We all know that we should have great communication with our partner – but it’s sometimes easier said than done, especially when it comes to sex. We all want to be open and celebrate what we enjoy sexually, but when we start to factor in our partner’s feelings, things get complicated.
Even if we have an amazing, satisfying sex life, bringing up other things we’d like to try is difficult. We’re worried our partner will perceive our suggestions as criticism. You want to get across that you need certain things, but without making them feel vulnerable or judged. And it’s a difficult balance, because sex is such an exposing and intimate activity, it’s natural to feel sensitive.
But, at the end of the day, you deserve to be sexually satisfied and you need to be able to talk about it openly. “Women often have a problem saying what they want in bed for two reasons,” Relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein tells Cosmo. “Firstly they are often socialised to feel shy or inhibited around their sexuality. Women get very mixed messages in society about sex but one of those messages is ‘if you are sexual and seek pleasure then you are a slut’.
“It can also be difficult for them to figure out what they like in bed and tell their partner in a direct manner.” And that’s a big problem. So here’s how to assert your sexuality and ask for what you want, without hurting your partner’s feelings.
1. Remember that you deserve sexual satisfaction
Firstly, remember that your sex life is not just about pleasing your partner – it’s also about pleasing yourself. Hartstein says this is the other big dilemma for women. “The other challenge is that they can tend to be deferential to men and a bit passive (assuming this is a heterosexual pairing),” she says. “But sex is supposed to be something you participate in that feels good to you. And only you know what that is.”