How do you tell your husband what you want in bed? It’s a scary thing, isn’t it? You have to be vulnerable and actually share something intensely personal. Here’s a letter I received from a reader:
Me and my man have been together for a year and a half, and we can talk about almost anything. It’s wonderful! But when it comes to needing to discuss things like sex, and telling him what I like or showing him I get so shy and nervous I get on the borderline of having a panic attack. I know now that I should tell him and ask him instead of just going along with whatever. But I’m so extremely shy about talking to him about it. A lot of little things bring me to the point of an anxiety attack, like the thought of doing it in the light, or him seeing my face with or without light or even me seeing his, (I’m also insecure about the way I react when I orgasm, I feel like I don’t react right, it’s hard to explain). How do I get over my shyness?
Now, one caveat before I try to answer the question: I’m not sure if my reader is married or not. I know many people who read this blog aren’t married, and that’s perfectly fine. But my advice is really for married women, because sex changes so much once you’re married. Good sex requires vulnerability, and that kind of vulnerability you cannot have when there is no commitment. When people are engaged sexually before marriage, they often feel more intimate than they really are, because they’ve shared their bodies.
They may not actually, however, have shared real emotional intimacy. It’s like the physical has gone 100 miles an hour, and outstripped the other. It’s hard to be truly vulnerable when you don’t have a commitment and when you haven’t shared your heart as much. That’s why God designed sex to be in marriage alone: outside of marriage it takes on a whole new meaning, and that can really distort sex.
When I wrote and did my surveys for my book The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found the women who had the best sex were those who had been married for over a decade, who felt the most spiritually intimate together, and who had waited until marriage to have sex.
So I’d just encourage women in this situation: back up and ask yourself what you want. If you want marriage, then don’t settle for less. And read this!
Okay, now let’s get back to the question at hand: how do you tell your husband what you want in bed?
Picture this scenario: your wedding night is here–all that hopeful bliss you’ve been promised your whole life. And, whether you’re a virgin or not, the earth doesn’t really move. You think to yourself, “is this all there is?” But you don’t say anything, because you don’t want to wreck your guy’s pride, after all. And then the honeymoon goes on, and the earth still doesn’t move, and you still don’t say anything because you secretly wonder if something’s wrong with you. He’s enjoying himself; why aren’t you?
Weeks go by. Then months. Maybe even years. You still find it hard to reach orgasm–or even to feel much pleasure. And you’ve never really told him, “I actually don’t like it when you touch my breasts like that. It’s too rough”, or “I really need you to pay more attention for longer to my clitoris before intercourse–but not so hard,” or “I’d actually like to try another position.” You’ve never said any of these things. And now you’re scared to, because if you do, isn’t it like saying, “we’ve been doing it wrong this whole time”?
I don’t think so, for two reasons. First, the vast majority of men honestly want to please their wives. Their pleasure is largely dependent on our pleasure. When we’re not having that much fun, they know, and it makes sex less exciting and a little disappointing to them, too. So they’d likely love some tips on how to make sex fun!
But more importantly, when you start sharing what you want, you open up to your husband. You become more sexual. And that’s sexy, in and of itself! When we’re honest, especially about something so personal, we will feel closer, and that makes sex hotter, too!
So today, on Top 10 Tuesday, I’d like to share 10 ways, from easy to more challenging, to tell him what you want in bed–and to feel more adventurous!
1. When he touches somewhere good, make sure he knows!
Moan a lot. Seriously. Say, “oh, yes, that’s wonderful”, or “right there, baby”. If you’re too shy to actually say, “I want you to do X”, then make sure that every time he comes anywhere near doing X, you moan and give him some positive reinforcement!
2. Guide his hand (or whatever else!)
Can’t say it out loud? Do a mime performance. Take his hand (or whatever else) and show him where you want to be touched. Be active! Don’t just lie there and let HIM make love to YOU; be an active participant and make things happen.
3. Be the one in control
Taking #2 a step further, if you’re the one initiating sex and running things, you can often make them go the way you want them to. So if you’re the one who starts making love, and you start rubbing against him, or climbing on top and changing things so the angle is just right, or taking his hand and showing him, that can work well, too. And then he knows more what turns you on when he sees the effect it’s having!
