Flirting and teasing with your lover can be very sexy and exciting, and we all know how to express pleasure and satisfaction (those loud sounds neighbors everywhere are familiar with), but what do you do when something isn’t working? We all want to be amazing in bed, but how are we to know how if our lover never tells us what they like?

To help along the path to incredible, satisfying sex, I offer a few ideas for how to ask for what you need without destroying the mood (adjust your tone of voice, employ humor, etc as you see fit):

  • Wow, we’ve really explored the space—I’m about to fall off the bed! Scoot over?
  • Mmm, I love it when you play with my hair. Pull harder / please be gentle
  • Ouch! (tone makes all the difference here)
  • Mmmm, that feels so good, play a little longer please (useful when partner moving on to next step before you’re ready)
  • Can you reach the lube?
  • Oops, let’s try that again / let’s never do this again
  • My body doesn’t bend this way. Maybe like this? (adjust body to be more comfortable)
  • Slow down, darling. I want to feel your every touch.
  • Harder! (emphasize with hands pulling partner to you)
  • Pass me that pillow?
  • I’m still a little sore from last time, could we take it slow?
  • Come here, let’s cuddle

It is just as important to communicate when something does not feel good as it is to express pleasure and appreciation. Remember, communication builds trust and intimacy, not to mention creates better sex.

The key is that your words communicate what needs to be adjusted but don’t make your partner feel “wrong”. That “wrong” feeling is the fastest way to suck fun out of sex and shut things down.

So, what do you want?

Quick disclaimer because sometimes the interwebs are a strange place rife with misunderstanding: All of these suggestions expect you are together with a partner you want to be with in a consensual context. If someone is invading your personal space and is touching you without your consent, or an interaction which started consensually has suddenly crossed a boundary, you have every right to speak up with strength and clearly state: STOP or NO or whatever words and actions you feel are appropriate. In these cases, sucking the energy out is the point and you should do it.