Anyone who's ever been in a long-term relationship knows that it definitely has its pros and cons. One big pro, of course: having a built-in sex buddy. But, having a built-in sex buddy also means you have to juggle your desires with those of your partner. And, dealing with two sex drives means there will inevitably be times when your partner is feeling frisky — and you're just not. Or, there may be those nights when you're revved up and ready to go, but your partner is more into reading the paper. And, the way you navigate that particular swamp of awkward can mean the difference between a productive, respectful exchange and a resentful partner kicking you to the couch.
So, how do you say "no" to sexy time with your partner? Well, Salon did some serious legwork on the topic, polling the Internet's leading sexperts for their tips for turning him or her down without bruising any egos. Rule No. 1 is that being specific in your communication is key. For example, sex blogger Queerie Bradshaw recommends giving a precise reason — whether it's "I'm stressed about money" or "I have a splitting headache" — instead of just a blanket "I'm not in the mood" response. This helps your partner not take the rejection very, very personally.
Of course, it's also important to remember that, for your partner, saying "no" to you can be difficult in itself. Noted sex therapist Reid Mihalko points out that, rather than focusing on the hurt they feel after being turned down, rebuffed partners can choose to see it as a positive. As Mihalko says, "When I know my partner can say no freely, it allows me to trust their yes, so when we do have sex, I don’t worry whether or not they’re into it.” Makes sense to us. Click through to Salon for the rest of the tips — you'll be more capable of giving and receiving that "no" with grace. (Salon)