate off of each other (though both of those can be fun.) It engages your mind and your senses. It requires you to let go of how things “should” be, and to be present, to play around with what’s here right now. It means you won’t necessarily know where things are going, or how they’ll turn out, which can be scary — and incredibly hot.

When you’re trying to find the right words to describe the feeling that drives your fantasies, you’re using your erotic creativity. When you get worked up thinking about the hot date you’re going to have later tonight, you’re leveraging your erotic creativity. When you spontaneously touch your lover in a different way than usual, you’re engaging with your erotic creativity.

Erotic creativity keeps things fresh, because you’re not bringing your same old self to the table. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or even noticeable to anyone but yourself. Erotic creativity starts outside of the bedroom, with little acts of innovation and playfulness.

Here are 10 ways to bring more creativity (erotic and otherwise) into your life:

Continue reading “Embrace Your Erotic Creativity”