How to ask for the “sex” you want, and enjoy it at the same time.

Happy CoupleI want to explore having different types of sex — being tied down, anal play or spanking — but I’m not sure how to bring it up with my partner!

Asking for something new or different in bed, or just plain talking about sex with your partner, can feel awkward. Will I be judged? Am I normal? Will they think I’m criticizing them? Will it start a fight? Or I will look stupid?

With all of these concerns circulating our minds during sexual discussions, most couples will take the easy way out and avoid the subject altogether. Unfortunately, this common coping mechanism is one of the most likely reasons many are not getting the sex they want. If you cannot ask for what you want, it is unlikely that you will ever get it. How much does your partner really know about your sexuality? Have you given him/her instructions on what feels good to you? Have you shared your secret desires or fantasies with him/her?

If you cannot tell your lover you would love a little finger play in your anal zone or a spanking once in a while will make you orgasm, you will likely spend a long time waiting for the sex you crave.

Somehow we get the message early (through sitcoms, romcoms, 50 Shades novels and other happily-ever-after fairy tales) that sex is supposed to be effortless, even magically so. If our partner really loves us, they will do exactly what we want without us having to ask for it. We don’t even have to know ourselves what works to get us aroused. Somehow, they will or should just know.

Like most, I would love this myth to be true, but it is as prevalent as it is dangerous to good sex. The reality is that for sex to work well, we must first know how our body works — what we like and what turns up our own internal heat. And then somehow get that message across to our partner.

Tips for asking for what you want in bed

Tips to ask for what you want to avoid concerns and make your sexual communication easy, and even fun:

1. Look for the “soft start.” Have you seen a good movie, read an article or book that broaches the subject you want to address? Talking about what others have done can make it easier and less personal to talk about, with less judgement.

2. Positive reinforcement works. If your partner is doing something that you like, praise them for their skill around it! Most people dwell on what their partner is doing wrong, which works to immediately put our partners on the defensive. And they stop listening. The truth is that we all want to be good lovers. And positive reinforcement works better than anything to make everyone feel good and aim to do a good job.

3. Be open and curious. Avoid disagreements by being open to solutions that are creative, the ones you might not have thought of before. Approach the topic as an “erotic team.” Difficult discussions become effective ones when you are open and curious to find the best solution for both of you.

4. Actions speak louder than words (at least during the sex act). New research tells us that non-verbal communication, such as moving a lover’s hand, works better than telling them the same things with words during a sexual context. Words that sound too serious can break a sensual mood. But don’t throw out words altogether, the words work better outside the bedroom. The simple rule is, use actions during the sex act and words the rest of the time.


For further information or to get recommendations for your individual situation sexual communication, make an appointment.