Sometimes, you need to put yourself first. Whether you skip the party to catch up on self-care or advocate for a promotion at work, prioritizing your own well-being should always top of your to-do list. Of course, when it comes to the sexy stuff, there's a fine line between maximizing your own pleasure and totally ignoring your partner's needs. And knowing some sex behaviors that mean they're selfish in bed may just help you find your sexy balance.
"Being selfish in bed means only thinking about your needs, your pleasure and your boundaries," Dee Stacey, certified sexual health educator for Blume, a self-care and period product company, tells Elite Daily.
According to Stacey, if your partner seems a little selfish between the sheets, it may be worthwhile to observe their behavior in the streets. "I would think twice about spending your time and energy with someone who isn't ever going to reciprocate, leaving us likely feeling unfulfilled, tired, or annoyed," Stacey says. "Reciprocity is important in many ways, but especially when it comes to sex!" Remember: Your pleasure is always a priority.
If your partner seems a little too focused on themselves in the bedroom, here are seven behaviors to look out for.
1. They're focused on their orgasm and nothing else.
If you're starting to feel like your partner only cares about climaxing or defines sex around their orgasms, Stacey shares that they may be selfish in bed. "The most common behavior that shows someone's selfish side is indicating that sex is over after only one partner has achieved orgasm," Stacey says. "Treating the experience like an, 'I got what I wanted so we're done' is a huge turn-off."
You and your boo may have your own sexy systems worked out about who finishes when or what you both like to do. However, if your partner is actively orgasming and not worried or interested in your orgasming, it may be time for a check-in. Of course, sex isn't defined by orgasms, nor are orgasms the tell-tale sign of "good sex." Though orgasms can be a wonderful part of sex, they don't need to be the "goal" of your sexual encounters. Getting frisky just to enjoy getting frisky can be super enjoyable (and hot).
2. They don't reciprocate.
"It's definitely good to prioritize one's own pleasure, but that doesn't let any partner off the hook for reciprocation," Stacey says. "Sometimes, partners want very different things in a sexual experience, and as long as both people have consented, then both very different things can happen, and both partner's pleasure can be prioritized."
As Stacey shares, "reciprocal" sex, or sex that's fulfilling for everyone, doesn't mean you and your partner doing the exact same thing to each other. Maybe you love oral sex, and they love fingering. Maybe they're into rimming, and you like getting massaged. Reciprocating doesn't mean doing the same thing for the same amount of time; it means making sure that everyone feels fulfilled. "It's an issue when one prioritizes their own pleasure without regard to what the other might want or like," Stacey says. "That is selfishness."
3. They don't consider your body.
You don't need to be in love (or even in like) with someone to have Flamin' Hot sex with them. According to Psychosexual Therapist Cate Mackenzie, putting emotion into whatever you're doing (i.e., checking in and being in tune with your partner) can turn up the heat. If your partner isn't mindful about you and your body, it could mean they're a little selfish in the sack.
"You are just there for your own pleasure and don't consider what the other partner wants," Mackenzie tells Elite Daily. "Are you just getting off for yourself? Is there no heart in what you are doing sexually?"
While everyone is different, asking your partner if something feels good or inquiring about their sexual preferences can help you both feel fulfilled between the sheets.
4. They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.
Yes, your partner asking you about what you want is a really good thing. However, as Stacey shares, while it's important to ask your partner what they like, it's more important to modify your behavior accordingly.
"Another selfish red flag is when a person goes through the effort of asking what their partner likes or their boundaries, indicating good communication and caring, but then doesn't at all focus on those answers and still acts only for themselves," Stacey says. "Communication isn't just asking; it's listening and acting in those ways too!"
When your partner lays down a boundary, you need to respect it. Though talking about your preferences and desires is a strong first step, actions speak louder than words.
5. They're not making space for you to share you desires.
Knowing what feels right for your body is awesome. Self-exploration and sexy experimentation are incredibly important parts of life. It's good to be able to prioritize your needs and know what you want. However, if you're not making space for your partner to do the same, you may be sliding into selfish-lover insecurity territory.
"It is important that you know how to meet your needs or ask for what you want, but there is a difference between being knowing your needs and wants and using someone for your needs and ignoring their needs," Mackenzie says.
While being able to ask for what you want is an important skill, asking your partner what they want is also a considerate practice.
6. They don't want to learn or explore.
When it comes to sex and sexuality, there's always more to learn. "Often selfishness in the bedroom comes more from a lack of learning," Stacey says. "We don't have many opportunities to learn about bodies and pleasure, and folks can still be quite shy about opening up these conversations."
If your partner isn't open to evolving or growing sexually, Mackenzie agrees that it may mean they're a little too focused on themselves. "Many of us may feel too intimidated to admit we need to learn about sex," Mackenzie says. "Once we can get comfortable enough to start to learn about sex, it can have the potential to open up a ball of fun."
Let me just say: You never need to do anything you're not completely comfortable with. Having boundaries or not being into something sexually doesn't make you "selfish." While you never need to go out of your comfort zone, Mackenzie shares that being a considerate lover means accepting that there's always more to learn about sex. "Try to have an open, honest conversation about how you're feeling and what you would like can be scary but ultimately very effective and strengthen the relationship as a whole," Stacey says.
7. They're acting out of insecurity.
Makenzie shares that "selfish" lovers often center themselves because they're not confident enough to fully connect with someone else.
"Becoming a considerate lover is about developing confidence," Mackenzie says. "Being fully naked emotionally and physically while being sexual is one of the most vulnerable experiences we can ever engage in. You want to keep your eye on the ball, asking for active consent, and considering different levels of comfort."
While everyone is different, Mackenzie shares that being selfish in the bedroom could mean some lingering insecurity is afoot. If your partner is struggling to ask you what you want, it could mean their own insecurity is keeping them from fully connecting with you. While you never need to do all the emotional labor, talking to your boo about what makes them feel sexy and affirming how much you care about them may help them feel more confident in the bedroom. "I recommend finding pieces of positive feedback to use as a starting point for the moment or afterward," Stacey says.
From ignoring your needs to centering sex around their own orgasms, there are plenty of ways someone can get a little selfish between the sheets. If you're starting to think you could use a little more from your partner, try talking to them about where you're at. If they're not open to changing their behavior or meeting your needs, it may be worthwhile to take some time and space for yourself. Though every relationship is different, you deserve to have the sex you want to be having. And whether you take a night for yourself or give a rundown of your sweet spots, there's nothing selfish about getting your needs met, too.