The Frisky Feminist

“How Do I Tell Him What I Want?”

Q: How do I tell my boyfriend that I want us to change positions more and that I want him to give me oral sex the way I do him?

A: That’s great that you’re thinking about how to express your wants and needs to your boyfriend. Some people have no trouble discussing every intimate detail of their sex lives, while others feel awkward talking about anything sex-related – okay, so, I’m an avid Teen Mom 1 and 2 watcher, and on one of the most recent episodes of Teen Mom 2, Kailyn brought up her new IUD to her boyfriend Jordan, who practically crawled under the dinner table to get away from the sex talk. Even if you feel a bit uncomfortable or uncertain, though, I do think it’s really important to be able to talk about sex, both in a relationship and in a more casual one-night stand or friends with benefits relationship. You need to be able to talk about the less sexy things, like pregnancy prevention (if it’s relevant) and STI status, and I think you also need to be able to talk about the fun things, like what really turns you on, what your favorite acts are, and what you’ve always wanted to try.

We see two general ways you could approach this – in the context of sexytimes, or not. Some people prefer to talk about their desires and things they want to try when they’re outside the bedroom, while others feel more comfortable talking about sex during or after having it. And it doesn’t have to be a one-or-the-other thing; personally, I like both approaches and have felt the most successful at communicating my needs and desires when I do it both in a nonsexual context, like over lunch or just hanging out, and when I mention it in a more “sexy” context, like when talking dirty or sending sexy texts or e-mails.

You could bring up switching positions while you and your boyfriend are having sex: “This is awesome, but I think it would feel really great if we [fill in position details here].” (You know, make sure he knows that you like what you’re doing now [if in fact you do] but that you’d also like these other possibilities.) You could offer to take charge and get on top if you don’t usually get to do that, or you could tell him you want to lie back and enjoy yourself while he does the work if you’re usually the one doing the heavy lifting. Or, if the two of you ever talk dirty, you can express it a bit more explicitly: “I want you to shove my legs over my head and fuck me as hard as you can.” Or something.

If you think you’d rather discuss it in a less-intimate setting, you could mention it while the two of you are just hanging out, when you’re talking about what you want to do the next time you have a date night, whatever. “I think it would be fun if we switched positions more when we’re [having whatever kinds of sex you have], what do you think?” You could even mention it via e-mail if you’re feeling bashful or if you two don’t always get to see each other in person a lot; I had a friend-with-benefits who told me he had some ideas for us, but felt a little shy telling me them because he wasn’t sure how I’d react, so he wrote them all up and e-mailed them to me. He didn’t have to worry about feeling rejected or nervous, and I kept them in mind for the next time we got together. You could just say what you want to do, or you could even e-mail him a website like this one, which has 3D animated oral and PIV sex positions! (Lots of fun to look at, but not at work.)

“You think that one’s weird, check out the Viennese Oyster. Are you double-jointed?”

You can bring up your desire for him to go down on you the same way(s), either during sex (something like, “Now it’s my turn!” after you’ve been giving him oral sex for a while) or in a different setting. It’s completely reasonable for you to want him to reciprocate something that you do for him, so figuring out why he doesn’t (either often or ever) will likely show you how to handle the subject; a partner not initiating going down on you because he’s nervous and thinks he’s no good at it would warrant a very different response than a partner who says, “It’s gross and I don’t want to.” If you think he may be reluctant to because he isn’t very experienced giving head, remind him that everyone has to start somewhere and that you’re quite willing to give him all the practice he needs. Part of the fun of sex is figuring out things that feel good and new ways of pleasing your partner, so it can be something the two of you enjoy together as opposed to something he feels intimidated by.

Hopefully, these conversations will help the two of you better incorporate both of your interests and desires into the sex you’re having. After you’ve shared what you’ve been wanting to try with him, you could ask him if there’s anything he’s been thinking about lately; the two of us have regular “so, is there anything new you want to do/anything we haven’t done in a while that you want to/anything we should be doing differently” conversations, and it might help the two of you get used to sharing all your wants and needs with one another.


Keep the great ques­tions com­ing! (Hee.) Got a ques­tion to ask, sub­ject you’d like us to dis­cuss, or myth you’d like us to bust? You can e-mail us at or send us an anony­mous mes­sage via the spiffy new Ask Us! fea­ture here.

By paperispatient

I recently earned my MA in women’s studies. I enjoy reading, working out, playing Scrabble, watching cheesy movies, and cooking yummy vegetarian meals with my partner and Frisky Feminist co-author, Future Mr. paperispatient.

One reply on ““How Do I Tell Him What I Want?””

I just flat-out make demands while it’s going on.  “Get on top of me.”  “Go faster/slower.”  “Do such-and-such.”  I’ve never been with a guy who wasn’t totally eager to prove that he could BLOW MY MIND or whatever.  If he says no, he says no.  Sometimes I say no too.

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