Here's How To Talk To Your Partner If They're Not So Great In Bed 

by Kristine Fellizar
BDG Media, Inc.

While communicating your issues is definitely the best way to solve problems in a relationship, there are some subjects that are difficult to approach. One? Your sex life. And it's even tougher to bring up when there's something wrong. So how should you talk to your partner if they're bad in bed without hurting their feelings?

"I think changing the question is a good start," licensed psychotherapist and sex therapist, Mary Fisher, CMHC, tells Bustle. Instead of asking yourself, "How can I talk to my partner about being bad in bed without hurting their feelings?" Fisher says you should ask yourself, "How can I help my partner learn about what is arousing and pleasurable for me?"

Research indicates that it's more effective to get to know your individual partner, Fisher says. After all, it's a better goal to help them (and yourself) be good in bed with each other versus being good in bed in general since everyone has their own definition of what they think it means to be "good."

"Not only do anatomy and physiology differ, but what's arousing to one person will not be arousing to the next," she says. "People experience their own bodies differently. Some prefer certain types of genital touching over others and some require more or less non-sexual touching in addition to emotional connection."

While sexual compatibility is important to have, it's not necessarily something that needs to happen right way. And, communicating is the best place to start working on it. So here's what experts recommend doing if you feel like your partner is not so great in bed


Don't Make It About Them, Make It About You

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Don't go to your partner and outwardly say, "You suck in bed!" out of frustration. Similar to Fisher's point, sexologist Carol Queen, PhD tells Bustle, "One thing that might make a person not-too-good in bed in the first place is the belief that everybody is basically alike. All their special go-to moves will somehow work for every single partner, every single time. But that’s rarely the case!"

Instead, introduce them to what makes you feel good. "It’s kind to do that, and it will probably work better," she says.


Make It A Game Of Show And Tell

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Letting your partner know what you really like doesn't have to be awkward. Have a little fun with it. State what you want out loud, in a non-demanding way, and see what happens. You can even take it a step further and just show them if you're comfortable with it. Sometimes actions can speak louder than words.

"Lose your inhibitions and show your partner how to pleasure you by doing it yourself," sexologist and author, Dr. Ava Cadell tells Bustle. "Describe for them what you're doing in graphic detail."


Praise Them For What You *Do* Like

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Some people can get pretty sensitive when it comes to sex. Providing any sort of negative feedback in the moment can have a way of killing the mood. So instead, focus on the positives and praise your partner for it. "Give your partner compliments about the things they do well," Cadell says. "Say, 'I love the way you kiss me,' or 'It really turns me on when you look at me during sex.' Then praise them physically to boost their confidence and let them know how much they are desired by you."


Slow It Down

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"No one teaches us how to communicate about sex, let alone how to have sex," sex and Intimacy Coach, Xanet Pailet, tells Bustle. "Most couples go way too fast and don’t have nearly enough foreplay."

For a lot of women, studies have found intercourse isn't the most important thing. So as Pailet says, tell your partner that you would prefer going slower since "a lot of bad sex is related to moving too fast and not creating arousal and desire."


Have The Conversation Sooner Rather Than Later

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"Remember that most people want to please their partner and are relieved when they get some guidance and feedback," Pailet says. "Don’t accept bad touch or bad sex. Communicate what you want in a loving way and open up the conversation sooner rather than later."

It's important to note that just because someone's not the greatest in bed, it doesn't mean they're going to be a bad partner. . "The only real red flag I look for is a complete lack of sexual chemistry from the very beginning," Fisher says. "If there isn't some chemistry or some attraction to start with, it's very unlikely that it will emerge later."

If you do have sexual chemistry, but aren't having good sex with each other, it's time to talk openly and honestly about what you'd like and how you'd like it. "If talking this way is scary, count yourself 'normal,'" she says. "Decide to learn and grow together. If your sexual interests are disparate, you might each consider what it would take for you to explore with your partner. If they are too disparate, it might be time to acknowledge this, in a non-shaming way, and move on."

The biggest thing to take away here is that being "good" or "bad" in bed is all based on you. So if something needs to change, you need to be the one to bring it up. Just remember to always be kind, show them what you like, and you never know, your opinion might soon change.