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I'm dating an awesome guy who I have a lot of fun with and find very attractive, but he's much more sexually inexperienced than I am. I like to be dominated but he seems clueless about how to do that, he doesn't enjoy giving cunnilingus, and admits that he's not sure what he likes sexually. I suggested to him that he watch more porn to help him figure out what turns him on, but is there anything I can do to get him to be more sexually confident and aggressive?
Sarah: The basis of sexual confidence is knowing, after repeated experimentations, that you can sexually satisfy a partner. The best thing you could do is take it on together, this whole “sexual exploration” thing, and realize that he’s going to be taking all his cues about what you like based on your verbal feedback, so give him plenty! Every time he shows even a modicum of interest in something that turns you on, let him know you think it’s hot. Also, you can watch porn as a couples activity—there’s no law on the books that it has to be a hunched-over shame solo on the skin flute. Whenever he does something you like or that turns you on, be vocal about it and vocally supportive of all his explorative efforts.
Debby: I would be more in favor of you two experimenting together, rather than just sending him off to see what turns him on in porn. After all, what you two ultimately want to learn is what feels erotic when you’re together. Ideally, a true partner is a partner - someone with whom you can create sexually awesome experiences. A sex partner isn’t just a stand-in for fingers or a vibrator or a penis (not that you were suggesting this at all - you weren’t - but I want to put that out there for anyone reading this column). So, my suggestion would be to do something like read erotic stories together (check out the great collections written by Rachel Kramer Bussell) or Best Sex Writing (there are annual editions). You might try reading them together out loud and seeing what turns him on and you on. You might even talk about why you feel something is particularly sexy (or a turn-off) to learn more about each other. In my first book, Because It Feels Good, I wrote about trying different sexual things together and then doing post-sex play by plays that give both people a chance to talk about what they loved, liked, or what you maybe want to do differently next time. My friend Kate McCombs (an awesome sex educator) takes a similar approach in what she calls “Sex Labs”, which are dedicated times and spaces for people to explore; read more on her blog and, then, experiment and enjoy!