The 5 Best Ways to Ask Your Partner for Something New in Bed

Don't be intimidated. It's easier than you think.

There's no one way to have sex. In fact, there are probably more ways than you can even think of. Respondents to a National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior conducted in 2010 reported having, collectively, more than 40 different combinations of sex acts.

Our guess is that you'd probably like to have a few you'd like to add to your résumé, right? The problem is that sometimes bringing those up with a partner can be, to be it gently, fraught. Best case scenario: they're into it too. Worst case? They shame you for even bringing it up. No, talking about sex isn't exactly easy. But it is the best way to have the best sex of your life. Here are some ways to speak up—all courtesy of the editors at Kinkly.

First thing's first, though. When you request something from your partner remember that it's just that, a request. So, approach these conversations with openness, honesty and empathy, rather than a sense of entitlement. By working to create common ground with your partner you'll also be creating a joint sex repertoire of shared delights, one you can go back to again and again (and again and again). Also, you won't come off as a jerk. Everyone wins. There's nothing better than two turned-on people who are on the same page about what happens next. And if you need some assistance in the turning-on department, learn the 40 Ways to Boost Your Sex Drive After 40.

"I think ____ is really hot."

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Just say, "You know, I think ___ is really hot." You can gauge your partner on this one, but it's often better not to do this when you are already having—or are about to have—sex. People tend to more sensitive when they have their clothes off. Plus, if it's something that falls way outside of what you've already done together, you want to give your partner some time to think about it and respond, rather than feel pressured to do it right then and there.

Why It Works: This shows your interest in something without making any assumptions or pointing any fingers. You're into it. You want your partner to know. Maybe they are, too.

"That." "Harder." "More…"

woman chained to bed in bdsm kinkly

While clueing your partner in on a kink shouldn't happen in the heat of the moment, there are some helpful communications that are best delivered in the heat of the moment. If your partner is heading more in the direction of what you like, say so! Mention that what they're doing is amazing, that you love it. And provide some feedback about pressure, positioning, speed, or any other necessary info will help do a better job of getting you where you need to go.

Why It Works: Feeling empowered in bed is a major turn-on—for all parties involved. Plus, most people really want to please their partners, but may not know exactly how, or may lack the confidence to do it. Being clear about what you like can only help you in terms of getting more of it. And for more sex hacks, check out the 100 Sexting Lines So Hot They'll Melt Your Phone.

Listen up.

Couple Making Eye Contact in Bed Romance kinkly

If you want to mix things up, listen to what your partner is bringing to the table too. You can definitely ask what your partner is into, but you can also pay attention to what she responds to. Is your partner reading erotica? What's going on in those plots? Is it something you could re-enact? What about porn? Toys? Even what's they're watching on Netflix could offer some clues. Would they be into trying it with you? Just ask.

Why It Works: The bigger your repertoire, the more fun you'll have together. Plus, the more you indulge your partner's desires, the more likely they are to indulge yours.

Be kind.

Couple Using Blindfold in Bed BDSM kinkly

If you want to get a surefire "no," the way to do it is to start getting critical. Want them on top? Say, "Could you try getting on top?" It's a lot different than, "Why won't you get on top?" or, worse, "You never get on top anymore." Pointed comments don't leave space for much more than an argument and hurt feelings. Great sex rarely starts there.

Why It Works: In the long run, the hero always wins.

Do sexy things together.

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Finding hot new ideas together is always fun, so try reading erotica to each other or watching porn to see what gets you both hot and bothered. If you're interested in sex toys (remember, you should be talking!) you could head out and shop together, or even attend a sexy workshop—these are held at many sex-positive sex toy retailers. The key is to find some common ground and expand from there. For ideas on where to start, take a look at the The 30 Best Sex Toys For Enhancing Your Love Life.

Why It Works: Research suggests that nervous system arousal boosts sexual attraction and arousal between couples. Doing something new, exciting and even a little scary together can help get blood pumping to all the right places.

Remember: Even the most compatible couples don't match up all the time. If a request falls flat with your partner, it's okay to try again. Meeting in the middles is what relationships—and sex—are all about.

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