A Sex Coach On How To Ask For What You Want in Bed

Via @tringsby

No joke, asking for what you want in the bedroom can be one of the most difficult parts of a romantic relationship. Regardless of whether you’re in a long-term relationship, a situationship, a friends-with-benefits set-up or at the start of a new budding romance, asking for the things you want in sex is tough.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years and I still struggle to talk about the things I want during sex. Sometimes, I don’t even know what those things I want are.

Both of these experiences are totally normal. We all have really individual experiences when it comes to sex and our sexual history, which definitely plays into our desires and how we communicate them.

But being able to talk about this stuff with your intimate partner is so important.

If you’re in a long-term relationship, you want to be sexually satisfied for a long period of time with the same person, which means you’ll have to communicate lots and work together to give each other what you need.

In casual relationships, you feel more comfortable experimenting and trying new things, but you still need to be able to communicate what you like, don’t like and want to try.

In all relationships, respect is imperative, especially in vulnerable and intimate environments.

New York-based sex and love coach, Shelby Sells, has provided us with her must-dos for asking what you want in bed, both as the person asking and the person receiving.

Location Matters

Have the conversation outside the bedroom in a space where and time when you feel most comfortable. Talking about desires outside the bedroom can help preface communication in the bedroom and makes any “asks” or “adjustments” less personal and more of an opportunity for pleasure. 

Affirmations Come First

Start with an affirmation and end with an ask (ie “You know what feels good? When you do _____. And you know what else would feel good?’). Affirming pleasurable things your partner does in bed helps keep the attitude playful versus constant criticism. This framework helps people feel excited to try new things versus feeling defeated.


If there’s a specific technique you’d like your partner to try, feel free to show them by touching yourself (solo sex) or using your tongue on a sensitive part of their skin. Demonstrating is both sexy and educational!  

Don’t Take Things Personally

Don’t take feedback personally. A ‘no’ or directional request is not a personal attack, but an invitation to better navigate your partner’s body. For some added perspective, reflect on a time you’ve given feedback to your partner during sex.

Be Open to Learning

Feedback is an opportunity to learn — and knowledge is power! No two bodies are alike so it’s important to be open to learning everything you can about what feels best for your partner. Remember that wants, needs, and desires are subject to change. Try to be fluid with your partner as your sexual relationship ebbs and flows. 

Remember That Everyone Is Different

Prioritise your partner’s pleasure and safety. Don’t shame your partner if they don’t know what they want in bed. Instead, remind them with words and actions that you are available to hold space for them to experiment with their pleasure and how you can support them.

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