How to Communicate The Sex YOU Want!

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I get this question at least once a day! “How can I tell my lover what I want when it comes to sex?”


Do you ever feel unsure about how to ask for what you want in bed? Do you feel nervous just thinking about this topic? Most people don’t know how to speak up when it comes to sex. It can be difficult to communicate sexual feelings, even though so many people seem able to take charge in other aspects of their lives. 


For my patients, many are already working on matters in the bedroom, so they don’t want to add to them by discussing their sexual desires, or they feel like their partnership is solid so why possibly create a rift when voicing their wants? Other patients have shared with me that they don’t want their partners to judge them for their sexual desires in case their partner thinks their request is strange or out of character. While a few other patients feel intimidated about sex in general and can’t fathom discussing it with their partners. 


Bottom line, what I have encountered the most is that people avoid talking to their partners about what they want in bed because they fear embarrassment and/or rejection. And in some instances, people don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings.  

How to Communicate What You Want

You want more oral sex, but what can you say? If you want your partner to warm you up before intercourse, what do you say? If you are interested in trying a new thing in bed, what do you say to make it happen? If there's a move in bed you don't like, how do you communicate that without hurting anyone's feeling?


I understand. But let me share that revealing your intimate desires will feel like getting a long-held secret off your chest–it will feel freeing and exhilarating. And, because you and your partner most likely align with a lot of other things, what you want in the bedroom may mirror what they’ve been afraid to ask for as well.


Being able to voice how you want to be touched, stroked, or kissed can allow you to better connect with your partner. Being able to share fantasies and desires can keep your sex drive healthy--not just through your intimate couple connection but because you will both feel free to experiment and explore new positions, techniques, and sex toys that will keep your sex play fresh!

So, what’s the best way to get started with this delicate communication? Keep it light.  

Know that your partner – is your partner! Chances are your partner is willing to do almost anything to make you have a better sexual experience. The best way to get their attention and to start a sex-related conversation off in a good way–compliment your lover. If you want more oral sex, tell your lover that oral sex with them is AMAZING! And when they blush, tell them you want more of it. 


If you want more foreplay, tell your partner how hot they make you and that the longer penetration is delayed, the better sex play is.


You want to try something new in bed? Let your lover know what a great sex partner they are and that there’s something you’d like to try in bed that you’ve been fantasizing about with them.


If you want to try a new sex toy, ask your partner to help you choose one that both of you would enjoy. Make it something fun you can do together! And then plan a date night around opening your new toy when it arrives. 


Your intimate communication with your lover should be lighthearted because this is sex “play” you’re talking about. Remember to smile, compliment your lover, and let them know you’re a bit nervous to tell them what you’re about to share. Then take their hand and let them know they have your heart and that they star in your sexual fantasies. 


With a few of my patients, I’ve suggested they have their partner close their eyes as they share these intimate details with them. For some reason, looking into someone’s eyes can make something intimate feel even more personal. This is why so many people close their eyes during sex – especially during orgasm. 


Be gentle with yourself and your partner. Start slow. Compliment often. Your efforts will be worth it. 

Why is communicating what you want so important? 

According to a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, sharing sexual needs with your partner was positively linked to relationship satisfaction.


I feel like people are bad at intimate conversations because we’re never taught how to properly handle our emotions. Children are taught not to cry or complain. There isn’t school curriculum that teaches people that a full range of emotions and emotional communication is healthy. Therefore, when we find intimate partners, we don’t have any experience in how to share our feelings and desires. 


Think about it – in most conversations we’re taught to be polite and to not discuss politics, religion, or sex. This is the training our brains receive, and it can be directly reflected in our intimate relationships. 

How do You Start Sexual Conversations?

There are a couple of additional ways I recommend my patients approach this fragile subject. First, I ask that they both give each other permission to share whatever they wish without judgment. This is the most important step because it will allow for the process of sharing. Permission is a powerful thing.


Next, I let them know that they don’t have to confide everything at once, nor do they have to actually say the words. Sometimes showing your partner what you’d like in the bedroom by guiding their hands, can be even more effective than explaining your needs to them. If they hear your breath quickening, that speaks a thousand words.


I also have a fun exercise that I assign my patients that’s meant to open the avenue of sexual communication. I ask each partner to write down three new sexual things they’d like to try during the upcoming month. They write their ideas on pieces of paper and put them into a bowl. This bowl sits in their bedroom and when they have time for a date night (or a quickie) they take turns reaching in and pulling out a sexual suggestion. Some requests can be – “Please wear your high heels during sex” and “I would love to try wearing an eye mask during lovemaking”. It adds fun, excitement and camaraderie just by seeing the paper-filled bowl in their bedroom. This assignment can have both partners looking forward to sexy time and it’s the perfect way to incorporate sexual communication without having it be a serious, sit-down talk. 

Uh-oh. What if your open communication may include a critique or an issue that your partner is sensitive about. What then?  

Remember to keep the focus on the positive. You’re not telling your partner that they are hindering your climax; you’re sharing what you’d like to try in order to help you orgasm. And a basic rule to try is to use a compliment sandwich whenever you are discussing a potentially delicate subject.


Or, try a positive suggestion with your compliments–start with how soft his hands are, you would enjoy it if he caressed your nipples with them, and you love how tender his touches can be. If his hands aren’t that soft and you wish they were – be sure to let him know that you can buy softening hand lotion for him because that would make his touch so much more enjoyable for you. Try to offer solutions and always keep things positive. This is your intimate partner after all, and beneficial sharing can make your relationship even better.

Quick Recap!

    • Keep it light
    • Make it positive
    • Having your lover closer their eyes or wear an eye mask can make it easier 
    • Give permission to each other without judgment
    • Remember, communication is important


Do you feel better prepared to discuss what you’d like to try in bed? Ready to choose your next sex toy with your lover? I’m hoping you’re armed with tips and recommendations to lead to successful intimate conversations for you and your partner.

Please share your feedback with me! I want to know what works, and doesn’t work, for you. Remember, I am always here to help you.

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Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.