How can I break free and love her like she needs?
September 21, 2011 12:18 PM   Subscribe

You are a man and you were once shy about sex, particularly about vocalizing your wants/needs. How did you come out of your shell?

This is something my SO has been asking me for ages, but I haven't managed it. I'm pretty vanilla; I prefer soft core photos and artful nudes to videos and traditional XXX stuff. Dirty talk makes me uncomfortable, but it's something that my SO loves. She wants me to tell her what I want, tell her the things she loves about her (during sex, and in life in general), but I have a hard time doing this. She's not into anything crazy. She just wants me to be more open. I can barely talk to her during sex.

What's worked for you? How did you break free of the self-consciousness? I love my SO and want nothing more than to please her. Anon email:
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
You aren't compatible and haven't realised it yet because you're inexperienced. Until you're married you have no obligation to be what she wants you to be, so don't settle. You'll open up with the right girl, it'll feel much more natural and less like two individuals struggling to get a job done.
posted by fraac at 12:25 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Have a script in your head for one thing to say, and then say it one time. Trying to be spontaneous will just make it harder. When she responds well you'll gain a little confidence. Rinse, repeat.

Of course if it genuinely makes you feel icky (as opposed to just nervous or awkward), I suggest not doing it. There's no need to make yourself feel icky while you're having sex.

Non-sexually, I suggest the same thing, with perhaps a scheduled reminder to say something you like about her.

But yeah, spontaneity is overrated.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:38 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

For me it was gaining general self confidence over the years and being compatible with my partner. Coming from a similar place as you when I was younger, I learned through my 20s that really letting my sexual animal out is a vulnerable act (including when I'm dominating my partner) and requires not just sexual compatibility but trust, and some partners from my past were not providing that.
posted by MillMan at 12:42 PM on September 21, 2011

It took me a moment to realize it, but I second what fraac is saying...with my first partner, I was exactly like anonymous. But, with my second, it all fit into place without any effort at all, everything was completely comfortable, and we both were brought to levels we didn't know existed.

So, again, you might not just be sexually compatible!
posted by TinWhistle at 12:57 PM on September 21, 2011

This is something that you need to work closely with your partner on. She needs to know it's difficult for you, but you are willing, and you are going to try.

Then start with talking about the things that you do want to do. There's no point launching into "I want to tie you up and whip your arse with a riding crop, bitch!" if that isn't what you want. It will just turn you off and make the process harder in the future. So instead, start with gentle respectful phrasings of the fact that you'd like to (eg) "lay you down on the bed and kiss you from top to toe, then slowly tease your nipples with my tongue, before making slow quiet love to your lovely body".

That may not be the level of dirty talk she wants, or the level of activity and domination from you that she wants, but if it's done in the context of you gaining confidence, and working towards the goal of getting raunchier over time, then I'd think she'll be cool with it.

Once you are comfortable with that sort of vocalization, ask her to suggest a "next level" scenario, and see whether you can work yourself up to that, or something part way there.

Major point being that yes, you can learn to be comfortable with this, and taking it one step at a time, and practicing each step, is how you can learn. Secondary point being that your teacher here is going to be your partner, even though she may be teaching you to take a more dominant role.

Negotiating that apparent contradiction (which isn't actually as contradictory as it seems) will take some discussion. Talk to her!
posted by Ahab at 1:01 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I prefer soft core photos

I think you just come from different cultures.

Something to try would be the "chit-chat" larry david does in curb. That might get your girl to stop wanting you to be more vocal.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:07 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are you the man or his SO?


You are a man and you were once shy about sex, particularly about vocalizing your wants/needs.
She wants me to tell her what I want

The OP is a dude, and his SO is a chick.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:10 PM on September 21, 2011

I've never been too shy minus one of my first sexual encounters which made me more reserved about approach. This was years ago, and after having a SO at the time which was more mature about things made a difference.

One thing to keep in mind is confidence. I am not saying be an overly agressive partner, but having confidence in yourself when it comes to sexuality and sex makes a huge difference. It seems people can be up tight and have hang ups from the past. These things can influence ones ability to truly be confident. Work on those things (if the exisit, I am making assumptions) and you can be come more confident/less shy.

Another thing to keep in mind is that perhaps this is just the way you are. I hate writing that due to my belief that people are more fluid than they give themselves credit for.

/from a rather dirty, highly sexual person, so take it for what you will.
posted by handbanana at 1:24 PM on September 21, 2011

Hmm, perhaps you are a little submissive or would enjoy some submissive play? What if she forced you to talk dirty and you had no choice?

Another tactic might be to take some of the performance aspect of it out, which can be pretty intimidating. You could do this by narrative - tell her your actual fantasies, or even better, read her some erotica. A script could help you break out of you shyness.

And don't be put off here by people suggesting you may be hopelessly incompatible. Sexual compatibility is an overused concept - if you are open and connected to hour partner, you can go many places together.
posted by mrs. sock at 1:28 PM on September 21, 2011

Personally (and I'm a lady, so grain of salt), taking a strictly giggly attitude toward sex has helped immensely. Sex should not be performed with straight faces and complete seriousness. It's a weird act with goofy body parts and funny noises and occasionally in the heat of the moment, someone will say something that in retrospect sounds completely ridiculous. But it's okay to crack a smile, pause and laugh, because you're just having some fun.

