How do I state my sexual preferences without sounding like a broken record?
December 29, 2008 10:30 AM   Subscribe

How do I state my sexual preferences without sounding like a broken record?

I (early 20's) am in a solid relationship with my boyfriend (early 30's) of one year and we're trusting, respectful, committed, affectionate and all that good stuff. He had sexual experience with long-term partners before we were together so he's sensitive and aware and knows how to turn me on (manually) but he had never given oral sex to a woman before. In my seven-ish years of sexual escapades I've had enough experience to know what works for me and I try to be open and honest about my preferences.

When receiving oral sex, I prefer to enjoy the anticipation of touch for a time before direct clitoral stimulation begins. When this happens, I tend to moan and otherwise express pleasure; he takes this as a sign that I want more pressure and immediate stimulation and so things quickly progress. I've tried saying "I prefer less pressure, especially early on" and "remember that time you teased me for a long time..." and, when necessary "hey, that's too much" but it never seems to stick. That is, he will take what I've said into consideration for a little while but then reverts back to the original technique (or he is gentle during that session but the next time he seems to forget what I asked for).

I should be clear that I believe this behaviour relates to his enthusiasm/arousal and not an intent to ignore what I'm after. He's very willing to give oral sex and so I certainly don't want to discourage him. I'm also cautious about being too critical or giving only negative feedback as I'm his first partner in this regard and I want him to know that I appreciate his generosity. I want to get my point across without repeating myself every time we're together - how can I accomplish this? Or, more generally, how do people prefer to receive sexual feedback?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I'd stick with the broken record. Repetition is the key to getting people to remember and/or be convinced.

The other thing you could do is turn it into a game. Write what you want in a cute, sexy note and put it somewhere he will find it at work. Entitle it "Directions." Include lots of stuff about how you find him hot, etc., but include the fact that you want mucho foreplay and light touching in various spots. Also put in there that even if you're moaning, to keep doing it. Then he will come home and follow the "directions."
posted by Ironmouth at 10:40 AM on December 29, 2008

He is excited (not necessarily a bad thing) - you could try talking with him and then giving him some sort of "code" action (lightly brushing your fingers on his head means more teasing or some such), instead of talking during.

Lots more practice should help too ;-)

(There are streaming video sites on the net which occasionally have decent "instructional" videos - you could find one or two, review for suitability and then direct him to them...)
posted by jkaczor at 10:40 AM on December 29, 2008

I've been thinking about this too - and I think it's the moaning. For some guys, this is such a big turn-on (or at least vindication of technique) - that they stop listening to anything else. In the future, I fully intend to tone down the moans until I can't help it (hopefully!) Unfortunately, you will need to continue to be a broken record - it will sink in - but it may take a while.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:42 AM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

The man of today seems to have gotten the clit message. we are fairly lucky, because just 10 years ago it was a joke that a man didn't even know what a clitoris was, much less how to find it. but, with the new knowledge some (many) men seem to think that clitoral stimulation is the only think our bits want or need.

just keep saying "god, that part in the beginning was INCREDIBLE! you could have done just that for an HOUR and i would have been totally SATISFIED", "yesterday i masturbated for a couple hours just thinking about that beginning part of you eating me out, when you just tease me forever - god, it got me so hot!!". Tell him what he's doing right and be very excited by it. positive reinforcement goes a long way, even if it takes a little bit of time.
posted by nadawi at 10:43 AM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Part of the problem is that you're talking about this DURING sex, which is a time when a lot of our conscious thoughts become overwhelmed by unconscious reactions. You need to talk about this BEFORE sex, when he's actually listening with his whole brain.
posted by hermitosis at 10:48 AM on December 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

Take his hand and show him.

Not during, but more likely afterwards, or some morning when you're just lying about thinking about it. OR some rainy afternoon.

Emphasize, repeatedly, that you enjoy getting naked with him and you are very appreciative that he's not a selfish prig but could you show him a little bit of technique? And, also, ask HIM if there's anything that he'd like YOU to do different, and ask him to show you.

