Dear Em & Lo,
When my boyfriend and I first got together and started having sex he asked me how I thought it was. I told him it was alright. Well, he took it as a negative thing and now he doesn’t want to have sex with me because he thinks I don’t enjoy it. I have told him a lot of times that I really do enjoy it, but he still doesn’t believe me. What should I do now?
— Foot in Mouth
First of all, let this be a lesson to all the luvvers out there: no one ever wants to be told that they’re “all right” in bed. Three-day old pizza is all right, one of Julia Roberts’ lesser movies is all right, and so is flying coach. But sex? Of course your boyfriend took “all right” as a negative thing, we don’t blame him! You may as well have shrugged your shoulders and said, “Eh.”
We’re guessing that an argument of semantics (“I meant all right as in, ‘Aw-right!!! Yeah!!'”) isn’t going to work here, so all you can do is lead by example. The more often you initiate sex, the more he’s going to believe you. And while we would never condone faking, you might want to think about how much noise you’re making in bed. Have you ever noticed how free people feel to moan in ecstasy when they’re receiving a backrub — and yet those same people are often quiet-as-a-mouse in bed. Perhaps if you learned to vocalize your enjoyment in the moment itself, that’d be more convincing.
That all said, we think your boyfriend also needs to suck it up and deal. If you’re not free to be honest with each other about how things are going in the sack, then your sex life is doomed. If the earth isn’t moving for you, then he needs to know that. Of course, as you have learned the hard way, men’s egos are often more fragile than a newly hatched duckling, and there are many wrong ways to approach this matter. As a general rule, you want to keep your directions in
positive, constructive terms: “I love it when you do this; I’d really like to do that again, it turned me on so much; You know what my favorite thing that you do in bed is? You know what I’ve always wanted to try?” And so on. Even better if your voice gets all husky and you sound like you’re talking dirty when you say this stuff.
And next time you want to tell someone they’re alright in bed? Make sure you pump your fist in the air as you say it so they know how you really feel.
Em & Lo