Want to be a hero in the bedroom? It's not always what you do that makes for great sex; it's what you say.
There you are in the arms of the woman you love, and, guess what? You're thinking strategy. You know what you want; how to get it is another question.
Not even the bedroom is free from politics. And diplomacy here couldbe the difference between a ticker-tape parade and the cold shoulder.
"There is a big difference between an invitation to try something new and a lecture" [about what she should be doing for you], says Kevin Gogin, a marriage, family and child counselor.
Communication is key, but before you speak, consider a bad and better approach to getting your message across.
Bad: "How come you never wear that lingerie I bought you?"
Better: "Driving home, I had this image of you in that black teddy, and, wow, I couldn't wait to get home ..."
Heck. She might put it on right there.
That first approach makes her question her desirability. It sounds accusatory. Nobody likes to feel guilt-tripped. The second approach, meanwhile, is creative, flattering and playful. It doesn't demand that she wear the lingerie; it just plants the idea.
Gogin says men should use positive words and expressions like, "I thought it would be fun if we ..." or "What would you think of ...?" At the same time, men should avoid loaded words like "dissatisfied," frustrated" and "practically never."
Here are a few pointers for getting your point across positively:
- Start small: Trying a new position or adjusting a familiar one is less intimidating than insisting she fulfill that dominatrix fantasy you've been harboring.
- Consider the timing: Don't launch into a conversation about sex during foreplay. Share your thoughts at a neutral time: on a walk or over breakfast.
- Recognize her point of view: Your desires shouldn't be imperatives; they are preferences, says cognitive therapist Michael Edelstein. "There is a difference between having an experimental attitude and making absolutist demands." Keep yourself and your partner free of demands, musts and shoulds.
- Be playful: Sex is supposed to be fun , so why get so uptight about discussing it? Train yourself not to take it so seriously. It's not a matter of life and death.
- Don't read into things: Before you label her The Great Withholder, consider what may be really going on. Maybe that position is uncomfortable. Maybe her mind is filled with work in the morning.
- Be concerned about a refusal to talk about sex: It's difficult to be lighthearted if she flatly refuses to communicate with you. If you've tried and failed to talk about sex openly, you may want to consider counseling.
Just as she has the right to say no, you have the right to speak your mind, especially when you are committed to doing so diplomatically.