9 Ways To Make A Partner Feel Comfortable

by Kristine Fellizar

We’ve all been inexperienced in the bedroom at some point in our sexual history. So most of us know how nerve wracking it feels to be the one who doesn’t really know what’s going on. Then there are times when you might even be the one with a bit more experience under your belt. In those cases, it’s only natural for you to take the lead and guide your partner. With that kind of power, comes great responsibility. When you’re dealing with an inexperienced partner, there are definitely certain do’s and don’ts to go about it. The last thing you want to do is make them feel weird, rushed, or nervous.

First off, what does it even mean to be “inexperienced?” If you go by findings from a recent IllicitEncounters survey, having less than 10 sexual partners would mean you’re "sexually inexperienced." Considering that the National Center for Health Statistics say adult women aged 20 to 59 have an average of four sex partners during their lifetime, while men have an average of seven, that would be a lot of people who are considered to be inexperienced in bed.

But sexual inexperience doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to the number of people you’ve slept with. For instance, you could have sex with one or two people in your lifetime but still feel like you’ve experienced all there is to experience when it comes to sex. You could also have a ton of “vanilla” sex but haven’t ventured to more adventurous sex.

Either way, everyone brings their own set of skills, history, and experiences to the bedroom. If you just happen to be the one with a little more experience, here are some ways to make your inexperienced partner feel more sexually comfortable.

1. Take It Slow

“One of the best things to do when your partner has limited sexual experience is to pay attention to your pace,” Tristan Weedmark, global passion ambassador for We-Vibe tells Bustle. “There’s no reason to rush into something in bed that might provoke anxiety. Read your partner’s body language and stay mindful of how quickly you’re moving.”

2. Start Fresh

Try something that you’ve both never done before, Weedmark suggests. If a certain position or activity is brand new for both of you, it could be fun to explore while making sure both partners are comfortable. As a bonus, you can both bond over the experience.

3. Give Your Partner Space

“Although it might be easy for you to initiate and establish the lead when it comes to sex, see if you can resist and allow for some space for your less experienced partner to take the lead,” Dr. Kat Van Kirk, sex therapist and resident sex expert for Adam and Eve tells Bustle. “This will help them feel more comfortable and give them some confidence.”

4. Be Communicative

According to Dr. Kat, the more communication, the better. Your inexperienced partner may even thank you for it.

“Sometimes newbie partners can be unsure of sexual cues and non-verbal signals,” Dr. Kat says. “They are often relived when a more experienced partner simply tells them what they want.”

5. But Don't Over Communicate

Yes, there is a such thing as being too communicative. Dr. Kat suggests trying to pull back on too much post-sex feedback. "It can be overwhelming and oftentimes, even if it’s positive, it can make them feel judged and thusly self critical,” she says.

6. Watch Porn Together

One great way to make them feel more comfortable is to show them what you like. According to licensed clinical and research psychologist, Nicole Prause from UCLA, sex films have been shown to increase the breadth of sexual behaviors, like clitoral stimulation, anal sex, and bondage.

“It could be helpful to ask the person to watch sex films with you to talk about what in the films is interesting, enticing, or a turn off,” Prause tells Bustle. “Watching sex films before being sexual together can help dispel myths together and start honest communication.”

7. Masturbate In Front Of Them

Dr. William Kolbe, author of The Rejuvenating Power of Masturbation tells Bustle, “My suggestion for allowing inexperienced sexual partners to feel comfortable during intimacy is to first have the partners masturbate in each other's presence before engaging in paired sex. This sharing would demystify each other's sexuality and sensuality, thus making them accessible, appreciated, and prepared for paired intimacy.”

8. Make Sure Your Partners Knows You Want Them

Just because you’re more experienced, it doesn’t mean you should start breaking out all the crazy sex positions you’ve perfected over time. According to Dr. Gail Saltz, an associate professor of psychiatry at The New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornel School of Medicine, “It’s not about showing how many tricks you got.” Instead, the key is to let your partner know what you want and what you don’t want. Yes, communicate. But more importantly, make sure your partner knows that you desire them.

“You want to communicate that you want to be with your partner for them and their body,” Dr. Saltz tells Bustle.

9. Be Authentic

Don’t be afraid to give positive feedback. If you like something, tell them. If they're doing something wrong, tell themin a positive way. According to Dr. Saltz, when people are less experienced they often tend to use what they’ve seen in porn and apply it to their bedroom activities. However, not many women love getting their hair pulled or can orgasm after missionary for five minutes. But if that’s the case, Dr. Saltz suggests taking on the role of teacher. Move their hands over places you want to be touched. Position yourself in a way that feels good for you. Use positive feedback like, “Yes, that’s great” or “Yes please.” If you want something else tell them, “I like more of this…” It’s all about sharing and telling.

But most importantly, don’t over do it. Loud sex is great and your feedback may spur your partner on, but make sure everything you do is authentic. As in, don’t fake it. As Dr. Saltz says, that won’t do any good in the long run.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our video on sex positions for small penises:

Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Giphy(9)