Book Excerpt: Mind Your Manners in the Bedroom
BY Steven Petrow
June 27 2011 1:05 PM ET
Satisfying Your Partner
There’s more to sexual satisfaction than your enjoying a great orgasm. Reciprocity defines good manners. It’s vital that you make an effort to understand each other’s needs and do your best to take care of them. No matter what the situation, be sure to focus on your partner’s desires, even if — perhaps especially if — you’ve been satisfied already. Or if one of you enjoys foreplay or kissing more than the other, talk with each other about how to find the right balance to meet each of your desires.
Here are some ways to bring consideration into the bedroom:
• Don’t be shy: Speak up about your desires and your worries. Not only is learning to talk about sex likely to make things more pleasurable; these kinds of conversations also feed the trust and communication that build intimacy. And for some, sex talk can be a turn-on!
• Pay attention: Listen to the moans and groans of your partner to understand what is pleasing and what is not. If he redirects you from “here” to “there,” remember that in the future. Or if the gentle directive is “Not so hard,” do your best to follow the advice the next time — or ask her if you’re doing okay.
• Pace yourself: If you tend to orgasm early in the game, keep a slower pace and pay attention to your partner for clues that it’s time to go there. Or if it’s typically “lights out” for you after orgasm, playfully mention that early on, so that you can work together to be sure neither of you is left disappointed.
• Understand your partner: Sometimes you may encounter people with somewhat specific tastes or predilections, say a lesbian whose entire interest in sex is giving pleasure to her partner or someone who enjoys SM practices. You’re not expected to know this on your own, or necessarily to explore it the very first time you have sex together. But once again, good communication is very helpful.
What Not to Say in the Heat of the Moment
Some people treat a sexual encounter like a temple where silence is expected, and others seem to talk nonstop. Wherever your position is on the talk-or-not spectrum, there are definitely times when talking isn’t such a good idea during sex. In addition, there are certainly topics or clichés to avoid. Otherwise, you risk embarrassment — either yours or your partner’s.
• Don’t call your new squeeze the name of your ex: Mentioning former lovers in the bedroom is a no-no, but especially in the heat of passion. If you’re the type who’s inclined to get lost in the moment, try using generic terms of affection instead, like “honey,” “baby,” “sweetheart,” or even something role-play-ish like “boi” or “daddy.”
• Be present: Don’t mention while you’re still frolicking that it’s getting late, that you’re hungry, or that you wish you’d bought the red car instead of the blue one.
• No judgments: Don’t comment on the sexual performance of your partner in the middle of the game. If such a conversation is needed, wait until the postcoital embrace or, better yet, the next morning. However, if you’re not enjoying something or it’s uncomfortable, guide your partner elsewhere or speak up.
• Don’t reveal startling fetishes: If you want your partner to dress you in diapers or slap you — anything that might shock — talk about this beforehand rather than surprising your partner in bed.