Sex shouldn't be one-sided. Of course, the whole point of a partner being there (for something you can do alone, by the way) is to connect in a dual effort. Signs that your partner is selfish in bed (and you're likely going to leave the experience feeling unsatisfied) are important to watch out for. What's more, selfishness between the sheets can make for selfishness in other areas within the relationship. So it might be worth rethinking your partnership overall, unless a dialogue doesn't spark change.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on improving their romantic relationships and feeling pleasure in intimate ways. Sure, you can always masturbate, but there's something really special about sharing that experience with another person, and when the sex is good (and fair), it usually makes for a loving, healthy relationship overall. But if your partner only cares about himself or herself in bed, it can make things messy and unclear. Plus, it can interfere with attraction and sexual compatibility long-term. Here are seven ways to know if your partner is too selfish in bed, and how you can increase your personal pleasure (without taking away from your partner's). A simple chat could work, but seeing a relationship or sex therapist could also be beneficial.
1. Your Partner Doesn't Wait For You To Orgasm
According to Weena Cullins, LCMFT, over email with Bustle, if your partner doesn't wait or take the time for you to orgasm, he or she is selfish in bed. "It’s a problem If you are left hanging after they have climaxed, or your partner doesn’t bother to ask you if you’re satisfied," says Cullins. Talk to your partner about it, and see if he or she is willing to put in more effort.
2. Your Partner Guilts You Into Having Sex
"The #1 way to know if your partner is too selfish in bed is if they sulk or engage in manipulative behavior when you say 'no' to sex or to a particular position or act," says Lesli Doares, couples consultant and host of the radio program, Happily Ever After is Just the Beginning to Bustle. "'Guilting' you into sex or some sexual act is the ultimate in both disrespect and selfishness. Sex is something to be enjoyed by both of you, not just one person. Asking is never the problem, but how they react may be," Doares says.
3. Your Partner Isn't Present
"If you’re feeling like your partner is distracted or not focused on your experience of intimacy together, you might also find that your partner may be interested in just his/her own pleasure," says psychologist Dr. Sally Nazari, owner of ChrysalisPsychological Services and host of Beyond the Couch podcast to Bustle. Giving into distractions can be disrespectful during sex.
4. Your Partner Doesn't Ask What You Like In Bed
Not everyone will like certain positions or moves in bed, so it's best to ask your partner for feedback in order to make the sexual experience more pleasurable for him/her. If you don't ask, you're being uncaring. "You can also play little games with your partner to ask what things your partner may have noticed that you like – this way, you can gauge interest, connection, and attention to your needs in a more open way," says Nazari.
5. Your Partner Is Too Demanding
There's a fine line between dominant-submissive role playing, and sometimes if your partner is just too controlling in general, it can become worrisome and unenjoyable. Ask yourself this: "Are they directive or demanding? (Again, this could be fun—but only if consensual and you want to be in that role)," says Carol Queen, PhD, Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist to Bustle.
6. Your Partner Always, Always Does What He/She Wants First
First stop? Your partner's likes. If this is always the case, it could mean your partner is selfish in bed and isn't focused on pleasing you, says Queen, (which should be a priority from the start in the healthy relationship). Likewise, you'd reciprocate the favor.
7. Your Partner Skips Foreplay Altogether, Even If You Like It
It sometimes takes more foreplay to get women turned on than the average man, so getting in those extra minutes before the deed can really matter when it comes to the female orgasm. So, "if your partner doesn't engage in foreplay to help get you turned on or won't please you orally if it's something you like, [they're] being selfish," says Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW based in NYC over email with Bustle.
If you feel like you're not clicking in bed anymore, or your partner doesn't have your best interest in mind, it's worth talking about it or maybe looking elsewhere (if he/she doesn't want to improve). Either way, sex is important to a relationship, where both parties should be happy.