When boundaries are spoken about in relation to sex, they’re usually only mentioned in terms of saying “yes” or “no” to being sexual as a whole.
But what I’ve discovered is that the more I’ve become empowered around my own sexuality, the more I set boundaries in nuanced ways that I never would have imagined I could ask for before.
The purpose of this post is to give you examples – examples of ways you can ask to be touched differently, sexual acts you can name and ask for, ways you can say no, and ways you can say yes. It is by no means all-encompassing – it is just a list of a variety of examples from my own life, meant to show you the kind of dialogue that is possible.
The way I name these things to my partner varies depending on the type of sex we’re having. If we’re having high polarity dom/sub sex, for example, I’ll usually phrase things in an “I want” way, so that my way of asking is more feminine. If we’re in the middle of less polarized sex, I might say, “Will you do exactly this” (read more about the nuances of this here).
This is meant to show you that there is an infinite amount of things you can ask for from your partner. Women, especially, tend to ask for things in a way that immediately already assumes we won’t be able to get everything we want – so we ask for less than what we really want, so it doesn’t feel like a big ask. Or we try to imagine what our partner will be most likely to say yes to, or how he’ll feel when we ask, or how he’ll respond – and then we calibrate our ask to that imagined response.
My invitation to you is to notice how often you settle for 60% of what you want instead of 100%. Notice how, especially during sex, there are a myriad of options available to you that you typically might not even know exist, or know that you can ask for.
As you get more comfortable with understanding what your body needs and wants, you might discover that there is an entire gray area between a “yes, everything goes,” and “no, I don’t want to interact sexually at all.”
This also means that you might hear a “no” from your partner more often – and that’s okay! Part of a healthy, fulfilling sex life is knowing that your partner won’t always be able to meet your sexual needs. You can ask for what you want – the responsibility of your partner to also speak up for what they want (and don’t want) is theirs. If you hear a “no,” then you get to figure out together if there’s a compromise available that meets both of your needs, and if not, you get to meet your own needs.
These are real examples from my own life; I say them all the time.
1. “I don’t feel like my body feels available to be touched tonight. I also feel tired. But I don’t feel completely non-sexual. I remember you wanted to orgasm tonight, and if you want, I can use my mouth on you but only for a couple minutes – not the length of time I usually do. Would that work for you?”
2. “I feel a bit sad and don’t feel like my body wants to be sexual. I’m open to kissing you while you self-pleasure, but I want to keep my clothes on.”
3. “I want you inside of me.” *30 seconds later* “Actually can you come out, I want to orgasm first/I don’t feel open enough yet/I wasn’t ready.”
4. “Can I go on top?” *a minute later* “Actually, I want to be on my back.” *a minute later” “Now I want to be on my side.”
5. “That’s a little too deep”
6. “That angle doesn’t feel as good, can you lean forward more, there that angle feels better”
7. “Can you angle your cock more to the left, something is uncomfortable”
8. “You going down on me felt so good. I feel complete now; I don’t want to be penetrated or make you come.”
9. “Do you want to come? I’m happy to kiss you while you self pleasure or to use my hands with lube. I don’t feel like doing anything else at the moment”
10. “I know I don’t feel like being sexual tonight, but if you want to self pleasure I’m happy to put headphones in and give you the room to yourself.”
11. *in the middle of sex* “Wait, pause for a moment.” (if I feel an emotion or discomfort but can’t figure out exactly what I’m feeling or what I want immediately)
12. *in the middle of sex* “Can you pause and just hold me?”
13. “I want you to tell my pussy how beautiful she is and tell her she can take as long as she needs to orgasm”
14. “I want you to slap my butt” “No, harder” “No, actually softer”
15. “Will you pull my hair”
16. “I want you to be more aggressive”
17. “I want you to be more aggressive verbally, but not physically”
18. “Pain from biting feels okay today, but pain on my nipples does not”
19. “Not directly on my clitoris, can you move a little to the left, now down a little, wait, back up, there feels good”
20. “A bit softer/slower/less pressure/gentler/harder/faster”
21. “Wait pause.” *crying for a while* “I need to scream into a pillow (to release anger that came up in my body)”
22. “I only feel like having really tender, slow, and loving sex tonight”
23. “I really feel like having a long dom/sub session soon”
24. “I would love if you just gently stroked all over my body for a while but didn’t touch my pussy”
25. “Can you place your hand on my pussy and just hold it there for a few minutes?”
26. “Will you tell me what you love about my body?”
27. “I want you to touch my pussy” “Can you move your fingers away from my entrance and just don’t touch that part”
28. “I know I’m already wet, but I want to touch each other longer before you enter me”
29. *twenty minutes into sex, he hasn’t come yet* “I feel complete, my body feels done now”
30. “My body is tensing a bit and I’m getting in my head, I need to pause for a moment and just kiss so I can relax”
31. “Can you touch my butt but not go near my pussy”
32. “I feel like I’m taking too long, can you tell me how you’re feeling about it”
33. “I want to put my mouth on you but I don’t want to make you come, is that okay?”
34. “This position is hurting my neck, I want to try a different one”
35. “I want to hold the vibrator on myself while you’re inside of me”
36. “My foot is falling asleep can we change positions”
37. “I want to feel you deeper/less deep”
38. “Wait, that hurts a little”
39. “I want to self pleasure but I want to do it alone, can I have the room to myself”
40. “I want you to bite my neck”
41. “I want to orgasm before you enter me”
42. “I want to switch to lie on my belly, but I want you to fuck me for a while that way before you come, is that possible?”
43. “I want to lie here while you compliment my body and play with my hair”
44. “I don’t feel like being sexual but will you massage my back?”
45. “I want to cuddle naked for a long time but I don’t want to do anything else sexual”
46. “Will you kiss and pull my nipples while I self-pleasure?”
47. “Will you hold me while you make me come with your hand?”
48. “I want to have sex tonight” “Actually now I don’t feel like it”
49. “I want you to leave marks on my body”
50. “I don’t want you to leave marks on my body”
51. *after he comes* “I don’t feel done, can you make me come with your hand/mouth/vibrator?”
The benefit of asking for exactly what you want and naming exactly what you don’t is that you body begins to really, deeply trust you, bringing more pleasure, power, and freedom than you knew was possible.
Ask for what you want. You deserve it.