We’re in a new era of sex-positivity.
In this era, we prioritize understanding, acceptance, and inclusivity. We understand the importance of sexual wellness as a tool for enhancing our overall wellbeing. We strive to experience more pleasure, in a variety of ways. We understand that an integral part of having a thriving sex life is the idea that communication is key.
You can understand all this on a logical level, but sometimes integrating these ideas into our sex lives doesn’t come out as smoothly as we hoped for.
Despite the importance of communication with our sexual partners, it’s also one of the biggest places people feel they need to work on.
So how do you ask for what you want in bed?
Know that It Doesn’t Have to Come out Perfect
You may have a very specific idea in your head about how a certain conversation may go down. Wink, wink.
When we talk about sex, even if it’s with someone we’re comfortable with and trust, it’s easy to become shy, embarrassed, even ashamed sometimes. These are all normal feelings. We’re not taught to advocate for our needs, especially when it comes to our sex lives. So it makes sense if you’re feeling bashful just at the thought of asking for what you want.
The thing is, imperfection is a part of being human. Life can’t be scripted, and neither can our conversations around sex. When asking for what you want, it may not come out perfect, and that’s ok. Not only is it ok, but imperfection is endearing, it makes you relatable and that much more human.
Not only that, if it sounds a little silly, then be silly with it! Sex can be funny, so why not bring some humor into it?
Make it Sexy
Just as much as these conversations can be funny, they can also be sexy. Those things are not mutually exclusive either.
Why not dive into the conversation by making it sexy? Think of it as verbal foreplay, a linguistic enhancer, a form of postcoital prose. Asking for what you want can be incredibly hot, and a turn-on in itself. These kinds of conversations can help you build sexual confidence, experience more pleasure, and help you bond with your partner.
Trust That Your Pleasure Matters
A lack of sexual confidence often comes down to a matter of self-worth. The prioritization of female pleasure is still a relatively new conversation and many cis women and people with vaginas have not grown up with the understanding that their pleasure matters.
Well, guess what? It does. Your pleasure matters and you are worthy of prioritizing it by asking for what you want.
What you have to say matters, and you deserve to have your desires heard out and indulged.
Repeat this affirmation to yourself to help build up your confidence “My pleasure matters.”. Say it again, and again, and again, until you believe it.
Make it Reciprocal
You can start the conversation by first asking your partner what they like in bed, things you’ve done that they’ve enjoyed, fantasies they want to try. Opening up the conversation by asking them first may help you feel more comfortable when you tell them what’s on your mind.
Sex is a reciprocal act. We give and receive, just like communication. Your ability to have fluid and comfortable conversations translate into your sex life. These conversations are very much a part of your sexual experience.
If they feel awkward and choppy at first, remember that that’s a part of being human, and that like anything – it’s a practice. The more you and your partner have these conversations, the easier it gets.
Reciprocal communication is sexy.
Trust in Your Timing
There’s no right or wrong time to ask for what you want in bed. Some people say the best time is before having sex, some will say during, and others will say after. All these are right.
Only you and your partner know the ins and outs of your sex lives. Pun intended.
When it comes down to it if there’s something that you want that you aren’t communicating it can keep you from being present in your body and with your partner. Part of being in the moment means trusting your intuition and sense of timing. You’ll be amazed at how much more present you can be in your sex life when you say what’s on your mind as it’s coming up, versus holding it in.
Positive affirmation can go a long way. So even if you’re scared to speak up while you’re having sex, your partner will probably greatly appreciate it.
Even if it’s constructive criticism, there are ways of communicating what you want while still being encouraging. This could sound like “It feels so good when you do ___, can you do that but move your ____ a little to the ____?”. You fill in the blanks.
Now it’s time to take these tips and put them into action. You deserve to have your needs met but remember – your partner is not a mindreader. Communication is key, so amp up your sex life by asking for what you want!
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.