Ask and you shall receive. Can it really be that simple?

When we’re talking about sex, there’s a bit more to it. There’s so much ego and stigma tied into sex that sometimes it can be difficult to discuss our needs with our partner. 

It can be scary to express your interests to your partner. You may worry that they’ll reject your needs or that the conversation will be awkward. 

Asking for what you want is still the best way to get it, but it doesn’t have to be a big deal. The more open and honest you can be with your partner, the better your sex life (and your relationship in general) will be. So let’s get the conversation started!

Discover What You Want

The first thing you need to do is get really clear on what you want. It’s easy to say “I’m not satisfied with my sex life.” but it’s a whole other thing to pinpoint what would make it better. When you talk to your partner, you need to have a clear vision of what your ideal sex life looks like, so they have an action plan to get you off.

If you’re not entirely sure what you want to try, do your research! You can watch porn, read erotic novels or books about sex styles, listen to audio erotica, talk to your friends about what they like. Keep an open mind and see what resonates with you. Make a list of all the ideas that pique your interest. See if there’s any crossover. Maybe you prefer to be more dominant in bed, maybe you like a drawn out experience, like edging. 

If you see any similarities, you can dive further into those more specific topics. You may like the idea of being tied up, but more intense BDSM may be less interesting to you. Find out where your boundaries lie when it comes to your fantasies. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Try to explore your fantasies by yourself first. Have a solo session and watch pornography in line with your fantasies. Act it out, either completely or partially, without a partner, if possible. You’re trying to get a feel for how your fantasy will play out in real life. Sometimes things are hot in our minds, but just don’t translate to real life. That’s totally normal. Your fantasies are your own, and if they live solely in your mind, then feel free to play them out mentally at your leisure. It doesn’t have to come to fruition for you to enjoy the way it makes you feel.

Practicing your fantasies by yourself first can give you a better sense of your boundaries and also gives you the experience to tell your partner what you like, what you don’t like and how you enjoy being touched and pleasured. You’re giving yourself the tools to effectively communicate what you want in bed, instead of putting the pressure on your partner to figure it out.

Start Talking

When you are ready to have a conversation with your partner, make sure you do it outside the bedroom. During sex your inhibitions are lowered. When you’re turned on, you may think you are open to trying things that would normally make you feel physically or emotionally unsafe. You don’t want to regret anything after the fun is over, so it’s better to have these conversations before things heat up.

Tell your partner that you love having sex with them and you’re wondering if they’d be open to trying something new. Explain, in detail, what it is that you’re interested in trying. Do not shame your partner or tell them that they’re doing a terrible job. This will only make them more self conscious in the bedroom. The best way to get what you want is to praise what you do like and ask for the things you want to start trying. 

A good sexual partner should want you to feel good and will be open to any suggestions you have to make your experience better, but sometimes it may not be something they feel comfortable with. Your partner is not obligated to try something they’re not 100% on board for. 

Don’t forget to ask them if there’s anything you can do to make their experience more pleasurable. Sex is all about mutual pleasure.

Start Playing

Keep the lines of communication open as you embark on your sexy new adventures. If you’re interested but intimidated by any of these new explorations, don’t hesitate to use a safe word or just to ask them to stop half way through. Just because you’re interested in something on one day, doesn’t mean you need to be interested in it the next. You are always allowed to change your mind mid act.

Keep checking in with your partner during any new sexual activity. Make sure they’re comfortable and check-in with yourself to make sure you’re comfortable. 

Finding what we like in bed is an ever-changing, fun and exciting adventure. Have clear boundaries, play safe, be in constant communication and enjoy the awkwardness of discovering new kinks for the first time.

Jennifer Doan is a sex educator, coach and the host of the podcast Taking Back Slut. Jennifer is committed to helping people connect to their sexual power in a way that feels safe and comfortable to them. Connect with her on Instagram @jenn_doan for sex rants and unapologetic nudes.