Pillow (Fight) Talk
July 23, 2010 9:42 AM   Subscribe

How can I get over my shyness to get the (d/s) sex I want?

I'm a female in my late 20's. I've known, since I can remember, that being dominated in bed really turns me on. However, this part of my sexuality has mostly been played out in my private fantasies. Now I want to change that. How?

In past relationships I've never been able to clearly tell my partner that I want to be dominated. I would try to communicate it physically or through half-ass attempts at conversation. Really I've felt too shy and inhibited to say what I want, though, and this has left me feeling unsatisfied and frustrated with my sex life and with myself.

Now I'm dating someone (for about a month) and having fun, comfortable sex. He seems very open in bed and I feel pretty sure he'd be willing to try most anything that turned me on. He already, without prompting, pulls my hair, bites a little, and lightly spanks a little. I want more--of all this and maybe some restraint and teasing and mental/emotional power play. I'm especially turned on by spanking but also find it to be the hardest thing to talk about/express desire for because I get embarrassed. I'm not sure what else I want or how far I want to go into d/s type stuff. I don't necessarily want anything very heavy; I just want more fun play of the d/s variety mixed in with some of the vanilla aspects of our sex. I think sex with him (and in my future in general) could be fabulous if I can learn to say what I want. What advice do you have for a shy person to express her sexual needs and desires? I just have a hard time getting the words out without sounding horribly embarrassed, stilted, weird, etc. He's already asked me what positions I like but I didn't give him much of a response. However, I know he's open to feedback and wants to please. This being a very new sexual and emotional relationship also makes me want to find a lighter, less serious way to bring this up, if possible.
Please help me to get what I want.
throw away email: shysexquestion@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (26 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

My only suggestion is to have a drink (or two) to fortify your courage, sit down with him and... do what Greg Nog said. For some people, at least, a glass of wine can do wonders to counteract shyness of this sort :)
posted by torisaur at 9:57 AM on July 23, 2010

I get the sense he would probably be into this and not just in a "I want to please my partner" sort of way. By telling him, you my very well be making his day and opening the door to great great sex. Regardless of what happens, you will feel very relieved to get this out into the open.
posted by Falconetti at 9:59 AM on July 23, 2010

Be upfront with him about your shyness. Tell him, maybe over a glass of wine or cup of coffee while you two are alone and the conversation is meandering and about nothing in particular, that you really enjoy being with him, especially when he's feeling frisky*, and you really appreciate that he asks what you like, but you've never been able to articulate your thoughts about what is pleasurable or what you'd like to try. (*I say "frisky" because I'm also shy in certain ways, and even though I've been married for 16 years I still cannot bring myself to say outright sexual terms or even the biological names for certain body parts.) His reaction will set the tone for and open "the floor" to further discussion - most likely he will be understanding and will want to help you to help him satisfy you. After he squeezes your hand and murmurs some words of understanding, you two can talk (even haltingly, on your part - he'll fill in the blanks) about things you like and don't like. Use euphemisms or gestures if you're uncomfortable talking about something. In my case, all these years later Mr. Adams and I have "code words" for the various acts that pleasure each of us and both of us (he has always been very considerate of my squickiness for explicit talk). Perhaps you and your friend can develop your own "sex vocabulary" that allows you to stay within your verbal comfort zone while getting hot 'n heavy.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:00 AM on July 23, 2010

If he already spanks a little bit and he's open to feedback, that gives you a great, easy opening. The next time he spanks you, say right then and there how much you love it/it turns you on when he does it. That won't work as a substitute for the bigger conversation about working different things into your sex life, but it's a fun way to drop the hint.

You've already gotten some good feedback about that bigger discussion, so I'll leave it at that.
posted by SugarAndSass at 10:05 AM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

anonymous, Greg Nog nailed it. That's all there is to it.

It doesn't matter if you sound stilted or weird.
posted by komara at 10:08 AM on July 23, 2010

Perhaps externalizing the issue will help? Rather than the sit-down-and-lay-it-all-out conversation (which can absolutely happen, but can be hard), instead choose to reference things outside yourself. Are your D/s fantasies purely your own creation, or is there something you could point to and say "I really like that" ? It could be movie, or a phrase in a book, a picture, anything. That way, you're dropping a massive hint without having to be direct about it; the reference could also be the genesis of a more forthright conversation.

