Are you ever left wondering how to communicate your pleasure to a partner during sex?
The sex itself may not be that bad, or even that unsatisfying. There are just a few things you wish they would do more of… and perhaps a few less of. Yet, you repeatedly struggle to find the words or the signs to confidently express your needs and desires.
Unfortunately we are currently living through a crisis of the orgasm gap, whereby for every 3 orgasms a cis man has, a cis heterosexual woman has just 1.
We believe that communication is fundamental when it comes to experiencing pleasure.
People aren’t mind readers, and it becomes all the more complicated when 70-80% of women have reported feeling the need to fake orgasms.
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to hurt your partner’s feelings, but faking it, even just from time to time can set a precedent of orgasmic expectation.
Anita Clayton, a psychiatrist who focuses on women’s sexuality at the University of Virginia Health System says that:
“Women don’t ask for what they want in bed, fearing their partner will be hurt or leave them.”
Sexual communication should be a turn on. So if someone makes you feel bad when you are merely expressing your desires, that is manipulative and emotionally abusive. Do not pander to anyone’s ego, because your pleasure is not a game someone can just “win”.
However, do be gentle and do be considerate when expressing your needs. Trust must be present for effective communication during sex. Without trust, neither partner will be able to connect, feel safe to explore new things or have a pleasurable experience.
So, whether you are more of a verbal or non-verbal lover, here’s some of our favourite “Show and Tell” methods on how to ask for what you want in bed.
Show and Tell Methods
Tell Them What You Want In Bed
Talking during sex can seem like a daunting task if you’re not used to it, or perhaps you are with a new partner and you can’t find the right words.
Whatever the case, we’ve come up with some simple verbal techniques on how to ask your partner what they want in bed to open up a comfortable conversation.
A, B, C, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3
During sex, try labelling three distinct moves A, B and C, asking your partner to pick their favourite, or what they want more of. This is a great way to gauge specifics when it comes to building up a repertoire of pleasurable techniques. For example, A might be a kiss, B might be a nibble and C might be a lick. If they are super into B you can continue to incorporate that into more of your sex.
Maybe you are keen to explore anal play. In this case, this method could be used before entering to see how into it they might be. Stroking the perineum could be 1, licking the anus could be 2, and pressing a finger on the anus “door-belling” as 3. If 1 is their preferred choice, maybe back off penetration. But if they are screaming for 3, 3, 3 – it’s a go, go, go!
Using this technique will encourage them to do the same for you, helping you communicate your own pleasure in an effective way.
Another great thing is that by labelling the different motions you can discuss in more depth the experience after sex – especially as many people find it difficult expressing the sexual acts with descriptive words. For example:
“I really enjoyed number 1 and if you could try it with a C, that would be the best!”
In this case that would be “licking the perineum” – if you are keen to find out more about perineum pleasure, read about the most underrated pleasure point here.
Dream, Dream, Dream, Dream, Dre-e-e-am…
Sex Engineer & Relationship Therapist, Colin Richards, explains that fetishes don’t necessarily have to be acted upon, and can remain as just a fantasy. However, he goes onto say if you did want to explore a particular fetish with a partner, it is important to gain an understanding of it yourself first. Dig deep into working out where it may have come from, maybe even with the help of a sex therapist. Fetishes are about finding and experiencing a particular emotion through that fantasy, so be kind to yourself.
Read here if you are wondering why you may have taboo fantasies.
Richards tells us that when jealousy is be the desired emotion, cuckolding or cuckqueaning – watching your partner having sex with someone else – might be the fantasised outlet. This desire can stem from a range of things. Perhaps a form of masochism (deriving pleasure from self pain or humiliation) rooted in childhood experiences of abandonment, which they feel they deserve. In a cuckolding example, it could be the need for “approval from other males”. Developed this fetish at an early age, they may have received positive feelings when sharing their toys with the other boys in the playground.
The moment you play out a fetish, it becomes a kink. There are a whole range of kinks out there, but it takes a level of trust to explore them with someone, particularly if said kink is considered taboo (or even illegal) by society, such as strangulation or water-sports.
One unthreatening solution to introducing a fantasy or fetish is the dream method. Start by stating:
“I had a dream we did this…”
This opens up a conversation that can be free from judgement – just blame it on the subconscious. You can go further to explain that it is something you might want to try out. However, sometimes merely a conversation about a fantasy can be enough for many people for them to be fulfilled. It tends to be the repression of that fetish that makes it stronger.
Sharing fetishes and kinks with a partner can help you to grow closer. It can help you to ask for what you want in bed considerably more. Just remember, when exploring kinks, there should always be a discussion afterwards regarding what worked and what didn’t. This is to secure that level of trust and comfort. Particularly as it can bring up unexpected emotions.
If you still feel that talking in bed too much pressure though, we also have some non-verbal techniques for communicating your pleasure during sex.
Show Them What You Want In Bed
Researcher Elizabeth Babin, an expert on health communication at Cleveland State University in Ohio says that non-verbal cue may feel safer and…
“…could be perceived as being less threatening, so it might be easier to moan or to move in a certain way to communicate that I’m enjoying the sexual encounter than to say, ‘Hey, this feels really good, I like that,'” Babin said. “That might seem too direct for some people.”
Positively Reinforcing Sounds
Sounds can trigger our pleasure responses. They help us to become more mindful and present in the moment, especially during sex by letting go of thoughts.
It might be more difficult to make a negative sound when a partner is doing something you aren’t a big fan of. Try quietening your sounds in these moments. Encourage them with excited pants, squeaks, squeals or moans when they do something you do like! Just don’t go too dramatic, as imitating porn stars with over the top acting can have adverse effects. Your partner may think you are just faking it!
Speaking of porn, another way on how to ask for what you want in bed without using words is through visual mediums. Consider porn as your educational entertainment. We all know it is acting – but it is very useful if there is a certain position you would like to try. Maybe a specific role play or maybe a type of bondage like Shibari, also known as Japanese Rope Play.
Share exactly how you like to be touched. Show them how you touch yourself. This is a sure way for mutual pleasure and better sex overall. Mutual masturbation is a way to communicate what you want in bed and this can also be a great way to introduce vibrators, like Crescendo, into the bedroom. Position yourself in the Zen Climax position for best viewing.
Vibrators can be seen as a little intimidating for partners, or even a little threatening. During mutual masturbation they will see how much pleasure you can get. They might even want to try it on themselves. Just remember to clean your toys if you are sharing them.