How to have mind-blowing sex (Hint: It's not what you think)
Okay, fine, if you’ve ended up on this page, maybe you do already think that good communication is the fastest route to great sex. In case you don’t, though, you can check out this article, or this one, or this one, all of which point to good sexual communication as a big factor in sexual satisfaction. So, we’ve come up with three concrete tools you can use to get the most out of your next roll in the hay.
Start a safety/health/preference conversation before things get intense: If you’re making out and it seems like things might go further, take a moment to pause and ask about STI testing, and mention any specific health, safety, or logistical things that might be relevant For example, you could say something like, “I have HSV-2 but I’m not flaring up right now, so it’s your call about how far you want to go,” or, “I don’t like [a particular sex act] but I’d love to do [this other particular sex act],” or, “I’ve never had sex before, so let’s take things slow.”
Yes, if you’re not used to this conversation, it might feel awkward. But awkward is better than unsafe or misleading. If it feels hard to imagine how you might start that conversation, plan in advance what your lead-in sentence or phrase will be-- that can make all the difference between actually having a conversation and not. A good standard: “Hey, can we pause for a second?” Or, “Before things get more intense, I want to let you know...”
Even if it still manages to feel awkward, a little social-clumsiness is human, connecting, and probably even endearing; imagine how you’d feel if someone else had this conversation with you. Chances are, the other person might feel similarly.
When you want your partner to stop doing something, tell them what you do want: Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of role models in the media that show us how to ask for what we want during sex. In most movies (and in most porn), everything people do to each other seems to magically work perfectly for everyone involved, and the only requests ever made happen to be requests for actions that societal norms tell us are “sexy.” Good luck finding any media out there where someone says, “Actually, that’s too hard,” or, “I don’t like being touched there.” So, a lot of us unconsciously internalize the idea that if we don’t like something, we’re just supposed to patiently wait and hope that our partner takes the hint that we don’t like what’s going on. Of course, giving nonverbal cues about what you like and what you don’t might get you pretty far depending on your partner. But sometimes, the most effective way to communicate something is to verbally ask for what you want or don’t want-- and a good partner will appreciate when you do.
Even if you know that it’s okay to ask for things in bed, it can be tough to ask for something that feels unsexy, like asking someone to do less of something, especially if they seem to be enjoying the way they’re currently doing things. However, it can be easier to ask for what you do want instead of what you don’t want. So instead of “Don’t go so fast,” You can say, “Go slower.” Instead of, “I don’t want you to touch me there,” you can try, “I get too sensitive when touched there, but I’m really into being touched this other place.” This helps your partner focus on the things you like (or would like) about what’s happening, and helps put things in a positive framework that can help everyone feel more comfortable. Of course, it is also always okay to just say that you don’t like something or want something to stop without mentioning what you would like-- and that’s much preferable to saying nothing.
Show them what you like: If words seem too hard to string together sensically in the moment and you are pretty sure the other person would be okay with it, feel free to physically redirect your partner. Sometimes, it’s just easier to move someone’s hand somewhere different, or to take their hand in yours and show them the pressure or speed you prefer. And once they’re doing things you like, say so. Bottom line: You have options for different ways to ask for what you want, so if one doesn’t feel right for you, try something different.
Nobody’s perfect at expressing their needs or responding to other people’s needs, and it can be scary to talk about things you’re not used to talking about in such a vulnerable situation. That’s okay. The good news is that you can feel nervous and be imperfect and still have fun, feel connected, and get what you want out of sex.