How To Talk About Bad Sex Without Feeling Like A Jerk

Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
It's maybe the least pleasant situation for a couple to land in — everything else is great, except for, well, the sex. Rather than talking yourself out of thinking there's a problem, or worse, calling out your partner for something they might not have even noticed, your best move is to open up lines of communication in a supportive, open way. Shape spoke with sex therapist Tiffanie L. Davis Henry, PhD., to nail down some effective (but non-awkward) ways to have this tricky (but totally necessary) conversation.

Related: 7 Conversations You Must Have For A Healthy Sex Life

First, pick a good time and place, when you both have time to talk, says Dr. Henry: "Wait until you're sitting on the couch watching TV or eating dinner." And, when you find the right time to bring up the problem, lead with something positive. "Rather than saying, 'Hey, I've noticed that every time you go down on me you do XYZ, and I hate that,'" Dr. Henry explains, "go with, 'You know, I really love it when you do XYZ and I wish you'd do it more often.'" Praise — genuine praise — will reassure your S.O. that you enjoy having sex with them and want to continue, and they'll be more open to hearing you voice your concerns.

Related: 4 Ways To Confront Common Relationship Roadblocks

That being said, don't feel like you need to do all the talking. In fact, it's probably a bad sign if this is how the talk goes. "Sex isn't all about you," Dr. Henry tells Shape. Be prepared to listen to your partner — and to find a compromise once you hear their perspective. Looking at this conversation as an opportunity to get to know each other's preferences will help you find a solution, and end on a positive, hopefully sufficiently sexy, note.

Click through to Shape for more tips on having great sex. (Shape)

Related: 8 Reasons Why Sex Hurts

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