I’ll start by saying that this list doesn’t apply to every single woman. Some are perfectly satisfied with what they have going on. And some just aren’t afraid to ask.
But based on my very unscientific research*, when I asked women what things they want in bed, but were a little bit apprehensive about asking for, these were the things that came up most often.
I won’t tell you none of these applies to me, because I’d be lying. But I won’t tell you which ones I secretly want either. Let it suffice that there are one or two things on this list I’ve stayed mum about in the past that I’m going to try to be more vocal about.
The overarching theme of this list is that they’re all things that we think we shouldn’t want—because they’re either unladylike or anti-feminist or degrading—and so we’re afraid of asking for them, lest we be judged by our partners, or worse, ourselves. But we need to let go of our social propriety complexes and understand that there are different rules when you’re bumping uglies from when you’re having high tea with your mother in law.
See what men secretly want in bed, here.
So what is it that women secretly want in bed but are too afraid to ask for?
You’d be surprised at the overwhelming number of women—including those you think had never experimented beyond missionary—who were really into rough sex. I’m talking hair pulling, spanking, choking, even some face slapping. We tend to be apprehensive about asking for it because we’ve been socially drilled into believing that rough sex is misogynistic and degrading to women. But getting a bit roughed up during sex (within reason) is a fantasy, not a reality. And if it turns you on, why not? It doesn’t need to be full-on physical assault for the fantasy to play out, and chances are it’ll turn your partner on too! Try starting off a little slowly, asking him to hold your hair while you go down with him, and then encourage him to give a little tug. Or guide his hand to spank you where you want it. Then gauge his reaction to see how far you want to take it.
Whereas men are easily aroused visually, for women it’s a little more complex. Seeing a penis and having our boobs fondled is usually not enough to get a raging lady-boner. Most women need to be mentally stimulated as well, and dirty talk helps to activate the fantasy playing out inside our minds. But it’s sometimes hard to find your voice in bed. Again with the social conditioning, we’ve been taught that proper ladies don’t say bad words. Obviously our generation has been desensitized to a point, but it’s not easy to say “I want you to nail me to the wall me with your powerful cock” when an hour earlier you were primly discussing the latest MoMA exhibit over a bottle of Chardonnay. But dirty talk doesn’t have to be vulgar, and the key is convincing yourself that talking is okay. Start with something simple, like, “oh that feels nice, don’t stop.” Once you realize that the sound of your own voice isn’t so jarring, you’ll have trouble staying quiet. If you’d rather your man do the sexy chatting, start by telling him what you’d like him to do to you, and then suggest that he tell you what he wants to do to you.
Girls aren’t “supposed” to watch porn. Most of us do anyway, but it’s not something we usually talk about. Because watching porn means masturbating, and even though everybody knows that everybody does it, nobody talks about it. Especially not girls, in bed, about to get it on. But our reluctance to bring it up is more about our own socially self-imposed problem with girls watching porn, not with what the guy will think. But if you’re still unsure about asking for it because you want it, try suggesting it as a treat for him—“I really want to go down on you while you watch porn”—and then switch, so you can enjoy the show while he goes down on you. Eventually you can graduate to reproducing live what’s going on in the video. Just make sure you pick porn that does it for you. I know from experience that guys get turned on by pretty much anything, but not everything they like works for us.
I know girls who hate it, girls who are ambivalent, and girls who can’t get enough. When it comes to the butt, there is no generalization that applies to all women. But I do know that for those women who haven’t tried it and are curious about it, it’s a tricky subject to bring up. There’s a time for spontaneity in the bedroom, and this isn’t it. Without getting into details (you all have imaginations, use them), anal sex is probably something that’s best planned ahead of time (maybe after a shower and with plenty of lube handy). But planning things out is pretty much anathema to great sex. This doesn’t have to impede your curiosity about anal though. In the heat of the moment—when bringing up something dirty is less uncomfortable—ask if he’s ever done it and if he’d be interested in trying it next time. This means that you put the idea in his head, but don’t have to deal with figuring out how to make now the right moment. And just make sure you, um, do everything you need to do before you get it on.
When it comes to domination and submission, women are essentially fucked if we do, fucked if we don’t. Literally and figuratively. Sometimes we just want to strap on a saucy outfit, push a guy onto the bed, and take control. And sometimes we want to close our eyes, have our hands tied over our heads, and just let ourselves be ravaged. But we sometimes have trouble asking for it. It’s hard to ask to be dominant, because we don’t want to emasculate the guy. And it’s hard to ask to be dominated, because we’re afraid we’re being anti-feminist. But I’ve realized that the bedroom is no place for that kind of feminism—It’s the opposite of arousing—and there are more important things to stroke than egos. It’s probably easier to bring up wanting to be submissive (toss a pair of handcuffs at him, hold out your wrists together, and tell him he can have his way with you for the next hour), but there are tactful ways to bring up wanting to be in charge, too. You can tell him that you don’t want him to be able to move while you lick him all over. Or, once you maneuver your way on top, you can pin his arms over his head and say, “good thing I brought another way to keep your hands up here, because I’ll be needing my hands down here…”
So there you have it. Even though I didn’t start writing this with the intention of giving advice, some nuggets of wisdom got away from me anyway. Occupational hazard of being a sex columnist, I guess.
Women, it appears, are a lot kinkier than they let on, but when it comes to letting our inner vixens out, we’re our own greatest enemies.
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, ladies, it’s get out of your own head!
The person who’s judging you the most for wanting what you want is you, not the guy you’re sleeping with who would probably be thrilled to handcuff you to the bed and tease you to the point of ecstasy, all the while with porn playing in the background.
If you try something new and it doesn’t turn out to be your cup of tea, there’s no reason you have to add it to your repertoire. And if it ends up being something you love?
Well, aren’t you glad you asked?
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*As if I ever did any other kind of research.