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Asking For What You Want

Within the field of human sexuality it’s recommended to teach your partner(s) about what fulfills your erotic self. Furthermore, sex therapists advocate for each individual to be in charge of their own pleasure. This very much counters the narrative we’re told. The narrative being that our partner(s) are mind readers so we shouldn’t have to give any direction in the bedroom. This places unnecessary pressure and asks the impossible of our partner(s) - for them to be magicians. It also diminishes the active role in voicing your wants and advocating for your needs needs. I mean, our desires aren’t even static when you think about it. This really is an ongoing conversation; so I say, let’s start taking the pressure off and speaking our desires! 


Guiding your partner will enhance communication and create an environment where pleasure is tended to and centered. Additionally, your needs and desires will have the opportunity to be met when requests are actually being made. I can’t promise how your partner(s) will respond but remember asking is a vital step in advocating for your pleasure. Asking also holds space for consent as well.


So, how do we communicate these desires to our partner(s)?


Firstly, let’s take a deep breath in through your nose and out of your mouth, like you’re blowing out a candle. Take a few more if you need! 


Here are 3 Tips:

  • Get real clear on your ask(s)- see the previous blog post if needed.

  • Own what you want and use “I” while communicating.

  • There’s never going to be a perfect time but using your instincts is key. You can even ask your partner(s) if they have the capacity to chat about some sexy stuff you’ve been dreaming about. 


You might feel uncomfortable, awkward, or silly and that’s okay! This is a skill and you're practicing - give yourself some grace. It’s totally appropriate to even say, “I’m feeling a little shy but…” 


If you need scripts, here is some inspiration:

  • “Hey, I read this blog post and it got me thinking about ___. I want you to ___ next time. Would you?” 

  • “I’d really like to try ___. What do you think?” 

  • “I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite sex with you and ___ kept coming to mind. I’d love more of that. What do you think?”

  • “I did a yes, no, maybe list and I discovered that I’m interested in ___. Would you be open to trying this too?” or, “would you want to complete the list too and see where we overlap?” 

  • “I feel really turned on when ___. Will you try it next time we hookup?” 

During the deed you can try: 

  • “Softer” or “more pressure” or “___ will feel really amazing.”

  • “I love to touch myself in this way (show them). Will you try?” 

  • “This feels good, it will feel even better if ___.”

  • “I’d love if we’d focus on ___.”


And here’s the thing - you likely tell your partners what you want all the time, just in different contexts. However, making sexual requests can feel unusual because we didn’t know it was even an option, we haven’t been taught how and/or haven’t created enough opportunities to practice. Asking for what you want is inherently vulnerable; however, remember that you’re advocating for your pleasure which is so essential.


Receiving a potential no doesn’t mean that you’re being rejected, it only means the activity is. In this case, see where you might be able to negotiate and find common ground. If there’s no common ground then access that desire via your solo-sex life, bb!

After all that vulnerability, hearing a no can sting, yet, consent, trust, and communication are crucial (both can be true at once). These “ingredients” cultivate a flourishing pleasurable + reciprocal sex life! You got this.


*Disclaimer. This is not applicable to abusive relationships. 


Have more questions? Get in touch with Emily, visit https://www.nusextherapy.com.


This post was reposted with permission by Emily Fitzpatrick, MSW, LCSW

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