I'm sorry to contradict the earlier suggestions, but I would not suggest using alcohol to loosen your inhibitions in order to broach this with your partner. While it is tempting, not only is "getting shitfaced in order to be honest" a bad precedent, there's also the possibility that the suggestion / conversation will lead directly to a scene... and if you want bondage and harder play to be a part of that, you also want complete control of your faculties: for safety, to provide feedback, and to appreciate every part of what should be a very pleasant time. :-)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:18 AM on July 23, 2010

Greg Nog: I'd even go in the other direction. Every so often I love me some stilted and weird. It means the person's challenging his/her self, and putting pen to paper outside their normal SOP comfort zone. I've found that recognizing, embracing, and communicating the stilted weird is what long term relationships are all about (well, when they're fun...) Who wants to be in a relationship when the other person can't tell you how to make them happy?

OP, if your partner is anything like me at all, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, I'd say this is a very positive relationship point. Getting it just right on a level you're both okay with is a beautiful thing. When my partner shares things like this with me, it makes my week/month/year.
posted by Phyltre at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2010 [3 favorites]

Send him an email with a link to this question.
posted by hworth at 10:23 AM on July 23, 2010

You can suggest playing, "Tie me up today and I'll tie you up tomorrow".
posted by kanemano at 11:15 AM on July 23, 2010

Greg Nog basically got this spot on. If you need more confirmation, Dan Savage did a Q&A where the "How do I find kinky partners and how do I reveal my kinks to my current partners?" question came up. His response (skip to 1:15 if you're impatient) was basically don't go into the conversation like you have some kind of disease that needs to be dealt with, but instead reveal your kinks as something fun and interesting you two get to do in bed.
posted by ayerarcturus at 11:22 AM on July 23, 2010

Early on in my relationship with mr. brambory, we got this Kinky Sex Coupons. We ended up using them as the prize for winning a game of poker (winner of this game gets a 'tie me up' coupon, etc.). It was a really good way for us to talk about what we thought sounded interesting (or not) and gave us some ideas of things we hadn't considered.

And, of course, if competitive card playing for sex coupons isn't your thing, you could just give it to him as a gift or use something similar to open up the subject.
posted by brambory at 11:48 AM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sometimes I write letters to get things rolling, with a point in them often at the beginning or end or both mentioning we should talk about it together face to face when he feels ready to. Being able to pause and go back and edit and try to be as clear as possible is easier in writing for me, at least at first blush, because I don't have to be afraid in the middle I'll chicken out and then be even more confusing, or be misunderstood because I got embarrassed and started hedging in ways I didn't actually mean, etc. And yeah, what Greg Nog said--if you're really into each other both physically and companion-wise, it won't matter that you're both nervous or sound awkward, and you'll slowly learn more about each other, and it just gets easier and more comfortable.

And you probably realize this already but just to reiterate: there is absolutely nothing like the feeling of relief and exhilaration and closeness after talking thoroughly and feeling completely understood about this stuff with the person you like, that sense of being completely "out." It's worth all the initial awkwardness in the world...
posted by ifjuly at 12:01 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Next time he lightly spanks you, just say "harder". Repeat as necessary.
posted by bluejayk at 12:15 PM on July 23, 2010

You'll figure it out but if face-to-face doesn't appeal, this works for me in 4 easy, somewhat cowardly steps!

1. Get super turned on by fantasizing about something that you like

2. Via text message or email (not so much IM, who knows) say "I'm really turned on right now thinking about you putting me over your knee and spanking me, hard" (or whatever, be really complicated if you want)

3. Have an orgasm

4. After you recover, go OMG OMG OMG SO EMBARRASSED OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I SAID THAT OMG in the privacy of your own home and with the afterglow of an orgasm to help you deal

5. He might respond like "hell yeah let's do it tomorrow at 2pm, but if he doesn't, when you see him in person next, cuddle with him or otherwise make yourself feel comfortable and safe and then say "about that email/text I sent you..." If he says "about the spanking"? say "yes" and then I don't know, be coy as hell, blush, whatever, now he knows you like it and will hopefully take the lead and propose that you try it.

6. If he doesn't take the lead, you have to be direct. Sorry :(

Or the other, less subtle option:

This does not help with nuanced discussion of, like, complex mental dynamics, but for stuff like spanking and biting, wait until you really really want it and are in the thick of things and blurt it out.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:00 PM on July 23, 2010 [4 favorites]

(and by 4 steps I mean 6 steps)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:01 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could watch this movie with your BF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_Girl

It gives some subtle ideas...
posted by yoyo_nyc at 1:18 PM on July 23, 2010

You say, FUCK ME. And when he doesn't do what you want, you yell at him to fuck you as you wish to be fucked. There are very few straight males on the planet (like, three) that wouldn't want to hear that.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:09 PM on July 23, 2010

Good advice has been given, but I'd like to say something about what happens after:

He'll no doubt be happy to oblige you in acting out your fantasies. BUT don't forget that this is YOUR fantasy, and not necessarily his. My ex was all about a little sexual violence. I was more than happy to help out, but after awhile it got boring and I just wanted some occasional normal sex.