4. Play teacher
Decide that tonight you’re going to play “teacher”, where you instruct him for 15 minutes on what he’s doing, and he only gets his “prize” if he “passes”. This can be a fun one, because you can tell him, “not so rough”, or “slower”, or “more circles”, or whatever it may be. If you’re playing a teacher, then it is not always as intimidating. This often works well if you BOTH have a chance. You be teacher one night and he can be teacher the next night.
These scenarios where you’re the one in control are often easier for women who have sexual abuse in their background, too. It can be easier to let down your defences when you know that nothing will happen that you don’t want or haven’t asked for specifically.
5. Take lipstick and draw a treasure map where you want some attention
Want him to spend more time on foreplay and more time in certain areas? Take a lipstick and draw a treasure map on yourself. Start with 1 and work your way up to number 10, and he has to “connect the dots”, spending at LEAST a minute on each number. If you have a difficult time actually vocalizing what you want, giving him a map may make it easier!
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6. Make him stay still and “use” him
Sometimes we just don’t know what we want. We’re not sure what feels good. Using his body with the expectation that you will set the agenda can help you explore more without worrying that he’d rather just “get on with things”. So set the timer for 10 minutes, or 15 minutes, or however long you want and tell him under no circumstances is he allowed to move–or even talk. If you get nervous about what he’s thinking or that he may not respect you or that he may think foreplay is silly, then having him talk can also get your anxiety level up again. But if he’s not allowed to move or say anything and you can just use any part of him that you want, then this can be much easier (you can tell him he can move his mouth if you put something there, for instance). But this lets you explore his body and figure out what you like about it, too.
Often when we make love we rush through, and then we don’t always figure out what’s really fun. Take the time to figure out what you actually like!
7. Show him what feels good yourself
This one takes some courage, and not everyone is comfortable doing it. But the vast majority of men really do enjoy it. Show him how you want to be touched by touching yourself. I’m not talking about full-blown masturbation here, truly. It’s just that if you can show him how you want him to touch you, then he may “get” it a little bit better.
Okay, those are 7 tips for helping him pay more attention to the parts of your body that want attention, in the way that it wants attention. But what if there’s more–what if you’d like to try something else, or you want to try a new position, or whatever? Read some of my posts on setting boundaries and what’s good and healthy in marriage and what’s not (you can see a bunch of posts listed under the right heading on my post with a summary of marriage advice), and then try these three things:
8. Sit in a bathtub with candlelight and talk to him about what you want sexually
If you want something but you don’t know how to tell him, here’s one way: sit in a bathtub together “spooning” so that you’re not looking at his face. Use candles so there’s no much light. Then try telling him. Don’t like the bath idea? Try in bed, in the dark, with him hugging you while you’re facing away. The three key ingredients here are: physical contact, so you feel accepted; little light, so you’re not as self-conscious; and not looking into his face so you’re not worried as much about what he’s thinking.
You can also make this easier by having him share something, too, so it’s not only you opening up.
9. Write down some new things you’d like to try
Another version of the above: Write down 3-4 things you’d like to try on small slips of paper, and have him do the same thing. Put your papers in an envelope and his in an envelope, and every few weeks one of you draws out a piece of paper and you do what it says. That way you’re each trying what the other person wants.
Again, if you have reservations about something, read what I wrote about deciding what’s okay to do in bed. You never have to do anything that you feel is degrading, sinful, or dangerous. But sometimes it’s nice to spice things up!
When we’re honest, especially about something so personal, we will feel closer, and that makes sex hotter, too!
10. Leave some lingerie somewhere he can find it–with a note
Finally, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’ve been opening up with your husband more and telling him what you’d like, you’re likely finding that he isn’t taking it as an insult. He’s probably really excited about this turn in your relationship! So add to the fun by letting him know what’s coming. Leave him notes about what you want to do tonight in bed, or, even better, hide a piece of lingerie that you haven’t worn in a while (or a new item if you have the money) somewhere where he’ll find it, along with a note. Don’t put it in a place where he’d discover it with others there–like in his briefcase. But you can put it in a pocket, in his underwear drawer, in the passenger side of his car to see when he drives off to work, etc.
I guarantee most husbands would love it if their wives opened up and did more things like this. And if #9 and #10 are too much, that’s okay. Start with #1 and #2, and move you way down as you get more comfortable.
It takes a while to feel comfortable in our own skin with our husbands. For some of us it takes years! But the more honest we can be, the more fun we’ll find sex is, and the more intimate and close we’ll feel because we’re truly revealing a precious piece of ourselves–what makes us passionate and excited.