Previously: SEXY SEX!
posted by theraflu at 2:00 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

You aren't compatible and haven't realised it yet because you're inexperienced.

Huh? What if somebody is just shy/uneasy about sex in general, no matter who they're with?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:58 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

What i found helpful was having a partner that continually asked me what I wanted, basically drawing me out, as well as leading my example themselves. Perhaps your SO can work on this with you? For me also it was awkward to verbalize my needs at first, on the other hand, I am just not into certain kinds of dirty talk and there's no two ways about it.
posted by abirdinthehand at 6:53 PM on September 21, 2011

I mean BY example(being very verbal, so that it is normalized)
posted by abirdinthehand at 6:54 PM on September 21, 2011

You aren't compatible and haven't realised it yet because you're inexperienced. Until you're married you have no obligation to be what she wants you to be, so don't settle. You'll open up with the right girl, it'll feel much more natural and less like two individuals struggling to get a job done.

Wow, I couldn't disagree with this more. Even if you find your soul mate, relationships still require work. Not everyone is born a naturally perfect lover. In fact, it's something that some of us will spend a lifetime learning.

One idea might be to show your SO some of the photos or nudes that you like, or like mrs. sock suggests read some erotica. Or are there any films that have some racy bits that get you going? Perhaps you could watch those together, something like The Secretary or any other film that strikes your fancy.

My point is, there are ways you can share your interests / needs with your SO without making it a big conversation. If you share these sorts of things with your SO, then it gives you a touchstone in the bedroom. So instead of having to explain explicitly what you're into, you can just say "Remember that scene from that story? Let's do that!"
posted by bloody_bonnie at 8:15 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Alcohol helps.
posted by St. Sorryass at 10:59 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

It sounds kind of blase, but alcohol really does help. It can still be romantic and sexy with just a glass or two of wine or whatever.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:19 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Have her start a conversation just afterwards by talking about what she liked about it. Tell her then what you liked about it and what you might like to try. The conversation will be a lot easier since the horizontal tango will have lowered your inhibitions. Over time, it'll feel more natural to talk about and you'll be able to be more open.
posted by bookdragoness at 8:47 AM on September 22, 2011

Disregard the above comments about sexual compatibility. These people are projecting on you. These are two different aspects of sex, and while sexual compatibility is very important for any kind of opening up, it is very wrong to expect that the "right" partner will somehow make your sexuality exactly as you wish it to be.

Even worse would be to waste opportunities and relationships waiting for the magical sexual change that would come with the right partner. (Hint: It won't).

Alcohol, therapy with a specialist, all that might help. But don't listen to the dangerous ideas posted above.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 9:20 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

In terms of practical things you can do to sort of ease your way into dirty-talk, you don't have to start right out with porn-style one liners, especially if you feel embarrassed saying words like 'cock', 'fuck', 'pussy' etc.

You might want to experiment saying things that are sexual, but aren't full of words that can be hard to say if you're feeling nervous, things like

'Your skin feels really good against mine',
'I like the noises you're making',
'I want to be inside you'
'You look so good like that'

These are sexy, sort-of dirty things you can use to tell her that she's sexy and beautiful and you want her, without feeling that you're saying things that don't really fit you right now.
posted by robot-hugs at 12:20 PM on September 22, 2011 [6 favorites]

Great question. Do the work and it will be worth it. Absolutely everybody wants to be appreciated by their partner/lover, and your girlfriend has given you the great gift of telling you what works for her, the mode of showing appreciation that has the strongest resonance for her. Is it really such a stretch to develop the habit of telling her that she's awesome, or that she looks great in that shirt, or that you were so happy or proud of what she did at school/work that day? I promise you, if she has told you that this is what matters to her and you do it, it will pay dividends. (Did anyone recommend that Love Languages book yet? Google it up, give it a read.)

It may be more of a stretch to get comfortable speaking about sexual stuff in bed, but remember this, you guys are being *intimate* there, physically intimate. Speaking to each other in bed is another way to communicate, to be intimate. Getting in the habit of being able to speak about sex is the best way, the *only* way, to ensure that sex can keep getting better. How can you tell your lover what you want, what you like, what you wish you could try, how desirable they are, etc, etc, if you can't speak freely about sex, or in intimate situations? Really, you will be doing both of you a huge favor by overcoming this inhibition--good for you for recognizing it.

You may want to check out Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch, which is a lot about communicating in relationships but also a lot about the sexual dynamics of it all. Another book that might help is Carol Queen's Exhibitionism for the Shy--not about exhibitionism in the sense of exposing yourself in the park, but about becoming comfortable enough to proudly share your sexuality in intimate situations.

Good luck!
posted by Sublimity at 7:40 PM on September 23, 2011

« Older How to negotiate employer paying for flight to...   |   How big a role should the neighborhood play in a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.