Is there anything more nerve-wracking or down-right uncomfortable than asking your partner to perform differently in bed? For many women, the answer is an absolute no.
"Women, not wanting to upset their partners or make them feel bad, will often censor their own thoughts, fantasies, or desires," says Madeleine Castellanos, M.D, sex therapist and author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive. "They often fall under the shackles of thinking that what they desire is too much — that perhaps their desires will be seen as too demanding, too selfish, or worse, a sign of a sexuality that is insatiable — and consequently, women's fears often place limits on their own sexual experiences and their overall sex lives."
By shaking free of those fears, Castellanos explains, women can "explore new sensations and ideas, and stave off becoming too bored with a sexual routine." If that sounds good, here's how to ask for more without offending your partner.
Share an idea with your partner, and ask what he thinks of it.
The idea "can be as simple as something that you read about, something you heard about, or anything that perked your interest," Castellanos says. "Tell your partner that you wondered what that would feel like sharing it with them as something that would be added to your sex lives, rather than something that would replace your usual sexual activities." As you chat, explain that "just because you want to try something new, doesn't mean that you are not happy with what you have," she says. "You just want to add to what you already have."
Start with something small and go from there.
If your partner seems responsive to trying new moves, your first new activity doesn't have to be anything outrageous, says Rachel Needle, licensed psychologist and sex therapist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "You can begin by just introducing something out of the ordinary, such as a different sexual position," she suggests. "That will open the door to you bringing up adding other novel ideas, such as using sexual toys and other accessories, role playing, or using a blindfold, to your sexual repertoire."
If you're still afraid you might offend your significant other, remember that "your brain is designed to be an efficient learning machine that quickly becomes acclimated to ideas, sensations, and routines," Castellanos says. "This can put a damper on sexual excitement that might be mistaken for boredom or loss of attraction to your partner. By exploring a new move or an idea in fantasy, you bring the brain back to attention and increase the dopamine jolt that you get with your partner," she explains. And that's good for both of you.