People come to us all the time feeling guilty about their needs in the bedroom. Instead of being really clear about what they want and seeing whether their partner is up for it or not, they don’t ask at all or only ask for a small percentage of what they need, feeling that everything in the bedroom needs to be tit for tat.
Our clients, let’s call them Sean and Carmen, were a perfect example of this. Carmen really enjoys receiving touch and needs plenty all-over body caressing, grabbing, and kissing in order to get to the height of her arousal, yet she felt really guilty about her desire to receive and her lack of interest in caressing Sean back. In separate sessions, she shared this while her partner Sean admitted somewhat shyly that what he loved more than anything was giving, and that he felt most turned on by previous partners who had acted like a queen the bedroom. He was a bit disappointed that Carmen was always trying to give back equally and continued trying to ask her for what she wanted, to no avail. Once we finally created a space for them to have an open conversation, they couldn’t believe they had spent 19 years of marriage never talking about their real desires. They happen to be a perfect match.
Of course, not every couple who comes with us fits as perfectly as Sean and Carmen. When going to the “negotiating table” with your partner over all things sex-related and otherwise, why not start by asking for 100% of what you want, encouraging them to do the same and then seeing what is possible in relationship to each of your desires and boundaries. Think about it, if you start by asking for 50% and then compromise, you will probably end up with 30% and 30% is not enough. If you ask for 100%, first of all, you just might get it. Secondly, you have a much greater chance of getting at least 70% or 80% which, for most of us, is plenty! Sometimes, the thought of asking for what you really want can bring up fear of judgement or insecurities, if you need help, we are here!
One final thought: when it comes to differing needs and capacities around sex, unlike in other areas of your life, if you are choosing monogamy, there is no option to outsource those needs. Stay tuned to our blog for an upcoming series on Commitment, Monogamy and Cheating to find out about how couples handle differing desires in both monogamous and non-monogamous agreements and what you can do if you are a couple experiencing differing needs and capacities around sex.