By Chinwe Uzoechi
“When you aren’t getting the sex you want, what you do about it? According to hundreds of women I’ve interviewed over the years, the answer is anything that doesn’t actually involve asking for it. Instead, we collect tricks and techniques from experts and friends-and then we’ll try anything from non-verbal sexual feedback meant to flatter his unconscious, to manipulative mind games that are meant to ‘train’ him. But why make the process so complicated? Simply telling him what you like and where you like it is a huge turn-on for most men. What they’re after is great sex-and what’s more, they’re desperate to know how to give it to you, too.
Sounds simple enough. The problem is, it seems that ‘asking for it’ is one box on the how-to-get what-you-want checklist that remains sheepishly unpicked by many of us. But no matter how uncomfortable and awkward it seems, we have to find our voices because, when it comes to communicating with men, it’s the most effective tool we have.
Most sex-talk issues fall into one of these four categories:
Tips to give him pleasure in bed [we discussed it last weekend}Surprise your hubby in bed
Being afraid to say what you want.
Thinking that you shouldn’t have to say it-he should just know.
Saying it and then feeling frustrated when nothing changes.
Feeling confused as to what you want in the first place. If one of these sounds like you, here’s my take on how to get the sex you want…
“I’m afraid to say it”
This is by far the biggest reason we don’t speak up. You need to work out just what’s driving that fear…
Fear of looking stupid: It’s uncomfortable to put sex into words because it’s not something we do daily. We worry that we’re going to sound like cheap porn, but that’s actually a great place to start. Imagine that you’re doing a porn voice-over- say the words out loud to yourself, but really go for it. You’ll only feel silly at first. Then, have a go at whatever it is you really want to say-it won’t sound half as bad. Men get extremely turned on when women talk dirty. It reassures them you want to have sex, so you’re already onto a winner.
Fear of upsetting him: I know how fragile our sexual egos can be, but I’m surprised by how robust men are about sex, because, ultimately, he just wants good sex. Asking him to stop, start or change something in the bedroom doesn’t have to be criticism-it’s direction. And as long as it sounds inviting, he’ll love it. Men repeatedly say how much they love sex with women who know what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it.
Fear of making him angry: Some people can react angrily to feeling criticized, embarrassed or insecure, but if you approach them with respect and care he’ll have nothing to react to. If, however, you’re feeling angry with him, those negative vibes will leak into everything you say, whether you mean them to or not. So, take the sex talk out of the bedroom and onto neutral ground. Try to be honest about how it is for you, without pointing the finger and then give him the chance to do the same. Sex mirrors the quality of your relationship. Improve one and you’ll improve both.
Fear of being judged: If this is your fear, you’re probably judging yourself. Social norms are narrow when it comes to sex, and everything outside of them is often considered weird or fetishistic. You can’t help what turns you on. And unless you’re putting yourself or someone else in danger, you’ve nothing to judge yourself for-and neither does anyone else.
“I shouldn’t have to say it”
Come on, the bedroom’s no place for tantrums. You’re frustrated, you think you’ve tried everything, and you’re furious he hasn’t picked up on any of it. You’re angry because he’s forcing you into the mightily uncomfortable position of having to say what you want. “If he really cared, he’d know” is a cop-out that’s only going to take you further away from the sex you want. Most men have no difficulty saying what they want-and how, when, where and in which position- so they don’t get why it’s so tricky for us. Take a deep breath and dive back in. One last try and you could be blissing out in his arms.
“I’ve tried saying it but nothing’s changed”
Not all those who dare win. Sadly. When we’ve found the courage to say what we want, then had to say it again and again with little or no result, it’s either time to give up or get out or start saying something differently. If the relationship is new, his ‘not hearing’ could be a big red warning flag, or maybe you haven’t learnt to speak each other’s language yet. Next time, tell him in very simple terms.
If he still doesn’t listen, you might have to consider your options. If he won’t give a little in bed, what are the chances of him making room for your needs in the rest of the relationship? If you have a long-term partner and have recently found your voice only to find that he’s not listening anyway, don’t give up. Tread carefully around his fragile ego and use positive, upbeat language. If you’ve tried all that and he still doesn’t seem to care, you know he’s selfish-what you do about that is up to you.
“What if I don’t know what I want?”
If you’re still fairly new to sex you’ve got a whole world to uncover. Finding out what you want in bed is like discovering which foods you like from hundreds of new tastes. Your palate will grow with experience. Meanwhile, speaking up about the things we don’t want is just as important, if not more so, because it includes saying no.