“How Do I Ask for What I Want in Bed?”by Anna Pulley at RedEye Chicago on December 06, 2012
“I’ve been with a really great guy for about a month and a half. He’s so good to me, very sweet, charming, hot, and all that. I’m not usually shy, but before him I was in a not-so-great relationship where our sex was infrequent and somewhat fraught, and I feel like it’s affecting my current one. I’m finding that I have difficulty asking for what I want in bed now. It’s not that what my guy is doing is wrong or anything, I just sometimes can’t speak when he asks me what I want. This is frustrating for both of us. How do I get over myself and get back to my usual confident self?”
One time I was on a flight to Hong Kong and ran out of water. Everyone was asleep, and instead of pushing the button for the flight attendant, whom I didn’t want to inconvenience, even though it was her job to be inconvenienced, I simply went without.
I rationalized this by telling myself that I probably wouldn’t die from dehydration in six hours. And I didn’t, but I was pretty miserable for the rest of that flight. I’m telling you this ridiculous story not because your needs are as trivial as pushing a button (they aren’t), but to illustrate that when we don’t ask for what we want, all we’re doing is hurting and frustrating ourselves. Often needlessly.
I’d guess, as you also surmise, that your last relationship left a bitter taste in your mouth and made you feel insecure. That’s understandable. But remember that this current fella is not the previous one. The beauty of new relationships is that you get a clean slate, but it also means you have to learn a new lover from scratch, and that takes time and effort. (But both are fun because it’s sex! Yay!)
If you’re freezing up in the moment, try taking the conversation out of the bedroom. When the space is neutralized, you might find it much easier to be direct.