It's hard to think of a guy who won't be massively turned on by this so he won't find it insulting. (Not that it won't be arousing to you as well.)

Yes, it takes a bit of bravery, but you just have to break through the ice once.
posted by micawber at 11:02 AM on December 29, 2008

He's a guy, and he's turned on. He's not going to be listening to what you're saying or doing at that point. The best time to tell him is when his forebrain is engaged, like when he's calm and alert. Turned-on-guy is sort of like a computer - it can only perform the actions it's coded to perform.

When he's not as excited, explain (an possibly show to him) what you want him to do. It's much more likely to stick at this point.
posted by Solomon at 11:43 AM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

A lot of sex advice (for both men and women) is presented in a one-size-fits-all way. Things like, men get excited by racy knickers, and women want that "magic button" pressed, right? While in real life, people are really complex and not so easily labeled. So this issue of an eager-but-misinformed partner is totally common. I was that way, and so were plenty of the women I dated.

Everyone is different, but a lot of the time I think you can get the best results by having these discussions outside of the bedroom, at a time when you are both happy, comfortable, and relaxed. Tell him, "Look, I know that all the sex experts say to focus on the clit. But I'm just more sensitive there, and what I really love is when you do x,y,z in such-and-such ways. It was amazing the other night when you were doing X -- remember how I was moaning? -- and I want you to keep doing that."

And say directly that when you are moaning and thrashing, you want him to keep doing what he is doing, rather than ratchet up the intensity. Again, what you are wanting is going contrary to how sex scenes are usually presented in erotic writing, porn, and online sex advice columns, so it will probably take more than one conversation to counteract years and years of learning.
posted by Forktine at 12:01 PM on December 29, 2008

There are non-verbal ways to get what you want, but their success depends on a lot of subtle factors (how it's presented as a change, his personality/turn-ons, your personality/turn-ons, etc.).

Let's say you wanted a certain angle, speed, and force during intercourse. You could try explaining that to him, or you could suggest Ye Olde Cowgirl position and be in control of those variables yourself. If he's the type of guy who gets off on his partner taking things into her own hands and 'using' him as a tool, and you're the not shy about it, the results could be spectacular for the both of you.

Similarly, you could hold his head and guide it around (note: *guide*, not just push away when it's too much) as you see fit.

A possible side-effect of that course of action: if he doesn't mind having his head held while giving oral, he may try holding your head while you give oral (which may or may not bother you).
posted by CKmtl at 12:50 PM on December 29, 2008

Another suggestion: why not write him a fantasy letter? Getting a nice love note from your SO is always appreciated; getting a hot and steamy letter from them can be mindblowing. The idea here is for you to express to him what turns you on the most about your sexual encounters. For him, it's probably the old thrust-and-grunt, and since guys are guys we tend to subconsciously project our preferences on others (not saying that guys can't be sensitive and empathetic, but it just takes work for some of us).

Send him an e-mail and describe your ultimate fantasy sexual encounter. Don't hold back. Make sure to compliment him, but put most of the focus on the parts of your sexual relationship that either fulfill you the most or leave the most to be desired. It's completely 100% ok for it to end with, "...and then we penetrate." Describe how you want him to go down on you, how you want to be teased..."and then you do that thing that drives me wild when you [x]", that kind of stuff.

Any guy who gets a letter like that feels like the king of the fucking world. It's a very positive experience. And any guy who gets a letter like that is going to study it very, very carefully for next time...and best of all, he's going to get so turned on reading it that he'll hopefully be sweating for the next time he gets to try out all that stuff on you. Essentially you're saying, "My fantasy is you, and specifically you doing THIS." Chances are, if he's GGG/not a complete idiot (which is the impression I get from you question), that's going to make him want to do whatever the hell THIS is. It's perfectly alright for you to give him a road map for your sexual proclivities.
posted by baphomet at 1:20 PM on December 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

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