As a relationship writer and a marriage life coach, a part of my job is to ask questions; sometimes, it's really intimate questions. And, after hearing a few couples that I work with express some of the things that they wish their partner would change in the bedroom, that got me to thinking that it would be a great piece for the site. Because, after all, sexual dissatisfaction—or sexual pet peeves—on some level, is pretty much something that 98.9 percent of us can relate to. The challenge was, finding a group of people who were ready and willing to bear their coitus gripes out of front street, on such a public platform. Oh, it took some doing, believe you me. But after getting a few referrals from friends of friends and agreeing to share people's middle names instead of first ones, I got it. I got 8 men and 8 women to share with me what they wish their partner would stop doing in bed.
Many of them actually said that, just by voicing their concerns, it felt sexually liberating in a way; it made them want to discuss their issues with their partner more. And honestly, that's what I'm hoping that reading this will do for you. Nothing really goes away by internalizing your frustrations or hoping that someone will catch the hints or side-eyes that you throw. Besides, great sex is all about healthy and consistent communication, right? If you want your partner to stop—or start—doing something, you've gotta let 'em know.
So, without further ado, here are 16 individuals sharing some of the things that they wish their partners would quit doing in the sex department, based on eight different categories. Get a glass of wine. This should be pretty good.
1. When It Comes to Initiating Sex
According to a survey of 4,000 Americans, 22 percent of women say that they rarely, if ever, initiate sex while 13 percent of guys fell into the same category.
Janelle, 26. "I bet a lot of women can relate when I say that I have no problem getting my hubby to initiate sex. Problem is, he misses signals about when I'm initiating or not. Don't let a sistah put her head in his lap while watching a movie or kiss him on the neck while he's cooking. Automatically, that seems to be his cue for 'it's on'. Don't get me wrong, the sex is unmatched. But if there is anything that I wish I could get my husband to stop doing, it's thinking that affection automatically means sex. It doesn't."
Isaiah, 42. "Women can send some of the most mixed signals, I swear. They want to be treated as equals and I totally get that. But then it should be automatic that a man pays for every date, proposes and initiates sex because 'that's a man's job'? So, when do we lead and when don't we? Aren't there some double standards here? I've been in a relationship for a couple of years now and, while she's 'a boss' in every way, when it's time for sex, she thinks that it's a given that I should initiate because 'I'm the man'. What the hell? Guys want to feel wanted just as much as women do. And, nothing turns us on and actually shows that a woman is taking control more than when she initiates sex."
2. When It Comes to Kissing
"Interestingly and perhaps depressingly, people in monogamous relationships were less likely to kiss their partner during their last sexual encounter: just 61% of coupled-up people said they kissed their partner the last time they had sex."—"Why Some People Don't Like Kissing During Sex (Yes, It's Normal)"
Alexis, 31. "I can't tell if [name omitted] is a good kisser or not. Sometimes he comes off as being passionate, then sometimes it's like he's trying to put his whole tongue down my throat. I'm not trying to put him out there or anything. Most times, I think I like how he kisses. But I do wish that he would pick up on my cues more. Like if I grab his face, that means I need to pull back or if I'm dead silent, that usually means this isn't working…or I can barely breathe." (LOL)
Roosevelt, 40. "I don't know where my partner came from, but she's one of those women who hates to kiss. I'm the kind of man who is all about it so, while her sex game is super on point, this 'no kissing thing' that she's got going on could end up costing her our relationship."
3. When It Comes to “Presentation”
Did you know that, reportedly, 86 percent of men care what a woman's underwear looks like, most of them prefer when bras and panties match, and only 12 percent of men actually dig thongs?
Melina, 45. "My man is great with hygiene and manscaping. But I'd like it if he'd wear something sexy more often. Some boxer briefs in my favorite color would be perfect. Girl, I don't even know if that man knows what my favorite color is…I'll have to ask him."
Karu, 24. "What we think is sexy isn't always what y'all think is. Like, I'll get my lady something that I want to see her in and she might wear it once or twice. But then she's always coming to bed in the same T-shirts and boy shorts or something that was leftover from her bridal shower [they are newlyweds by the way] that doesn't really turn me on. Maybe I don't get the whole lingerie thing, but are you guys wearing it for you or for us? If it's supposed to be for us, let us pick it out more. We know what turns us on."
4. When It Comes to Foreplay
According to a study that consisted of 152 heterosexual couples, most women said that they wanted 19 minutes of foreplay (but would settle for seven) while most men said they desired 18 minutes of foreplay (but would settle for eight).
Krysten, 37. "It's like having pizza every day. Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Eating it every day is eventually going to make me hate it. My husband is foreplay pizza. The foreplay is long and sensual and passionate, but he needs some new tricks in his bag. I just don't have the heart to tell him and, I'm definitely not gonna forward him this article."
