Want Something? Ask First

When you are interested in trying something new with your partner it is sometimes difficult to broach the topic, especially if you aren’t sure about how your partner will react. Being anxious about bringing up your desires with your partner is normal, of course you would like to get a positive reaction from them, but there is no way of knowing for sure what they will say. However, unless your partner is psychic, there is no way for them to know that you are interested in trying something new unless you say something.

I am a co-president of a student organization on campus that is designed to be a safe space for people to discuss sexuality particularly BDSM and other kink related topics. It’s always a pleasure to hear information and stories that people have to share and we recently had a discussion about how to talk to your partner about things that you are interested in that I think is applicable to people both kinky and not. We agreed that some strategies are more effective than others and I thought that I would share some ideas that were proposed in our discussion.

1. Don’t make it seem like your desires are a negative thing. You should present them as something that it would be exciting and fun to participate in. A partner is more likely to be open to trying something that sounds fun than something that is horrible.

2. Be open to talking about talking further with your partner about the thing you are interested in. They may have never heard anything about it before and need more information before deciding whether or not they are interested. The fact that you are willing to listen to potential questions or concerns is definitely a positive thing.

3. Try to bring up your interests in a context where your partner does not feel pressured to give an immediate answer. Think about bringing it up somewhere other than the bedroom or at a time where sex is not necessarily something that will happen immediately after the discussion. If they are immediately interested, great, if not, it gives them a chance to really think about it without feeling like they need to give an answer right away.

4. In a similar vein, try not to put a lot of pressure on them to say yes as soon as possible. Mention that the thing you are interested in is something that you would like to try, but only if your partner is interested in trying it. Then wait for their answer, they might not be interested right away, but they are more likely to consider it once you say something.

Those are the main strategies that we came up with, I know that there are many other strategies out there. If anyone has any other suggestions about things that have worked for them I would love to hear them.

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