Here’s How To Gently Tell Your Partner You're Not Sexually Satisfied

by Christy Piña

For some couples, sex can be a very important factor in a relationship, but that doesn't mean everyone has an instant sexual connection. Let's say you and your partner are getting busy, and they're doing the best they can, but for whatever reason, you're just not feeling it. Maybe they're not hitting the right spots, or they are, but not in a way that satisfies you. You deserve to get yours, and for that, it might be helpful to know how to tell your partner you're not sexually satisfied. It might be a tough conversation, but having it once and for all is probably better than experiencing another night of only-sort-of-satisfying sex.

Letting someone who loves and cares for you know that they're not satisfying you in the bedroom may not be the easiest thing for them to hear, and understandably so. Keep in mind, however, that "there is no universal definition of good sex," Jessica O'Reilly, Ph.D. and host of the Mindful Sex video course, tells Elite Daily. "But you're more likely to enjoy sex if you’re open to learning and considering multiple perspectives." While having a conversation with your partner about not feeling sexually satisfied may be difficult and awkward, talking things over can have an incredible outcome on your sex life and bring you even closer together. Here's how to do just that, according to experts.

Remember That Most Partners Do Want To Satisfy You.

One of the most important things to remember before going into this conversation with your partner is that they probably want to satisfy you. So, hearing that they aren't doing it for you might be a little tough. Nevertheless, honesty is key here. "Your telling them the truth equips them to create a mutually-desirable and satisfying experience," sex and intimacy coach Irene Fehr tells Elite Daily. "While it might sting to hear that you're not satisfied sexually, knowing this information sooner rather than later can give them choice and power to change the outcome."

Though having this talk with bae may not be the most fun time, going into it with the mindset that your partner wants to satisfy you is a great place to start, Fehr says. It "can help you relax and start with a soft approach," she adds.

Create A Safe Space, And Pick The Right Time.

The first step is to figure out the right time to bring this up to bae. For example, in the middle of having sex is probably not a great time to to do that. It also shouldn't be a fly-by conversation while you're cooking or driving somewhere. It "might feel less risky, but ultimately will set you up for failure because you won't be able to truly share what's going on and attend to your partner's comments sensitively," she states.

The best thing to do is to set aside a time to have a quality, face-to-face conversation, Fehr adds. This way, you can be open with each other and communicate without a rush. "Give your partner ample notice by asking them to set aside some time to talk about this," she advises. Let them know it's important to you and you'd like to talk things over together, when they have time. "Hey, can we talk about something that's been on my mind?" might be a good place to start.

"The success of this conversation depends on how safe the space feels for you and your partner to be open and free with each other to really share what's going on," Fehr says. "And to be willing to do something differently — especially when it feels vulnerable." Remember: Any sort of blame, criticism, or shaming can make the conversation go south very quickly, potentially leaving both parties defensive, offended, and/or hurt.

Make Sure You're Going Into The Conversation With An "I" Perspective, Not A "You" Perspective.

"Reframe the conversation from criticism to feedback," Fehr says. A good way to do this is to use "I" statements, Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen tells Elite Daily. "Blaming another person for your experience can be off-putting and hurtful or angering to them, and doesn't offer a collaborative point of view," Queen says.

O'Reilly agrees with Queen, and suggests you request certain sexual things from your partner instead of complaining about what they're doing (or not doing). "Tell them what you want and show them how you want it, as opposed to critiquing their approach," she says. "Try to explain why you want something or outline the benefit(s)."

This can look like, "I really love it when you do XYZ," or "Honestly babe, this isn't working for me. I would really like to try this new position. What do you think?"

Be Honest.

The first thing you might want to mention is what is working for you during sex, and how you enjoy those aspects of your intimacy. For example, you can tell them you appreciate how attentive they are, that you love being around them, you love their touch during foreplay, or whatever it may be, Fehr recommends. Then, follow that with certain things you may want or need more or less of to feel satisfied. "I love when you do this, but I'd really love it if you kissed me here," you could say. Even something as simple as, "Missionary position is getting less exciting for me. How would you feel about trying doggy style?" might work.

Ultimately, Fehr says the goal of this conversation should be to find solutions together and set your partner up with everything they need to succeed.

Allow Your Partner Time And Space To Process.

Even though the hard part is over, your partner might be feeling a little disheartened after learning they weren't sexually satisfying you all this time, and that's OK. "Give your partner space to absorb what you're sharing and process this on their own," Fehr suggests.

"You will not be able to solve or 'fix' your sexual satisfaction in one conversation," she says. "Allow time and space for multiple and on-going conversations about sex to discover each other — rather than fix."

Now What?

Now that you've had the conversation, what comes next is just as important. If you notice your partner doing something different during sex, and it's woking for you, "acknowledge their efforts," Fehr advises. Let them know just how much you love their newest tricks. But if, on the other hand, they're still doing something you don't necessarily like, O'Reilly suggests you "be clear that it's not your preference, and let them know what you'd like instead." Repetition, folks. It can really work.

Last but not least, don't be afraid to continue talking about sex, even after you and your partner have established your likes and dislikes. "The more you talk about sex, the more satisfied you will be," O'Reilly explains. "So, start talking about your desires, fantasies, boundaries, insecurities, and dreams today." Queen echoes that sentiment. "Share information about your experience," she suggests. "Give and ask for feedback, talk about things that work the best, talk about things you'd like to try. Treat sex like it's something you can explore together, because it is."