Scared of giving feedback? This tip makes it so much easier

July 02,2019

“If you’re not involved in the moment, then it’s basically like I’m just masturbating with you there. And I don’t think that’s what either of us want our sex life to look like.”

All month long, I’ve been talking about the struggles I used to have with communicating and giving feedback in the moment during sex, and the lessons I had to learn in my relationship with Xander. (Missed those posts? You can find them here and here!)

I had so many blockages to communicating during sex, including having been taught that it’s the guy’s job to lead sex, not knowing what kind of feedback to give, and especially, feeling like I needed to give feedback perfectly.

One of the most crucial lessons I learned from Xander is that communication isn’t about any of those things.

Feedback is really about connection. 

About being a team. About creating something together

Because like he said in the quote at the beginning of this post, without that, it’s just masturbation. And Xander was absolutely right that that’s not what I want our sex life to look like!

So here’s one more thing I did to get more comfortable with giving feedback…

Tip #3: Create a teamwork approach to feedback

When I first started trying to get better at communicating in the bedroom, I was really worried about “getting it right.” I felt a lot of pressure, and it felt very one-sided, like I needed to “perform” in this new way.

So I reminded myself that this was supposed to be about teamwork and connection, and I decided to ask Xander for some tips about how I could communicate in a way that he would enjoy. 

I asked him to be my teammate in improving my skills in this area!

If you want to create this teamwork approach to communication, here are some questions you can discuss with your partner:

When I had this conversation with Xander, one of the many things I learned was that it turned him on to hear a request from me. I had always thought that making requests might come off as bossy or even insulting, so it shocked me to know that it was actually exciting for him! And of course, it made me feel much more comfortable giving that feedback. 

Just for kicks, I asked Xander again today to tell me what it’s like for him when I communicate with him during sex. 

He responded, “There’s nothing that makes me feel more connected to you than knowing we’re both having a good time.”

Isn’t that true of pretty much everything in life, not just sex?

There’s so much joy and connection in knowing that both you and your partner are enjoying each other in the moment! It’s an enormous reward for getting up the courage to start communicating.


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!