How to tell your partner what you like (and don't like) about what they're doing in the bedroom
We've all been there. We're having sex and our partner (unbeknownst to them) does something that is uncomfortable, painful, or downright turns us off. And they don't mean to! In fact, they are probably a very well-meaning lover, they just don't know exactly how we like to be touched. And how can they unless they are a mind reader or we tell them, of course. So how do you give sexual feedback in a way that is gentle, non-confrontational, non-judgmental, and most of all, doesn't hurt someone you care about?
When providing sexual feedback, it's important to approach the conversation with sensitivity, respect, and a focus on improving the sexual experience for both partners. Here are some guidelines on how to give sexual feedback in a gentle, non-confrontational, and non-judgmental manner:
Choose an appropriate time and place
Choose an appropriate time and place: Find a calm and relaxed setting where you can have an uninterrupted conversation. Avoid discussing sensitive topics during or immediately after sexual activity, as it may not be the most conducive environment for open communication.
Use "I" statements
Frame your feedback using "I" statements to express your own experiences and feelings rather than making generalizations or placing blame. This approach can help avoid sounding accusatory or judgmental. For example, say "I would enjoy it if we could try..." instead of "You never do..."
Focus on positive aspects
Begin the conversation by highlighting the positive aspects of your sexual experiences together. Acknowledge what you appreciate and enjoy about your partner's efforts and actions. This sets a supportive and encouraging tone for the discussion.
Be specific and descriptive
When discussing areas for improvement or adjustments, provide specific examples and descriptions of what you would like to try or experience differently. This helps your partner understand your preferences better and provides actionable information for them to work with.
Express desires, not criticisms
Instead of criticizing or pointing out perceived deficiencies, express your desires, fantasies, or specific things you'd like to explore together. Frame your feedback in terms of what you want to experience rather than what your partner is doing wrong.
Use positive reinforcement
Offer positive reinforcement for things your partner does that you enjoy or find pleasurable. Highlight moments or actions that are particularly satisfying and express your appreciation for them. Reinforcing positive behaviors can encourage your partner to continue engaging in them.
Emphasize teamwork and collaboration
Approach the conversation as a team effort to enhance your sexual connection. Emphasize that you both have a shared goal of mutual satisfaction and fulfillment. Use inclusive language such as "we" and "us" to foster a sense of collaboration.
Encourage open dialogue
After providing your feedback, encourage your partner to share their thoughts, desires, and concerns as well. Create a safe space for them to express themselves openly without fear of judgment. Listen actively and attentively to their perspective.
Use patience and understanding
Recognize that sexual preferences and desires can vary between individuals. Be patient and understanding if your partner has different preferences or needs. It's important to find a balance that works for both of you through open communication and compromise.
Remember, communication about sexual preferences and desires should be an ongoing process. Regularly check in with each other, encourage feedback from your partner, and be open to exploring new possibilities together. By approaching the conversation with care and respect, you can create a supportive environment for growth and improvement in your sexual relationship.
About the author
Holly Wood is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT), an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, and Certified Sexologist with the American Board of Sexology (ABS). This unique combination of credentials enables her to focus on clients’ sex lives as well as their overall mental health and trauma recovery.
Holly works with individuals and couples who have been looking forward to meeting their own sexual desires both individually and in relationships. She works from a trauma-informed, sex-positive, and holistic approach to help clients to get past their past and develop the necessary skills to achieve lifelong change and improve their quality of life.
When she is not counseling clients, she is holding seminars and workshops, conducting sex research or, or utilizing social media to disseminate accurate, up-to-date information to a wide range of audiences hoping to improve their sexual wellness. Holly's mission is to spread education, empowerment, and self-love. She is committed to helping people heal themselves and live a life full of pleasure and connection.
Visit www.thehollywoodsexologist.com to learn more and request a consultation.