4 Ways to Tell Your Partner What You Want in Bed — Without Hurting Their Feelings

It's no secret that many women have trouble telling their partners what satisfies them — and what does not. Many of us (40 percent, according to a TODAY Show/Men's Health survey of 5,000 people) feel most insecure about our weight in bed, while 14 percent are most insecure with our struggle to reach orgasm. Here's how to banish your hang-ups for good and speak up for what you want — while still keeping things hot.

1. Focus on foreplay

"Women are aware of their erogenous zones — the backs of the legs, neck and behind the ears — and they generally need these areas to be stimulated before they can become aroused below the belt," Laura Berman, Ph.D., sex therapist and co-director of the Women's Sexual Health Clinic at Boston University Medical Center tells Cosmo. "Men, on the other hand, focus mainly on their erection as the center of their sexuality — they often don't realize how much touching their partners need before being hot enough for more advanced foreplay, let alone intercourse." So nudge your partner to focus on where you want to be stimulated — and to slow down.

2. Take the lead

According to a 2006 Men’s Health/Cosmopolitan survey, 66 percent of men wish women would take charge in bed more often. There's even scientific evidence for this: An Illinois State University study found that if the woman initiated sex as often as the man in a relationship, they enjoyed sex more than if the man always started it. Equality is sexy.

3. Get close (emotionally)

In the TODAY Show/Men's Health survey, a third of men and almost half of women say that feeling emotionally connected is the most important part of mind-blowing sex. So take a little time for conversation before you do the deed: It'll work wonders.

4. Make your partner feel secure

While many women feel shy about taking off their clothes, lots of guys are insecure about being able to please. According to the survey above, what 39 percent of men are most turned on by in bed is enthusiasm — and not one of them answered "perfectly toned thighs," so there you have it. Men are just as likely to be looking for validation as women are — so don't be afraid to tell him when you're enjoying yourself.