Communication is the make it or break it aspect of a relationship. If you can’t effectively communicate your feelings and desires to your partner in the bedroom without fear or building resentment, then it will eventually become a huge issue. It’s almost guaranteed to hold you back from having the sexual connection you want and deserve, or even *sigh* lead to a breakup.
It’s natural for people to shy away from openly critiquing their partner’s bedroom routines and habits because it could lead to hurt feelings, or having a critical eye turned on them in retaliation. There’s no shame in that because you’re human! No one wants their flaws pointed out, or to point out the flaws of people they love.
But here’s the thing: If you can communicate the right way, then you don’t need to worry about criticism at all – either giving or receiving. There is a constructive way to tell your partner to press gently here and firmly there. You simply need to know how to approach delicate topics with your other half so the conversation doesn’t devolve into a grudge match.
Is It All About Feelings?
One of the biggest reasons why people are so hesitant to candidly tell their partner what they would like to be done differently in the bedroom is the fear of hurt feelings. Men are especially unlikely to criticize their girlfriend or wife’s bedroom skills out of fear that she might not be so eager to have sex afterward. That should come as no surprise, since men are sexually motivated creatures!
Interestingly, women are more likely than men to comment on their partner’s bedroom tactics. But women should also tread very carefully – a poorly worded critique could easily cause performance anxiety in a guy. In fact, just one comment can result in a lifelong problem with erectile dysfunction.
Basically, talking about sex is not intuitive for most anyone and without knowing how to get through to your partner without criticizing, what language to use, and when to have this delicate conversation, most couples fail to develop strong sexual compatibility.
Notice how we use the word ‘develop’, because sexual compatibility can grow through communication, patience and practice. In fact, studies have shown that people who believe in a ‘sexual soulmate’ report lower sexual satisfaction than those couples who believe that good sex comes from communication and growth.
The sad truth is that too many longterm couples report being sexually dissatisfied – they simply don’t know how to tell their partner what they want in bed, so they avoid the conversation altogether. As we’ve said at the start of this article, huge issues like longterm sexual dissatisfaction often lead to breakups. We have a series of articles on the how, where, when to have a bedroom talk.
The Key to Successful Conversations
The key to a successful conversation about sex with your partner isn’t very complicated; all it requires is both of your being open to it. The problem is that quite often because of that whole being a human thing, we get bogged down in the details and begin to let what our partner is saying poke and prod at our insecurities.
You have to remember, you’re having this conversation because you care about one another, not because you want to expose and call out the other’s flaws to be cruel. Yet, many of these delicate conversations can quickly go south and turn into arguments. We’ve all been there! Luckily for you, Kate & Courtney have figured out how to try and make these conversations easier.
What You Should Do
Talking about your desires in the bedroom with your partner should follow one universal rule: Be constructive and direct. (And of course, choose the right time to have this conversation – it’s trickier than you think!)
If you base your conversation off of criticism, then you’ll get a very negative reaction. Learn how to phrase things in a positive way, a skill that applies to almost every conversation you have in life — so pay attention! Never say something your partner is doing is bad, but instead tell them how you would like it, emphasizing how it would make you happier and benefit your relationship, mostly by bringing you to orgasm!
Don’t forget that the good men live to please their partners. Few things will make your guy more excited than you enlightening him on the ways to give you more pleasure and bring you to orgasm faster — just as long as you avoid making it sound like a criticism.
A related strategy you can use is something called the sandwich principle. No, it’s not feeding your guy a sandwich and then starting in on the conversation (though, that may not be a bad idea since the way to a guy’s heart has been scientifically proven to be through his stomach!). The sandwich principle is when you sandwich what you want to say between praise.
So, you could say something like, “Yesterday was great, that thing you did with your tongue drove me wild. I’d really like it if we could go a little slower next time, so we can enjoy it for longer. Just thinking about what you did last night really turns me on, it was so good.” See what we did there? Praise, desire, praise – a winning sandwich combination!
In the End
Talking with your partner about sex doesn’t have to be something to get anxious about. This is someone you are arguably the closest to in your whole life – or at least that’s what we hope you will be. Don’t be nervous about asking for what you want or communicating your needs to him, because you deserve to be happy and satisfied in and out of the bedroom, and communication is the only way to get there.
Just remember, ‘sexual soulmates’ are like unicorns – believing in finding one probably requires a lot more patience than what you got! And when you can solve a problem, in and out of the bedroom, through a productive conversation? There is nothing sweeter in the world! And bonus – when you’re in a great place as a couple, what do you usually have a lot of? Sex!