You can take your sex life to another level by embracing sexual feedback.

Giving and receiving sexual criticism and guidance can be…weird. Why? Well, because your primary concern, when giving your partner sexual feedback, is how he/she is going to take it.

You don’t want your partner to take your critique the “wrong way” because it could lead to dire consequences for your relationship – and sex life. Then, there’s the possibility that you could injure your partner’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and ego if you point out his/her areas of improvement.

So, should you be honest and tell your partner when something just isn’t working for you in the bedroom?  Absolutely. You’ll never be sexually satisfied if you don’t speak up. And, vice versa. So, if you have sexual criticism and guidance to give – share it, but be prepared to receive sexual feedback from your partner, in turn.

The truth is, you know your body better than anyone else, so even if you and your partner have been together for years or even decades, it doesn’t automatically mean he/she will know what turns you on or what you like (or dislike), during sex. The same goes for you. You are not a mind reader; therefore, you may not know what your partner wants or needs from you to feel sexually fulfilled. Because, you can never know if what you are doing is pleasing your partner, and vice versa, you rely on gestures and verbal affirmations that what you’re doing is working.

But, what happens, if “it” isn’t working and you or your partner refuse to speak up? Nothing changes and feelings of frustration, anxiety, resentment, and anger increase until you have a non-existent sex life and a broken relationship. You and your partner believe you are providing each other with amazing sexual experiences, when in reality; these experiences are “C+” at best. So, keep in mind that your partner, like yourself, may have no idea he/she is doing something that turns you off.

Giving Sexual Criticism & Guidance

So, how can you give sexual criticism and guidance in a way that does not cause irrevocable harm to your relationship and sex life?

1. Be Compassionate

Giving sexual criticism and guidance to a partner in the wrong way can negatively affect their self-esteem and self-confidence. These can lead to a host of emotional and sexual issues like premature ejaculation, psychological erectile dysfunction, anxiety, depression, delayed orgasm, low libido, etc.

While, it’s important to be open and honest with your partner, it’s also important to be compassionate – especially when giving him/her sexual feedback.

Deliver your critique with love and understanding. Don’t use this feedback to hurt your partner because they has angered you. Keep in mind that your critique may be hard to hear, so reiterate just how much you love them. Let them know know that you’re in this together.

Note: if you experience psychological erection problems or premature ejaculation, you can learn how to overcome it in these in-depth articles we published on our blog here and here

2. Be Truthful

The worst thing you can do is lie to your partner. It doesn’t help, and if anything, it makes everything worse.

So, if your partner asks you if you had an orgasm don’t lie and say, “Yes,” when you really didn’t. Or, if your partner asks if you enjoyed a specific sexual position, don’t say you did, when you actually hated it.

Remember, your partner cannot read your mind, so they don’t necessarily know if you had an orgasm or liked a certain sexual position. They have to rely on your responses and what you tell him/her. If you aren’t truthful, he/she can’t improve his/her performance.

3. Provide Tangible Suggestions

In other words, offer realistic, actionable tips on how to improve your partner’s performance or technique. They can’t change things, if they don’t know what to change, so get down to the nitty-gritty, and don’t beat around the bush.

For instance, don’t say, “I don’t feel like I’m getting enough foreplay time, before sex. I think if we had more pre-sex activities?”

The statement above is vague. What kind of pre-sex activities? This is where you need to be more descriptive about what you want. Do you need more manual stimulation, oral sex, spooning, etc.?

When guiding your partner make sure he/she understands what you need from him/her. And, offer them realistic suggestions that he/she can do.

Receiving Sexual Criticism & Guidance

Now that you know how to give sexual criticism and guidance, how can you properly receive it–without allowing it to affect your self-esteem, self-confidence, relationship, and sex life?

Take a Minute Before You Respond

Truthfully, it’s hard to hear someone, even your partner, critique your sexual performance. Your first reaction may not be the best reaction. More specifically, your first reaction may be shock and then anger. So it’s important not to say the first thing that pops in your mind. Rather, take a minute or two (or even a day or two) to compose yourself and let the feedback sink in.

If you need some time, tell your partner that you need time to think and you’ll revisit it with him or her once you’ve had time to ponder what they’ve shared with you. However, if you don’t need to walk away, try to remain calm and open-minded.

Remember, your partner is on your side, so don’t immediately jump on him/her for sharing their concerns with you.

Listen Carefully

Listen carefully to what your partner has to say – without interrupting. You may not like what he/she is saying but listen anyway. Once they’ve finished, repeat back what you heard them say.

For instance, “So, you want more foreplay (manual stimulation) before sex, right?” Or, “You don’t enjoy having “doggy style” sex, right?”

At this stage, refrain from overly analyzing or questioning your partner’s critique. Instead, focus on putting their comment, guidance, and suggestions into perspective.  And give your partner some slack. I know your feelings are hurt, but they’re just trying to help you and your relationship.

Ask Questions

Once you have heard your partner’s sexual criticism and guidance, ask questions. Especially if you are unclear on something. DON’T use this time to defend or argue with them about their assessment of your sexual performance.

For example, if your partner is vague about what you are doing that they dislike, ask for concrete examples and realistic suggestions.

In Summary…

We all need constructive sexual feedback and guidance, from time-to-time. It ensures that all sexual needs are met.

The result? A deeper connection and better sex.

Although it can be hard to dish out sexual criticism and guidance – and even harder to hear it – it’s important for a healthy sex life.

Be kind, loving, and positive when sharing your concerns and tips with your partner. Receive any feedback on your performance with grace, and you’ll both be satisfied with your sex life.


Dr. R.Y. Langham holds a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy and a Ph.D in family psychology. She serves as a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic, which provides sex-therapy online programs for men and couples experiencing premature ejaculation.