5 Times To Speak Up In Bed

Certain moments during sex are prime opportunities to improve your lovemaking in leaps and bounds. Here’s when, and what to say.

By Sari Locker, Ph.D.

ost people don’t think of sex as being rife with conversation. What words would need to be uttered? Well, it turns out that there are many times when a little verbal feedback can work wonders, improving your love life and getting you and your partner on the same page. Here are some ideas for when, why and how speaking up in bed can really pay off.

Time #1: When your partner is doing something you don’t like
Maybe it’s kissing in a way that doesn’t feel good or touching you in a way that isn’t quite right: When something your partner is doing sexually is bugging you, then you need to bring it up. Why? Because that’s the only way your partner’s going to learn to
Revealing the steamy scenarios in your head can be an incredible bonding experience.
quit doing it, of course! People often keep mum because they’re afraid of hurting their partner’s feelings. But if you’ve just started dating, the more direction you give, the better sex will be in the long run. And, if you ask in a tactful way, no one’s feelings need get hurt. Roger, 30, from Portland, OR, uses this tactic: “To bring up a criticism or critique, I blame it on myself by saying, ‘I am having a funny reaction to something that you just did,’” he says. “I try not to make it an accusation as much as something that I need changed for myself.” Finish off your request by offering what you would like done, as in, “I like being touched a little more softly, can you try that?” This way, your partner can sally forth confident that you’re truly content.

Time #2: When your partner is doing something you do like
So, now you know you should speak up when your partner’s doing something you’re not digging. But you should also chime in when your sweetie’s doing something right as well—after all, what better way is there to get it again and again than to heartily applaud excellent efforts? So the minute your amour hits the spot, jump on in there with a “Ooo, that feels so good” or “Wow, that feels amazing, don’t stop!” Or, the next time you get busy, refer back to what revved your motor last time, which is what Jim, 38, from Knoxville, does. “I pick the moment when we’re slipping into the covers, and I say something like, ‘Last night, the way you kissed my neck was perfect,’” he says. “Then she knows exactly what I like.”

Time #3: If you want to slow things down or speed things up
When two people first start getting intimate, differences in pacing are often a problem. One person may be raring to have sex on the first sleepover while the other
By asking permission, it shows you respect this person.
prefers to take things slowly. Or, one partner may want tons of foreplay while the other prefers to speed ahead to the main event. Keeping quiet can lead to one party feeling rushed and the other frustrated; so it’s a must to make your thoughts known. Frances, 33, from New York, NY, always makes a point of airing her expectations. “I always tell a man if I don’t want to go all the way so he knows what’s in store for him that night,” she says. And there are tactful ways to do this: Just say, “I don’t feel ready to do X” and most people will be more than happy to put on the brakes. Or, if you’re really dying to take the next step, there’s no need to keep that to yourself either. Just say, “I’d really like to do Y; do you feel ready for that tonight?” By asking permission, it shows you respect this person—and that may very well warm this person up to giving it a go.

Time #4: When you want to share a fantasy
Revealing the steamy scenarios in your head can be an incredible bonding experience. So if you love thinking about being tied up or engaging in a doctor/patient dynamic, go ahead and let your partner know, breaking the ice with a, “I’d like to tell you about one of my fantasies. Do you want to hear it?” Don’t worry, talking about your turn-ons doesn’t necessarily mean you want to act it out in real life. Sharing it is an end in and of itself that can bring you two closer. According to Paul, 31, of Allentown, PA, “Talking about a fantasy can show your partner that you have a sexually creative mind, and that’s a real turn-on,” he says. “Also, if you feel comfortable talking that way with your partner, then you’d probably feel comfortable talking about anything with this person—and that’s what a good relationship is all about.”

Time #5: When you want to try something different in bed
No matter how great your sex life is with someone, sooner or later many people start thinking about broadening their horizons and try new positions or activities that are outside their usual repertoire. But since you may not be sure whether your partner’s open to it, it’s best for you to bring it up first. Because it can be easy to interpret your request as a sign you’re bored with what you two usually do, make sure to avoid comments that would confirm this suspicion, like, “Things are getting a little stale, how about we mix it up?” Instead, make your suggestion specific, as in, “Hey, how about we try doing it on the kitchen table?” or “I read about this new trick in a magazine and would love to try it with you.” Portray your wish as something fun rather than an antidote to a dull love life, and most people will be more than happy to experiment. Janine, 31, from New York, NY, makes a game out of it. “I like to run through a list of all of the possible sexual things we could do, and then talk about what we might both like,” she says. “It’s like we’re devising a plan of action for our sex life, but it’s less boring than it sounds. I bring it up by saying that I want us to ‘understand each other sexually.’ Most guys who I do this with are game to talk about it—and try some new moves.”

Dr. Sari Locker, Ph.D. is a sex educator, TV personality, and author of the bestseller, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex. She has degrees in psychology and sexuality education and was the host of Late Date with Sari on Lifetime Television. Her website is
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