What’s a Nice Way to Give Directions in Bed?

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Dear Em & Lo,

I truly enjoy sex with my boyfriend, but I don’t orgasm through sex.  We are a relatively new couple, and he hasn’t learned how to get me off reliably with oral sex. He recently told me that when he performs oral sex on me, I am too quiet.

I completely understand his desire for me to be more vocal and more directive. However, I hesitate, because the very few times I have given directions, he applied the advice in the moment but then never again. And I don’t want to offend him by being patronizing or assuming he doesn’t understand the female anatomy.

I want to turn him on, and I want to orgasm when he goes down on me.  I love him, and enjoy his efforts, but he doesn’t seem to hit the right spot. How can I communicate what he should do without being condescending or patronizing? It’s not like he’s bad at this — his efforts have been valiant the few times he has tried, he just hasn’t learned my body completely yet.

— The Quiet American

Dear Q.A.,

Perhaps when your boyfriend says that you’re not “vocal” enough during oral sex, he means that you’re not being vocally appreciative enough of his efforts. In other words, perhaps he’s one of those guys who’d rather get a massive standing ovation when he’s doing something right — rather than pointers when he’s doing something wrong. (And really, who doesn’t prefer that?) If this is the case, you might want to make sure that you’re providing a lot of positive reinforcement along with your instructions. When he gets something right (and especially if he gets something right after you ask him to do it), you need to ham it up: moans, groans, writhing, oh yeahs, the lot.

Or perhaps he’s just really forgetful? It could be that once he’s between your thighs inhaling your heady scent, all coherent thought goes out the window. Which means that you need to remind him gently — as many times as it takes. If you’re worried about being condescending, turn the reminder into a compliment: “Remember that thing you did last time with your nose? It turned me on so much, could you do it again?” And so on. Perhaps he’s one of those guys who learns via muscle memory instead of rote memorization. Also, what we said before about moaning loudly when he gets it right? That should help a memory stick.

As for your fears that you’ll sound condescending or patronizing: Just make sure that you when you tell him something, it sounds more like dirty talk than text book talk. Drop the matter-of-fact voice and tell him what turns you on like you mean it.

Have you tried mutual masturbation yet, by the way? You know: you diddle you while he diddles himself — and you each watch each other. This won’t necessarily teach him about how to go down on you, but it will teach him how to pay attention to what gets you off.

If he’s the decent guy you say he is, and if he continues to try as valiantly as you say he has been, we’re sure you’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, try to enjoy the journey, as the hippies like to say.

— The Not-So-Quiet Advice Ladies


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