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.”
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.