It’s easy to get lost in the moment during sex, especially when you’re about to climax. But taking your partner’s needs into consideration is just as important as being rooted in experiencing your own pleasure. Think about the comeback. If you’re having a good time but your partner is bored AF or uncomfortable there’s no motivation for round two. And trust, if you get another session you’ll be losing in some other way. While it’s easy to say your partner should speak up, everyone doesn’t feel empowered enough to say what they want. Being a partner who cares enough to ask those clarifying questions—whether it’s a one-nighter or with bae— to ensure pleasure equality places you in the top tier of lovers.
There are several ways to check in with your partner without sounding like a PSA. Here are some things you can try.
1 How does this feel to you?
This question is simple and can be asked mid-stroke to ensure your moves are hitting the right spots. If your partner is experiencing pain, this phrase will grant them permission to speak up so you can switch things up.
2Are you comfortable?
Sometimes a slight change in position is all that’s needed to change a sexual experience from a 5 to a total 10. Shifting something within the environment of the room—from moving pillows or opening a window to taking out funky garbage or piles of clothing— is also commonly overlooked as a simple solution to making sex more pleasurable for both partners. Whatever your partner’s answer is for how they can receive more pleasure, be open to making the change at the moment without allowing your ego to feel touched by the request.
3How do you want to feel me?
Asking your partner specifically how they want to experience your erotic embrace is empowering because it allows them to receive pleasure in the way they desire. Plus, the answer to this question takes the guessing out of what will work for your partner and allows you both to be consciously rooted in the sexual experience.
4Do you like how I’m stroking you?
Knowing how your stroke is delivering (or not delivering) pleasure is a major key to being a masterful lover. How you use your penis can make or break the erotic experience. If you’re told that you’re going too deep, fast or need to back into action, be open to change. This is another question that can trigger the ego into believing it’s being attacked. Remember to hear the response as a request, not criticism. You are not a mind reader. It’s a no judgment moment.
5Wanna switch it up?
For the partner who feels too embarrassed to speak up and say when it’s time to move into a new position or act altogether, this question is a major relief. Granting your partner the option to speak up about what they want to do next creates inclusion and shows them that you aren’t just in the sex for your own satisfaction. You actually care about their pleasure, too.
6Do you want to keep going?
There are times when your partner may want to stop sex altogether, but the fear of being a disappointment paralyzes them from saying it. This question is a critical one, especially in light of the #Metoo movement. When a partner feels that they no longer want to go through with intercourse, and you keep on going, the act becomes a violation of their sexual autonomy. To avoid being accused of sexual misconduct, check in with your partner and ask if they want to continue the sex, particularly if you can feel a shift in energy (ex. total silence, less moisture, body tension). Being observant of your partner’s body language, facial expressions and shifts in energy can help you determine their dissatisfaction with the situation at hand.
Glamazon Tyomi is CASSIUS’ resident sexpert. Follow her at @GlamazonTyomi.