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  • by John Ortved, Single-ish, Glamour Magazine,

    Let’s talk about dirty talk. Now, I wish the rest of this post were a litany of curse words. I wish it were a sonorous thesaurus of anatomy. But sadly it’s not, because that’s not the sex talk I want to discuss. Instead, let’s talk about talking about sex. How do we broach this most sensitive of topics with our significant others, our one-night stands, our girlfriends, our grocery delivery boys, or what have you?The other day, my friend’s girlfriend of over a year told him she was unimpressed with the caliber of his oral performance, and we’re not talking about the way he brushes his teeth.

    Now my friend is, according to him, and his girlfriend, a great lover. He’s attentive and supportive and aggressive, but only in the good ways (he’s a chef—he knows when to blend, when to sautee, when to turn up broil—not a UFC fighter). Or so he thought, hence his embarrassment, and confusion on being confronted with what was lacking.

    Related: 12 Things Guys Wish You Knew In Bed

    When is the right time to tell a lover he’s not meeting the grade, or that he could be doing more, and how do you do it?

    Here’s what you don’t do: make a big deal out of it. No matter where or how you bring it up, it should never be a “listen, we need to talk,” kind of thing. That’s going to make him feel like he did something really wrong, or that he’s failed you in some way (which he has, but it’s not like he failed to save you from a burning house, it’s more like he missed a beat on a dance floor).

    How you actually approach the topic depends on how you guys interact: I would prefer to hear it by way of pillowtalk, right after that fact, the fact being an orgasm: yours. Then it can be part of positive reinforcement, as in, “That was fantastic. If you had done this at that particular moment, it would have driven me through the roof. My God, you have to try that next time.”

    And if I didn’t take the hint, maybe the next time, put a little more emphasis, or make it a little clearer: “I’m dying for you to do this.”

    If he still isn’t responsive, maybe it’s time for some straight talk, e.g., “Sweetie, God gave you 10 fingers…please learn how to use just one of them.” But this kind of tough love should not be presented intervention style; it should come up in a cool, calm, collected way, in a natural setting (not, say, over dinner with his friends or part way through an anniversary date.

    Sex obviously isn’t everything, but it’s an important part of relationships, and like finances, families, commitment and cooking duties, it’s something we need to be able to talk about.

    Do you have any tips for how to start the conversation? Have you tried any of these? Have they worked for you?