How do I get this kitten's inner tiger to come out and play?
January 1, 2010 2:24 PM   Subscribe

The lady I'm seeing is really shy in bed. What can I do to help her feel more comfortable?

I'm a guy. Things have only recently gotten physical between us. I was a little surprised (and a little charmed, but then she charms me pretty easily) to find that she's very shy in bed.

She told me as much, and said that I'll "have to be patient with" her. She says that part of it is self-consciousness about her body (which is gorgeous, and I've assured her of this), and part of it is because she hasn't had sex in a long time and feels like she doesn't "know what [she's] doing". She's not particularly shy outside of bed, and I don't think she's inexperienced. (She's probably more experienced than me, actually.)

She's volunteered, a couple of times, that she really trusts me. And judging from her response when I've pursued her enjoyment, she's getting sufficiently turned on. She's just really shy about me seeing her body, and about doing stuff to me.

I want to be an awesome guy here, and make our sexytime fun and comfortable and happy. And eventually, of course, I'd like her to feel comfortable enough with me to have some crazy, mutually awesome, upside-down monkey sex.

How do I do this? I have some ideas, but I want to hear what the shy lovers out there (and the people who love them) have to say on the matter.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Things have only recently gotten physical between us... she told me as much, and said that I'll "have to be patient with" her.

But she's already given you the answer to your question. You've said this is a newly intimate relationship, and she's told you what she needs is time. I am honestly confused by what it is you're confused about here.

I mean, I guess if you want to speed this process along, one might be to make sure you compliment her body when she's fully dressed and in non-sexual situations, but a) it's kinda hard to pull off, and b) you should probably just do what she asked and give it more time.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:48 PM on January 1, 2010 [7 favorites]

Give her the time she has clearly said she needs.

Also - express your affection for her outside the bedroom. Tell her she is sexy outside of your sexy time. Be willing to talk about sex anytime she is. Initiate conversations but don't press the issue if she is/becomes uncomfortable.

When she is doing sexual things to you, affirm the things you like, but don't be critical of things you don't prefer. Don't be so enthusiastic that you sound insincere.
posted by bilabial at 3:03 PM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't react very well to people who make blanket statements like "You're gorgeous" or "You're wonderful." It's partially a trust thing and partially because I've been around a lot of people who find it easy to toss off statements like that.

What I really like, both in sexual situations and others, is when someone zeroes in on something and gives me a personal reason why they like that thing. Something only they could tell me, about something that is specific to only me. It builds up the trust because they're giving me something meaningful to them.

So, for example, I like it when my partner says, "I love this little part of you right by your hip. It's so warm, and it fits my hand so nicely." Or "Your eyes are so pretty, especially when you get bashful. It makes me smile and want to hold you." I think that's been a good way to not only build something bit by bit but maybe emphasize some of the things I do like when I'm less than fond of others.
posted by Madamina at 3:15 PM on January 1, 2010 [7 favorites]

Don't make every interaction an extension of your preoccupation with your sex life.

As others posted- let compliments be compliments, let hugs be hugs, let snuggling be snuggling- not everything must lead to sex or be viewed through the sex filter. She's probably apprehensive enough without an awareness that you are so focused on jumpstarting her attitude toward sex. I can verify that this gets old REALLY fast.

There's a thin line between "I just want to help you" and "I am dissatisfied with you." Let her feel like she's OK regardless and when SHE brings it up, offer your ideas/suggestions etc. Otherwise you run te risk of resentment building on both sides.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:17 PM on January 1, 2010 [5 favorites]

It's been a while for her and she's trying to get back into the swing of things. I'm reading into her request for time more than i could possibly be able to, but it seems like she's telling you that what you're wanting here is probably exactly what she intends to work toward.

Don't worry.
posted by cmoj at 3:37 PM on January 1, 2010

Time is the only answer here. Give her time to warm up. And keep reassuring her about how sexy her body is to you.
posted by Simon Barclay at 3:41 PM on January 1, 2010

It's not a long term solution but it could help you to see the "other" side of her: alcohol. Worked for us. Now I know my wife isn't "off" or anti sex, but there's a sort of subconscious resistance that's probably never going to entirely shift.
posted by wackybrit at 4:26 PM on January 1, 2010

How do I get this kitten's inner tiger to come out and play?

Been there, done that (from both sides of the table). IMO, and I'm not claiming to an expert at all, but you drop it, don't push the issue and concentrate on other aspects of the relationship. Seduce her, not because you want to have wild monkey sex, but because you like (or love) her and enjoying her company. Talk to her, listen to her (this is really important) and find common interests and then do them together. If it's hiking, go hiking. If he's scuba diving, go scuba diving. Just relax, enjoy her company and enjoy the relationship. Touch on the issue a few times, sure, but don't make it a big issue.

Last point, but it's a big one: It may not happen. You gotta be realize that going in and be ok with that. There are any number of factors that will prevent a shy person from opening up and often you aren't the issue. Let it go, enjoy the relationship, talk about it and give it time. It it happens, great. If not, at least the relationship was still enjoyable on other levels.

and I don't think she's inexperienced.

You should find out the answer to this question. Seriously, by doing so you'll have to talk and discuss things with her, share your past histories and experiences and in the develop bonds of intimacy and trust. That's important for a shy person.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 PM on January 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

Worship her and make her cum lots. The rest will solve itself.
posted by randomstriker at 6:07 PM on January 1, 2010

Find an oil you really like; unscented coconut oil is wonderful because it doesn't stain or get sticky. Have her lie down completely naked in a warm, darkened room room-- possibly with a crackling fire in the fireplace or perhaps a dozen candles. She may like having a soft blanket or throw draped over her bottom half to keep from being too cold. You should be wearing some sexy boxers or pajama bottoms, possibly even an unbuttoned top if it is too cold to go without.

