We’ve all been there: Sex with your partner is good, but it’s this close to being mind-blowing. But, while you probably know what it takes to get you off, spelling out exactly where he’s going wrong can be a little…soul-crushing.
So what can you do? Experts swear it’s possible to teach your partner to be better in bed without hurting anyone’s feelings.
“We should all be teaching one another,” says Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., Astroglide’s resident sexologist. No one is born a great cook—it’s a skill you cultivate. … We really should treat sex the same way and draw from a variety of sources, bearing in mind that there is no right way to cook or have sex—we each have very different tastes.”
It might actually go over better than you’d think, says licensed marriage and sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D. “Technique can certainly be taught,” she says. “In fact, most partners welcome the information.”
Of course, saying “this just isn’t working for me” in the heat of the moment isn’t going to go over well, but there are things you can do and say to teach your S.O. to push the right buttons. Here’s what experts recommend:
Speak up in bed
In bed, offer a little guidance and tell your partner what you like. “Any feedback is good feedback as long as it’s constructive,” Van Kirk says. “Partners need information and you should feel empowered to give it. You deserve it, after all.” She recommends non-verbal cues, like pulling him in, moving his hand with yours, or kissing him more deeply when he hits the right spots, as well as using sounds (think: moaning louder) when something feels good. You also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for more when something feels right, O’Reilly says. And, when you’re talking after sex, you can be specific about what really did it for you.
Let GoT be your guide
When you’re watching something sexy with your partner, point out stuff that seems hot, like how two characters undress each other, and how they interact, O’Reilly says. If there’s a particular move or position that turns you on, say something about it.
Take the reins
If you’re looking to mix things up (and want to make sure you get your rocks off in the process), play the role of dominatrix, O’Reilly says. Tell your partner you’re in charge tonight and then give explicit instructions on what you want him to do to you. It’s a great way to get across what turns you on—with feedback—without being obvious that the regular stuff isn’t working for you.
Show exactly what you want—on your partner
If you know a little nipple action or oral is what gets you going, do it to your partner first. Rub, kiss, and lick him the way you’d like him to do it to you, O’Reilly suggests—he’ll likely return the favor. And, if he doesn’t get the hint, gently guide his hands/head toward the area you want or simply say, “Now, it’s my turn.”
Trade sexual favors
Odds are, your partner has something that really does it for him, too, so offer to trade sexual favors, O’Reilly suggests. Tell him plainly: If he does [insert hot move here] for you, you’ll reciprocate with the move of his choice. Just talking about it will get you both revved up.
Above all, experts say you shouldn’t be afraid to take action. After all, your S.O. won’t know about your needs if you don’t share them—and will likely welcome the feedback.