How to Communicate Your Sexual Needs

“Although sex is perfectly natural, it is not always naturally perfect.”
— Lonnie Barbach

One of the common myths about relationships is that sex should come naturally. There is also often the assumption that if your partner really truly cared about you, he would know exactly what turns you on without you even saying anything. Unfortunately, not telling your partner what turns you on and what you enjoy is like expecting your partner to read you like a crystal ball. Since your partner isn’t a mind reader, you want to help your partner love you by communicating.

Why You Need Communication

If you want a satisfying sex life you need to be able to communicate to your partner what it is you want. Not saying what you want is like sitting down at the table of a restaurant and expecting the server to guess what you want to eat. Sure, if you go to the same restaurant every day for lunch and have the same server, that server will likely begin to remember that you always order the strawberry walnut salad, dressing on the side, with extra strawberries and a club soda with limes. The key to that happening, though, is that you initially told the server what it is you like.

But if you never tell your server what you want and leave it to a guessing game, then each day you sit down for lunch, look up at your server, and expect him or her to know what you want to enjoy then most of the time you’ll end up with something you don’t like. For me, that might be something like pizza with olives on top. This would then increase the chances of you getting mad or internally bummed that you don’t like your food. And your server will get upset because you expected him or her to know what you like. The guessing game is a bad situation all around. If you’re lucky, the menu is small and the server will soon enough guess what it is you want but it will probably never be exactly what you like. Unless you use your words to say what you like.

When it comes to our bodies and the possibilities for what turns us on we as women aren’t a simple menu. We are more like the menu at The Cheesecake Factory, full of hundreds of options. With such a huge menu, the chances of having your partner guess what it is you like are slim and so we have the responsibility to let our partners know what we like. Especially because what you want for tonight’s Intentional Intimacy night might be different than what you wanted last week. So if you don’t speak up, it will take a long time for your partner to learn through trial and error, with you getting mad that you didn’t get what you wanted and your partner getting upset that you expected him to guess.

To avoid subjecting your partner to the difficult task of navigating your Cheesecake Factory menu blindly, tell your partner what it is you like. As a friend of mine said she once told her partner “How do you always get me off like that?” to which her partner responded, “Because you always tell me what you want!” It’s a win-win situation. And if you don’t know what you like, or you want to explore different menu options, go down the menu with your partner and try out a couple of dishes. Yes, it might take you a while to try things on the menu to discover what you find yummy, but you’ll be happy you found the items you want to enjoy and include on your pleasure pie.

How To Tell Your Partner What You Like

First, be descriptive. If you like having your boobs played with during sex, don’t just say “play with my boobs” to your partner, that would be like telling your server you want pizza without saying what toppings you want. You need to explain what it means to you. Do you want them kissed, sucked, pulled, nibbled, massaged…? Whatever it is, tell your partner.

Secondly, the way you tell your partner what you like shouldn’t be as emotionless as placing your food order, nor should it be demanding. One of my favorite methods to use for communicating what you want is the “Sandwich” method, in which you sandwich a dislike or request with two positive comments. For example:

“Baby, I love it when you touch my boobs but next time can you not pull on my nipples so hard? When you pull gently, it just really turns me on and that’s what I really like. “ 


“Your touch feels so good but can you also kiss my neck because I love your warm lips on my neck.”

When To Tell Your Partner What You Like

There are three good times that I suggest telling your partner what you like. First is before you are intimate to help him know what you want to enjoy. The second is after intimacy, and I suggest soon after so that it’s fresh in your mind. This allows for a positive feedback loop so that your partner can implement the learnings into the next time you both are intimacy for things to keep improving.

If you are feeling good to take your vulnerability up a notch, it’s also great to provide a little guidance during intimacy. For instance, if your partner is going down under for an Australian Kiss, you can ask him at the moment to slow his tongue down, apply more pressure, etc. But avoid directing your partner’s every move like a plane director. It will likely make him tense and feel self-conscious because you’re monitoring his every move. It’s best to strike a balance between asking for what you want and giving your partner space and the chance to actually do just that.

Overall, to avoid having your next frisky session ending up in frustration you need to let go of any expectation that your partner can read you like you’re a crystal ball. Instead, place your order for what you want before, after and during intimacy. When you do this you’ll continuously be increasing the good of intimacy and you’ll be practicing the Intentional Intimacy mindset.