Hi, yes, your daily PSA: Stop catering to men’s needs as if yours don’t matter. Especially in the bedroom. It’s the year 2020. As women channeling major Lizzo energy, it’s just as important to seek your own pleasure as it is your partners.
So first off: Lose the regressive trope of needing to please your man, and only your man, because that’s totally backwards. Your orgasm matters just as much as your partner’s does (no matter what your genitalia looks like). We good? Good.
Now, if you’re just in the slightest curious about what your man may crave in the bedroom, totally get that. Highly recommend you initiate a sex talk since great sex = great communication. But if you also just want to do your research first (you know, to figure out what you want to talk about before talking about it), we’ve gotchu.
Here are 21 things men may be into the bedroom, per relationship and sex experts:
1. He wants you to show him how you like it.
Men are verrrry much visual learners. Show him, literally with your hands, how you like it. “Don’t be afraid to move his hands, position your body, and use verbal and nonverbal communication to ensure a good time for you both,” says Vanessa Geffrard, sexpert for Lovers adult wellness brand and retailer. (Sexy role play tip: Lay on the bed and touch yourself while you order him to look but not touch. A sexy, easy way to show and tell).
2. He wants to take it out of the bedroom.
“Men love variety. Keep it exciting by exploring new places to play, such as the kitchen table, laundry room, in the car, or even outside,” says Jacqueline Misla, sex expert and COO of Curious Fox, a community for the polyamory-curious. “Having sex in new areas can also lead to more fun and creative opportunities to roleplay.”
3. He wants you to make eye contact with him.
Yup, sometimes it’s all about that ~emotional~ connection. “Men want to see how their partner is feeling and reacting to what they’re doing,” says relationship expert Chloe Ballatore. “The more women can lose themselves in the moment and enjoy what their man is doing to them, for them, the better.”
4. He craves more! Laughter!
Humor takes the pressure off of, well, pretty much everything. Same thing applies to sex. “I’ve spent years in encounters and relationships where everything in the bedroom is so serious. It’s like when we toss aside our clothes, our senses of humor get thrown out as well,” says Bryan T., 28. “Having a good laugh can improve intimacy and relieve some of the pressure I feel to perform. This makes it easier to be spontaneous and let loose,” he says.
5. He wants to “make love” too.
Yeah, sex is cool and all, but so is a more intimate physical connection with a partner you really love. Sexologist and sex therapist Shamyra says that in her practice, she’s found that while the term “making love” isn’t often initiated by men, they usually mention it after their partner has brought it up first. After getting over the stigma of the corniness of “making love” as a term, Shamyra says these men do want to make love, as in have sex slower, more intentionally, and more passionately.
6. He wants you to initiate sometimes.
One of the most common complaints Shamyra hears in couples therapy is that male partners in hetero relationships feel like they often have to initiate sex with their female partners. “Men like to be seduced, they like to feel desired and attractive,” says Shamyra. “Initiating sex sends the message to your man that you want him, which gives him a major confidence boost.”
A pointer: Ask him how he’d like you to initiate. And if you’re initiating sex in your own way by rubbing his back or something, clue him in to what you’re doing so he knows that’s you trying to get it on.
7. He wants you to be loud if you feel like it.
“If you’re a screamer, scream. Don’t hold back your moans, groans, screams, and growls of pleasure,” says Shamyra. “Men love to hear this—it’s erotic and really turns them on.” Not to mention, it’s liberating for you too. Don’t hold back if you’re really feeling it in the moment; It’s just like communicating, only way sexier.
8. He wants you to actively participate.
“Many men like to have sex with women who actively participate,” says Shamyra. Actively participating just means meeting his thrusts with your own thrusts, grinding your hips, and flexing your PC muscles (the muscles that stretch from your pubic bone to the tail bone. These are all things you can do from whatever position you’re currently in.
You can also use your hands to squeeze your guy’s arms and and pull his body closer to yours, or use your lips to explore more of his bod—all these moves will let him know you’re loving the action.
9. He wants you to communicate.
This goes two ways because he should be expressing his desires with you, too. But a partner who can explain exactly how they want to be touched is endlessly sexy and helps him deliver up some honesty too.
10. He wants different positions.
If you’re a couple who does it missionary on the bed a few nights a week, it could be possible that both you and your partner are craving something different every now and then. After all, part of the reason something like hotel sex is so damn appealing is because humans crave novelty. No one is suggesting you go out of your comfort zone just to please some dude, but hey, if the idea occurs to you that it might be hot to have him spin you around and bone you from behind against your kitchen counter…well…then…do that.
11. He wants you to take charge.
Imagine sex is like a group project and you are obviously very invested in getting an A (…or having an orgasm). Your group members might be all talk, but when it’s 3 a.m. the night before something’s due and you’re not any closer to that A, you might need to take control if you really wanna see it through.
So take charge. Show him the moves you use to get yourself off when you’re alone and let him in on the fantasy. He’ll love the idea of his own private peep show and he’ll be learning exactly what it is you need to get off. Honestly, this is basically just investing in your future orgasms.
