Ask the Loveologist: 5 Ways To Get What You Want In Bed

I really love my new partner and we are both really excited to spend intimate time together, but I often leave the bedroom feeling dissatisfied. When my partner asks me how it was for me, I don’t want to give him a straight answer because I don’t want him to have performance anxiety. Even though the attraction is there, I am afraid that if I am too directive it will stop the flow or I will seem bossy. Do you have any about how I can get what I want without hurting his feelings?

Even though sparks may be flying between you and your new partner, it isn’t unusual for most new lovers to not know exactly what kinds of kisses and caresses are the right ones. Try a few of these subtle yet clarifying ideas to communicate your desires without feeling like you are giving orders or interrupting the flow.

1. Make it a game. One of everyone’s favorite childhood games, Hot and Cold, is a great way to playfully lead your new mate to exactly the places that you most enjoy being touched. Any time you turn your communication into a game you build up suspense and anticipation because the game opens your exchange to the unexpected. For example, if your partner is kissing your neck and you say, “you’re getting warmer,” you might be pleasantly surprised by the many unexplored erogenous zones they discover on their way down to your preferred spot. Playfulness and laughter are the hors d’oeuvres for passion.

2. Use fantasy to your advantage. I can always pique my husband’s curiosity when I start any conversation with “I had this fantasy about us, and you were doing ______with me.” Opening up your lover’s imagination both lets him/her know that you are thinking about them in sexy ways and gives him/her permission to try out new things that they may have otherwise been too timid to approach. Sharing fantasies is another playful and effective way to move your love life into new territory.

3. Let someone else do the talking. Both men’s and women’s magazines offer monthly advice for improving your love life. Sometimes giving someone a good idea can be as simple as leaving the magazine open to the right page on your bed. If that doesn’t work, a simple conversation starter like, “I just read this interesting, crazy, cool (pick your adjective) idea in this magazine. What do you think about….?” Books and television shows can also be used like this, so just find good sources to get your conversation started.

4. Show rather than tell. One of the most effective forms of correction in many activities, and I would say sex ranks high here, is by noticing and using the teachable moment. When his/her hand isn’t quite placed correctly or if the pressure is too soft or hard, lay your hand on top of your partner’s and show them how you like it. Your immediate response will bank that shift deep into their memory banks. Experiential learning not only lasts longer but also often translates into other areas of relating.

5. Compliment instead of complain. Your sensitivity to your partner’s ego in sexual performance is well founded. Most of us have a raw nerve about being able to pleasure the people we love. Rephrasing what isn’t working into a statement of what would make your experience hotter is easy to hear and listen to. Try “I love it when you _____, but it would be even better if you ______.” Instead of complaining about what is happening, compliment what is good and make suggestions for the future. By doing so you are opening up current behavior into sexy new possibilities.

Wendy Strgar is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love and family. She helps couples tackle the questions and concerns of intimacy and relationships, providing honest answers and innovative advice. Wendy lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, a psychiatrist, and their four children ages 11-20.


Savannah Alli
Fareena Narine8 years ago

Thank you Wendy.

Savannah Alli
Fareena Narine8 years ago

Thank you Wendy.

Lisa Bxx
L X8 years ago

Good stuff here, Wendy--but a partner has to be willing to pay attention, learn and remember. Partners who are accustomed to one-night stands, or who think members of the opposite sex do or should all fit the same stereotype, can never give you what you want. You need a lot of savvy and a little luck to pick a good partner!

Nightcat Mau
Nightcat Mau8 years ago

Love this Wendy! You always have good advice and fun ideas. I love the hint about mags. Cosmo always hands out trashy advice, hehehe. But your lover might like reading some of the stories.

Karen, make him tell you what works. A lot of guys (and gals) feel ashamed to admit to what really turns them on. Maybe he has a kink he won't let out.

I agree it might be guilt too. Our society still holds on to customs that were fine when every human's life expectancy was much shorter. His family may be guilt-tripping him, after all.

I just come out and ask for things, or ask what is needed. You can play around by offering things too.

Oh and Karen, he should be doing all he can to please you. Grown-up lovers know you have to give as much, if not more, than you get.

And yes outfits are super fun. Sometimes you can modify it to wear out and about. Drives the guys nuts to think about that night all day long. :)

Ohio S.
Ohio S.8 years ago

It may also be the case that he has a bit of survivors guilt, from his previous relationship, he may have been deeply in Love and might view it as cheating in a sense in his own mind, I would suggest talking about it, and letting him know that anyone who Loves You would want You to be happy in Life even if there in the here after.

David L.
David L.8 years ago

Maybe he just prefers being pleased, is underline selfish and is really just running game to see how much head he can recieve before he has to return the favor :0)

Marissa H.
Marissa H8 years ago

Reminds me of a skit from Friends, where one of the girls was using a number system to describe the various erogenous zones and the amount of time that should be spent on each... it was funny and also very accurate, I thought! Wonder if they have that on You Tube... anyway, it's good to just be open and honest and talk about it if you can. If you are not entirely satisfied, you might open up a dialogue by telling your partner how much you want to make it the best for him / her. If you can discuss specifics of what he/she likes, then maybe your partner would take the hint and start asking you similar questions. I was disappointed (but also glad) to discover a simple preference my husband had. I couldn't understand why it had taken him ten years to tell me that... that I spent so many years doing it "wrong." How sad.

Gynnie Ann D.
Gynnie D8 years ago

For Karen I suggest you go shopping for a hooker style outfit (day, night or bedtime look) which includes silettos. On any given evening, even before dinner is served, tell your partner that you are going to take a shower. Then, do that and redress yourself with the outfit. Then step out of the bathroom and laugh about it, but, don't let your partner in until after dinner, a nice time of foreplay. By that time, he should be a bit excited. In other words rump around the house like a little tramp.

Karen Mcmahon
Karen M8 years ago

My challenge is a little different. I can't seem to figure out what pleases my partner. He is a widow of only 3 years and his sex drive is slowly resurfacing. We have great chemistry, but nothing I do, shy of oral sex, seems to please him. And he rarely has an orgasm. I believe we can grow so much closer in our intimate relationship if I could find the key to pleasing him more. I also think that would help him become more creative in pleasing me.