Rowdy After Dark: Taking It To The Next Level
How do I ask my partner for sex without sounding like a creep??
(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash)
Rowdy After Dark is an unfiltered, inclusive and sex-positive column by and for college students. Do you have a burning sex or relationship question you’d like answered? Send it to us here*.
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Happy Tuesday, lovers.
We’re back with another reader-submitted question:
How do I ask my partner for sex without sounding like a creep?? Context: we’ve been together for a couple of years. We kiss and touch but we both just kind of... stop right before anything sexual ever happens. I feel odd saying “we can do other things” because I don’t want them to feel pressured, but I also want to explore this next level with them. What do I do? :/
* [ Editor's note: this question has been edited for clarity. ]
I hear your concern with wanting to be respectful of your partner’s boundaries, and I think that is the most important thing to keep in mind here.
So first, you need to establish if they want to have sex at all.
Since you’ve been together for several years, I’d imagine you are fairly comfortable approaching most subjects with them, but talking about sex for the first time can be awkward if you haven’t before.
It’s a good idea to introduce the conversation in a non-sexual context. For example, you shouldn’t be like, “Wanna fuck?” in the middle of a hot-and-heavy makeout sesh, where they might feel momentarily inclined to go further than they might be comfortable with otherwise.
Instead, it’s better to talk about it casually during the day, like over dinner or in a neutral space in your home (i.e. not the bedroom). You could tell them how much you enjoy being intimate with them and ask how they feel about taking it a step further — it’s really that simple!
Be clear about what you mean by “the next level,” and encourage them to share what they are and aren’t OK with exploring. A good way to make them feel comfortable sharing these things is by mentioning your boundaries or interests first. Talking through these things in detail doesn’t only make it a more comfortable situation for the both of you, but it can even serve as a fun verbal foreplay.
But before you go into this conversation, you need to be prepared for them to give a flat-out no.
There are plenty of reasons why your partner might not be interested in sex. It might be rooted in religion or insecurity. They might have a low libido due to any medications they’re taking, like birth control or antidepressants. They might find themselves on the asexual spectrum. Or they might just not feel like they’re ready to take it to that next level, even if you are.
Whatever the reason may be, if they are telling you no — or “I don’t know…” or “maybe…” — you need to be respectful of that.
It’s a good idea for you to remind your partner that you love and support them no matter what their answer is, and that you’re open to talking through any hesitance they have. But unless they’re giving you an enthusiastic yes, take it as a no.
And if this is the case, remember that it likely has very little to do with you. If they’ve been with you for several years and are regularly showing you other forms of affection, it’s safe to assume they find you attractive and are happy with you. It’s easy to let our egos get wounded when we have mismatched sexual desires with our partners, but being able to separate yourself from their feelings about it will allow you to fully support your partner how they need you to.
However, it’s also possible they are feeling similar to you. They might feel nervous bringing it up because they think that you’re not interested in doing anything more than you have been. But the only way to find out is to ask.
Good luck, reader, and thanks for writing in.
Morgan is an online writer at Rowdy Magazine and a fourth-year journalism and women’s studies student at UF. You can usually find her at a local coffee shop, petting her latest foster cat or on social media @morgangoldwich.