Fredrick, 28. "I don't know if a lot of women know just how bad they are at foreplay. It's like Valentine's Day. Everyone assumes that the guy should get his lady something but it's cool if she does nothing. Just because we cum quicker, that doesn't mean we just want to be kissed on the mouth and then put it in. I've been with my current girlfriend for about six months now. She wants 20-30 minutes of foreplay. Meanwhile, she thinks that if she licks my dick for 30 seconds, she's done something. We have erogenous zones too. Damn."
5. When It Comes to Oral Sex
"Performing oral sex has long been a sign of intimacy and trust between lovers and the importance of oral sex in a relationship hasn't wavered. 72% of women and 85% of men say they think oral sex has a place in every bedroom and the performance of it shouldn't taper off as the years go on."—"The success of an affair depends on the amount of oral"
Jelena, 30. "Why do guys assume that, just because they are down there that they are actually doing something? Or worse, that what works with the chick before me is gonna work on me? My guy is great when it comes to intercourse but he kinda sucks at oral. Whenever I try and guide him with my sounds or words, his ego takes over and he acts like the faster his tongue moves, the quicker I'll cum. I hate fast tongues. Slow the f—k down. Ugh. Like, for real."
Thomas, 48. "I wish that sometimes my wife would swallow. We've been married for six years now and I think it's happened, what, five times? She's tried to explain to me that between the speed of it coming out and its texture, she just can't get into it, but I wonder how she would feel if I declined going down on her for similar reasons. Women talk about how selfish men can be in bed but some of you can be a real trip too."
6. When It Comes to Intercourse
LELO's "Are You Satisfied With Your Sex Life Survey" (which consisted of 10,000 participants), 31-40 year-olds are having the most sex; doggy style (50.1 percent), cowgirl (38.24 percent) and then missionary (34.66 percent) are people's favorite sex positions; 32.46 percent of individuals would like a dominant sex partner and, 29.26 of people said that their sex life is good.
Zipporah, 24. "Is it just me or is slow and deep so much better than that fast jerky movement stuff? And why do so many men think that all Black women love doggy style? I don't. My man thinks that because his dick is big that is stroke is hot. It's a crap shoot, honestly. What I do like is he's gonna make sure that I get mine, even if it's just with oral. But you asking me this is giving me the courage to tell him that ramming me 60 miles per hour while asking me if I like it ain't the business. I'd take off about two inches of his dick if it would make him switch his stroke up a bit."
Phelan, 40. "Faking it is stupid. Only young boys and selfish assholes can't tell when you are doing it. You do know that your muscles actually contract in there, right? I've been having sex for a long time now and, only one of my girlfriends never faked it. We had the best sex too. The woman I'm with now? I think she's too tense to not fake her orgasms. She's also super self-conscious, so I'm trying to figure out how to either get her to stop [faking it] or get her to cum. Preferably both."
7. When It Comes to Afterplay
In a study that consisted of both men and women discussing the importance of foreplay, intercourse and afterplay, women found foreplay to be most essential while men valued intercourse the most. At the same time, women desired more foreplay and afterplay overall.
Enara, 33. "OK, this is hilarious right here. Do guys even know what afterplay is? While my man is good for some spooning after sex, I already know not to expect much more than that. It kinda pisses me off, but since the sex is straight fire, I figure it's the concession that I have to make."
Stefan, 29. "Are deep talks about feelings a definition of afterplay because that is my girl's go-to every single time. Listen ladies, after we've had a good orgasm, all we want to do is sleep. You know that teacher from the Charlie Brown cartoons? That's how you sound when you come at us about where the relationship is going and how we feel about your commentary. We can't hear what you're saying. The sex was great. Let's talk about it when we're not naked and in this wet spot, please." (By the way, if you don't get his Charlie Brown reference, you can check out a clip here.)
8. When It Comes to Frequency
"According to a Kinsey Institute study from 2017, 34 percent of married couples are having sex two to three times per week; 45 percent a few times a month; and 13 percent only a few times a year."—"But Seriously, How Often Do Couples Have Sex?"
Oni, 36. "I want to have sex more than my partner does. While he's down for 2-3 times a week, I'd prefer to double that number. I've told him that the compromise should at least be that I get more head. We're negotiating that."
Donnie, 40. "A lot of men want sex as much as they can get it, but you know what? If we just know that our partner wants to more than a once a week, that can tie us over, even if we can't get any. That's a secret from the man cave, ladies. Use that wisdom wisely."
Welp. There you have it. 16 people sharing what they would like to be done differently in the bedroom. Whether or not you can relate, use this as the inspiration you need to praise your partner where they are great and to open up where you'd like to see some improvement. Again, communication is key to totally off-the-chain sex. Make sure that you use it.
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