12. He wants you to be direct.
While he might act like he knows exactly what’s up, no one ever wished for less direction in bed. Save the ambiguity for pre-hookup sexting, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you really want.
If you’re worried about offending him (trust, you won’t), just focus on the positives to tell him what you are and aren’t into. Don’t be afraid of telling him, “Ehh, that’s not doing anything for me,” but “I really liked it when you were doing this before,” will also help send a message. Positive reinforcement always works wonders.
“Tell him how good it feels when he does something right or remind him of a technique that always gets you off,” suggests Gloria Brame, PhD, a sex therapist in Georgia. “If he’s not giving you enough foreplay, ask him to use his hand or mouth to warm you up, saying that you want to draw out the experience.”
13. He wants all the visuals.
For men, what they see is almost as good as what they get, so make sure to give him an eyeful if you’re feeling it too. “One time during sex, my girlfriend led me over to a mirror so we could see ourselves in action,” remembers Tyler, 21. “I found it really sexy, but what made it hotter was how into it she was.”
14. He wants you to feel confident about what you like in bed.
Being open about what you like, even if you’re worried about what someone might think, is the best way to connect with each other ~in bed~. Don’t be ashamed that he might think it’s “weird” that you need a vibrator to get off or you’ve always wanted to go dutch on a set of bed restraints. “Women are often afraid to get naughty in a relationship, because they don’t want to shatter any ‘good girlfriend’ image he has or they don’t want him to think they’re weird,” explains Brame. “But men want to see that no-holds-barred side of you—they just don’t want to offend you by asking for it.”
15. Spontaneity = good.
It’s easy to fall into a rut, but there’s nothing like spontaneity to keep things fresh in a hookup. You may also want to do something unexpected, like initiating a new position or trying a passion prop. “My girlfriend and I were out shopping when she suggested we check out this sex-toy shop,” says Nick, 27. “We ended up buying this thing called a penis sleeve, which is basically a thick, bumpy condom. Not only was it fun to use, but I loved how eager she was to try it.”
16. He wants to mix things up.
Repetition can make a once 🔥 sex life feel meh. So be open to varying things in bed. Any change in speed, pressure, or position will make the act more interesting and pleasurable. “Variety keeps him in a heightened state of arousal because he never knows what to expect,” says psychologist Joel Block, PhD, author of The Art of the Quickie.
17. He wants to get primal.
Sure, bingeing Tiger King might not be the hottest thing around, but there’s something to be said about looking to the animal kingdom for a little #Inspo. Dave, 24, was totally psyched when a woman he was seeing asked to get a little wild. “An ex-girlfriend laid down on the bed and begged me to rip off her clothes, which I did. The sex was great, but letting me tear her shirt in half was the best part because it was passionate and intense.”
18. Sometimes, he just wants to do nothing at all.
Which, okay, fine. I get it. For every wild, aggressive bone-sesh you’ve had, your partner would probably welcome a break sometimes too. Brian, 26, says, “I was dating a woman who was sort of a bookworm. But when [we had sex] for the first time, she was wild. Before I could even try to take off her clothes, she threw me back on the bed and blindfolded me with her bra,” he remembers. “Then she gave me the best oral sex ever. I didn’t lift a finger.”
For a softer approach, Brame suggests positions like reverse cowgirl, which prevent him from controlling the rhythm. Aka you can go at whatever speed you like.
19. He wants you to dominate him.
To dip your toe into Fifty-Shades-for-beginners territory, Kristie Overstreet, PhD, suggests telling your partner he can’t talk, touch, or even move unless he’s told to. Tell him if he disobeys you or doesn’t follow your directions, he’ll be punished. Boss him around a little and tell him how you want him to touch you, tell him what to say, and direct his every move. Watch him squirm, and remind him from time to time that you’re in control.
20. He wants to do something juuust a little kinky.
If you’re in a rut, a surefire way to distract yourselves from the issue at hand is to try something out of your comfort zone. Overstreet says that sex is often a way to release tension and stress. “For many guys, the more stress they have, the more they may want to do sexual acts that are out of the ordinary,” she says. (True for you too, btw.)
Try it out IRL: First off, have a conversation about boundaries and safe sex. Trying something kinky doesn’t mean springing a blindfold on someone out of the blue without any warning. Overstreet suggests asking him what he considers taboo when it comes to sex and communicating that you’re open to talking or trying out new desires you both have in the area. Or you can always try a yes, no, maybe list.
21. He wants to talk about his fantasies with you.
Overstreet says that guys are often hesitant to talk about fantasies because it makes them vulnerable. The risk of sharing a fantasy and having it looked down on would be humiliating (there words, not mine). So if you open up the communication so he feels safe sharing his fantasy with you, it’ll only improve and help your relationship.
As with any sexual fantasy, it’s best to discuss details beforehand. Open up the dialogue by discussing one of your fantasies first. This makes it more comfortable for him to talk about his own fantasies and will establish a baseline trust and safe space. Overstreet says this can also help the two of you discover which fantasies you may have in common and, if so, which would be easiest to turn into reality.