Telling him what you want

Jul 9, 2007 at 2:00 a.m. ET

Communicating in the bedroom can be a difficult thing to do. As children, people are often taught that sex is done, but not spoken about. As adults, people know what sex is and the basics of how it's done... yet talking about sex can be the hardest part.

In some ways, there is a sense of irony involved considering you can have sex with your lover, but you cannot talk about what you're doing.

As hard as you might think it is to talk about sex, it is incredibly necessary that you try. A high percentage of women are dissatisfied in their sex lives -- however, this does not mean that their lovers are aware of that fact. Imagine how easy it would be if you swallowed that nervous pride and spoke about what you like, what you want, and most importantly what you need.

Honesty = best policy

Now I recognize you might be thinking, "I can't talk about sex. I've never been able to talk about sex." You might be thinking it's easy for me to say that because I am already comfortable with talking about sex (and as a future sex therapist, it's a necessity that I'm comfortable with sexual issues). However, in my own relationships, I still have reservations about what to say and how to express my feelings. You don't want to offend your lover, but the reality of the matter is that if you are not honest with him (or her), those sexual problems will transfer over into other things and escalate much further than you would ever want.

One of the best things I can tell you is that when you talk about sex, try imagining that you are simply having a conversation about something else. You need to be calm and express your feelings with ease. This will help ensure that you don't trip over your tongue.

Put it on paper

If you think it's impossible for you to do it, try this couple's exercise:
Take two pieces of paper and two pencils, giving one to your lover. On the paper, tell him to place all the things he likes about your sex life on one side of the paper and all the things he is unsatisfied with or wants to expand upon on the other side. You can use your sheet of paper to do the same. Set a time limit of 15 minutes (more if you need it) and begin writing down your thoughts. Write them in short sentences, and try to be as honest and open as possible.
For example, you might say your frequency of lovemaking is good, but you want to expand on the length of time during each session. Maybe you like sex overall, but you want to expand on foreplay. You can also use this time to explain things you want to try that you might have avoided telling your lover about.

Still can't talk?

If you are iffy about talking about sex, you can exchange lists and allow your lover to respond first to what he sees you have written down. A good idea when reviewing your lists is to determine the most important things mentioned, and to make a commitment to work on them one thing at a time. This might mean adding romance, trying something new, or even communicating more about sex in general.

Other options for sharing without talking face-to-face include chatting on the phone (which takes the pressure off in-person speaking), email, or even speaking after sex with the lights out. How you choose to do it doesn't matter as much as that you do it, and make sure to share your feelings and speak from your heart.

If you don't yet know what you're interested in trying and/or discussing, you should consider experimentation. The great thing about sex is that learning is half the fun!

Read more:

4 Ways to sweep him off his feet
6 Steps to a sexy massage
5 Things he wants you to say in bed