In other words, once your getting what you want, make sure he's still getting what he wants as well.
posted by coolguymichael at 2:20 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

You're, not your - if only there was some way to preview commen...wait...nevermind.
posted by coolguymichael at 2:49 PM on July 23, 2010

My favorite tactic for dealing with awkward conversations like this is to write down what I want to say ahead of time (but not too far ahead--the goal is for it to be fresh in my memory). I might even do it more than once to find just the right words. I still need to have the guts to start the conversation, of course; the comments above might help with that. But then once I'm committed to having the talk, fully-formed phrases pop into my head courtesy of my earlier writing exercise, and I can blurt them out almost as if I were reading someone else's words. The embarrassment will still be there, but it takes a bit of the "stilted" out of the equation.
posted by ootandaboot at 3:05 PM on July 23, 2010

This thread. Printed. In his lunch. NOW!
posted by Drasher at 6:31 PM on July 23, 2010

Please come on over to fetlife, there is a People From Metafilter on Fetlife there.

You have to make an account but it can be the fakest account in fakeland, doesn't matter.

Feel free to contact me about spanking, biting, bossing, lactose-free milk, or anything else at any time. Or just say hi!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:45 PM on July 23, 2010

Civil_Disobedient: "You say, FUCK ME. And when he doesn't do what you want, you yell at him to fuck you as you wish to be fucked. There are very few straight males on the planet (like, three) that wouldn't want to hear that."

Please don't do that without talking to him first. If that's the way you want it to go down, then by all means, but please please please have an honest, frank, non-inebriated conversation about what you want and what he wants before you get into the bedroom. He might be able to respond to that, he might even want to hear it, but hearing it without context might still freak him out and make him nervous.

Sex is about trust and honesty. Those are the things you need to display outside the bedroom before you bring it inside. The conversation won't be nearly as fun as the having sex, but it'll greatly reduce the likelihood either of you will be made mad / sad / weepy / frustrated.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:09 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Good suggestions. If you truly don't think you could manage to tell him about your kinks directly, find some erotic story (or porn video) that matches one thing you'd like for the two of you to do. But don't just give it to him and expect him to take the hint. Many nice guys would be wary of reading over-much into what the girlfriend wants from the sexy time. It wouldn't do to screw up, and no longer get any.

For your sake and his, be clear with him
There's this thing that I've been fantasizing about. It gets me hot whenever I imagine the possibility of doing it with you. I've been wondering whether you'd find it a turn-on too. But, eeek, I'd blush like crazy if I make me say the words out loud. So, here's this! See what you think! *smooch*
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:27 AM on July 24, 2010

When I was young and shy, full sentences were more difficult to put together than short phrases. Echoing what bluejayk said above, you can start with something like "harder". Or "more", or "don't stop". Also, when he does things that turn you on, respond with your body. You probably already do this naturally, but make it easy for him to tell that it turns you on, and he may start going in that direction more, because he knows you like it. (He may be having a problem similar to yours—wanting more, but thinking to himself "she seems into it, but I don't want to scare her or come on too strong".)

When I did this, it led naturally to a conversation, and my boyfriend brought it up that he wanted these things, so I was able to tell him that I wanted them too. (And now, after talking about it more and more, it's not hard anymore for me to talk about it.)

So that's one way to start, but it's important that if you do decide to "start small", you don't lose sight of the goal, which is to start talking with your partner about what you want (so you can start getting what you want). And if the conversation doesn't materialize naturally in a short period of time, you will need to move into the stage of just starting the conversation.

At which point, my advice would be: "Just do it." Your partner sounds like he's open to the idea. Tell him something specific. "You know... when you spank me, it really turns me on." (It's 11 words. You can say 11 words.) Aaaand... He will like hearing it. I promise.
posted by eleyna at 12:37 PM on July 24, 2010

There are entire communities of people who like to do, think about, and talk about dirty things; many of the kinkier MeFites can be found here.

If the idea of talking about this stuff directly with him makes you uncomfortable, I think you can get a long way just rewarding and encouraging the semi-kinky things he is already doing. If he spanks you lightly, moan (or whatever happy noise you like to make) and say something encouraging: "oh god that makes me so wet" or "more!" or whatever. Same for the holding down, the biting, and so on.
posted by Forktine at 4:49 PM on July 25, 2010

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