How To Tell Your Partner They're Bad In Bed, As Told By 15 Women Who Have Done It

hanks to the internet and sites like ours, there truly is no shortage of advice available on how to have a satisfying and healthy sex life. As you should. But knowing that it’s important to tell your partner if you're unsatisfied and knowing exactly how to tell them they're bad in bed are two very different things.

Broaching the subject is rarely easy, because for one thing you don't want to hurt their feelings, but Alice Vaughn, sexpert and co-host of Two Girls One Mic: The Porncast, tells Elite Daily it’s still important to have the talk, and to reinforce that just because it's not clicking for you, that doesn't mean their sexual skills are a lost cause. “No one wants to hear they're bad at sex, and frankly, what one person might love could be a turn off for someone else,” Vaughn explains. “Everybody is different, but we tend to forget that and go into patterns of what we know. Instead of opting for the route of faking it or hurting anyone's ego, there's a number of ways you can communicate with your partner to spice up the bedroom.” Her advice is to just be open an honest about what is, or more likely in this case, isnt working. “Tell them specifically what you want at each moment or during the deed,” she says. “Never underestimate the power of communication.”

August McLaughlin, sex expert and author of Girl Boner, adds that it’s best to see the conversation as just opening on ongoing dialog. “Sex talks should never be a solitary conversation. See it as an ongoing conversation that will likely get easier with time,” she tells Elite Daily. The payoff for talking to your partner is not just better sex, but it can help you grow closer. “Talking about sex can feel really vulnerable, which can lead to deeper intimacy and more pleasurable sex. If you're framing things positively yet things get rocky, take a breath and gently keep trying. Or suggest that you talk about it again another time,” she advises.

OK, so now that we all know what we should be doing, I’m curious how women who have been in this situation have handled it IRL. As it turns out, I am not alone. A Redditor recently had the same question, so she put it to the good folks of Reddit. The responses were pretty evenly split between those who who took on the challenge of walking their partner through their sexual shortcomings and those who didn’t say anything at all, opting instead to never give that partner another opportunity to disappoint them. But what they all had in common is that their experiences are totally relatable.

Women Who Did The Work

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I communicated to them what I wanted, how I wanted it. If they were too fast, I asked them to slow down. If they went too hard, I asked for softer. If I wanted something different, I suggested it or asked them to do it. Then I gave positive feedback when something felt good so they were encouraged to keep doing it. Talk it out. Sometimes the methods above resulted in improved sex. When they didn't, and no improvements were happening or the person wasn't listening to my needs, I acknowledged that we were sexually incompatible. Then I broke things off and found someone I was more compatible with.

- Pantone877

Maybe don't specifically let them know they are bad in bed, but instead compliment (positively reinforce) whatever they're doing well/right and suggest what they could try instead of what you're not digging.

- cannibalkoala

I just tried my best to communicate what I wanted in the moment, guiding his hand(s), etc. It never really worked because we just weren't compatible sexually. It was made worse by the fact that he would "practice" lasting in his spare time to "give me more pleasure" when really it just meant bad sex for even longer. Plus, sometimes you just want a quickie. We're no longer together for many reasons, but that's definitely one of them.

- falkenna

Talk about what you like when you're not having sex. Communication is key to a good sex life.

- playbyear1234

Ranges from “I liked it better when you did X” to “Can you try not jabbing your fingers in there so hard?”

- CatrionaShadowleaf

My fwb had some strange ideas about sex. He thought I got off giving him a blow job. He thought a woman orgasms when the man does. I wrote him an email. It was ignored. I texted him. It got no response. I told him that if there was going to be any future for us the sex would have to improve... and it has. I stopped being gentle about what I want. I showed him how I masturbate, I stopped being as giving with the bj's and I now expect him to at least try to get me off. It is working.

- ireasearch

"I was talking to my friend who is dating a younger guy, and she was wondering how to give him feedback about how to make sex better. How should she do it?" Worked a treat. Not that my guy followed up on feedback given to him the way he wanted it, lol

- Larimar561

Definitely not the worst here, but my BF couldn't find my vagina for somewhere around 4-6 months after we started having "sex." He'd fumble around, poke near-ish the entrance with his dick, and then just kinda hump my butt crack for a bit. Or, sometimes, he'd penetrate me and then slip out and hump my butt crack, again without noticing any difference.
So... I didn't say anything for a long time. He couldn't really get hard as it was. He had super bad performance anxiety, and it's awkward enough to have to do the "It's okay you didn't get hard" speech on a regular basis. He wouldn't let me touch him, either. After some time, I started dropping some hints, telling him he was "too far south." He'd be trying to penetrate me, and I'd tell him "You need to head north. Okay, that's too far." Then, I got more explicit.
We had a bunch of other issues going on at the time. I wasn't great at communicating, he was worse, but eventually we got to the point where I could go down on him, he could finally get erect with my help, and I could be the one to guide penetration because I at least know where my vagina is. Now, we kinda laugh and cringe at how terrible we were.

- TinyCynner

Women Who Didn’t

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My ex was terrible in bed, but he was my first sexual partner, so I didn't fully realize how bad he was until I slept with someone else. I tried to communicate about it but he was very insecure so the conversation usually ended in him getting offended. I swear the guy never lasted longer than 5 minutes. And he would go nuts on protection - would totally wash himself, namely his hands, put spermicide in me with this horrible injector thing, put lube on/in, and use a condom. Then completely wash after. He spent so much more time on that than the actual sex. Urgh, it was gross. It felt so routine and unsexy.

- sleepyemoji

I didn't tell them they were bad, I just stopped dating them. What I may think is bad, someone else might enjoy. I'm not going to crush someones confidence AND tell them I'm not interested in dating them again.

- jewelrider

I didn't. He would not have been receptive to hearing that about himself as he saw himself as something of a sexual god just because he had a long dick and nice body. Sometimes I get random flashbacks of the two or three times he went down on me during our relationship and cringe.

- CaptCmndr

I didn't go back for a second round. I knew his ego couldn't handle instruction, so I was one and done.

- Kemokiro

No way, he wasn't the type of guy that would have handled even a simple "When you do this it feels better." I just never slept with him again :/

- ShmoopLoop

I thought we had chemistry, until sex happened. He just put his entire weight on me and pumped away...all while talking to me conversationally. Like, a conversation I could have with someone over coffee. And I finally mentioned that I was sore, so then he started chit-chatting AT me about how he lasts a looooong time which is great since ladies like that.
I was young and dumb so I just kinda let it drone on, unable to really move at all under his weight...listening to him talk at me. I didn't tell him it was bad, but instead ghosted him. I felt bad about that but he didn't seem too bothered.

- GryffBitch

So why do so many women chose not to tell someone they hooked up with that they were terrible in bed? Well I’ll let one last redditor — who was responding to a man who came on the thread who asked the same thing — sum it up.

It is easier and safer to just move on. I realize that many men won't understand that the problem is their behaviour, but, safety first.

- ireasearch

Safety first, indeed.

The takeaway here is that every situation is a little different and you have to decide what feels right for you. And if the relationship is important you, the sex stuff can be worked out with patience, Jessica Cline, a licensed clinical social worker and sex therapist, tells Elite Daily. “If your partner is not receptive to feedback initially, I would suggest waiting. Sometimes people get defensive and aren't able to hear the message in the moment, but later they process what you shared and are open to working on the issue. I encourage people to give their partner time,” she concludes.

This post was originally published on Nov. 2, 2017. It was updated on Aug. 23, 2019 by Rachel Shatto.