A couple where one person is sitting on the others lap and they are practicing communicating about sex.
@verakharlamovaphotography via Twenty20

How to ask for what you want in bed: It’s sexier (and less awkward) than you might think

We all hope that our sexual partners will be in tune with us – that they’ll know exactly what we want without us even having to ask. We want them to know when we’re in the mood, what we like, what we don’t like, and what we want to try. And while it’s great to explore fantasies with your partner, this is one that will probably always stay in the realm of fantasy – our partners can’t read our minds, so we need to tell them exactly what we want. Or rather, we need to ask for what we want – because the name of the game is mutual satisfaction, and you want to make sure that you’re both really clear about what you want to do together.

Easy ways to practice effective communication about sex

You might think asking for what you want in bed could feel too forward, but communicating clearly with your partner can really help you get on the same page about your desires and boundaries. It takes away the guesswork and ensures that your partner knows what you want and you know what they want. So here are a few easy ways to ask for what you want in bed. None of these tips are necessarily awkward, and all of them are potentially very sexy.

Start talking beforehand

Talk about what you’ve liked in the past before you even start fooling around. This is a great way to establish clear communication, and it makes for great foreplay. Tell them where you’ve liked being touched, where you’ve liked touching a partner, what really gets you hot, what you want to do together today – and talk about all of this in terms of specifics. A lot of people find this can get them really excited for what’s next and makes it very clear about where things are going.

Be straightforward about your wants

Once you start fooling around, be clear about what you like and don’t like. Tell your partner what feels good and what you’d like them to do differently. Tell them where and how you’d like to touch them, and ask them if you can. And tell them what you want to do together. Again, be really specific throughout.

Emphasize what they’re doing right

Point out all the really good stuff as it’s happening. An affirming “yes” or “that feels great” or “I really like that” lets your partner know that you’re enjoying yourself. And if you don’t like what they’re doing, tell them so with a “no” or a “stop” or “I’d like you to do this differently.” If you’re not keen on what they’re doing, redirect them to something that you do enjoy.

Ask the right questions

Ask questions and answer honestly. You may already know what you want in bed, and you can use questions to see if your partner is down for that and if they’re enjoying what you want to be doing – because they need to be enjoying themselves, too. Say, “I’d love if you would [do this] to me. Would you do that for me?” or “I’d like to [do this] together. Are you comfortable with that?” or “Can I touch you [here and in this way]?”

Don’t forget to check in

As you do all of these things, check in as you go. Are you both enjoying yourselves? Do your words and your bodies make clear that you’re both still comfortable. Again, use clear language, ask questions, and listen to answers – but also stay attuned to what your partner’s body is communicating. Does it seem like they’re having a pleasurable experience? If you’re ever unsure, stop what you’re doing and ask.

Talk about it after

Reflect on things afterward. Once you’re done, talk about the experience. What you really enjoyed, what maybe wasn’t so hot, and what you’d like to do again or do differently next time. This can be a really amazing way to bond with your partner, and to make sure that your next sexual experience with them is great for you both.

Encourage them to talk about their wants too

And as you ask for what you want, encourage your partner to do the same. Efficient sex related communication goes both ways. Ask them what they like and what they don’t, check in as you go, and ask them questions throughout your time together. The name of the game is mutual satisfaction. This might not be quite the magical mind reading solution you might have hoped for, but all of this communication actually will help you both be more in tune in bed – so maybe it is pretty magical after all.

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