Even though you’ve heard for years that all people love [fill in the blank], you just don’t. You — or your partner — think (or at least hope) you’ll eventually grow to like it, or even love it. You want to love it. You want to make your partner happy and give them the pleasure they desire. But maybe you feel silly doing it, or you’re unsure of how to do it, or your upbringing has told you “good people don’t.” Assuming you’ve got a hangup you genuinely want to get over, then here a few quick tips for having your Sandra-Dee makeover moment in the sack.
1. Get into the right headspace. Don’t focus too much on the physical aspect, thinking that there’s nothing in the act for you. Instead, focus on how much your partner loves something, how vulnerable and appreciative they are when you do it. Then it can become an exciting power trip.
2. Don’t wait to be asked to do it, initiate yourself. If a partner begs for something, then it can feel like work, like an annoying obligation. But if you offer first, then you’re in control; it’s on your terms. And you’ll feel more like a sex god/dess.
3. Do it your own way. There’s no real one-right-way for any given sex act. So feel free to modify until it works for you. For example, let’s say fellatio is not your favorite, but your partner loves it and you want to return the oral sex favor he happily gives to you. There’s no rule book that says blowjobs must entail deep throating and swallowing. So use both hands as an extension of your mouth (good handwork can make a great blowjob). And have something handy to spit in (we have yet to hear of a guy who would rather have no blowjobs than a blowjob where the woman spits or even uses her hands for the happy ending). If you just don’t like the taste of penis, then attack him next time he comes out of the shower. Brushing your teeth right before will keep things fresher, too. You could even try a flavored lube (those products have improved vastly over the past few years). Basically, modify, modify, modify until it works for you!
4. Practice makes perfect. Let’s say you’d like to do a striptease for your partner, but the thought of being on display and judged freaks you out. Try practicing in front of the mirror on your own until you feel confident enough to go for it. Don’t wait until you’ve got everything just perfect — that’ll put too much pressure on you (plus, perfection is impossible). Whatever it is — tying bondage tape, using a paddle, getting through a porno without blushing or laughing, etc — practice by yourself first alone until you get the swing of things.
5. Have a drink. But just one (ok, maybe two). Ah yes, the trusty old Dutch courage. There’s nothing quite like a glass of wine to help loosen up nagging inhibitions. Of course, there’s a world of difference between a little buzz and being so drunk you can’t remember your own name. You may feel like Demi Moore in Striptease when you’re off your head, but all that practice will go out the window if you can’t walk in your heels. Plus, if you have to get smashed to do something then chances are you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place: some inhibitions are healthy tools for self-preservation and safety.
6. Figure out where you can compromise. It’s a tough call: to fess up or not to fess up; to fake it or not to fake it? As any therapist will tell you, open communication is the key to a healthy sex life. And faking, whether we’re talking about orgasms or enjoying oral, can give a guy the wrong idea of what’s working for you in bed. On the other hand, there can be those too-much-information occasions when the truth hurts without being much help. So you’ve got to decide what is a deal breaker for you. If you’re not into something simply because of old prejudices, because of laziness, or because it just feels okay instead of mind-blowingly amazing, then consider compromising. For example, institute a special-occasions-only policy (whereby you do X on birthdays and anniversaries, and your partner does something special for you in return). Or give your partner two minutes with their favorite position before you move onto your favorite. However, if you’re not into something because it’s an affront to your values, your body or your own pleasure, then see point #7.
7. If you hate it, don’t cave. Stick to your guns and just say no — loudly, clearly and consistently. After all, if something feels like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time (or worse), why should you pretend it feels like heaven after a long day at the office? Far too often we behave in ways we’ve been told are sexy or sexual, by the media and pop culture, even when that behavior doesn’t make us feel sexy or sexual. Perhaps our biggest sexual hang-up is being able to ask for something we really want.