sex and relationships

Is your partner selfish in bed?

Signs your partner is selfish in bed and how to encourage them to step it up

Selfish partner in bed? Here’s what you can do

Recognising if your partner is lazy in bed and what to do about it

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Of course, sex should always be pleasurable for both parties, but if you’re finding that it’s over before it's begun and you’re left feeling unsatisfied and disappointed because your partner is concentrating on getting their own enjoyment, yet ignoring your needs, it’s time to reassess and reconnect.

First ask yourself is it selfishness, or lack of confidence or experience? We tend to assume that our partner knows what they are doing when it comes to love-making, and some may claim themselves good lovers. But knowing the moves that get ‘the deed done’ is not the same as knowing how to please your partner. If this rings bells about your partner, there is plenty you can do about it. 

For a start, write in letters of fire “Complaining gets you nowhere!” Tell them they’re not quite doing it for you and they're likely to get defensive. They may be that upset that they claim nobody else has ever criticised – or worse still imply it must be you at fault. So, remember complaining gets you nowhere. The key here is helping your partner become better at pleasing you, because you’ve nudged them into doing the right thing for you, and in praising them when they hit the spot.

Remember that we can’t read minds. So, go gently and forgive your partner for not knowing what it is that would arouse and satisfy you. Men and women are different so while he knows what would do it for him, how can he instinctively know what does it for you? Even for gay couples who are essentially ‘singing from the same song-sheet’ there’s still lots to learn. Because the fact is we are all individuals and what works with one person may not be right for another. Which is why it may also be true that a previous partner had nothing to complain about; they may have learnt how to please them but that doesn’t mean they instinctively understands what you like - it’s a learning game. And if you don’t encourage openly learning together, your partner may close down and become comfortable with doing the barest minimum because they’re frightened of being revealed as less than expert and anxious about trying too hard and failing.
So how do we pass on the message? For a start, model what you want. Make a point of hugging, stroking and asking your partner “Is this nice? Do you like this? Shall I do more of this or more of that?” Show your partner that by your words and actions that getting directions on what they like or don’t like helps you to please then more. You won’t have to say “And now you do the same!” for your partner to get the idea, although saying “Oh, it does make a difference when you tell me what you want!” can underline it. 

But the best way of getting the message over is by picking up on any of their successes. Say “Oh, I really loved it when you….” Or “When you….the other night, it was wonderful! Please do that again, it was lovely!” See it as a work in progress for both of you and use positive praise when it works. 

Suzie Hayman headshot

Bounty “Sex & Relationship” articles are written by expert Suzie Hayman. Suzie is agony aunt for Woman magazine, a Relate trained counsellor, and an accredited TripleP (Positive Parenting Programme) parenting educator.  She makes frequent appearances on TV and radio and as well as writing 31 books, Suzie writes features on parenting, relationships, sex and couples counselling, for a wide range of national magazines and newspapers

Is your partner selfish in bed?