Advice on Giving Sexual Feedback

I once gave my partner a handjob that was a little too dry. The next day his cock was sore, and I felt so bad! When I asked why he hadn’t said something at the time, he said that he hadn’t wanted to offend me.

I assured him that I would have been happy to receive his feedback, and that it’s better to speak up and risk offending than it is to suffer. Then I got to thinking about how hard it is for most of us to ask for what we need in bed. Why is it that even when something feels less than stellar, it’s somehow easier to endure the discomfort than it is to offer constructive feedback?

I think it comes down to the fact that we’ve learned to keep our mouths shut about sex. We’re conditioned to think that mind-blowing sex just happens to us, that the right partner will know exactly what to do, with no questions asked. There’s a lot more to it than that—great sex requires communication.

Effective Ways to Talk to Your Lover about What Does and Doesn’t Work for You

Be Specific and Offer a Solution

Don’t try to soften the blow by being super elusive about why you’re not happy. If something isn’t working for you, speak up. Be clear about what you need, and about how your partner can give it to you. It can be as simple as handing her a bottle of lube from the bedside table, or offering her guidance after the fact. You can even try making your request in the form of dirty talk if you’re worried about ruining the mood.

Don’t Focus Entirely on the Negative

If you choose to have the conversation after the fact, be sure to frame it in a positive light. Point out something your partner does that really turns you on, then mention that one thing you’d like her to do differently. Try to leave her feeling confident about her abilities, as insecurities can creep up and take hold fast. Be sure to end on a positive note as well. Technically, it’s called a “shit sandwich,” but there’s nothing sexy about that.

Accept Feedback in Return

Once the conversation starts, there’s no telling where it will go. You should be prepared to hear some things about your own performance that you might not want to hear. Think of it as an opportunity to improve your skills, rather than a blow to your ego. Good sex requires bravery, and equality. You should both be able to freely express your wants and needs. At first it will feel a little weird, but with practice you’ll get used to it.

Don’t Expect Your Partner to Read Your Mind

As I was saying before, it’s unrealistic to expect your partner to know exactly what you need, when you need it. Sure, some people are more in tune with the subtle language of lust, but in the end, it’s up to you to advocate for yourself. Don’t wait until things get so frustrating and awkward that you want to bail. Speak up now so you can have the amazing sex life you deserve.

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