You may or may not want music-- I don't like it because sometimes the music becomes too obtrusive. Begin by rubbing her hands, arms, shoulders and neck. Really pay attention to them. Kiss the tips of her fingers. Tell her how much you love watching her write because she has such elegant hands. Work your way down her back but hold off on the bottom, instead skip to her feet and work back up. Make sure you take it achingly slow and don't feel like you have to chatter the whole time. Listen to her. Is she moaning with pleasure? Are there little grunts of pain when you come across a place that needs a bit more attention? Continue to murmur sexy little things and nibble softly on parts you find irresistible. Don't let her rush things-- she may feel a bit guilty having you do all the work, instead reassure her that you find her body wonderful and lovely to touch. If she is a tiny bit tipsy and if you slowly build up to it, by the time you get around to rubbing her sexual bits she will (hopefully) become the lioness you are looking for.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:04 PM on January 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

Continued true compliments usally works well in any situation. She'll need to relax on her timetable.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:44 PM on January 1, 2010

As a shy person in that department (I tend to get embarrassed and giggly), here's what I would say... whatever you want to do to her, do very slowly. Say you want to do something as simple as put your arm around her. Don't just say "come here and sit by me." (I said I was cold and one guy said all suggestively, "come here, I'll keep you warm." It came off as really cheesy.) If you're sitting on opposite ends of the couch, slowly scoot over towards her and start just by touching her arm. Maybe pat her arm or rub it a little. Gradually work your way so your arm is around her. Just take it slowly.

If you want to guide her hand somewhere more...south... start by taking her hand and holding it against your chest, gently, like you're holding it against your heart. If she's shy, slow is good.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:19 PM on January 1, 2010

per Secret Life of Gravy , check out the good massage videos on youtube/google video.

Maybe 10-20% are pretty useful instructional aids, here's one. Netflix, alas, doesn't have much in this area.
posted by tad at 9:12 PM on January 1, 2010

Honoring a lady's wishes and needs, exactly as she's described them, is really, really sexy. Lay off. Be honest in how you desire to please her, and state flat out that you're going to follow whatever pace and boundaries she sets. Then do that. Trust and communication, my friend. Focus on building those, and have faith in the lady's belief that with time she'll become more comfortable in her own issues.

In the meantime, flirt without any agenda or expectation of it leading anywhere. Flirting isn't about moving toward the sexy part, it's about affirming the inherent sexiness (and other delightful traits) of the person.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:02 PM on January 1, 2010

Okay, most people seem to be reading your post as she's so shy that she doesn't want to have any sexual activity at all. I read it as she is shy when you two are actually getting heated up but she does want to participate. So only follow my advice if that's true.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:42 PM on January 1, 2010

This advice may not apply in your situation, so use your judgement, but...sometimes people just need a leader; a confident voice telling them exactly what to do. Reinforce her trust in you by demonstrating that you can walk her through a new territory, knowing what's within her comfort zone and not taking it too far. Start small. Tell her something like, "Now I want you to take my shirt/pants/etc. off." And over time step it up to things that she can follow, but require a little bit more sexual openness on her part. As she grows comfortable with this script of 'we're playing the game where my sexy boyfriend tells me what to do' she'll trust that you're not going to whip out with something crazy, but that things will progress naturally, since 'this is the part where he tells me to take off his shirt/pants/etc.' gets old real fast.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:46 AM on January 2, 2010

Sincere compliments, and not just about her body, or in sexualised situations, would help her to gain confidence in you. I reckon it would be great if you didn't leave your porn around or size up other gals - this has caused me, a bit of a shy gal, insecurity with some lovers in the past.
posted by honey-barbara at 7:39 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Don't just say she's gorgeous, tell her the curve of her hip is incredibly sexy, that the skin of her thigh turns you on, that her neck smells so great, only, tell her things that are true of her. Candles are the best kind of lighting. Take it slow and easy. Listening is the sexiest thing anybody can do.
posted by theora55 at 12:15 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone who has been shy with some but absolutely crazy sexy with another, I want to agree with some of the above but also add this: for me, it comes down to a completely weird, undefinable chemistry. I've been left pretty "shy" and colder with men who are considered very attractive but just didn't do anything for me, while I've been left reeling by someone else who just looked at me and smiled. So sometimes it comes down to chemistry, and you may not be able to fix that.

But assuming that's not her issue with you, I am going to STRONGLY echo that you offer her compliments that have nothing to do with her body or her looks. Speaking for myself, if I'm feeling shy, the last thing I really want to hear is how hot I make a guy. It's nice to hear maybe once that I look good; my earrings are sexy, my hair is soft, I smell good, etc., but when in the shy mode, I get uncomfortable hearing how hot I'm making a guy because at that moment. There's nothing I want to do with that information, which makes me feel kind of badly, and then I will start thinking maybe I don't want to keep torturing this guy and should stop seeing him.

So keep the body-looks compliments infrequent.

Now this is what does work: yes, appreciate once how I look (but don't tell me how I turn you on) and make me laugh. if you want to turn a girl on, make her laugh.

Lastly, I've yet to meet the girl who cannot be overcome by a lot of slow, almost high-school-esque fully clothed kissing. A little kissing, a little talking, maybe a drink, some more kissing, repeat. It can get her to come around if you don't push it.
posted by dzaz at 6:42 AM on January 3, 2010

Sorry, forgot to add one other thing....when you're fooling around, DON'T try to remove her clothes. If she's self-conscious, it's entirely likely that your attempt will cause her to freeze up. Let her remove her clothes as she's ready.
posted by dzaz at 6:46 AM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

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