It’s good to talk: getting better at communicating in bed

One of the most frequently asked questions of a sex blogger (well, of this sex blogger at any rate) is ‘how do I get my partner to do this thing in bed?’ People with kinks or fantasies that they’d like to share often struggle to broach the subject, worried that their partner might be shocked. And even non-kinky people often want to know how to give their partner direction in bed – showing them what’s pleasurable and what isn’t without risking hurting their feelings.

So this week I thought I’d tackle this
conundrum with a few tips on how I tend to do it. I’ve slept with a
fair few people, and as a result I’ve become fairly blasé about
making suggestions or requests. But it takes quite a long time to get
from a tentative ‘could we…?’ to a full on ‘I watched this porn
where someone did this and I seriously want to try it.’

Pleasurable direction

Let’s start with the most common issue
– you want to be able to tell your partner not just what to do but
how to do it. Hand jobs, for instance, require quite a lot of
direction in the beginning, because unless your partner has watched
you masturbate they’re not going to know what speed and pressure you
prefer, let alone how much lube or which sex toys you’d generally

In this instance, showing is often much
better than telling – if you’re comfortable wanking in front of
them, offer to put on a bit of a show. Bonus: they might offer to put
on a show for you in return. Like an X-rated show and tell.
Alternatively, you can guide their hand while they’re touching you –
helping to move it at the speed and with the pressure that you really
love. Some people are pretty nervous about this – if you’ve been
with someone a long time, you might worry that they’d think they were
being ‘corrected.’ So if you’re worried about this, try combining a
bit of direction with a tonne of encouragement: “I love it when you
do that, could you do it a bit harder/softer/to the left a bit?”

Sometimes a bit of manual guidance
isn’t possible – if you want to give your partner direction for
oral sex, for instance. Here, my general approach is to initiate by
getting them to give me lots of direction first:

“I really want to give you the best
blow job you’ve ever had. But I’m going to need you to help me. Give
me a running commentary while I’m doing stuff – yes, no, warmer,
colder, ‘oh God yeah that’s it’ – whatever. I just want to know how
I’m doing.”

OK, so I’ll confess that I actually
just really like this on its own merits – there’s something
intensely hot about a guy giving really direct
instructions/praise/suggestion while I’m working at his dick. But on
top of that, it’s a great way to start an exchange – you’re
learning from your partner and getting them used to communicating
during sex as well as just before and after. Sex doesn’t have to be a
silent act, punctuated only by the occasional orgasmic groan. In that
situation it can be easy for your partner to feel a bit hurt if you
just suddenly blurt out ‘No, harder!’ However, if you both start
getting used to giving specific, verbal feedback during it then when
you need to give direction, it’s no longer a big deal.

Distance learning

For those of you too shy to have these
conversations face to face (hey, I’m not judging you! Not all of us
can be over-sharing sex bloggers!) then kicking things off with an
email or a sext might be an easier way forward. Send them a link to
something sexy – an erotic blog post, an image you like, a sex toy
you’d love to try – and get the conversation going that way.
Naturally you’re going to want to tailor to your audience/time of
day: you’ll know better than I whether your partner would be pleased
to get a link to a sex toy (or a racy nude photo) while they’re on their lunch break. But
gradually introducing fantasies and ideas into your email or text
chat can often be less stressful than doing it over dinner. You give
your partner time to think about the idea, without putting them under
pressure to respond on the spot, and many people respond better to
that than to face-to-face conversation.

If you and your partner are more
face-to-face kind of people, though, then you’ve got an added bonus:
if you whisper to them over dessert that there’s a really amazing sex
toy you’ve got your eye on, you can go straight from the discussion
to putting in an order.

Everyone has secrets

If you’ve been looking for ways to
broach sexual communication with your partner, hopefully the above has given you a few
tips on getting started. But if you’re still struggling I’ll give you a final
piece of advice: everyone has secrets. Everyone has sex tips they’d
like to communicate to their partner (slightly harder, left a bit,
whatever) and most people also have unfulfilled fantasies and
desires. These might pop in and out of your head at different points
in your life, or they might be long-standing longings that you’re
desperate to fulfil.

Whether your partner shares your specific
fantasies or not, they still probably have some of their own. So even if it’s hard to start that conversation, both of you will probably benefit from having it.

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