Sometimes when my partner and I are getting sexy he does something I’m just not in the mood for. I want to be able to tell him without hurting his feelings or having everything stop. I just want something different at that time. How can I tell him?
Thank you for your letter. One of the quickest paths to better sex is to learn to communicate openly, honestly and clearly. So often we expect our partners to know exactly what we like, or to somehow magically know what we’re in the mood for that day. Why would they? If we rely on our partners to guess what we’re up for all the time, we’re likely to end up disappointed. Our needs and desires change, day to day and often minute to minute. Some days we like to have our ears nibbled and other days that just doesn’t appeal. Some days we’d like a good hard seeing-to and other days we just want to be soft and gentle.
Telling your partner that something isn’t working for you is important and needs to be done with compassion. Good communication usually starts with being honest about how you feel and relaying that in a caring way, rather than laying blame. Imagine you and your partner are getting a bit hot and juicy when suddenly a hand appears where you’d rather it didn’t or they unexpectedly bite your neck when you’re not in the mood. You could shout, ‘Hey what do you think you’re doing, you know I hate it when you do that.’ It’s likely that if you do that everything will stop and you will find yourself in the middle of an argument, having possibly caused some real hurt.
Instead, you could try the ‘sandwich’ approach. Say something nice and positive first, then very gently say the thing you want to say, followed by another positive. For example, you might say, ‘Honey, I love it when you stroke my thighs. I’m not quite feeling having my bum spanked this evening though. I would really love it if you whispered softly into my ears.’ That way they get to hear the positive stuff first, that they do get it right, and that just in this moment you aren’t up for something they were offering. You’ve also made a suggestion of something you are in the mood for so everyone’s a winner!
It’s also very useful to find a good time to sit down with your partner, when you’re not in the throes of passion, and talk about what you both like and don’t like, what you’d like to do more or less of, new things you’d both like to try. You might be surprised how receptive your partner is and you’ll learn something about them too.