How to Tell Your Partner You're Not Into That One Sex Move

A guide to having that awkward conversation you don't want to have

Updated 01/16/19

Beatrix Boros / Stocksy United

Is there a thing your partner does in bed that they are so proud of, love doing, and think you’re obsessed with? Do you actually hate that thing and pretend it’s chill because you love your partner?

Do not do that. Stop.

Once you start doing sex things you don’t like to make someone else happy, you wind up resentful. Resentment leads to bad sex, less sex, and eventual sexual dissatisfaction overall. Somehow it doesn’t seem worth contorting yourself into an uncomfortable position when you put it in these terms, right?

Every single person deserves to have sexual satisfaction. And when you're in a couple, you both deserve to have a type of satisfaction wherein both people are equally enjoying whatever play that might be occurring. And since there are nearly endless amounts of sex positions, games, toys, etc., that you can try, explore, and love, there's no need to limit yourself.

Here is a guide on telling your partner you’re not into that one sex move. Is this going to be an easy conversation? No. Is it one you NEED to have? Yes.

Approach the topic with empathy

Don’t be hostile. You will not get the response you want. If you come to the table ready to get bossy and mean, your partner will shut down.

After all, your partner might really think this move is working for you, so being super rude is just going to hurt their feelings. In general, when it comes to talking about sex, especially something negative, it’s best to be careful, understanding, and open to feedback. Come from a place of love, not anger.

Remind yourself (and your partner) that you want to give each other tons of orgasms and pleasure—this one thing is just something that doesn’t do it for you. And let them know that you value your partnership enough to come forward with this information. You’re telling them you don’t want to do that sex thing anymore because you’re in a loving marriage or LTR and want to have a thrilling, hot, and fun sex life.

Accept partial responsibility where you should

You may have always physically pulled away when they want to do doggy style, for instance, or maybe you lay there like a starfish while your partner furiously nibbles on your clitoris, wondering how much more obvious you could be that you think this is horrid. And while your physical clues should've been enough for your partner to get the hint, that's not always the case.

Not to mention, most of us do pretend to enjoy something that we don’t because we’re natural pleasers. For example, maybe you absolutely cannot stand cowgirl position, but you ride that pony because you’d rather “just do it” than “just talk about not liking it.”

Women especially have been socialized to put a partner’s pleasure above their own. Still, it is not your fault that this sex move sucks, but you are responsible for your own orgasm. Therefore, you have to be willing to say, “Look, I know I’ve seemed enthusiastic about this in the past, but the truth it, I don’t really like this. I’m sorry for misleading you.” Remember, your partner is not a mind reader. If you hate deep throating but always do it, how in the world would they know you hate it?

Be willing to say you made a mistake by faking enjoyment—we have all been here. It may have been a “no biggie” kind of thing when you were dating for the first six months, but we’re talking about engaging in a sex act you don’t like for potentially the rest of your life. Speak up. Admit it’s a two-way street. Move on.

Offer alternatives and a little ego fluffing

This is a person you love, and there is nothing wrong with doing your best to make them feel good about themselves. Is it necessary that you tell them that one sex thing isn’t working? Yes. But it’s also important to fluff up this information by offering some love in other ways.

Tell them how much you like some other thing they enjoy doing. Try offering legitimate alternatives so that they know you think they are desirable and sexy. You need to make it clear that just because this one thing isn’t working, it doesn’t mean your partner is bad at sex.

OK, so maybe they are bad at sex in general. That is a bigger issue, one that should probably be addressed with a sex therapist or coach. But, if it’s just one or two certain things that irk you, make them aware and then boost their ego a little bit.

Here’s an example of what we mean:

“Babe, I know I’ve been really into doggy style in the past, but the truth is, I don’t really care for it. It causes me pain and is generally uncomfortable. I love when we do X, Y, Z positions. You’re so sexy when you do that [insert sexy thing].”

You can even throw in: “You turn me on so much.” You’ve gotten the message across, but you’re not making them feel bad. When someone feels insulted, they generally don’t want to have sex at all—that’s no fun for anyone.

Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, educator, and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

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