Sex is supposed to be a shared experience, but if one person is acting selfishly when it comes to things like orgasms or foreplay, it’s important to be upfront, experts say.
Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast, says people who act selfishly in bed are not always aware of it.
“They may have learned sexual etiquette from porn instead of from a partner, so it’s no wonder their needs are misaligned,” she tells Global News.
“You may also want to consider how your behaviour contributes to their selfishness. Do you have trouble being a taker? Are you reticent to express your own needs? Are you too focused on performance, giving and earning a gold-star as a great lover?”
Enneagram and relationship consultant Eileen Head of Calgary, says sometimes the selfish partner may not even realize they are doing anything wrong.
“We generally have the expectation our partner knows what we want,” she tells Global News “If we’re not communicating clearly, or we’re not sure ourselves, they won’t know.”
How to bring it up
Head adds being selfish is not always a finite thing, and one person may not know the other person needs more unless they are told so. But she adds the other side of the communication problem is when people are too afraid to say something.
“We are afraid of speaking up because the other person may pull away,” she says. Head adds it’s also important to be confident and straight-forward when you bring up selfishness — she says the “Oreo method” tends to work.
Tell your partner all the great things they do in bed, bring up what some of the issues are and end with something else that you love about your inanimate relationship.
She adds there is a right (and wrong) place to have this discussion. “You have to do something to change the pattern and the bedroom is not the time to have the discussion. It’s [a conversation] over a glass of wine.”
Good lovers need to be trained
O’Reilly says selfishness can be overcome because good lovers need to be trained.
“No one is a universally good lover,” she says. “What works for me might be a nightmare for you, so you need to tell your partner what you like and be specific. ‘Be more aggressive’ isn’t going to yield the same results as ‘hold the back of my hair and breathe on my neck while you press me up against the wall.'”
Head agrees and adds unless you go out of your comfort zone, you will never truly know what you enjoy in bed.
How to change things up
And if you want to change things up in the bedroom, O’Reilly says be honest about your feelings.
“You likely feel sexually frustrated, but your emotional response may be more complex. Do you feel used? Unappreciated? Unimportant? Unloved? Expressing emotional vulnerability — as opposed to criticizing their behaviour — will likely evoke a more supportive response.”
She also recommends making pleasure a priority.
“Tell them you want to orgasm first this time and that you’ll reciprocate by helping them reach orgasm when you’re done. Sometimes you simply have to take turns.”
Check out more tips in the video above.]