Sex and Salt Lake City

Communication between the sheets

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by Laurie Bennett-Cook

Lack of communication has become too common. Most of the time, lack of communication between partners is first realized in the bedroom. Of all the things we need to talk about with our partners, sex can be the most challenging. Sex is such a vulnerable part of our being that to risk our partner thinking we’re freaky, weird, gross or whatever else, we prevent ourselves from sharing what we desire most. Communication in the bedroom is a dance that both people are usually afraid to ask of the other.

How to ask for what you want in bed:

Choose the Tone and Setting

Choosing the right place and time is key for how well your requests are accepted and heard. These are not conversations that are usually well received when done over the phone, email, or text. Nor is bringing up how you didn’t like a certain move your partner did the night before when they’re on the way out the door going to reap a positive solution. Conversely, setting an environment where the two of you can talk freely and explicitly, free of anyone rushing out the door.

Share Fantasies

Many times it can be easier to say what you want by putting it in terms of a fantasy. Maybe you have a fantasy of being bound and blindfolded. Maybe you once had a dream that you were having sex outdoors where there was risk of being caught. While some choose to act out each fantasy, others find the ability to share in a nonjudgmental environment, especially if met with enthusiasm, to be an incredible turn on. While there may be a fear your partner will reject your fantasy, you may also find yourself pleasantly surprised to receive a “let’s try that!”

Be Clear

State what you want and how you want it. Give clear examples. Do not be too wordy or go into over lengthy discussions about why as the conversation can easily stray from what you want to experience, to why you’re feeling you’re not getting needs met. It’s easy for a conversation to take a turn and a response to go from a “yes lets” to “I’ll never be able to please you.”

Use Your Hands to Guide

The best way to show someone how to please you is to show them. Nobody knows your body like you do. The easiest way to do this is to place your hands and on theirs and guide them to what part of your body you want touched; what amount of pressure; what amount of stimulation; etc. If you’re comfortable you can have your partner sit back and learn by observing you as you please yourself.

Use Few Words

Voice simple directions such as “harder”, “faster”, “to the left”, etc. By stating what you want at that moment, followed by a positive reaction from you as your partner heeds the direction, will increase the likelihood of a positive experience the next time with less direction from you.


Sex is something we learn by doing. We can only talk about it, read about it, or watch videos about it for so long before we need to physically experience how it works with another human being. Navigating the body of another person can be tricky. So when your partner gets it right — tell them. Moan, squirm, say yes, make eye contact. Be clear in letting them know that what they’re doing is feeling good.

What not to do:

Scold or Criticize

Having sex with another person can expose vulnerability. Criticizing can shut a person down, cause them to withdraw, and make them less receptive to suggestions in the future.

Be Vague

Not being clear in your requests and making statements such as “just take me” or “show more passion” are too subjective and how your partner perceives those things could be different from your own. Stating “when you bend me over, pull my hair, and passionately kiss my neck” ss much more likely to get the response you desire.


Comparing your partner to anyone else is likely to result in frustration for both of you. Most people want to be the best they can be for their partner. When we feel like we don’t measure up in some way we become more insecure and there is less chance of sexual trust developing.

Sex is such a vulnerable, intricate part of who we are as human beings. I’m a firm believer that if partners communicate freely with one another about sex, that skill spills over into other areas of their relationship and makes communicating overall easier.

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook is a graduate level Clinical Sexologist, with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Doctorate Degree in Human Sexuality. As a Clinical Sexologist, she believes a large part of her job is to be a sex enabler. Through counseling, workshops, and hands on exercises, she assists others in achieving the level of sexual function they desire. She enjoys the study and research of not only what people are doing sexually, but how they feel about it. Dr. Laurie divides her time between Los Angeles California, and Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to seeing clients in either of her offices or via skype, she is President for the non-profit, Sex Positive Los Angeles inc. (SPLA) and recently began a chapter in Salt Lake City, (SP-SLC). Her non-profit offers sexual education and support programs throughout Los Angeles and Salt Lake Counties. Rounding off her work, she is an IPSA certified Surrogate Partner Therapist working with clients and therapists in a triadic model to assist in bringing clients comfortable with their sexual selves. Dr. Laurie can be found in various publications; radio, podcast, and television interviews. For individual consultations or appointments please contact her at Welcoming and affirming of all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all sexual and relationship expressions.

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