Before my boyfriend, my experience of sex was limited. I had hooked up with a fair few guys, and only slightly fewer girls- I’d even let one of my flings-of-the-day go “all the way”. But something was always missing, I was caught between being horny all the time- wanting to get out there and have fun- and having consistently underwhelming, and even disappointing sexual encounters. I was so scared of being bad at sex that I just let the other person take the lead, even if it didn’t feel good. If a guy stuck his tongue down my throat too early while we kissed, if he left ugly and painful hickeys on my neck, if his fingers went inside me while I was dry as the Sahara- I’d just take it. Suffice it to say, I didn’t have sex for a while after.
When I met my boyfriend, there were a few key differences in how we approached sex- were so comfortable with each other, even before dating, that we translated that into comfort in the bedroom. We laughed and fucked up and most importantly we talked. Now I’m not trying to suggest that you need to snag a friend, significant other, and sexual partner all rolled into one- but there are a few tricks I’ve learned along the way about how best to tell (and sometimes show) the person you’re having sex with what you like to do. Trust me, it’ll make a world of difference.
- The interview
Think of it as a temp job. You’re interviewing a potential candidate, gearing them up for job expectations, trying to assess if they have what it takes to get it done. This is applicable to anyone- maybe you’re on you’re the third date and finally ready to take the next step, maybe you’ve been hooking up for a while, maybe you’re dating. When you’re ready to address something you enjoy or something you’d like to try, bring it up- be confident and be calm, it will ultimately inform them about how best to engage. Try asking what they like in bed, respond with something you both enjoy, a place you both diverge, something you both don’t want to try. This is a great way to establish certain basics so you don’t encounter nasty surprises, but you don’t have to reveal all your kinks and fantasies.
- The on-the-job performance review
I only learned how sexy and informative talking during sex can be like, two years ago. You don’t even have to be into dirty talk to incorporate communication into the act of having sex. Your partner is often as nervous as you are, and if you give them cues about what you’re enjoying and what you aren’t in that moment, that’s where you will see dramatic improvement. Try being enthusiastic about what you’re enjoying. If they bite your lip and you like that, or you enjoy being touched on your waist- say “yes” out loud, or moan a little louder than you might naturally. It sounds a little like training a dog, and it is, but positive reinforcement can work wonders. On the other hand, if you don’t like something, you can say a quick no, or guide them away from whatever they’re doing to you, and move on to something else. Don’t be afraid to be explicit about what you don’t like. You can say, “I don’t like getting my toes sucked” if they’re heading in that direction- if you are confident about what you don’t enjoy, your partner will respect that. (If they don’t, that’s not someone you want to have anything to do with.
- (Sex)it Interview
Once you’re all done and dusted, you’re lying in bed, hopefully, you want to do this again sometime- a perfect window for communication opens. You’ve just had sex, so it’s not weird to talk about it, you don’t risk ruining the sexy mood anymore, and you can have a relaxed conversation about what worked and what didn’t. This is also a good space to approach things that you might want to try with the other person next time. This is a great way to build a rapport and a habit of active communication. Keep this habit up even when it’s a serious sexual partner, so it doesn’t get stagnant, and you constantly keep p with one another and are invested in each other’s pleasure.
- Extra Credit
This is one of my personal favourites because it gives you the opportunity to talk in great detail. Sexting. Even if you’re not actively sexting with the intention of self-pleasure, you can have tons of virtual, and text conversations about sex, sex with the other person, and your own preferences. It can be established as a safe and non-awkward space to get things in the open, and being honest. You also have space here to be clear and articulate about your interests and desires, as well as things you don’t like!
Sex is supposed to be fun and exciting and a great way of spending tie with someone. So like with any team activity, go over the highlights, call out the missteps. Like commentators reviewing a game, lay in bed and make a fun activity of it- “Karthik scored four runs today, but missed hitting the wicket!”. Be silly, be open, be honest, and trust me you’ll thank yourself for it!